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Weapons of the Ukrainian Revolution


Innovation & devastation. The protesters who filled Maidan Square to battle the Ukrainian army and topple President Yanukovych were seen fighting with the below customised and home made sticks, bats and sledgehammers. These homemade weapons have become the subject of a series of simple and power portraits taken by photographer Tom Jamieson.

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This bat’s inscription roughly translated reads, “For Ukraine and good fortune, city of Kiev.”

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According to Jamieson, every protester had a helmet, a balaclava,
and a club-like implement of some sort.

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Brutal as these weapons look, they’re basically medieval compared to modern security forces. “It’s literally sticks and stones,” says Jamieson. “As mean and nasty as they look — and of course they’re intentionally made to look that way — it’s nothing in comparison to a gun.”

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These are the remnants of stun grenades carried around by a protester. Apparently, it was common among them to carry around the leftovers of weapons that failed to take them out of the game.

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The markings and signs of use on each weapon tell their own stories,
usually having to do with bludgeoning a policeman.

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“You’d talk to one guy,” says Jamieson. “Asking him, ‘Hey can I photograph this, tell me about this,’ and then one of his friends would start laughing and say, ‘No you don’t want to photograph this, come with me, you want to photograph this instead.’ It was that whole sort of pride thing, like ‘mine’s bigger than yours.’”

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This protester’s helmet is painted with an image of
St. Michael, next to the Ukrainian crest.

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The good ol’ Rock.

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Despite the crude nature of the weapons, protesters maintained organized ranks and internal operations, without which it wouldn’t have been possible to mount an effective resistance.

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Each protester simply held their weapons up as the camera prepared to shoot,
leading to a unique composition for each shot.

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There were more advanced weapons in use by the protesters, while others, apparently including automatic guns, were kept locked away in case the situation escalated into open war.

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A baton with a sticker showing former president Yanukovych behind bars. It reads “Yanukovych under arrest.”

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This inscription says it all.

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The inscription reads “Glory to Ukraine.”

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The photos in this series were shot at various places around the occupied zone. Jamieson and his assistant would simply set up a black background cloth and shoot in natural light.

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This weapon reads “Sailor of the Black Sea Fleet.”

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A club with nails hammered in at the end. The inscription reads “Ternopil,” which is a city in Western Ukraine. According to the owner, the handle is wrapped in tape after having broken in clashes with the Berkut.

Photography: TOM JAMIESON. Original Article: DOUG BIEREND

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