The protesters we spoke to knew they didn't have the immediate, overwhelming numbers necessary to pull off an Egypt-style popular coup. And they also realized that big marches through the streets were easy to disperse -- suppressing one meant nothing more than a day or two of bad publicity for the president's regime. Building a giant fortress, on the other hand, let their numbers count for more and guaranteed that any government crackdown would be livestreamed across the world for days. And if you think we're being silly referring to their fortress as "medieval," well, here's their catapult:
And where a brutal winter is usually the worst enemy to a movement based on camping in a public place, the fortress was a way to turn winter into an improvised weapon. The protesters realized early on that Kiev's regular snowfall had a purpose beyond pleasing Bing Crosby's ghost. If you compact a shitload of snow into a trash bag, you eventually wind up with an ice brick hard enough to stop bullets. Combine enough of those bags, and boom -- ice fortress:
That's Mr. Ice Fortress to you.