April 02, 2014 08:25
A video showing Ukrainian protests at their worst has gone viral after an outspoken Ukrainian woman featured in it posted the footage on YouTube. Millions of people viewed the video, titled "I Am a Ukrainian," in just the first two weeks, and the numbers are growing.
In the two-minute video clip, filmed by British photographer Graham Mitchell in Kyiv, Yulia Marushevska, a university student in Ukraine's capital, explains why so many people came out in the streets of Ukraine.
"There is only one reason: they want to be free from a dictatorship, they want to be free from the politicians who are ready to shoot, to beat, to injure people just for saving their money, just for saving their houses, just for saving their power," said Marushevska.
Marushevska told VOA the Ukrainians' fight for freedom is of interest to people worldwide because it is not only a political fight, but a universal fight of people for freedom and human rights.
"They understood that we are not just fighting for another president, we are fighting for a normal human life, on a normal social level, with normal values. It was very common, very ordinary and that's why they understood it," she said.
Marushevska said her video and others from Ukraine attracted increased attention when protesters refused to leave Kyiv's central square, even after more than 70 people were killed in clashes with police.
"I think that people were trying to find the answer why someone can go and die. What should be the motivation of a person who is going and dying -- what for? I think for the whole world that's a hard question."
California-based filmmaker Ben Moses helped produce and draw attention to Marushevska's video. He said more than 7 million people viewed it in the first two weeks on YouTube, and the figure has since grown by another million. He said the video is especially compelling because of Marushevska's simplicity and honesty.
"It was so astonishing as a matter of fact that the Russians got terrified and turned on their propaganda machine full-bore to trash her as a prostitute or as a waitress from Philadelphia or something like that," said Moses.
But Marushevska said her protest is not directed specifically at Russia. She said she is aware that the revolution alone is not enough to get rid of corruption in Ukrainian politics.
As Ukraine's May 25 presidential election approaches, the outspoken student from Kyiv says she wants a real democracy, not the illusion of democracy she said Ukraine had before.
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