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Local Activists Protest in Kiev

Published: January 29, 2014 (Issue # 1795)



  • St. Petersburg activists recently went to Kiev to support the ongoing protests.
    Photo: Igor Obolentsev / For SPT

St. Petersburgs liberal and left-wing activists have offered their support to the protests currently taking place in Ukraine with one-man rallies and pickets, a vigil and visits to Kiev. Pickets have been held near the Consulate General of Ukraine and on Nevsky Prospekt since mid-week while on Jan. 23 a group of St. Petersburg residents held an event at the monument to Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko on Ploshchad Shevchenko on the Petrograd Side to honor those who have died during the unrest.

Andrei Pivovarov, the chair of the St Petersburg branch of the Russian Republican Party the Peoples Freedom Party, RPR-Parnas returned late Sunday from Kiev, where he had visited the protesters encampment on Maidan Nezalezhnosti with two other activists to see the protests and convey messages of solidarity from St. Petersburg activists.

It was very impressive. Ive never seen barricades in the center of the city or a complete city-within-a-city that lives by its own rules and is very well organized, Pivovarov told The St. Petersburg Times this week.

Many people who probably did not known each other before have built a workable, functioning organization a system within a system. Some people are in charge of collecting funds, some are responsible for arranging overnight lodgings. There are security guards and then there are the more radical elements who confront the police. There are people who cook food and medics; it replicates the system of a state.

According to Pivovarov he felt no danger within the protesters camp. Its really safe, he said.

Sure, there are people walking around with sticks and covered faces, but it does not cause any fear. Even when we witnessed the Ukrainian House [a congress center used by Ukrainian police and special forces as their base of operations until its seizure by protesters at about 4 a.m. Sunday] being stormed, people were polite and respectful. If somebody pushed another by accident, they apologized. There was a joke going round that if a man in camouflage carrying a stick enters a cafe in Kiev, he is most likely to have two degrees and a good command of English.

Pivovarov said he was also impressed by how strongly motivated and politically conscious the people were.

You may also be interested in: Kiev Protesters Bring City to Standstill

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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