Segments in this Video

Independence Square (02:19)


See 2014 news footage of conflict in Ukraine. In November 2013, a pro-European student demonstration occurs in the square; police confront demonstrators.

Ukrainian State (01:56)

Filmmaker Damian Kolodiy discusses the Ukraine's difficult transition to democracy. After meeting with Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych announced that Ukraine would not sign an agreement with the European Union. Many Ukrainians saw Russia as a former occupier.

Kyiv, Ukraine (02:28)

The Ukrainian government's decision not to sign the agreement with the European Union sparked protests; riot police confront demonstrators on the eighth day of protest. Video footage of the confrontation outraged Kyiv citizens; thousands camped in Maidan Square. Kolodiy returned to Ukraine to document events.

City within a City (02:36)

Kolodiy entered one of the tents in Maidan Square and found it comfortable. The occupants discuss Russian oppression and the Ukrainian government.

Foundation of a Dictatorship (03:23)

Demonstrations in Maidan Square remained peaceful despite the targeting of activists. In January 2014, the parliament passed laws stripping basic human rights. Protestors march toward parliament and clash with riot police.

Truce? (02:30)

After a week of violence, a temporary truce was declared between police and Maidan forces. A protestor discusses his desire for Ukraine to join the EU and Opposition politician Oleh Tyahnybok addresses the crowd. President Yanukovych offers to make changes but protestors want his resignation.

Pressuring the Government (02:09)

Historian Serhiy Zhyzhko reflects on society's strength against the government and discusses how Maidan became a psychological breakthrough for Ukrainian citizens. On February 18, 2014, citizens march toward parliament in support of an initiative to split government power.

Mass March (04:52)

Ukrainian police block the streets to parliament and confrontation with protestors ensues. Flash grenades and tear gas fill the street and police use rubber bullets to disperse the crowd; a counterattack develops.

"Ukrainians Rise Up!" (02:09)

On February 18, 2014, protestors rail against the police and their actions. Police prohibit protestors in Mariyinsky Park from reaching parliament; Titushki stand behind riot police.

March Turns Violent (04:38)

Retired journalist George Sayewych recalls his experience protesting in Mariyinsky Park. He believes many Titushki were Russian. Myhailo Havrluk discusses violent acts committed by Titushki.

Retreat to Maidan (02:15)

Police receive orders to disperse the crowd by force and advance on protesters at different points in the city, simultaneously. Protesters stand their ground at the square while police hold the perimeter.

Demonstrators Refuse to Give Up (03:50)

By nightfall, one fourth of the tents in Maidan Square are on fire, but protestors continue to fight back against police. Kolodiy stands in the square and reflects on the treatment of the Ukrainian government. Protesters explain why they are participating in the protest.

"Glory to Ukraine!" (01:51)

Berkut advance on protesters in Maidan Square the night of February 18, 2014. A man with a bullhorn shouts to the crowd and encourages them to resist.

Resembling a War Zone (03:44)

Kolodiy arrives at Maidan Square the morning of February 19, 2014 to see the Trade Union building had burned. Protesters refuse to abandon the square; they reorganize and refortify.

Protest Standstill (03:37)

Several protesters explain why they remain in Maidan Square.

Global Media (01:58)

News stations begin reporting on the 2014 events in Ukraine; Kolodiy provides an overview of his experiences. In Maidan Square, Kolodiy learns protesters pushed back police and he moves to investigate.

Deadly Force (04:44)

On February 20, 2014, photographer Richard Meyers joined the front lines of Maidan, documenting the uprising. Euromaidans pushed to remove the police and Berkut from the area, but police used live rounds against the protesters; Meyers walked through pools of blood.

"Heroes Never Die" (03:17)

Hotel Ukraine functioned as a field hospital. A priest leads protesters in prayer over the bodies of those killed during the uprising. People sing the Ukrainian national anthem as the bodies are carried out.

Yanukovych Must Go (02:48)

Nearly 80 demonstrators were shot and killed on February 20, 2014; demonstrators light candles at a memorial. A small group of soldiers address the crowd in Maidan Square, denouncing a compromise deal with Yanukovych.

President Yanukovych Flees to Russia (04:11)

Late on February 20, 2014, the police abandon the government quarter of Kyiv. Surveillance footage shows Yanukovych leaving the area. Thousands converged upon Yanukovych's residential compound.

Next Phase of the Conflict (02:13)

On February 22, 2014, the parliament impeached Yanukovych. A Ukrainian resident believes war will come because Putin controls the Berkut; Zhyzhko agrees the next phase is a fight against Putin. In March 2014, Russia invaded and annexed Crimea.

Putin and the Russian Federation (01:21)

Putin labels those who supported events in Ukraine as nationalists, Neo-Nazis, Russophobes, and anti-Semites. He states that Crimea and Sevastopol residents turned to Russia for help. In April 2014, Russia coordinated and armed an uprising in the eastern provinces of Ukraine.

Escalating Conflict (04:07)

An emergency presidential election was held in May 2014. Russia funneled arms and soldiers into the Donbas region. Captured Ukrainian soldiers are forced to eat their patches, blindfolded, and shoved into the back of a van; see casualty statistics.

Credits: Freedom or Death (02:14)

Credits: Freedom or Death

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Freedom or Death

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



A powerful and compelling account of the violent Maidan Square battles. Ukrainian-born filmmaker Damien Kolody travels to his homeland to document the brutal 2014 insurrection from the streets, as the people of Ukraine spontaneously rise up against their corrupt and oppressive government, going to war in the pursuit of a better future.

Length: 73 minutes

Item#: BVL118321

ISBN: 978-1-63521-445-1

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.