Wednesday, June 22, 2022

the last book I ever read (Andrey Kurkov's Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev, excerpt three)

from Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev by Andrey Kurkov:

Saturday 30 November

In the old days, Soviet schoolchildren used to learn about Bloody Sunday in their history lessons. Now, Bloody Saturday has been added to the contemporary history of Ukraine. Very early this morning, about 4 a.m., police special forces committed a massacre in the Maidan. The mobile phone network was cut while there were several hundred protesters in the square. They were sleepy, and to begin with they didn’t understand what was happening. All of them were beaten with truncheons: students, elderly people, everyone. Those who tried to save themselves were caught, thrown to the ground and beaten with sticks. A group of students, men and women, cornered in a dead-end street, began to sing the Ukrainian national anthem. They sang it while they were punched and kicked and dragged to waiting police vans, which took them into custody. Some of the protesters escaped towards St Sophia Square and St Michael’s Square. They ran faster than the berkutovtsy, who were slowed down by their knights’ armour, but who pursued them all the same.

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