Meet the Face of Ukraine's Protests
Video with 'Yulia' has nearly 6 million hits
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2014 6:22 PM CST
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(Newser) – A deal is in place in Ukraine to end the bloodshed, though whether it will stick remains an open question. In the meantime, the Daily Beast takes a look at the woman it calls the "viral heroine of the Maidan," referring to the area in Kiev where protesters have gathered. She is identified only as "Yulia," and her anti-government "I Am A Ukrainian" video on YouTube now has close to 6 million views, most coming in the last week. "I want you to know why thousands of people all over my country are on the streets," she says in the video over images of violence. "There is only one reason. We want to be free from a dictatorship."

If the video looks slick, that's for good reason—it's from American filmmaker Ben Moses, notes the BBC. Moses, probably best known as the producer of Good Morning, Vietnam, tells the Huffington Post that he came across Yulia in Ukraine while working on a film about democracy. She "personifies the vast majority of the people on the streets in the country, and speaks to the heart of the protest," he says. Yulia tells the Daily Beast's Deborah Stambler via Skype that she "doesn't feel happiness" about the video "because the price is too hard. I dreamt to create something else, not this." She is no longer in Kiev because of her family's concerns about her safety.

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Feb 23, 2014 9:04 AM CST
Did anybody else notice she has unnaturally large pupils (especially since she is facing a strong light source)? I'm just saying... it's weird
Feb 22, 2014 4:39 PM CST
nice slick piece of propaganda. funny how the west loves this rioting and destruction and killing. when it happened in their own backyard though, it was "criminality"!! phucking double standards.
Feb 22, 2014 5:10 AM CST
Well done by the Ukrainian protesters. 'course this will only work to get Western support for their cause because she is a white woman. Something like this would never work in Palestine or Latin America. Same cause of Freedom is labeled terrorism and or communism when Brown or Arab people do it... all the same I wish the people of Ukraine peace and victory over dictatorship and corp corruption !