When your government goes medieval on you, it's time to get medieval back.

Demonstrators protesting strongarm President Viktor Yanukovich in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev this week have assembled a wooden catapult, based on a centuries-old design, to launch projectiles at attacking authorities. The ancient artillery presumably helps the protesters keep cops with crowd-dispersal munitions, like tear gas, at a greater distance.

The catapult, which has pro-Kremlin reporters at English-language TV station RT freaking out, appears to have a counterweight mechanism similar to that of a trebuchet:

The firing crew carefully pulls the launch arm down to load its "ammunition" into a bucket—in this case, a worker's hard hat:

The ammunition in this case is stones, loaded into the helmet:

Once the load is secured, the crew tensions the arm to "cock" it.

And then, physics takes over.

The pro-democracy demonstrations have been going on for more than two months now. Confused about it all? Check our explainer to get the basic facts.