21 червня 2014 року у Вільнюсі активісти з Німеччини, Литви та України поклали вінок та квіти під посольство РФ у Вільнюсі в пам’ять загиблих українців, загинувших під час російської агресії в Україні.
Охорона посольства у грубій формі почала вимагати забратися від посольства і невдовзі викликала поліцію. Литовські поліцейські дружелюбно поставилися до учасників акції і виконали формальність – переписали паспортні дані двох учасників акції.
Акцію в Литві ініціював Тобіас Вейхманн, громадянин Німеччини, що проживає в Вільнюсі, створивши подію у Фейсбуці. Задля безпеки учасників, організатор не визначив точний час акції – учасникам пропонувалося приходити під посольства РФ в Литві у зручний для них час 21 червня 2014.
Вільнюс приєднався до глобальної акції покладання вінків до посольств РФ, яка відбувалася у багатьох країнах світу.
Тобіас замовив вінок напередодні акції і заплатив власні гроші аби підтримати Україну. Фото – Віталій Мороз
Активісти поклали вінок під ворота посольства РФ в Литві. Фото – Віталій Мороз
Alongside the work of professional journalists, the events in Ukraine showed a huge involvement of Internet users and media activists in reporting on the developments in the protests and the conflict with Russia. With the help of modern technologies, such as Twitter, Facebook, Ustream and YouTube, users provided evidence, shared impressions, helped in news gathering and distribution, coordinated efforts, and mobilized supporters for these causes. Social media became a hub for hundreds of grassroots initiatives that mobilized hundreds of thousands of active citizens across Ukraine and worldwide, interested in the Ukrainian events. The scale of such media activism could not be ignored by professional news organizations, and step-by-step they were accepting social media as a source in newsgathering.
The rise of social media use regarding the events in Ukraine showed remarkable numbers. Twitter, an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read short, 140-character text messages called “tweets”, was the fastest way to learn news about the recent events in Ukraine. In the period of February 10-March 12, 2014, 3,785,648 tweets with the hashtag #ukraine were written by users of Twitter. With the outbreak of the Crimean crisis, the interest in Ukraine on Twitter was comparable to the interest in the 86th Academy Awards ceremony. Continue reading
Yulia Marushevska, a student from Kyiv, who participated in anti-governmental protests in Ukraine, became famous in the West due to the one video, posted in YouTube. Marushevka appeals to the world, explaining why Ukrainians were fighting against government. The video came viral – it got 7,990,000 views as far as April 5, 2014. Now Yulia is on tour in Canada and the States. She was invited by TV channels, city councils, think tanks and universities to talk about Ukraine and the protests. On April 8, Yulia gives a presentation at Stanford University. On April 13-15 she is visiting Boston.
The effects of viral video “I am Ukrainian” appeals ideally to the Western audience since it demonstrates personalization of the protests in Ukraine. Yulia stands as an ideal hero – she is a protester, she is young and passionate, she speaks simply and sincerely and the language she talks is English. She is a direct victim of the drama, also her family members participated in protests. She symbolizes a new generation of Ukrainians – she is English-speaking, devoted to the civic values and is in the list of young professionals.
At the same time, some authors mention the controversy of the video.. Yulia as a hero is too perfect to be real. Her message shows the developments in Ukraine in black and white, silencing the violence from protesters.
A discussion at Stanford University
Another video, filmed by Ben Moses, posted by a user “Yulia Marushevska”, dated Dec 06, 2013, explains more about the protests in Ukraine. The caption states:
Finding myself in the epicenter of the protests – often referred to here as a revolution – I decided to interview some of the people in the streets. There is one factual error: the heavy outpouring of people into the streets occurred over several days after the beatings, not immediately the next day.
Discussions on viral video with Yulia Marushevska:
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32 monuments to Lenin were toppled in the last 24 hours, Ukrainska Pravda reports. Protesters gathered on the central squares of cities and towns and initiated toppling Lenin statues.
One of the biggest Lenin monument was built in Dnipropetrovsk, Eastern Ukraine. It took protesters more than three hours to topple it.
Titushka Sasha Starchenko is a 30-year old pro-government supporter who came to Kyiv from Kharkiv, the second biggest city in Ukraine. On February 18, during severe clashes between protesters and riot police, he was on the side of police. Starchenko switched on his camera and started shooting video when riot police was attacking protesters from Self Defense units. He shot five videos and posted them to YouTube. Those videos were one the bloodiest ones from this day in Ukrainian Internet.
The videos showed riot police and thugs, including the author himself, were beating to death protesters. Starchenko himself was shouting “Beat them, beat!”, picked up stones to throw them into protesters and bet them with bat. Video also showed thugs shooting wounded protesters with a gun. The video has been viewed 226,000 times on YouTube in two days.
Since Sasha Starchenko have registered accounts in social media under his real name, users have easily identified him in VKontakte, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube. The information about Starchenko has been widely disseminated in social media and users rushed to comment against him. On Feb 20 Starchenko deleted all his accounts in social media. Nevertheless, the video and his public photos have continued to circulate in the Internet. On Feb 22 someone registered a fake Sasha Starchenko account and posted all five original video changing the original titles.
Sasha Starchenko profile in VKontakte.com – a Russian social media network. Commentators supported him in his fighting against protesters in Kyiv
Starchenko’s public photo from his VKontakte profile – He stands with a bottle of beer in his hand in front of a military monument
Starchenko’s public photo from his VKontakte profile – photo dated by 2010
Since Feb 20 Starchenko’s profile in Vkontakte is not available. It has been deleted by user
When I published a post about Starchenko in my Facebook profile on Feb 22, it brought additional attention to the character – 2550 users reposted my post and left 90 comments. Many comments called to bring Starchenko to justice. The information about thugs fighting against protesters is being collected on a special site http://skoty.info/. The site has been launched by Democratic Alliance political party.
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A police bus is in fire – Grushevskogo Str, Kyiv, Jan 19, 2014. Photo by Iryna Klachek
Read more about the events of Jan 19 in Kyiv – blog Voices of Ukraine
On Thursday, Jan 16, 2014, the Ukrainian Parliament has illegally adopted amendments to the Criminal Code and they have been immediately signed by the President of Ukraine. The initiative targets civil society and participants of #euromaidan by imposing sanctions for peaceful protests and activities of non-government organizations. Government also protects police. According to the amendments (translation by Iryna Lysenko):
– participants of peaceful protests and demonstrations that took place without the permission of police can be arrested for up to 15 days;
– blocking of state buildings is punished by up to 5 years of imprisonment;
– cars which move in a convoy of more than 5 vehicles can be confistaced from their owners;
– collecting personal information about policemen, judges and other state agents – such as facts from their biography where they lied under oath, accepted bribes, beat up or killed (yes, we do have murderers who are still judges) – can lead to arrest for up to 6 months;
– NGOs that receive grants from any foreign state/fund/organization/individual and that take part in ANY kind of political activity in Ukraine are now considered “foreign agents”, must register as such, are taken away their non-profit status and taxed by new, complicated procedure.
The graphics, prepared by Chesno, summarize the threats for the civil society in Ukraine: