“An army marches on its stomach,” as the saying goes, Ukraine’s protesters are being fueled by coffee and cake.
Until now the warming drinks at the barricades have been provided by groups of individuals, often organised through social media.
But local businesses are now stepping in to offer support.
Restaurant owner Natalya Nevyadomska explained:
“The restaurant is a place free of politics and political parties. It’s a place for everyone to relax and have something to eat. So we never ask the customers which political party they support. We just create an atmosphere where people can feel safe and secure.”
“I came here (a local cafe) just to take a break from routine revolutionary chores and have some coffee,” said one protester. “Well, as for coffee, I can get it at the barricades, but here I can also recharge my emotional batteries.”
“We are not turned away from any cafe by the owners or employees. On the contrary, they show us where the toilets are and offer free cups of tea,” added another grateful demonstrator.
The handouts are not restricted to the protesters, police officers in Kyiv’s Independence Square are also offered gifts of food and drink, but though perhaps tempted they do not accept.