Culture of the Confrontation, Maxim Dondyuk's photography

Maxim Dondyuk Culture of the Confrontation

Riot police began to storm Maidan after clashes on Shelkovichna street. Kiev, Ukraine, 18 February 2014.

Ukrainian revolution brought new spirit, changed people and their minds, they became one organism that fight with a great passion and intensity for happy future.

For a few days barricades on Hrushevskoho street were burning, they were all the time with new tires and Molotov cocktails. Kiev, Ukraine, 23 January 2014.

After the clashes with the protesters riot police protected APC which takes away burned buses from the carriageway in the center of Kiev, January 22, 2014.

Confrontation between riot police and protesters on Shelkovichna street during the storm of Verhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament). Kiev, February 18, 2014.

Peaceful opposition between protesters and riot police lasted all night. Hard power wasn’t applied by any of the parties. Kiev, December 11, 2014.

Protester try to clear the road and to take away burned bus on Hrushevskoho street under heavy fire of rubber bullets and stun grenades. Kiev, January 19, 2014.

Police and riot police rest on Maidan after clashes in centre Kyiv, 19 February, 2014.

The central entrance on Lobonovskogo stadium after the some night after protesters and riot police clashes in the center of Kiev, January 26, 2014.

Morning on Hrushevskoho street after the night of flaming tires and Molotov cocktails. Protesters again construct barricades, prepare Molotov cocktails before night battle between protesters and police, which became already a usual thing. Kiev, 25 January, 2014.

Kiev, 18 February 2014.

Artist's Statement

Winter 2013 changed Ukraine. 3 months of bloody clashes, tears, fear, Molotov cocktails, burning car tires and deaths. It already wasn’t just a protest in the support of EU. Ukrainian revolution brought new spirit, changed people and their minds, they became one organism that fight with a great passion and intensity for happy future.

From the very beginning Euromaidan turned into a real performance, where started the battle of opposites. Good and evil, light and shadow, thick black smoke and whiteness of the February snow, orange helmets against black. On the revolutionary canvas creepy bloody scenes interwove with incredibly beautiful, from visually side, views. Euromaidan became one of the most beautiful revolutions, like scenes from Hollywood film.

In my photos I tried to show the scale of all that happened in the centre of the country. Very often I lost the line between reality and fiction. I forgot the place, time and the cause of what was happening. In one moment the battle scenes reminded terrible days of the previous wars. In another – frosty, fiery battle turned Maidan Nezalezhnosty into a phantasmagoric place. Carefree, obstreperous Kyiv completely lost its familiar features.

About the photographer


1983, Ukraine



Based in


Maxim Dondyuk is a freelance documentary photographer who has worked on creating and promoting his own documentary projects since 2010, having previously worked as a photojournalist for the Ukrainian media. In 2011 Maxim undertook the Noor-Nikon Masterclass in Documentary Photography in Bucharest. He was named as one of Magnum Photos’ ‘30 under 30’ emerging documentary photographers, is the winner of the Ville de Perpignan Remi Ochlik Award and is finalist of both the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography and the FotoEvidence Book Award.

Maxim collaborates with many international editions and online media. His photos have been published in TIME, Der Spiegel, STERN, Paris Match, Rolling Stone, Bloomberg Businessweek, Russian Reporter and Libération, amongst others. He also works in cooperation with international organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).