Revolution on Granite

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Revolution on Granite (Ukrainian: Революція на граніті; Revolyutsiya na hraniti) was a student protest campaign that took place in Kiev, Ukraine, in October 1990.[1][2] Ukraine was then the Ukrainian SSR, part of the Soviet Union (since 1922) until its declaration of independence from the Soviet Union on 24 August 1991.[3] The protest was held from 2 October until 17 October 1990.[2] One of the students' demands was the resignation of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR Vitaliy Masol.[1] On the last day of the protests Masol was forced to resign and was replaced by Vitold Fokin.[4]

The Revolution on Granite is considered the first major political protest of Ukraine centered on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square)—the others being the 2004 Orange Revolution, and the 2013–14 Euromaidan.[5]

History[edit]

The Ukrainian Student Union was launched in August 1989.[1] This organisation was deeply unsatisfied with the results of the March 1990 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[6] In this election the Communist Party of Ukraine had won 331 seats in the Ukrainian parliament and the Democratic Bloc 111 seats.[6] Student leader Oles Donii declared that the Democratic Bloc ought to have won a majority.[6] The Student Union then began preparations for a large-scale protest, which was to become known as the Revolution on Granite.[1]

On 2 October 1990 the students announced a hunger strike and occupied Kiev's October Revolution Square (now named Maidan Nezalezhnosti [Independence Square]).[1][2] They had decided against using the originally intended protest site Mariinsky Park since that place was filled with Militsiya (the Soviet police force).[1][2] The day had started with a rally which was attended by 100,000 people and initiated by the People's Movement of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Republican Party, and other smaller patriotic organisations.[1]

The protesters wanted to prevent the signing of a new Union Treaty, a new multi-party parliamentary election held before or in the spring of 1991, military service for Ukrainian (in the Soviet Armed Forces) to be fulfilled only in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the property of the Communist Party of Ukraine and Komsomol nationalised and the resignation of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR, Vitaliy Masol.[1]

On the first day of the protest, only a few dozen students from Kiev, Lviv, Dneprodzerzhinsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, and several other cities gathered at the square. In a few days there were several hundreds of them, along with around tens of thousands of Ukrainians who supported them.[7] The students set up shelter-half tents on the square.[8] The protest acquired its name from the setup of the tents on the granite of the square.[8] During the protest, a student from the Oles Honchar Dnipro National University stated the students' demands in a speech for the Ukrainian parliament.[7]

On 17 October 1990 Masol was forced to resign and was replaced by Vitold Fokin.[4] The four other student demands were not initially met.[1] But soon military conscription was to be limited to the territory of Ukraine; the new planned Union Treaty was not to be taken into consideration and multi-party elections were set to be held in the 1994 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[9]

Long-term effects[edit]

Various Revolution on Granite organizers later became leading figures in organising the 2004 Orange Revolution.[8]

The Revolution on Granite is viewed as the first major political protest centered on Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the others being the 2004 Orange Revolution, and the 2013–14 Euromaidan.[5][8][9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i The lesson of the Revolution on Granite, Den (4 October 2016)
  2. ^ a b c d (in Ukrainian) "Revolution on Granite". Photos of October 1990, Ukrayinska Pravda (accessdate: 11 November 2017)
  3. ^ A History of Ukraine: The Land and Its Peoples by Paul Robert Magocsi, University of Toronto Press, 2010, ISBN 1442610212 (pages 563/564 & 722/723)
  4. ^ a b How Ukraine Became a Market Economy and Democracy by Anders Åslund, Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2009, ISBN 978-0881324273
    Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States 1999, Routledge, 1998, ISBN 1857430581 (page 850)
  5. ^ a b The Conflict in Ukraine: What Everyone Needs to Know by Serhy Yekelchyk, Oxford University Press, 2015, ISBN 0190237287 (Chapter 1 "Why Ukraine")
  6. ^ a b c КАЛІНІЧЕНКО В.В., РИБАЛКА І.К. ІСТОРІЯ УКРАЇНИ. ЧАСТИНА ІІІ: 1917-2003 рр. (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 2008-05-12.
  7. ^ a b (in Ukrainian) Photo-chronology of the student revolution of the 1990s, Ukrayinska Pravda (accessdate: 10 December 2017)
  8. ^ a b c d The Conflict in Ukraine: What Everyone Needs to Know by Serhy Yekelchyk, Oxford University Press, 2015, ISBN 0190237279 (page 2)
  9. ^ a b Where does the key to political change lie in the post-Soviet space?, openDemocracy (23 August 2016)
  10. ^ Why Ukraine Is So Important, Business Insider (28 January 2014)
    The Process of Politicization: How Much Politics Does a Society Need?, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017, ISBN 1-4438-9628-4 (page 154)

External links[edit]