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 #12.
Story #12. Kozak Leonid (Oleh Borysovych), Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine
“Kozaks [Cossacks] are the body and blood of the Ukrainian people. We are not afraid of losing [our] heads for the sake of the freedom and happiness of Ukraine. We will always be with our people. A healthy common sense will always prevail.
I arrived [on Maidan] on December 5, 2013. When I got ill, I went home. And now, unfortunately, I am at the hospital. Afterwards, I will go to Kaniv [Cherkasy Oblast] for the Kozak Council.
One day, we will take pride in the fact that we had Maidan. That we are of the Kozak nation.
Kyivans complain, saying that we feed the homeless and litter. But we fed the homeless, told them what to do and they feel like human beings now.
“The Kozak’s hat safeguards the Kozak’s honor.”
Artist Vita Kalmutska talked with Kozak Leonid at Oleskandrivska hospital. As a gift, Vita created the protester’s portrait on site.
Presentation of the Kozak’s story by Vita Kalmutska:
“Kozak Leonid was on Hrushevskyi Street during the clashes in February [of 2014]. Under the grenade fire, [people] began to retreat from the battleground. He [Leonid] fell down and saw a Kozak hat nearby, he thought it was his. But when he came around to it, he realized that his hat was on [his] unscathed head, so he put away a stranger’s hat close to his heart. By the campfire, Dmytro, a brother-in-arms came up to him and complained that he had lost his hat, and that some Muscovite would wear it now. Kozak Leonid took out Dmytro’s invaluable treasure-hat.”