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The Celestial Hundred

The Celestial Hundred

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The Celestial Hundred

438 pages
3 heures
Feb 16, 2020


This book is a requiem. It is a tribute to those participants in the Revolution of Dignity who gave their hearts' blood so that Ukraine and all of us Ukrainians could raise from our knees. So that we could start to change our country, and our posterity could have a chance to live in a new Ukraine.
The characters of this book are ordinary people from all over this country who come from all walks of life—migrant workers, scientific researchers, private entrepreneurs, school teachers... If it hadn't been for the Maidan, they wouldn't have
met each other. It is the Maidan that united them and turned them into brothers-inarms and warriors of light.
This book was written to ensure that the memory of the great act of self-sacrifice of the heroes of the Celestial Hundred never dies and lives forever in the hearts of Ukrainians. This book is the silent reminder to us all about the price that was paid for our freedom and for a chance for our Motherland to become a truly European country.

Feb 16, 2020

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The Celestial Hundred - K. Bohdanovych


The Celestial Hundred

To my fellow-countrymen, living, dead and as yet unborn.

Taras Shevchenko

Duckling floats on Tisyna,

Oh, duckling floats on Tisyna,

Duckling floats on Tisyna.

My mother, don’t swear me,

My mother, don’t swear me.

Oh, if you will swear me at dark hour,

If you will swear me at dark hour.

I don’t know where I’ll die,

I don’t know where I’ll die.

Oh, I’ll die on foreign lands,

I will die on foreign lands.

Who will prepare a grave for me?

Who will prepare a grave for me?

Oh, another people will prepare,

Strangers will prepare.

Won’t you regret, mother?

Won’t you regret, mother?

Oh, my son, how could I not regret?

My son, how could I not regret?

You were laying on my heart,

You were laying on my heart.

Oh, duckling floats on Tisyna,

Duckling floats on Tisyna.

Who if not me? you will see this phrase in every chapter of this book.

Who if not me? ask you the eyes of the dead heroes of the Celestial squad from their portraits on the mourning wall.

Who if not me? resounds the echo on the Maidan.

The young and the grey-haired, parents of many children and single people. Migrant workers and PhDs. Easterners and westerners. Totally different yet so similar.

Each character of this book rose up against the violence, the injustice and the brutal abuse of their country... Each committed an individual heroic deed— gave their most valuable asset — their life—for the new Ukraine.

And it is not just pathos. It is the truth of life. The characters of this book through their own individual example showed the strength and invincibility of the Ukrainian spirit.

We will give our soul and body for our freedom—these lines of the national anthem turned out to be prophetic during the days of the Euromaidan. With these words Ukrainians stood throughout the frosty nights. With these words they went barehanded against the armed police.

It was the morning of February 20, 2014. After three months of protests the country froze in uncertainty and anticipation. The Maidan was cut off from the whole world: the metro stopped, the roads leading to Kyiv were blocked. Politicians tried to come to terms—to no avail.

All of a sudden Berkut started to retreat. Several dozen reckless heads drove the government forces up Instytutska street—and... got into a trap. The protesters—many without helmets—became a living target for the snipers, who had waited for them there.

Despite the shooting, protesters stubbornly moved ahead. Under the bullets. The first rank fell, the second took it's place, then the third one. another one. another one. Within several hours in the center of a huge European city half a hundred people were shot dead. Another thirty had died the day before. The video of this massacre was broadcast worldwide and shocked the whole world.

Then the country started to find out the names of its heroes. Each story caused a sharp piercing pain, all-encompassing anger and a sense of helplessness .

Each new story was carved in our memory. An awareness came that heroic deeds of these ordinary people should not be forgotten.

This book was written by Ukrainian journalists. They wrote it so that the heroes of the Celestial Hundred came alive on its pages. They wrote it to tell everybody how those warriors of light lived. What they loved. What they believed in. What they fought for on the Maidan.

This book was supposed to tell about those who died in Kyiv on those three fiercest days—February 18th, 19th and 20th. However, it turned out the Celestial Hundred counts a lot more than a hundred dead. It's not only on the Maidan and not only in Kyiv that Ukrainians gave their lives for their freedom. Unfortunately, we have all grounds to believe that this list will grow. From time to time heavily wounded heroes of Hrushevskyi street and Instytutska street die in hospitals...

We couldn't leave out those who died on the other side of the barricade. They are the victims of the regime, too. That's why you will find in this book the names of policemen and military men who died on the Maidan.

This book was written in two languages—Russian and Ukrainian—as a sign of respect to the heroes who came to the Maidan from various parts of Ukraine.

The book begins with the chronicle of the Euromaidan, the memoirs of the people who spent three months on it and witnessed it's life, and witnessed the death of the heroes. Through the prism of their feelings we would like to restore the atmosphere of the Maidan where lived and died those who saved and changed Ukraine.

There is one thing that worries us today. We must not allow that the heroic deed and sacrifice of the Celestial Hundred was in vain. That is what their loved ones and friends keep saying like a mantra.


For the Sake of the Future

You are holding in your hands a book about the heroes of spirit. Our Lord Jesus Christ says in The New Testament, Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). By giving their lives for Ukraine, for freedom and independence of our nation those heroes showed this greatest degree of love. They lived different lives. Some had a long life, others—a very short one. They were very different, but, like hundreds of thousands of the Maidan protesters, like millions all over Ukraine and worldwide, they were united by a common search of truth. The truth as a natural unity of verity and justice. The truth which is to be the foundation of life— state, social and individual life. Together with all the people of Ukraine they stood up against lies, against corruption and the abuse of people's liberty. For the sake of the future they literally lived up to what the lines of our national anthem say—they literally gave their soul and body for our freedom. This book is a gift of grateful memory of the heroes. While turning theses pages, reading these lines, looking intently into the faces in the photos, let us recall their feat, which has already been written down in the most glorious pages of Ukrainian history. I do believe that their heroism will inspire many generations of Ukrainians just like the glorious deeds of the cossacks and the sacrifice of the Kruty defenders inspire us today. And it is our duty to build the kind of Ukraine, the kind of country they gave their lives for. The heroes of the Celestial Hundred haven't disappeared—they have gone into eternity. That is why our duty as Christians is to offer our prayers to God for them. May our Lord grant His peace upon their souls in Heaven. Everlasting glory to them! Lest we forget!


Patriarch of Kyiv and all Rus-Ukraine Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Kyiv Patriarchy

In Common Prayer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, who in the Holy Qur’an said, Indeed, God enjoins justice and benevolence and giving to kinsfolk, and He forbids you indecency, abomination and aggression. He admonishes you so that you may take heed (Qur’an, 16:90).

The Celestial Hundred is a new legendary page in the history of Ukraine. It is a story of struggle and courage, dignity and brotherhood, love and sacrifice for the people, for the country, for their freedom. It is on examples like these that the national identity is built, since heroes go down in the history of their Motherland, creating a new mythology of Ukraine. Our young state has given up on old myths, most of which were imposed on us by the Soviet power. Within a very short time new, real heroes have sprung up among us, who are building a new Ukraine—such as the Celestial Hundred, the kiborgs, the volunteers and military chaplains, all of whom are ordinary, rank and file members of our society who, nevertheless, were able to demonstrate a captivating willpower, courage, bravery, sacrifice and love for their country.

Going back to the Celestial Hundred, as a witness of those events I was struck greatly on February 20 by a little detail. On the day of the shooting of the Maidan by snipers the bodies of the dead heroes of the Celestial Hundred were brought to Mykhailivskyi cathedral. There, together with the Christian priests, we received the bodies of the dead and prayed for them. And I saw that the bodies were signed—they had inscriptions on them made in ball point pen or in brilliant green[1]. On a shoulder, on a leg, on the chest—they had written their name, surname, blood group. Do you understand? Those boys knew they can die and they were prepared to die! They consciously prepared for their dead bodies to be identified or for an urgent blood transfusion to be done. We stood and cried over those boys of the Celestial Hundred. They went to die for our future. So that no tyrant could ever oppress Ukrainians. They are worthy of our memory, our love, respect and our prayers.

Lest we forget the heroes of the Celestial Hundred!

Sheikh Said Ismagilov,

Mufti of Muslims of Ukraine

The Conscience of the Nation

This is My commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:12-13.

Jesus Christ be praised!

The book which you are holding in your hands by the will of God is not just a book—it is a new Ukrainian Martirology—a list of those who, by their life and their heroic death, proved their limitless love for their friends, which likened them to our Lord Jesus Christ himself.

Turning the pages of this book, searching the faces of our new heroes, we are as it were passing through the place where they accomplished their unfadeable feat—right in the heart of the capital of our country, the independent unified Ukraine, which was gained by them as well as by millions of both well known and anonymous heroes—their predecessors.

Let's dwell on these holy pages and pray over each of the dead heroes, who gave their greatest asset—their life—for us, for our better future, for their kinsfolk and friends, their kids and grandchildren and for their Motherland itself.

All of them are the children of our Mother Ukraine and they consciously and conscientiously did their filial duty before her. They are the voice of our conscience and the guardians of our social behaviour Who can now, before their holy faces, steal, give bribes or receive bribes? Who will stay idle if again, God forbid, oppression, injustice and abuse of our country, abuse of honour and dignity of any one of us occurs in our home?

