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Friday, December 20, 2013

EuroVision Star Becomes Voice of Protest

When Ukrainian security forces stormed Kiev’s central square on Dec. 11, the pop singer Ruslana was on stage and attempting to defuse the situation. “I kept a quiet confidence in myself, and I believe that my voice kept them calm,” she said recently. Ruslana, the 2004 winner of the EuroVision Song Contest, has been a constant presence at Independence Square, also known as Maidan, since demonstrators gathered there in late November to protest the government’s decision to postpone an economic agreement with the European Union. She is on stage every night from midnight until sunrise, keeping thousands of demonstrators upbeat and energized in freezing temperatures. Many protesters consider her to be one of the leaders of the movement, but she vehemently disagrees. “We said that one cannot lead Maidan, one can only join Maidan,” she said.