Selfies With Yanukovych

Ukrainians try to reclaim their country, one Instagram at a time.
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Instagram/helgora

When ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych went into hiding this weekend, he fled not only a revolution, but also the compound he'd lived in outside Kiev. Which was pretty much, as United States media outlets have taken to calling it, "crazy." The palace—Yanukovych had insisted he lived "modestly"—featured a Greek-style galleon. And massive car garages. And extremely sad zoos. 

The compound, formerly closed to the public and thus a matter of speculation, has now been transformed into something of a revolutionary amusement park. Thousands of Ukrainians, this weekend, came to visit the palace, bringing with them a sense of indignation, of liberation, of vindication.

They also brought their phones.

While journalists captured shots of the compound on Twitter and other platforms, more interesting are the non-journalists who did the same. Many of the Ukrainians who visited the erstwhile presidential dacha this weekend recorded the experience on Instagram, shooting photos and video that commemorated their brush with history. With their phones, they captured a moment that mixed confusion and jubilation in pretty much equal measure. They also, in their way, reclaimed a bit of their country.

Here are some of their shots. 

 

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Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

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