Monthly Archives: October 2007

AUR#884 Oct 28 Memory Is Fate Of Proud & Free People; 2,000 Victims; Hoverla Mt; Catherine "The Great"; UPA; Starvation; Trypillian Culture

An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
Petro Hryhorovych Grigorenko; Tatars; Bykovnya Forest; Xenophobia;
Karelia; De-Stalinization; Great Terror; Spiritual Genocide; Nazi Crimes;
Eurasian Youth Union; Hoverla Mountain; Empress Catherine “The Great”;
Cossacks; Ukrainian Insurgent Army; Death For Millions By Starvation,
Genocide of 1932-1933 (Holodomor), Began Seventy-Five Years Ago; 
Human Rights Violations; 1917 Revolution; Trypillian Culture Mysteries.
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
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Commentary: By Refat Chubarov,
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 15, 2007
Reuters, Bykovnya, Ukraine, Saturday, Oct 27, 2007

Interfax Ukraine Focus, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Russian President Putin wishes to focus on “achievements” as do we.
The most “positive” achievement, however, will be a society able to
reject lies and disinformation, to face and learn from its own history
COMMENTARY: Halya Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007

“This country needs a de-Stalinization program” said Grigory Yavlinsky.
Interfax, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ukraine is a pseudo-country says EYM
Official Statement, Eurasian Youth Union,
Moscow, Russia, Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Eurasian Youth Union raised its ugly head in Ukraine.
Commentary: Halya Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Ukrayinska Pravda (UP), Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 20, 2007


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 20, 2007


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, October 24, 2007


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007

Monuments to oppressors of Ukrainian people should not be allowed
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1353 gmt 25 Oct 25, 2007

BBC Monitoring Service, UK, October 25, 2007

Why does Ukraine have monuments to Catherine II and Peter I

but not to Hitler and Stalin?
By Taras Chukhlib, Historian, Director, Cossack Research Center
Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 18, 2007


“We have lived decades in untruth…in the yoke of an empire.”
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, October 18, 2007
Analysis & Commentary: By Pavel Korduban
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 197
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, DC, Wed, Oct 24, 2007
Press Service of the President of Ukraine (in Ukrainian)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2008
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #884, Article 23 (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, October 28, 2007
Interfax Ukraine Focus, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, October 25, 2007

October 22, 1932 special commission on grain requisitions
Radio Svoboda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 22, 2007

UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2007
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 19, 2007
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group,
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 26, 2007
UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, October 21, 2007
By Svitlana BOZHKO, special to The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, July 24, 2007

COMMENTARY: By Refat Chubarov
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 15, 2007

“He stopped being a Marxist because he was accustomed to thinking things
through to the end.” (Sergei Kovalyov)

On 16 October 2007 we mark the centenary of the birth of Petro Hryhorovych
Grigorenko, a person whose name is indelibly linked with the struggle of the
Crimean Tatar people for their return to their homeland and restoration of
their rights.

“Rats succeeded in exiling me from my homeland. However rats have no future”
These words are from the memoirs of Petro Grigorenko “In the underground

you can only meet rats”, first published in New York in 1981.

Forced from his homeland, Petro Hryhorovych did not lose his innate
optimism, concluding his work with the affirmation: “We will return to our
Homeland and see our people liberated from the infestation of rats!”

Unfortunately he did not live to see the collapse of the totalitarian system
and to rejoice together with the Crimean Tatars in returning home. His
closest fellow thinkers are no longer with us.
Genrykh Altunian who died in June 2005 said in one of his last interviews:
“‘I fear nothing. I am seventy years old, as they say, ‘over the hill’. I
have seen it all. I do not except that I will experience anything worse than
sitting day after day in the isolation cell of Chystopolsk prison. I am
afraid for the country I live in and for the future of those dear to me. It was
Bruno Yasensky who called on us to fear those who don’t care. Please God

that our people do not become indifferent.”
Mustafa Dzhemilyev, another long-standing fellow thinker and friend of Petro
Grigorenko decided to give his colleagues in parliament a chance not only to
renounce the stereotypes of the past, but also to prove that they deserved
the high status of a member of Ukraine’s parliament.

He was unsuccessful since a considerable number of National Deputies refused
to give recognition to one of the legendary figures who dedicated their
lives to the independence of the country whom the Deputies were elected to

Who can blame me if I label such behaviour pitiful and repeat after Petro
Grigorenko “rats have no future”? “Till we meet again in the Crimea, my

Praise be the Almighty that this world is held in place by people with
conscience and a sense of justice, with gratitude and by those who

Today in the Crimea as well as beyond there are hundreds and hundreds of
Petro Grigorenko’s friends.

Thanks to their efforts and despite opposition from the local authorities, a
bust monument to the General has been erected in Simferopol, and streets,
Crimean Tatar settlements and one avenue in Kyiv have been named after

I have no doubt that the events in honour of the centenary of Petro
Hryhorovych Grigorenko’s birth will be widely marked in the Crimea.

The Crimean Tatar people, headed by the Mejilis will make sure of that.
Perhaps by then those whom Mikhail Bulgakov gave the perfect diagnosis
“muddle on the brain” will manage to come to their senses.

Petro Grigorenko never for one second doubted that the struggle of the
Crimean Tatar people would end in their return to their Homeland. “Till we
meet in the Crimea!” he would say when parting from his Crimean Tatar
fellows. And he himself aspired to return to his Homeland till the last

Petro Grigorenko found his last resting place in far-off America. People of
different nationalities, Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians, Jewish people visit his
grave to pay their respects.

They honour a Man who unstintingly loved his fellow human beings! For
memory is the fate of proud and free people!
NOTE: KHPG is grateful to Refat Chubarov for allowing us to publish

these very moving words, which form part of an article found in full (in
Ukrainian) at
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Reuters, Bykovnya, Ukraine, Saturday, Oct 27, 2007

BYKOVNYA, Ukraine – Ukraine on Saturday reburied some 2,000 people

killed by the Soviet secret police over several years up to the Second World
War and left in mass graves at a site near the capital.

The 1,998 bodies, 474 of which were Poles, were dug up earlier this year at
in Bykovnya, a village and woods in the suburbs were Ukranian officials
believe some 30,000 could have been buried during the 1930s and early 1940s.

The mass graves were filled with people — others estimate up to 100,000 — 
that were tortured and shot by the dreaded NKVD, a precursor to the KGB,
during Stalin’s repressive and violent rule in the run up to the Russia’s
Great Patriotic War.

“I was 8 years old. It was just three of us, father, mother and me. And they
took him,” Maria Marzhetska said of the father who was seized by the NKVD

in 1937. “They said for 10 years he wouldn’t write (home).”

“Every morning, every evening we were at the police station,” she said. But
she only found out his fate 60 years later.

In the sombre ceremony which was attended by a hundred or so people, simple
red coffins, some draped with flags, were lowered one by one into the ground
and blessed by a priest. Relatives and officials prayed by their side.

Under Communist rule, the existence of mass graves filled with the victims
of Stalin’s rule was denied and it was only in the 1990s that it was
acknowledged and a memorial was built.

Polish historians and officials believe that several thousand Polish
soldiers and officers that were captured as Russia encroached Polish lands
to defeat the Nazis were buried there, like the estimated 15,000 massacred
near the Katyn woods.

“This is a very important place for Poles because it is … linked with
Katyn,” said Andrzej Przewoznik, general secretary of Poland’s Council for
the Protection of Monuments to Struggle and Martyrdom.

“This is a place where we would like the Polish (Catholic) cross and Polish
memories of those people resting in the Bykovnya forest to be.”

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Interfax Ukraine Focus, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

KYIV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has condemned any racial or
ethnic hostility in the country and demands that the Security Service of
Ukraine and law enforcement agencies find and prosecute those planning to
cause instability and chaos in Ukraine.

Yuschenko met on Monday members of Jewish organizations and Ukraine’s
intellectual elite to discuss how to protect the Jewish community and their
rights and fight xenophobia, the presidential press service reported.

