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Ukraine's Capital After Yanukovich, Through a Kyrgyz Blogger's Eyes

Kyiv's Maidan. Portrait of Ukraine's former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, released from jail after the ousting of Yanukovich. Image by Bektour Iskender, used with permission.

A portrait of Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, released from jail after the ousting of Yanukovich, is seen in Kyiv's Maidan. Image by Bektour Iskender, used with permission.

This post is part of our Special Coverage Ukraine's #Euromaidan Protests.

Kyrgyzstani blogger Bektour Iskender visited Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, where after months of protests the country's President Viktor Yanukovych was recently ousted. Iskender presents a detailed photo report about “the first days after Yanukovich” in Kyiv.

In a three-part series of blog posts so far dubbed “Travels in Kyiv”, Iskender poses some questions that many are asking, and provides answers to some. In the first part of his reports from Kyiv, he writes:

Я буду в Киеве до пятницы и попытаюсь, в первую очередь, запечатлеть эти моменты установления новых правил игры. А ещё я хочу попытаться понять, почему ситуация в этой стране так резко изменилась за какие-то два-три дня? Почему Янукович так долго сопротивлялся «Евромайдану», а потом так быстро сдулся и сдался?

I will be in Kyiv on Friday to try to, above all, capture these moments of establishing new rules of the game. I also want to try to understand why the situation in this country changed so dramatically in just two or three days? Why did Yanukovich resist “Euromaidan” so long and then so quickly gave up and fled?

The posts also include dozens of pictures of everyday life and activities of the protesters and citizens of Kyiv during this transitional period. In the second blog post written during his visit, Iskender describes in detail everyday life in Kyiv today:

На второй день пребывания в Киеве как-то уже привыкаешь к Майдану, баррикадам, людям из самообороны. Наверное, потому, что все они никак не мешают повседневной жизни города.

В Киеве почти не работает государственная милиция. То есть, на улицах я не вижу ни участковых, ни дорожно-патрульной службы, никого из официальных правоохранительных органов. Казалось бы, тут весь криминал и мародёры должны выползти и начать свои тёмные дела.

Но нет. В Киеве я себя сейчас чувствую безопаснее, чем в большинстве городов, в которых я бывал за последний, скажем, год.[...]

И водители зачем-то ездят, не нарушая правил. На красный свет останавливаются. Пешеходов пропускают на зебрах.

Мало какой город в мире сейчас более сюрреалистичен, чем Киев.

On the second day in Kyiv, you get used to Maidan, the barricades, the self-defense people. Probably because they don't interrupt everyday life in the city.

In Kyiv, the state police almost doesn't work. Or rather, I don't see any [working] police stations or police patrols in the streets, no one from official law and order services. One would think that thieves and criminals must be lurking in wait to commit their dark deeds.

But no. In Kyiv, I can feel safer now than in most cities I have been in say the last year. [...]

And drivers, for some reason, don't break the rules. They stop at a red light. Pedestrians use crossings.

Few cities today are as surreal as Kiev.

In part 3 of his “Travels in Kyiv”, Iskender exclusively covers the topic of what he and many have called the “true heroes of Maidan” – the doctors and other medical staff that have joined forces and often risked their own physical safety to keep Euromaidan protesters healthy and alive. A set of photos in this post shows the improvised clinics set up around the city and the cheerful faces of medical workers who have dedicated their life-saving skills to the movement in the past weeks and months, some of whom have come from Moldova, Iran and other countries to Ukraine to help.

Iskender financed the trip himself and could only stay for a few days, but has promised to return to Kyiv soon and continue reporting on everyday life in the aftermath of Euromaidan protests in Ukraine.

This post is part of our Special Coverage Ukraine's #Euromaidan Protests.

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