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Violence between the protesters and law enforcement must not be conflated with the internal affairs of Euromaidan. The movement is far from a state of chaos. Rather, its multitude of factions are coordinated and cooperative with one another.
As Elena Zaharchenko reports in Ukrainska Pravda, behind the barriers exists “a special atmosphere” of “peace and order."
“This is the remarkable display of the rise of a new Ukrainian nation, a civic nation,” says Goble, who notes that for a revolution, the death toll is remarkably low. “What we're seeing is more important than the Orange Revolution. This is a much broader and deeper one.”
In American media, perhaps the most underreported aspect of this affair is what's really happening within the encampment: Thousands of people from across both the country and political spectrum are circulating together spontaneously and working together harmoniously, yet in decentralized fashion.
“Maidan is totally crowdfunded,” notes Dvornikov. “There are no police but there is no crime, either.” The encampment is littered with donation bins for medicine, food, security and other needs. Its' fortifications continue to grow quickly and to an impressive scale. Web-based crowdfunding and other internet initiatives aimed at transparency – almost inconceivable during Ukraine's last major protests a decade ago – also play a role in this gritty push for a representative democracy.
And, lacking a singularly powerful opposition leader may actually be “the strongest part of the Ukrainian revolution,” as Komaroff suggests. Yanukovych tried to bribe two of Euromaidan's spokesmen with the opportunity to become prime minister and deputy prime minister, but they turned down the offer. Likewise, they have vowed to work together to win national elections instead of fighting amongst themselves. Komaroff explains that despite three major factions existing with conflicting ideologies, “the opposition leaders are all very loyal to each other. It's a good situation.”
But that's not the only check on their power. Disillusioned by years of unkept presidential promises, they have changed their tactics and are taking a more active approach to leadership. “People support the opposition leaders,” says Komaroff, but “no one among the leaders can control Maidan, because there are a lot of different views. The people control their leaders.”
Ukraine is on the edge of a new era. Yanukovych is rapidly losing support while Euromaidan makes gains. Caution is always a good approach to revolutions, but many in Ukraine are actively demonstrating a new political mindset aimed beyond old ethnic divides, and instead toward smaller, less corrupt, more representative government.