Serhiy Zhadan: poet and protester
Kharkiv, among other cities across Ukraine, has been the site of a series of protests over the last few months after Ukrainian president
Viktor Yanukovych backed out of a trade deal with the EU under pressure from Russia. Yanukovych fled the country after the protests in the Ukranian capital of Kiev began to get increasingly violent. Kharkiv’s mayor Gennady Kernes disappeared soon afterwards, returning later from a supposed break in Geneva. Protesters had been occupying the regional state administration building in Kharkiv for a week when pro-Russian demonstrators – many of whom are suspected of having been bussed in from Russia – charged the building on Saturday, March 1st, armed with baseball bats.
One of the protesters who was beaten was Serhiy Zhadan, a well-known Ukrainian poet, who frequently writes about life in post-Soviet Ukraine. Zhadan has also written novels such as 2004’s Depeche Mode, set in the early post-communist days of Ukraine.
Pictures of a beaten and bloodied Zhadan began appearing online shortly after the attack, spread by worried fans. Hours later, he announced through Facebook: “Friends, with me everything is okay.” He described the incident, saying the attackers told him to kneel and kiss the Russian flag; …read more

Via: Melville House Books