Yuschenko said at the meeting that attacks on Jews in Ukraine and attempts
to stir up ethnic hatred were similar to recent acts of vandalism on
Hoverla, in Kharkiv and in Kruty.

The president noted that such actions might be masterminded by “external
directors” who plan to cause instability and chaos in the country. The
president said that the law enforcement bodies and the Security Service

must find those guilty of such actions and punish them severely.

First Deputy Secretariat Chief of Staff Ivan Vasiunyk, acting Security
Service Chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, Prosecutor General Oleksandr

Medvedko and acting Interior Minister Mykhailo Korniyenko were present
at the meeting.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Russian President Putin wishes to focus on “achievements” as do we.
The most “positive” achievement, however, will be a society able to
reject lies and disinformation, to face and learn from its own history

COMMENTARY: By Halya Coynash
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007

In this seventieth anniversary of the Great Terror, the Day of the Soviet
Political Prisoner on 30 October will be particularly poignant for many
people in Ukraine and in Russia.

We remember the 1,111 prisoners from Solovky murdered in the

Sandarmokh Clearing (Karelia), the millions of other victims of the
GULAG. Many of us think too of our own relatives.

In the light of what Russia’s President Putin has approvingly labelled
certain “positive moves”, these anniversaries take on a burning immediacy.
Mr Putin stated that just recently one still read things about the country’s
history which could make ones hair stand on end. The positive moves
were clearly seen as tidying up the country’s lamentable appearance.

We will address whose history Mr Putin feels entitled to view as Russia’s
own in what follows and will also reflect on different interpretations of
positive progress.

The “positive” moves in teaching history for Putin involve providing
students with a “whole spectrum of views” “while at the same time giving
an objective view of history, of what was done by our people, of our

This revisionist approach to semantics is sycophantically aped by the
authors of two manuals for teachers of history and social studies which
won Putin’s own stamp of approval this summer.

One of these manuals  –  “The Newest History of Russia. 1945-2006”, by
Alexander Fillipov and xo-authors – will be tried out over the next year and
available for school teachers from September 2008.

In theory, this is only recommended, not compulsory, and teachers may
do what they wish with it.  In practice, the President’s clear support since
June 2007, and the positive steps he is now praising render freedom of
choice more than usually theoretical in the classroom.

In these days which for many represent dark anniversaries, it would be
difficult not to first examine this “objective” presentation of Joseph
Stalin who is called “one of the most successful leaders of the USSR”.

A lot is said about Stalin the man but we will endeavour to avoid subjective
judgment and concentrate on the book’s presentation of his historical

In the chapter entitled “Arguments about the role of Stalin in history”, the
authors assert: “In essence, the aim of Stalin’s domestic and foreign policy
was the restoration – political and territorial of the Russian Empire”.

“Studies by historians here and abroad confirm the fact that the priority
victim of repressions in the 1930s to 1950s was specifically the ruling
class. Modern researchers are inclined to see rational reasons for the use
of force in the efforts to ensure the maximum effectiveness of the ruling
elite as the main player in mobilizing society towards the achievement of
impossible tasks”.

“The outcome of Stalin’s purges was the formation of a new governing
class, able to cope with the task of modernization given the shortage of
resources – unwaveringly loyal to the upper echelons of power and
irreproachable from the point of view of executive discipline”.

The words, not to mention the hordes of anonymous “authorities”, are
offensively difficult to pinpoint and therefore refute.  Priority for whom?

The members of my family and those of hundreds of thousands of other
families may not have been the “main priority”, but victims, excuse me,
they were.

During the 14 months of the 1937-1938 Terror alone, some 1.7 million
people were arrested and about 700 thousand were executed. The loyalty
to the upper echelons encouraged during that period and later was
demonstrated by some in seeking an increase in the number of arrests
and executions required for a particular area.

The figures in Ukraine for example were upped by zealous functionaries

eager to show how vigilant they were in rooting out “bourgeois nationalists”.

