Euromaidan’s power lay in grassroots movement: Revolution of Dignity witness

As Ukraine staves off the Russian invasion, the memory of the Euromaidan grassroots civic uprising that set the Ukrainian nation on a long road of democratic transformation – an event that TVP World’s guest Mychailo Winnyckyi, Associate Professor of the Department of Sociology and Business School at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, dubbed “the single most consequential event in Eastern European history.”

“The 2013-2014 protests in Ukraine had significant overflowing effects beyond Ukraine… It did change the country itself,” Professor Winnyckyi said, adding that the power that drove the revolution came from the “grassroots”.

It was about people coming together, first of all, to protest the government’s decision at the time to not sign the association agreement with the European Union,” TVP World’s guest said. “But later, in fact, the Euromaidan designation became actually a bit more used by Western journalists. It became simply ‘Maidan’ because what happened is that the reaction of the regime at the time was to beat students.”

On the 30th of November we had approximately 200 students on the central square and they were faced by 1,253 riot policemen who came in and, basically, beat them. The reaction to that from Kyiv or from the population of Kyiv and the areas around Kyiv was to mobilise and we mobilised upwards about a million people at a point who came out to protest in what became known as the Revolution of Dignity,” Mr Winnyckyi said.

Mr Winnyckyi, who was both an observer of and participant in the Euromaidan, wrote a book entitled “Ukraine's Maidan, Russia's War: A Chronicle and Analysis of the Revolution of Dignity" on the memorable developments.

If you are interested in Professor Winnyckyi’s account of those fateful days, click the video above.