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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. Petersburg’s 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 People’s 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. I’ve 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. “It’s 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

Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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