“Self protection,” i.e. self-policing groups that the Ukrainian opposition organized in multiple cities to “arrest” plunderers and actual and accidental provocateurs during the protests.

In the town of Lviv this week, in western Ukraine, police and military buildings and barracks were occupied and then guarded by Selbstschutz volunteers, said ZDF heute journal. “Anyone whose blood is boiling can go to Kiev,” said one such guard, speaking into a megaphone.

After protesters stormed President Janukovytsch’s huge country residence at Mezhyhirya on 22 Feb 2014, the paramilitary Selbstschutz found themselves guarding it as well. “Why should we plunder what belongs to us?” At first they tried to admit only small groups of people but, when the students and families with children massed outside threatened to tear the gates off the hinges, they let everyone in after asking them not to trample the lawns. Amazing photos resulted of Ukrainians wandering bemused around the giant hunting lodges, zoos and one fake 16th-century? Spanish galleon.

(ZELBST shətz.)

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