Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky linked historic pro-democracy protests in Kyiv one decade ago to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Describing the demonstrations on Maidan square as the “first victory” of the war with Russia, he said, “The first victory in today’s war took place. A victory against indifference. A victory of courage. The victory of the Revolution of Dignity.”
Ukraine marks the 10-year anniversary of the months-long protest movement in which around 100 civilians died in violent clashes with security forces in Kyiv. The massive protests led to the ouster of Kremlin-backed president Viktor Yanukovych. The Maidan protests erupted in late 2013 when Viktor Yanukovych ditched a trade deal with the European Union.
Volodymyr Zelensky praised his country’s progress towards gaining membership to the European Union, saying, “Year after year, step by step, we do our best to ensure that our star shines in the circle of stars on the EU flag, which symbolises the unity of the peoples of Europe. The star of Ukraine.”
This comes after the EU’s executive recommended opening formal membership talks with Ukraine. European Council president Charles Michel also arrived in Kyiv to show his support as Ukraine marks the anniversary of the protests.
“Good to be back in Kyiv – among friends,” Charles Michel on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), posting a picture of himself shaking hands with the European Union’s ambassador to Ukraine, Katarina Mathernova, at Kyiv’s railway station.
What Russia said on Maidan protests?
The Kremlin described Ukraine’s 2014 revolution as a foreign-sponsored coup which defined Ukraine’s current pro-Western political position.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “The fact that it was sponsored from abroad has been acknowledged, directly and indirectly, by representatives of foreign countries. That is no secret to anyone.”