Alexandra Kuzhel: Stand up and keep getting off that train at Maidan Station.

By Alexandra Kuzhel 
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

Very often I recall an episode from the time on Maidan. On one of the most anxious days, when mortal danger loomed over everyone who was on Maidan, someone set up a meeting with me on the metro station subway platform “Maidan Nezalezhnosti” [“Independence Square”]. These were really very scary days – none of us, leaving our homes, knew whether we would return, did not know, whether we would be alive through the hour, did not know what would happen to each of us.

In anticipation, I stood in a half-empty subway, while heavily-laden, crowded trains kept driving up to the deserted platform. They stopped, opened their train doors and, from every car, 10-20 people exited. They were going to Maidan. They knew that they could be killed, but they were still going. The rest – went on further. To the warmth of a safe home.

I remember a married couple leaving the train. I first saw them on December 2nd [2013] when we were gathered before a rally on the corner of Horkoho and Tolstoho Streets. Middle-aged, with thin, intelligent faces. At first glance, ordinary Kyivans. Since that day, I kept looking for them amongst the crowds on Maidan, they would always come in the evening after work. I also remember – an elderly American, from Kyiv in the past – who left the Soviet Union for the United States. I once wrote about him on FB. Alarmed, wrapped several times with a warm scarf around his neck, without a hat – he also came out of the [train] car. And headed to Maidan.

I ask myself–why does my memory come back to this moment all the time? Probably because these very people, with their fearlessness, their burning desire to change the country, their dignity, changed the course of history in Ukraine.

[I] very well understand that now many people do not want to hear bad news, [they] fence off their mind from the horrors of war, from the deaths, from betrayals. [They] are tired, emotionally drained. And all [of them], without exception, want peace. For many, it no longer matters what price is paid for peace. If only they would stop killing, if only they would stop hearing how many people died overnight, if only they would not see how they bury those who did not become afraid. Those who got off the train to a deserted platform. We’ve already set up Christmas trees in store showcases, trying to pretend that all is well in the country.

We do not get off the train.

With all our might, we cling to the murky promises: elections in one round – [and] the end of war. [What a] deception. But [we] so want all of this to end, so that everywhere the festive Christmas trees lights can shine merrily! Now, a new promise: a majority in Parliament and the expansion of presidential powers to what they were before Yanukovych as a guarantee of the end of war… We understand that they are deceiving us – but we have no strength left, we want to be deceived – to believe someone at least for a short time.

We’re entering the illusion of prosperity, promised [to us] on election posters in an overcrowded train car of betrayed hopes.

But maybe you should get out and go along with those who have not succumbed to fear and have decided to fight, without false heroism, in an ordinary and mundane manner? For freedom. For the future of their children. For victory. For the right to be a Ukrainian. For the right to think and express your thoughts. For an honest government that serves its people.

I know, I definitely know that God’s blessing lies over the Ukrainian people. The people, not those in power. And God never sends a trial that a man cannot overcome. Or a country. That in these tests is born a nation in whom will always be what it takes to force the authorities to serve it.

On the night of December 10 to 11 [2013], when a black river [their helmets are black] of Berkut riot police kept creeping down from Pechersk to Maidan from all sides, and when it seemed that we would all be destroyed, we all stood up in prayer. The priests prayed on stage, the women uttered words of prayer through their tears near the stage on Maidan, overcoming fear and stupor, [people] kept praying in every Ukrainian home, where they spent all night watching the live stream from Maidan. I called St. Michael’s [Cathedral] and asked [them] to strike the bell. With the first blow, Berkut stopped. It was a miracle that was hard to believe in. But it did happen. God extended his mercy over the people. At the time, there was one power on Maidan – the power of the people. And God keeps the Ukrainian people safe. Not the government. A government that will not serve its people is not the government. It will never be the government.

Please, I beg all those who have lost faith. All who are tired. All those who have ceased to believe. All those who do not get off the train. Please, do not give up! Please, do not stop fighting. For the sake of your children. In the name of the Heroes of the Heaven’s Hundred, who keep us safe from way up high. Do not give up, fight, fight like our heroes do today at the Donetsk airport, like the ATO heroes, like tens of thousands of dedicated volunteers keep fighting for Ukraine. Fight!

We are sure to win! Only [we] need to get off the train at a platform that is still half-empty, and remember that we have already won, over Yanukovych. Hence, we will be able to win now as well. [We will be able] to tackle corruption and corrupt judges, bureaucrats who by their criminal schemes entangled the whole country, the generals without conscience and God in their hearts, cowards and opportunists, thieves in [public] positions and their boundless greed.

[We will be] able to defeat even disappointment and fatigue and lack of faith.

Ukraine will win.

Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) metro station, Kyiv

Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) metro station, Kyiv

Source: Alexandra Kuzhel FB

This entry was posted in English, English News, Maidan Diary, Voices of Ukraine, War in Donbas and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Alexandra Kuzhel: Stand up and keep getting off that train at Maidan Station.

  1. Pingback: Alexandra Kuschel: In der U-Bahn-Station Maidan ausgestiegen | EUROMAIDAN PRESS | News and Opinion from Across Ukraine

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