Over a dozen masked assailants raided an exhibition at Kiev’s Visual Culture Research Center on Tuesday, 7 February, and vandalised an exhibition that questioned the achievements of Ukraine’s 2014 Maidan revolution.
In the exhibition Lost Opportunity the artist Davyd Chychkan examines how “Maidan is a lost opportunity for the Ukrainian society to accomplish a social revolution, which would mean not only to defend dignity, but rather finally gain dignified living conditions,” according to the centre’s website. Chychkan has both warned Europeans about glorifying pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and Ukrainians about the dangers of the far-right gaining the upper hand.
Dramatic security camera footage shows the attackers beating a gallery guard, throwing brochures and tearing posters. Photos posted after the attack show graffiti spray-painted on the wall, including Mouthpiece of Moscow and Glory to Ukraine.
The art space supported the revolution but had been targeted by right-wing activists in the past. It posted on its Facebook page that it was receiving new threats before the attack.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch reported on 9 February that Grey Violet, a Russian LGBT activist and performance artist, has been missing since 31 January after arriving in eastern Ukraine’s separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, where fighting has recently resumed.