Bewilderment at the violence in Kyiv among ordinary members of the public has turned to anger following Tuesday’s bloodshed. They turned out to peacefully support the opposition’s constitutional reform proposals.
“It’s provocation by the government, for sure. The authorities are responsible. We are witnesses. Me and my friend, we were there. We are not extremists. We had nothing in our hands. Why did they do it? The police did it purely to justify the crackdown on Maidan. They’re afraid of it,” said one woman.
A minority, it’s been claimed, did come looking for a fight. Not these people.
“The police won’t attack in the afternoon but we are sure that they will attack at night. Their goal is to disperse the crowd and to clear the square. Our protest is peaceful but what we can do? We have to protect ourselves because there are women and many wounded activists here,” said one man.
Dozens were killed and hundreds injured on Tuesday as President Yanukovych appeared to lose patience and resort to force to regain control of his capital.
With the revolt spreading to several western cities as well, the entire country may be slipping from his grasp. Despite the violence it appears the opposition, far from being cowed, is inflamed.