On August 19, Kiev's Independence Square was cleared of the last remains of the Euromaidan protest camp. Despite the fact that the new Ukrainian government owes much of its power to the people who built it, the camp had lately become a thorn in the eye of the state, and so the tents were finally forcibly removed by the authorities. After former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych's departure in February 2014, most protesters had returned home anyway. Those who remained in the camp were mostly activists who'd grown too accustomed to the permanent state of emergency to go back to their normal lives.
A few days before the evacuation was supposed to take place, I found myself on Independence Square. I couldn't shake the impression that apart from random passerby and a few tourists, a lot of the inhabitants of the remaining tent cities were slightly dubious characters. Most were men in camouflage clothing, some of whom also wore flags of political organizations; many looked quite disheveled, as they might after living outdoors for months. My Ukrainian friends told me about nocturnal assaults and fights breaking out in the middle of the night on the square. After dark, the square didn't feel like a safe place to be in.
As the encampment was being cleared, the last inhabitants reacted by setting tires on fire and throwing stones at the city workers. Despite their opposition, the Maidan finally returned to its original state. The big Christmas tree, the flags, and posters will later be displayed in a museum dedicated to the events of the past year.
The traditional look of the Ukrainian Cossacks is back in fashion. Key parts of the look are the "chuprina" - a lock of hair on a shaved bald head – and a great mustache.
Maidan souvenirs: doormats and toilet paper printed with portraits of Yanukovych and Putin (with a Hitler mustache).
The man in a bear costume is a tourist attraction on the Maidan. It's a little irritating that the bear is traditionally regarded as a symbol of Russia.
"Stop Fascism in Russia"
Photographs of deceased Majdan protesters.
"Long live the Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!"
A post of the Ukrainian Battalion Ajdar, which is fighting in eastern Ukraine against Russian separatists. In the background you can see the Majdan Press Center.
The hotel Ukrajina was also used as a field hospital during the protests in the spring of 2014. From the windows snipers allegedly shot on protesters, wounding many and even killing some.
Banner of the right-wing party Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, featuring Stepan Bandera. Bandera was a prominent Ukrainian nationalist politician and partisan who fought for Ukrainian independence in the 1930s and 40s.
Traces of a fire at the House of Trade Unions of Ukraine on Maidan.
A destroyed water cannon vehicle on the Khreshchatyk.
Maidan protesters were still occupying the square and the main street Khreshchatyk in August 2014. Red and black are the colors of the flag of the "Prawyj Sector" [Right Sector].
A list of medicine needed by the Ajdar Battalion: lidocaine, novocaine, Ultracain, antivirus medicine, NaCl, bandages, x-ray accessories, ampoules, surgical instruments, medical gloves, etc.
A graffiti honouring the resistance fighters of Maidan and a picture of one of the victims.
Ammunition of the "BERKUT", the Ukrainian army's Special Forces unit, that was used against the demonstrators.