Ukrainians are holding several days of events to mark the third anniversary of the end of what they call the ‘Revolution of Dignity’.
A hundred people, now known as the ‘Heavenly Hundred’, were shot dead by riot police in February 2014 during protests on Independence Square – locally known as ‘the Maidan’ – in central Kyiv.
Local resident Daryna Kulchytska was among those gathered in Independence Square on Saturday (February 18, 2017).
“I don’t want people to forget what it was like, how people stood up and wanted to change something, how people were ready to give everything, even their lives, for the sake of our future,” she told reporters.
The square in the capital has become symbolic of a shift that turned Ukraine away from Russia and towards Europe.
Serviceman Yuriy Myhalevych reflected on the events of 2014.
“People became different, compared to how they used to be. People felt that they could change something in this country. But unfortunately, there have not been enough changes over the past three years.”
The Maidan movement began as an outcry against the-then President Viktor Yanukovych’s rejection of a trade deal with the European Union.
Following the deadly events in Kyiv, the Kremlin-backed leader and his inner circle fled to Russia.