The Celestial Hundred is our pain and our pride, it's our tears and an acute feeling of gratitude for all they did for us. But all these feelings will only remain feelings if we do not daily, till the end of our lives, as long as our hearts beat, grow the fruit which are worthy of the galant feat of the heroes of the Maidan. So help us God and all the saints of the Ukrainian people to act like that!

+ Sviatoslav Father and Head

of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church

The Chronicle of the Euromaidan


November 21

The Government of Ukraine officially terminated preparatory work for the signing of the Agreement on the association (AA) of Ukraine with the European Union. In the evening of this day the first action of protest took place in the Independence Square (the Maidan) which rallied 2000 people.

November 21

Sergei Suprun, 37, Kyiv, businessman,

Director of a promotion agency,

an activist of the Common

Cause movement, a father of four

I went out to the Maidan hoping to see our nation wake up.

Sergey Suprun is the first one from the left

The country was in the midst of a satisfied dissatisfaction: Ukrainians complained about everything at all—from dirty entrance hails to the price of gasoline, from the Regions Party to homosexuals. We had not realized yet that it was all our responsibility—we ourselves were responsible for everything. And if we really want to eliminate corruption and stop degradation—it is not enough just to come to the polling stations once in five years.

Year after year we have been driven out of legal terrain, we have been turned into servitorial staff for the oligarchs' clans. They have taken our land, our language and our chance of national self-identification. Now, driving the last nail into our Euro-integration, they are taking away the future of our children. An inner khokhol inside us has long since strangled a Ukrainian.

In the evening of November 21 me and my friend Sergei Tishchenko, a journalist from the Common Cause, arrived at the Maidan when there were just about six people there, one of them—with the EU flag on his shoulder. And there were about thirty times as many riot policemen there. My friend pulled out a bar of chocolate from his pocket and gave a little piece to each of us. That is probably when I heard the phrase Look! Kyivans are bringing food to the Maidan! for the first time.

Within an hour there were several thousand people on the Maidan—mostly journalists and politicians—and that was the beginning of the action which was later called the Students' Maidan.

November 24

The first Peoples’ Veche [Popular assembly] took place in Kyiv. A column of protesters heading towards the Maidan and counting 50 to 100 thousand people by different estimates stretched all along the Khreshchatyk. Rallies took place in dozens of other cities of Ukraine.

November 29

At the summit of the Eastern Partnership in Vilnius President Viktor Yanukovych officially refused to sign the Agreement on association with the EU.

In Kyiv the protesters for the first time demanded the resignation of the Head of State.

The forces of the special riot police Berkut are drawn to the centre of the capital.

November 30

At 4:00 am in Kyiv Berkut forces brutally cleaned up the Maidan of several hundred protesters, including dozens of students who had kept vigil during the night. About a hundred activists were injured, many more detained. As a reason for the violent dispersal of the meeting the authorities claimed the need to put up the main New Year tree of the country in the Maidan.

November 30

Taras Shumik, 27, Kyiv,

IT recruiter

I was following the developments in the social networks when Mustafa Nayem, journalist, called everyone on the Face-book to come out to the Maidan to protest against the refusal to sign the EU Association agreement. The next day, November 22, I came to the Maidan. Everyone was aware that failure to sign the agreement puts an end on Ukraine's future and deprives us of any prospect of development. The only way out then would be to pack the suitcase and leave the country.

I met some friends of mine who settled down next to the Independence stela, and after that I spent almost every night on the Maidan. That night, several hours before the police crackdown, we gathered for the meeting of the Coordination council of the Euromaidan. After the failure to sign the EU agreement lots of people were disappointed, their enthusiasm was on the wane, and the Maidan started to turn into a youth discotheque. Something had to be done.

After a long discussion we decided we should join forces with the opposition. We decided to tidy up the lot next to the stela by next morning and remove our equipment from there so that the opposition could put up their screen and sound equipment. The plan was to run a joint action on Sunday, December 1st.

Around midnight we got back to the Maidan. After 1 am the crowd started to break up and my companions and I went to a nearby coffee shop to warm up. We returned to the stela at about 3 am. There were few people left—about 300 people: several dozen of coordinators and ordinary passers-by and lookers-on who were all different from night to night, a small group of students and some members of the youth wing of the Svoboda and UNA-UNSO. We were sitting, trying to warm up next to the fire burning in a barrel, playing the guitar and talking. Activists and volunteers were tidying up around the monument, some guys were dismantling the sound equipment structures, I was picking up some wooden planks and flagpoles. All of a sudden we heard some Maidan guards shout, Berkut is coming!

I looked up: really, from the Instytutska street Berkut men started to climb down the stairs.

 In front—an attacking group of about 100, behind them—some more policemen in a rank. Along the Khreshchatyk there were ranks of Internal Troops, standing like a wall. And by the way, a bit earlier several ambulances pulled up and parked by the House of Trade Unions. We later realized

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