The 1,111 prisoners of Solovky executed in the Sandarmokh Clearing from
27 October to 4 November 1937 were also part of a killing quota.  The 290
Ukrainian victims included the theatre director Les Kurbas, the poet Mykola
Zerov, many other writers, poets, intellectuals and scientists.

They were not simply “accidental” victims, unworthy of note by Putin’s
lackey historian.  They were the victims of a deliberate policy aimed at
crushing the new generation of Ukrainian intellectuals, artists, and others
who saw themselves in the first instance as Ukrainians.

It is not for nothing that one speaks of the “Executed Renaissance”. And
where in this “positive” scale of priorities do we place the millions of
Ukrainian peasants starved to death in Holodomor, a manmade famine?

Will you find a blithe excuse also for the supposed “kulaks” resettled
during collectivization or the Crimean Tatars and other nations deported
from their homeland?
The examples to refute these foul lies and distortions and to place in
serious question the “rational reasons for the use of force” are legion.

In October 2007, it is intensely depressing to have to state the tragically
obvious.  Perhaps for this reason an aphorism from the time of perestroika
has been tormenting me for days now.  “We look to the past with optimism”.
In those days when people were drunk on truth so long and so assiduously
concealed, the phrase raised appreciative smiles.

It is anything but funny now.

For better or infinitely worse, the period in question was our shared
history.  We must ensure that our perspective remains sharply distinct and
not hide from the merciless light of day.

Putin wishes to focus on “achievements” as do we.  The most “positive”
achievement, however, will be a society able to reject lies and

It is not only our duty before all the Victims of the Terror whom we
remember during these days and months.  It is also the sole way forward
and best chance of ensuring that neither our generation nor those who
come after us repeat those terrible mistakes.

What is happening in Russia at the moment must be a lesson to us all, a
reminder that breaking free is only one small and first step. We need to go

We hope that the developments which have begun in Ukraine will continue
and serve as an example to our neighbours.  Let’s confront our shared
history with our eyes wide open.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.
“This country needs a de-Stalinization program” said Grigory Yavlinsky.

Interfax, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, October 25, 2007

MOSCOW – Russia should adopt a state program for remembrance of the

victims of political repression, Memorial Human Rights Society Chairman
Arseny Roginsky told a press conference at the Interfax main office on

“I think the government must call a crime a crime, present condolences and
apologies to many people, and launch a program for remembrance of

repression victims,” Roginsky said.

The government should build a monument to repression victims, “as the
Solovetsky Stone on Lubyanskaya Square was installed by human rights
organizations, and not by the government,” Roginsky said.

“It is also necessary to open a state terror museum and change the way
schoolchildren are told about the repressions,” he said. There is not a

single memorial board commemorating repression victims in Moscow,
he noted.

“If the government does that, I will have nothing to add,” Human Rights
Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin told the press conference.

Yabloko party leader Grigory Yavlinsky agreed with the suggestions and said,
“This country needs a de-Stalinization program.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Interfax, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, October 25, 2007

MOSCOW – About 12.5 million people became victims of political reprisals
during the existence of the Soviet Union, Arseny Roginsky, the board
chairman of the Memorial international human rights society, said at the
presentation ceremony of an electronic version of the publication titled
“Victims of Political Terror in the USSR” at the Interfax main office on

“If you take the Russian law on the rehabilitation of victims of political
reprisals and look at the entire Soviet Union, you will see that 12.5
million people fully meet the criteria for being qualified as victims of
political reprisals,” Roginsky said.

 From 4.5 to 5.2 million of these people were arrested by security bodies,
underwent investigation procedures, and were convicted, Roginsky said.

Some 7 million other victims of political reprisals are people who were
deported without sentences by judicial or extra-judicial bodies, including
farmers during the collectivization period, repressed ethnic groups deported
from their homes after WWII, and others, he said.

“Our job was to restore their names,” Roginsky said referring to the
publication. The electronic version of the publication lists the names of
about 2.615 million people, which is only 20% of all those repressed,
Roginsky said. This work took about 20 years.

The compilation of the list involved members of the Memorial society and the
Yabloko party, and some government agencies, particularly the Interior
Ministry, also provided significant assistance in this effort, he said.

Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin pointed out that the
publication was presented in the run-up to the Day in Commemoration of
Victims of Political Reprisals observed in Russia on October 30.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, October 10, 2007

MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin is surprised by the indifference of the
European Union to the encouragement of the glorification of Nazis by the
authorities in Latvia and Estonia and said that the approach of certain
European organizations to matters related to World War II borders on

“Certain facts that we are coming across in certain East European countries
are arousing frank surprise and lack of understanding.

We know that in several European countries laws prohibit the denial of the
Holocaust, while the activities of Latvian and Estonian authorities are
openly encouraging the glorification of Nazis and their collaborators.

And such facts remain unnoticed by the Europe Union,” Putin said at a
meeting with members of the Executive Committee of the European Jewish
Congress. “After the proclamation of independence not a single Nazi

criminal has been punished in Estonia,” Putin said.

“Neo-Nazi gatherings timed to the anniversary of the formation of the
Latvian Waffen SS legion are held in Latvia annually on March 16 with

the permission of the authorities,” he said.

“We also witness the strange attitude of certain European institutions
bordering on hypocrisy, regarding the transfer of the monument to the
Liberator Soldier [Bronze Solider] in Tallinn,” he said.

Putin praised the stance of Jewish organizations in Baltic states which
“frankly, honestly and openly expressed their attitude to the issue. I want
to voice my appreciation and gratitude [to them],” he said.
As another example of the growth of Nazi sentiments he named the attempts

of certain forces in Ukraine “to whitewash members of the Organization of
Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, guilty of the
massive extermination of Jews in Ukraine.” “I find it absolutely
impermissible,” the president said.

Putin said Russia deeply respects the efforts of Jewish communities to
preserve the truth about the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes along with the
memory of the heroism of the soldiers who died liberating Europe from the
“brown plague.”

“History has proved more than once that when the lessons of the past are
forgotten and attempts to rewrite history and to sow seeds of revenge are
made this leads to an upsurge of nationalism and anti-Semitism.

Therefore, I cannot help being alarmed by the growing trend in Europe,
including EU countries, to review history in this direction, to try and
question the liberation mission of the Allied armies, including the Soviet
army, during World War II and to whitewash Nazi crimes,” Putin said.

In his opinion, such attempts are very dangerous and may result in the
growth of mistrust and intolerance in Europe. “We hope that they will not be
left unnoticed or without due reaction from both government and public
institutions, in particular the European Jewish Congress,” Putin said.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

Interfax, Moscow, Russia, Friday, October 19, 2007

MOSCOW – A number of public organizations in Ukraine  have  appealed
to the Russian authorities “to help protect the Russian historical and
spiritual heritage in Ukraine from destruction.”

“Simultaneously  with  the  physical  destruction  of  monuments of
common history  and culture the historical memory of our people is being
eradicated,  the  public  mind  distorted, children and young people are
brought  up in the sprit of hatred for the past, which is termed only as
the colonial past,” their open letter published on Friday says.

The letter complains of “mental, cultural and spiritual genocide of
the Russian people in Ukraine.”

In the past few years the city of Poltava has witnessed “outrageous
insults  to monuments constituting the historical and cultural legacy of
the European  and world communities as well as Russians in Ukraine,”
the letter reads.

The  open  letter  was  signed  by  board  chairman  of the Russian
Community  Serhiy Provatorov, national coordinator of the Expert Council
for the   Protection  of  Russian  Cultural  Legacy  Oleksandr  Mashkin,
chairman of the Russian Community of Poltava Region Viktor Shestakov and
chairman  of  the  Union  of  Russian  Writers  of Poltava Region Mykola

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Union states Ukraine is a pseudo-country

Official Statement, Eurasian Youth Union
Moscow, Russia, Thursday, October 18, 2007

MOSCOW – The Eurasian Youth Union [EYM] takes full responsibility for

the destruction of the so-called Ukrainian state symbols on the Mount
Goverla in the Carpathians, the highest point of Ukraine.

