Paying the Price

The ambulance is parked on the street corner: one wheel haphazardly riding the curb. I can’t see what’s going on because it is facing me and the doors open away from my line of sight. I walk closer to the explosions in Maidan.

As I approach the ambulance I begin hearing shouts and see a crowd forming around the gaping doors. I peer in. They are helping a man in a green jacket onto a stretcher. He stares at me with a stricken face and I stare back. He is quickly carted away.

I keep moving forward. At this point I see the flash of stun grenades and the sparks from fireworks used as weapons. Shouts of “слава Украина” fill the air. There are not as many people as you’d expect on the way to the barricades.

It is jam packed within the barricades. I entered through the south entrance and there are no policemen here. People look grim but calm. There is a steady clanging heard from people breaking bricks from the ground to arm themselves against the Berkut. All eyes are turned to the fires raging on the northern and eastern end of the camp. The smoke eats up the sky and is cast in stark relief with every bang of a flash grenade. My camera’s flash can not even compare.

Around me are men, women, young and old. Housewives in fur coats and young men in bulletproof vests.

I exit via the way I came in and something catches my eye. I move closer. There is blood on the ground. I turn on my camera and begin recording every step I take. I follow the droplets, step by step, down the block until they finally end – back on the corner the ambulance was parked on.

Update: Kyiv Post reports that the death count is now up to 14. The last man died at the hospital after injuries sustained at Maidan. Judging from the trail of blood, I’m afraid it is him. The man in the green jacket.

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