Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Postcards from Maidan is an art initiative that helps facilitate the psychological rehabilitation and physical recovery of patients. Artists visit the wounded and use drawings as a storytelling mechanism of Maidan. The wounded are later presented with the drawings. This is the story of one Maidan protester. This is story #19.
27 y.o., Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, Kosovo Rayon
Artist Vita Kalmutska talked to Yury at the City Emergency Hospital. As a gift, Vita created the portrait of the protestor on site.
“Yury is laconic. He got shot by a sniper. Yury came to Maidan on January 5, by himself, completely alone. I met him on the seventh floor of the Emergency Hospital, it was a weekend evening, the floor was deserted, an incredible number of corridors, wards. I was standing there, dazed and confused. And then came Yura [diminuitive from Yury], apparently he wanted to go to the balcony to smoke. It was very difficult for him to walk. I asked him if he knew in what ward were the guys from Maidan, Yura said he was from there. We went into his room, he was not against my initiative, but showed no enthusiasm about it either. I very keenly felt his pain. Strong [pain], and not just physical body [pain].
On the morning of February 20, Yura and another fellow turned a water cannon over, [they] retreated, the Berkut [riot police] began to retreat and the people went on with the attack. [They] reached the barricades on Instytutska St., saw many snipers, they did not conceal themselves much, and Yura got shot. The guys quickly ran towards him, carried him to the doctors on Maidan, and from there into an ambulance. He was operated on the same day.
Now [volunteers] are collecting money for Yura’s rehabilitation in Italy or Spain, whichever happens. It was March 9, 6 o’clock in the evening, when I came to visit Yura. During my visit, a lot of different people came over to ask how he felt, [some of them] got into a situation where they didn’t know how to support [him], what to help [him] with. I hope Yura will get through this pain in his soul, recover and live for himself and for us. After all, he is young and beautiful, very strong, but now he is utterly lost.
It was difficult to communicate with him, he is very sad. He is an orphan, used to work as a logger. He didn’t look at his portrait. I don’t know why, because of his modesty or indifference. As it turns out, many people come to visit him. While I was there, a fellow countrywoman came over, [quite] a talkative woman, volunteers ran by, [unkown] people just came over, brought the money and thanked him.”