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Maidan Nezalezhnosti square with the monument to Berehynia in the foreground and Hotel Ukrayina on the background | by Jorge Lascar
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Maidan Nezalezhnosti square with the monument to Berehynia in the foreground and Hotel Ukrayina on the background

After Ukraine's accession to independence in 1991, the square was given its current name. The competing proposal of Liberty Square (Ploshcha Svobody) was raised at the time as well as in the years to follow, but the current name commemorating the Ukrainian independence is now firmly associated with the square (see the section below).

 

In 2001, as the square was the major center of the "Ukraine without Kuchma" mass protest campaign, the new extensive construction of the area was abruptly ordered by the Kiev mayor of the time, Oleksandr Omelchenko. The square was fenced off for construction and became inaccessible for the protesters and many observers claimed that the main goal of the project ordered by the city mayor was to disrupt the protests,especially since similar tactics were commonly used by local authorities throughout Ukraine.

 

Following the construction, the old familiar look of the square, with its many fountains, was significantly altered and the public reaction to the new look of the square was initially mixed. However, by now the square's monument to Kyi, Schek and Khoryv, the legendary founders of Kiev, the folklore hero Cossack Mamay, the city's historic protector Archangel Michael as well as a more modern invention, the protecting goddess Berehynia, and the many glass domes are easily recognisable as parts of the modern city centre.

 

A mostly underground shopping mall, the Globe, was built under Maidan Nezalezhnosti to replace the old and shabby giant underpass formerly dubbed by Kievans as Truba (the Tube) [Wikipedia.org]

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Taken on August 3, 2012