With a force of a detached mountain unit of the EYM at Mount Goverla we
sawed and vandalized a symbol of Ukraine’s occupation -Trizub; destroyed
granite plaque of the sectarian Ukrainian church; split granite memorial
plaque of  so-called “Constitution of Ukraine”.

Instead of the symbol of the Ukrainian collaborative blue and yellow flag,
we unfurled over Mount Goveral the EYM banner.  Goverla has been

renamed Mount Stalin.

By this unprecedented act of Eurasian enthusiasm EYM states that the
so-called time of “Ukraine’s” independence ends. Instead of an ugly
neighboring education [should be something else], we will build a Great
Ukraine within the Eurasian empire.

EYM also warns that in the case of appointment of the orange monkey –

Yulia Tymoshenko, as Premier, we will not be able to stop our Ukrainian
activists from undertaking direct actions against the so-called leadership
of the pseudo-country.

For photos and video of this action you can look at the resources
———————————————————————————————-, Imperial Network, The Eurasian Youth Union
Announcement: Today, 20.30 Moscow time on the air “TV Evraziya”-

will hold a telecast of Eurasian Youth Union Leader Paul Zarifullin to
the people of Ukraine in connection with the recent political developments
in that country.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
The Eurasian Youth Union raised its ugly head in Ukraine

COMMENTARY: By Halya Coynash
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Eurasian Youth Union raised its ugly head in Ukraine on Friday, with
the desecration of Ukrainian State emblems on Mount Hoverli in the
Ivano-Frankivsk region.  After photographing their “heroic deeds” on their
mobile, the three culprits sped out of the country in the direction of

One would like to stop here.  Any attempt to analyze the possible motivation
of this motley gang confronts serious difficulties.  Rather like trying to
write a dissertation on Tom and Jerry in the light of post-structuralism.

On the other hand, the act provoked outrage among many Ukrainians and
calls for severe punishment, some measured, some a little radical, it must
be said.  There were also the predictably inadequate knee jerk reactions from,
for example, the Communist Party

Perhaps of equal importance is the dilemma that such organizations, even
when home-grown, and this one is categorically not, present for the laws of
the country.

The SBU [Security Service] claims to have identified the culprits who are
presently believed to be in Russia.  They may or may not end up being
prosecuted.  The laws in this case are clear enough, although the chances
of a prosecution are slim.

What however, if anything, does one do with the organization as a whole?
At the moment there is a temporary ban on it in Kharkiv, sought by the
Prosecutor on the grounds of its extremist slogans, calls to violence and
its alleged involvement (it claimed responsibility itself) for the
vandalizing and unlawful moving of the monument to the Ukrainian Resistance
Army [UPA] fighters in Kharkiv.

On 23 October the Ministry of Justice website informed of a ruling issued by
the Bakhchysarai District Court in the Crimea forcibly disbanding the
Bakhchysarai District Youth Organization “Eurasian Youth Movement”.

The court ruling was passed under administrative proceedings on 27 September
2007, and has already come into force. The notification on the Ministry’s
site indicates that the branch of the Union in question gained legal status
by informing of its creation on 7 November 2006 and was added to the region
of civic organizations under No. 33.

The reason for its dissolution would appear to be repeated infringements of
legislation by holding mass events outside the area where it is supposed to
be functioning, that is, the Bakhchysarai district.

It seems more than a coincidence that this should be reported now for all
that the court ruling easily preceded this present foul action.  If we think
of the Union’s actions on many occasions, clearly legal measures of, shall
we say, “containment” seem called for.

On the other hand, the law on civic organizations remains flawed and it does
not seem a constructive solution to apply a norm requiring that
organizations only function where registered since this could create a
dangerous precedent.
The Eurasian Youth Union has become vociferous in expressing its muddled
stand which is pro-Russian and against an independent Ukrainian state.  It
possibly has more in its programme, but I’m baffled if I can find it.

It would be difficult to doubt the Eurasian Youth Union’s commitment to acts
of vandalism and its calls to violent measures in pursuing its ends. We are
charitably assuming, of course, that it has any other goals besides
vandalism and destruction.

