After four days of sick leave, Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych returned to his desk on Monday.
But in Independence Square very little had changed, with anti-government protesters still occupying the area.
One of the president’s first tasks will be to appoint a new prime minister, after Mykola Azarov stepped down under pressure from the Maidan protest movement.
Another job will be to seek an end to more than two months of street protests, some of which have escalated into violent clashes between activists and riot police.
But demonstrators remain sceptical, as Mikailo Hultsylyak explained.
“I think it makes no difference whether Yanukovych is back or not,” he said. “The process is moving forward and now it just doesn’t matter. We are not expecting much from him, only negative things, nothing useful.”
Another anti-government protester was slightly more hopeful about the impact of the demonstrations on the future of Ukrainian politics and told reporters:
“It’s hard to say what kind of people will come into power when this all ends. But whoever it is, they will think twice about their actions after this Maidan protest movement. People will not forget it.”
On Monday, opposition activist Dmytro Bulatov arrived in Lithuania, where he will receive medical treatment after reportedly being tortured by unknown assailants.
Meanwhile Oleksandr Danylyuk, Ukrainian activist and leader of the anti-government group Spilna Sprava, has reportedly arrived in London. He claims he fled from imminent arrest in his home country.