Ukrainian Folk Costume

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A young girl wearing a Vinok, a wreath of poppies that is part of traditional Ukrainian folk costume, explores the wreckage of the barricades and tent city on the Maidan in central Kyiv while a dissenter in camouflage relaxes outside his tent. Photo by @_opasno for Burn Diary. It’s hard to describe how surreal the Maidan feels these days. I’ve spent a lot of time in Kyiv in the past five or six years–I was a missionary in Russia in 2008-2009 and lived and worked with a lot of Ukrainians who have grown into lifelong friends. Almost every summer, we all convene in Kyiv or spend a few weeks in Crimea. This time it was different. . The rest of central Kyiv is untouched, still beautiful. But you turn the corner onto the Maidan, and it’s like walking onto a movie set of an uprising between takes: a backdrop of charred buildings and walls of tires, a barricade of twisted metal, and men in camo milling around like extras, waiting for someone to yell “action!” Nothing is happening. It’s become a tourist attraction, for locals and foreigners alike. Families take an evening walk through the square and pose stoically for snapshots with a tank, or a shrine to those who were killed. Souvenir stands have popped up hawking flower wreaths and anti-Putin trucker hats. Donation boxes sit next to each tent and the men hustle you for a few hryvnya if you point you camera their way…. . A note: wonky connectivity and a crazy schedule kept me from posting here while I was still in Ukraine, but I’ll be sharing images from my last week of the journey, and some shots of what I’m up to in NYC this week as I’m putting my life back in order after being on the road for so long. Hope you enjoy!

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