Edition: Lublin 2014
The mass protests that burst out in Kyiv in November 2013 and spread across all over Ukraine came as a surprise to the Ukrainian authorities, the political opposition in Ukraine, scholars and Ukraine’s powerful neighbour – Russia. These events have triggered many, often contradictory, opinions, interpretations and diagnoses. This paper is an attempt to characterize the 2013- 2014 Kyiv Maidan from the point of view of social sciences. More specifically, to capture the social, demographic and cultural structure of the Euromaidan movement, as well as to present its reasons and motivations and claims of its participants. The results of representative social surveys are expected to verify some popular opinions concerning the phenomenon of the Euromaidan or, in a broader sense, the Euro Revolution (“Revolution of Dignity”). The paper is based on the results of surveys conducted by leading Ukrainian sociologists from the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. The repetitive character of the surveys and the construction of survey questions allow to trace the way in which Euromaidan was changing under the repressive measures of President Yanukovych’s law enforcement agencies: from Maidan the Rally, to Maidan the Camp. The paper also aims to show the differences between the Euromaidan and the 2004 Orange Revolution. Particular attention is drawn to the similarities between Euromaidan and recent mass protests in other parts of the world described in the latest publications by the renowned Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells. Focusing on social movements in the Internet era, he uses such notions as digital revolutions and rhizomatic revolutions.