“Why don’t you do what we are mentally prepared for?” it was with this question, according to Fr. Vasyl Rudeyko, that people went to the Maidan. The priest spent three months in Kyiv. He was a chaplain in the Maidan chapel that burned during an assault by the security forces along with personal liturgical books of the priest. He witnessed all the key events of the confrontation.
Speaking at the roundtable “Maidan: Dangerous Liaisons between Theology, Sociology, and the Public Sphere,” Fr. Vasyl said he pinpointed three main aspects of Maidan. The first of them is the phenomenon of Maidan, which consists of three stages: nonviolent resistance or “dancing/singing,” the formation of the self-defense units when there was physical danger, and the horrendous shooting of people on the Maidan.
“The government did not understand the phenomenon of the Maidan, and to this day does not understand it. I believe that the opposition leaders did not understood what the Maidan was. And because of that the first events on Hrushevskoho unfolded. When on Epiphany people went and tried to break into the parliament. And then began the first confrontation, the first victims,” said Fr. Vasyl.
According to the UCU lecturer, Maidan was not a resistance of the poor against the rich. The people were not politically motivated to go there, but rather had a moral desire for their country to be in line with their values.
“They were decent people, the apotheosis of dignity which was supposed to be the signing the Agreement,” said the priest.
The second aspect is the use of force on the Maidan. No one wanted a violent resolution to the conflict. And even on the most horrific day, February 18, people refused to be in the line of fire.
The third aspect Fr. Vasyl named “Maidan as the spirit of the Liturgy,” when most of what was done at that time was shrouded in religious overtones. Constant prayer and worship provided everything that was happening on the Maidan with a special meaning.
“Ukrainians were told that they were not capable of building their own country. But the Maidan has shown that it is not true,” Fr. Vasyl summed up.