Many Are Cold, but Few Are Frozen

David Lawrence's personal blog

A Walk on Institutska Street

Yesterday morning my wife heard that people would protest outside Parliament, so we decided to join them. I planned to go to the office afterwards, on Shokovychna Street, so we strolled up Institutska from Maidan and parked ourselves at the intersection. It was still morning, but already, a large, angry crowd had assembled. Parliament was visible, one block away, but Shokovychna was blocked by vehicles to keep the crowd from moving closer.

Protest at Institutska and Shokovychna Streets, shortly before the shooting started.

The atmosphere was tense. People shouted zeka het (a reference to Yanukovich's ex-con status) and banged on anything metal in rhythm. The police kept at eye on us and sometimes threw flash grenades. Some people were injured and taken away in ambulances. I kept an eye on the rooftops for snipers. More than once, the sight of a photographer made me duck.

To my surprise, we ran into a friend in the crowd, a mom from the school. It was nice to see a familiar face. We stuck together. Not much was happening, and my wife had a friend to hang out with, so I peeled off and went to work.

Less than an hour later, I was back. The head of the office was considering closing early, since it was so close to the action, but wanted to see what was going on himself.

A lot had happened in the short time I was away.  Thick, black smoke covered the intersection where we had just been. The vehicles blocking the road to Parliament were on fire. I called my wife to make sure she was safe and got out of there. 

Needless to say we closed the office for the day. A short time later, gunfire broke out and people started getting killed, some in the very place we had been. 

I think the government has gone insane. Yanukovich will not be forgiven.