Who is that masked man? Kiev's Pianist-Extremist
KIEV (REUTERS) - Masked men in combat gear have become a feature of the anti-government protest camp that has taken over central Kiev, but one stands out for his weapon of choice - the piano.
For the Pianist-Extremist, whose impromptu performances on the frozen street outside City Hall have delighted fellow demonstrators, the paramilitary costume, like his stage name, is an ironic barb aimed at Ukrainian authorities who condemn those demanding closer ties with Europe as dangerous militants.
"They call us extremists and criminals, but this is not the case. People are here for patriotism, not for money or violence," the mystery maestro told Reuters on Saturday, politely declining to reveal the face beneath the ski mask.
With the protests now in their third month since President Viktor Yanukovich spurned an EU trade deal in favour of a deal with Ukraine's old master Moscow, his music makes a pleasant change to the banging of oil drums that has been the soundtrack of the movement around the square known as Maidan.