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An AutoMaidan procession in Odessa on 25 January 2014

AutoMaidan (Ukrainian: Автомайдан) is a movement within the Euromaidan, that seeks the resignation of the Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. It is made up mainly of drivers who would protect the protest camps and blockade streets.

It organised a car procession on December 29, 2013 to the president's residence in Mezhyhirya to voice their protests at his refusal to sign the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement in December 2013.[1] The motorcade was stopped a couple of hundred metres short of his residence. AutoMaidan has been the repeated target of violent attacks by government forces and supporters.

One of the organisers, Dmytro Bulatov, was kidnapped by unknown assailants on 22 January 2014 and reappeared on 30 January, having been tortured and visibly injured.[2] On 6 February 2014, while undergoing treatment in Lithuania, stated at a press conference in Vilnius that he was tortured to admit that his organization was funded and aided by Americans and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine especially and that he was hired to organize the Automaidan and the riots against the current government.[3] During the press conference Bulatov repeatedly stressed that he believed he was abducted by the Russian special forces and that the leader of the Ukrainian Choice Viktor Medvedchuk might have been involved in his abduction.[3] The kidnapping of Bulatov was widely condemned, also by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton.[2] In an official statement released from her office on 31 January, she said "I am appalled by the obvious signs of prolonged torture and cruel treatment of Auto-Maidan organiser Dmytro Bulatov, who was found alive yesterday after having been missing for a week. [...] All such acts are unacceptable and must immediately be stopped. It is the authorities' responsibility to take all necessary measures to address the current atmosphere of intimidation and impunity which allows for such acts to take place. All unlawfully detained people have to be released and perpetrators brought to justice."[4] Two criminal cases involving Bulatov had been opened, one treats him as a victim of abduction, another as a suspect in criminal proceedings on mass riots.[3]

Causing Hrushevskoho Street riots[edit]

On 19 January 2014 about 14:00 during viche (veche; public meeting) one of the Automaidan leaders Sergey Coba demanded that leaders of the three opposition parties represented in the Parliament choose one of them as the resistance leader, was widely supported by gathered people. If his demand won't be met within half an hour Mr. Coba promised that Automaidan would go to Parlament building and peacefully picket it until parliamentary deputies cancel "Dictatorship laws". The demand wasn't met and AutoMaidan, Self-defence and thousands of viche attenders went to the Parliament building via Hrushevskoho Street.[5](Russian) The street was blocked by riot police and internal troops and before 15:40 aggressive actions began.[6](Ukrainian)

The same day at 16:00 Dmitry Bulatov posted a disclaimer on his Facebook page, saying that he, Serhij Poyarkov and Andrej Telizhenko were against unmotivated use of force, bloodshed, hadn't call on people to go to Parlament building and were trying to persuade AutoMaidan activists and other people to resist authority's provocations.[7](Russian)[8](Ukrainian)

Separation of Autodozor[edit]

After the violent dispersion of AutoMaidan in Cherkasy on 27 February 2014[9](Ukrainian) major portion of their activists separated into a new group called Autodozor (Ukrainian: Автодозор, literally "Car-watch"). They announced two reasons for that — unwillingness to give their personal data that AutoMaidan office body wanted and appearance of people involved in financial frauds among self-proclaimed leaders of AutoMaidan.

As of 27 February 2014 Autodozor consisted of more than 200 cars. Their motto is "less words more action". Their main activities are:

  • delivery of firewood;
  • delivery tires (for burning); gasoline, oil, bottles (for Molotov cocktails);
  • transporting of injured;
  • patrolling of Kiev streets (after change of government they do this together with road police);
  • transporting of perished to their homes outside Kiev.

They claim that most of what was done within those activities throughout the revolution was done mostly by the current activists of Autodozor while they were still activists of Automaidan.[10](Ukrainian)


External links[edit]

Media related to AutoMaidan at Wikimedia Commons