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In 2013–2014 I was working as a DAAD language assistant in Kyiv at the Kyiv- Mohyla-Academy. My five students studied political science – so there was a lot to talk about at that time. When the Euromaidan started I was thrilled because I just knew Ukrainians as very politically apathetic people. Now something was going on, students were on strike and went with Ukrainian flags to the Maidan. I was there almost every day to have a look how things are going. The Euromaidan turned violent soon – the beatings of students in the end of November were just the beginning, the clashes between the police forces and the protesters at the Hrushevsky St. followed and finally the bloody ending in February 2014. There were several moments when I asked myself if I should go there. But I felt more secure when I saw what happened with my own eyes. The protest posters at the Maidan caught my interest: Protesters, students and even babushkas would write their statements down. Sometimes they are funny and sometimes driven by hate and anger about the current political situation in the country. Of course Taras Shevchenko is there to protect the protesters. And Putin is enemy number one, ‘shot’ and ‘hang’ on the posters several times. Now, several months later when I look at the almost 10,000 pictures I made, this seems to be really unreal. When I now walk through the city I remember the barricades, the ice, the sounds and the pictures. Kyiv seems to be normal nowadays, like any other European capital. But for me it is not and it never will be again. The Euromaidan did not just change the city, it changed the inhabitants. Even as a foreigner and just visitor to all the actions going on in the city, I can say that it changed me a lot. I was never afraid though. Even when you are at the Maidan, metro stations around you are closed and the Berkut is storming the square – I would have the faith that everything will be ok.
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