By Marko Djurica
Slava Ukraini, Heroyam Slava!
At the beginning I didn’t understand what they were chanting.
The speaker at the podium repeated, “Slava Ukraini” and a mass of people responded in one voice: “Heroyam Slava!”
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“Glory to Ukraine! Glory to its heroes!” was the answer I got from a girl wrapped in a blue and yellow flag.
Who are these heroes they are cheering? This time I resolved to find out the answer for myself.
At the end of November, massive protests began in Kiev against a decision of the Ukrainian government to withdraw from talks with the European Union over an important trade pact. The protest has continued nonstop in Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), which is where the name “Euromaidan,” the term used for the demonstrations, comes from.
There were barricades, tents, music, flags, as well as thousands of people in the cold weather enjoying themselves. A big festival, I would have said. I couldn’t help making comparisons with similar protests fifteen years ago in my home city of Belgrade.