Three activists from Maidan meeting three members of disbanded special police unit ” Berkut” to talk about their experiences at Maidan (the square of Independence), the consequences, and a way forward in cooperation.
11th may, 2014, Ukraine
The situation: in the period 30th November 2013 to 20th February 2014 activists and riot police Berkut had several clashes and fights. The events culminated 18th-20th February before Yanukovych finally fled from office as president. During this time over 110 activists and 16 policemen where killed.
The response: on initiative of Carl Plesner and Olena Hantsyak-Kaskiv, former activists and members of Berkut where invited for a meeting aiming at supporting mutual understanding, dialogue and reconciliation. During the months following the revolution Carl and Olena did the initial groundwork to prepare this meeting.
The perspective: Carl and Olena works from a belief that when people in violent conflict meet each other and receive support to see and listen to each others, then something important happen: they start to develop mutual understanding and empathy. And no violence can grow from mutual empathic connection, but only compassion and will to cooperate.