Many Are Cold, but Few Are Frozen

David Lawrence's personal blog

Don't Clear Maidan

Don't clean it up just yet

Don't clean it up just yet

I was irritated to read an editorial by the Kyiv Post supporting Mayor Klitschko's desire to clear Maidan and open it to traffic. He argues, correctly, that Maidan accomplished its goal of getting rid of President Yanukovich and paving the way for signing the EU Association Agreement.

But 100 people lost their lives on Maidan to make this happen. The country has been changed as a result, and that change should be reflected on the face of the city in a way that would honor the fallen and make Kyiv more European. 

Imagine this:

  • The Maidan area becomes a cobblestone pedestrian zone, just like the Fußgängerzonen in German cities. There would be more space for shops, restaurants, cafés, and entertainment, making central Kyiv a fabulous place for tourists to visit. Traffic would not be a problem; everyone's already used to the area being closed to vehicles.
  • The area could also become an outdoor museum. Monuments could honor the dead; plaques around the Maidan area could provide information about what happened. There could be an indoor museum with Maidan videos, photos and memorabilia.
  • The New Year's tree would stay.  The stage could become permanent and be used for live music and concerts.
  • The whole area would be blanketed with free wifi.

Maidan was not kind to Klitschko. Although he put himself in personal danger during the protests,  Maidan unmasked his shortcomings as a leader. That, I think, is the real reason he wants to get rid of it.

I agree that the time for the remaining protesters to leave is approaching. But first, Klitschko should develop a plan with input from public dialogue and present it. Instead, he just wants to clear it out without any discussion. 

He's definitely not a heavyweight when it comes to communications.