I met Sergei, an artist from Donetsk, immediately after Artem. The talk was very different, and Sergei was quite anti-Maidan. He was an eccentric character, and our interview was cut short due to the early closure of the subway station. Thus half of it was conducted weaving through the night time streets of Kiev in an attempt to make it to the last train. I didn't manage to capture everything he said, but here are his reasons for not supporting the revolution.
SERGEI, 30- Imagine Ukraine and Russia as Great Britain and Ireland, except Britain was bloodier in keeping Ireland and Scotland under control [than Russia]. Ukraine was traditionally a village society and culture, and the Russian Empire built many cities in Ukraine. I lived in Donetsk until I was 20. Afterwards, I moved to Kiev to study at the Art Academy, and have lived here for 10 years. Nobody expected the current situation to escalate this way. We watched what happened to Yugoslavia, but didn’t expect it to happen here. We were wrong. I knew the history so did not support Ukraine or Russia, but both sides thought I was against them. I knew that Ukraine is a territory that was always under control of some empire. Indeed, Ukraine appeared to be independent until the gall of the Soviet Union. Before then it was just several regions. Lenin created several states that were free to leave if they wanted, but Stalin didn’t support this idea. In many ways, Ukraine was united by Lenin, and Ukraine needs to thank Lenin for this and Kristoff for the Crimea. Before, Crimea was part of the Russian empire but they gave it to Ukraine for simplicity. It made no difference, since it was all USSR; one country. All of Western Ukraine is thanks to Stalin. The Soviet Union created republics like Lithuania, Poland etc. Without the gifts of the Soviet Union, Ukraine would be a lot smaller. At the end of the Soviet Union it was the biggest it had ever been in its existence, since land that once belonged to Poland etc. was given to Ukraine. During the 16th century there were two banks to Ukraine: West, which was under control of Poland, and East, which was under control of Moscow. And now it is the same story. The differences in mentality on the borders are the same as the start of the 20th century when the Russian empire collapsed, and the Ukrainian National Republic existed from 1917 to 1921. The country has collapsed in the same way now as it did at the start of the 20th century. Donbas has always been a working region, supported by the Soviets, and now it is supported by Russia.