Protesters remain in Ukraine’s Independence Square
Thousands of protesters remained on Kiev’s Independence Square Friday, but the mood seemed relaxed, even somewhat celebratory.
Protesters continued to pull up paving stones, but not to use as weapons. They were building barricades, in case there was another police assault.
But that seemed less likely by afternoon, and a clean-up effort was launched.
Negotiations mediated by the foreign ministers of Germany and Poland, and attended by a special Russian envoy, resulted in an agreement that could end the protests, and the deadly clashes.
“I saw the shooting with my own eyes,” Rostislav Orkivenko, a protester who was overcome with emotion told VOA as he tried to speak about what he had seen. “We were standing there and the snipers with Kalishnikovs shot anyone who moved. Every five minutes there was shooting and a person fell.”
Still, people came to the square Friday, seemingly more determined than ever.
“If you don’t want to risk your life, you don’t have to go to the streets,” said one man, who only gave his first name, Mykola. “But I guess if you don’t go to the streets today, it will be too late tomorrow.”
“When at Maidan [Square] you feel people, you feel that power, you become a part of something big, and it’s cool,” said another man, who identified himself as a student.