Freedom is Expensive and Priceless

AmerAsia ReportKYIV, Ukraine (AP) — It happens every November, when the cold descends on Kyiv. The change in weather always makes Dmytro Riznychenko think back, and he is overwhelmed by his emotions.......... “This is where it truly began,” Riznychenko said. “Ten years of war and struggle,” the 41-year-old psychologist continued, wearily and reluctantly. “And it seems like the blood has only just begun to flow, truly. I regret nothing. But, God, it’s just so tiresome.” On Nov. 21, 2013, the Moscow-friendly president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, announced he was shelving an agreement to bring the country closer to the European Union and instead would deepen ties with President Vladimir Putin’s Russia........... Outraged crowds soon filled Independence Square for peaceful anti-government protests. Later, after riot police used truncheons and tear gas to disperse the people, demonstrators set up tent camps with barricades, self-defense units and banners with revolutionary slogans. In response to the police violence, hundreds of thousands joined the demonstrations in early December.......... The standoff reached a climax in February 2014, when police unleashed a brutal crackdown on the protests and dozens of people were slain between Feb. 18-21, many by police snipers. A European-mediated peace deal between the government and protest leaders envisioned the formation of a transition government and holding an early election, but demonstrators later seized government buildings, and Yanukovych fled to Russia. The Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance said 107 people were killed in the uprising......... Kateryna Gladka was a 23-year-old student when she joined the pro-Western crowds at the time, viewing it as the “revolution of her generation.” “For me, the top priority was the value of freedom, basic freedom, and dignity.” “We had to prevent a totalitarian regime and the return of Soviet things."

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