“I Am a Ukrainian, and This Needs to Go Viral.”
“I am a Ukrainian, and this needs to go viral,” is the message in this video from a protestor in Ukraine, currently in the midst of violent government repression. As reported by Deborah Stambler in the Huffington Post, the video was “put together” by filmmaker Ben Moses, who is currently at work on a documentary, A Whisper to a Roar, about democracy activists around the world.
The video, posted several days ago, has indeed gone viral, attracting almost one million views on YouTube. According to Stambler, there are some who dub it a hoax (one YouTube commenter accuses it of being US/EU “propaganda”), but Moses — whose credits include co-producing Good Morning, Vietnam — says the video reflects his experience during a visit to Kyiv in December. He says the woman’s name has been kept out of the video for her own safety.
Moses told Stambler:
I was in Ukraine preparing a film on democracy — and the lack thereof — when the protests overwhelmed everything. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary people flooded the streets, finally fed up with the corruption and ceaseless power grabbing by the leaders of this government. Meeting the people in the protests — many families with children — and hearing their stories propelled me to try and do something to spread the word about what their issues really are. This young woman personifies the vast majority of the people on the streets in the country, and speaks to the heart of the protest. The vast 99% are not thugs or neo-Nazis, they are ordinary citizens who have simply had enough.
For a critical examination of the regional politics surrounding these protests, Alec Luhn reports for The Nation.
(This post was rewritten after posting to add additional links and context, including information about Moses’ involvement.)