The means it uses are quite simply unacceptable in any democratic country
and must be prevented.  It would seem more constructive, however, especially
at this time when the Union has demonstrated its prowess so graphically, to
address this directly, rather than simply finding excuses for preventing the
activities of a civic organization.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Ukrayinska Pravda (UP), Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 20, 2007

KYIV -The State Security Service (SBU) exposed organizers and executors
of the act of vandalism over Ukrainian national symbols on Hoverla mountain
in Ivano-Frankivsk region.

According to the SBU Saturday report, the crime was committed by three

young men, members of the Yevroaziyska Spilka Molodi (ESM), the
organization banned by Ukraine’s court.

The following individuals are accused of committing the crime: Savin Leonid
Volodymyrovych, 1974, born in Sumy, resident of Ukraine, living in Moscow,
the Russian Federation since March, 2007, one of the organization’s
activists being in charge of the ESM website operation; Bovdunov Oleksandr,

1986, and Mantrov Valeriy, 1988, both residents of the Russian Federation.

The SBU has received evidence proving that the act of vandalism was
organized by Russian-located ESM leaders Pavlo Zarifulin and Oleksandr

Duhin, whom the SBU banned to enter Ukraine for five years in June 2006.

The SBU reports that criminals came to Ukraine on October 12 and firstly
visited Sumy and Kyiv.

Then they arrived to the foot of Hoverla mountain and climbed up the hill
where they imitated the cutoff of some details of the construction in the
form of small Ukraine’s national emblem and draw the ESM emblem on the
memorial to the Ukrainian Constitution.

The flagstaff for the Ukrainian flag was empty at that time. Criminals
filmed and photographed their vandal actions, went down the mountain and

left Ukraine by train.

On October 17 night, Mr. Savin edited snapshots, having added a picture of
broken granite slabs, metal parts and the like and on October 18 placed them
on the ESM website with a video reel imitating cutoff of the trident.

The documents that the SBU possesses prove that criminals planned the
aforesaid unlawful actions when being in Russia. It was proved that snapshots

were forged, according to the operational investigation group.

The SBU reports that currently the national symbols and memorial to the
Ukrainian Constitution on Hoverla mountain are renewed.

On October 20, the SBU referred the evidence to the Office of the
Prosecutor General of Ukraine. The SBU also informed the Foreign
Ministry of misdeeds committed by foreign citizens.

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Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, October 24, 2007

KYIV – The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has reintated a resolution
barring entry to Ukraine to Eurasian Youth Union Head Pavel Zarifulin and
Eurasian Movement Head Aleksandr Dugin.

The SBU press service told Interfax-Ukraine on Wednesday that the

resolution on the entry ban was taken in the summer of 2006, but its effect
was suspended after the signing of Ukrainian-Russian agreements on ending
the practice of banning entry to the countries.

The SBU said that “the resolution on the entry ban to these two people has
again taken effect” after the events on Hoverla Mountain.

The Eurasian Youth Union earlier said its representatives had destroyed
Ukrainian state symbols on Hoverla Mountain and presented photos as
evidence. In particular, the organization’s representatives sawed off and
destroyed a metal trident – a Ukrainian state symbol – and broke a granite
plaque dedicated to the Constitution of Ukraine.

In place of Ukraine’s flag, representatives of the Eurasian Youth
Organization raised the flag of their organization, renaming Hoverla
Mountain Stalin’s Peak.

SBU Acting Chairman Valentyn Nalyvaichenko said on Saturday that the

service had established the identity of the vandals. They are three young people –
Ukrainian citizen Leonid Saviv, currently residing in Moscow, and two
Russian citizens – Aleksandr Bovdunov and Valeriy Mantrov. They all are
members of the Eurasian Youth Union, which is banned under Ukrainian law.

He said that these people are currently in Russia, adding that the planning
of the destruction of Ukraine’s state symbols was done by Zarifulin and
Dugin, whom the SBU has banned from entering Ukraine for five years.

The investigation subunit of the Interior Ministry’s department in
Ivano-Frankivsk region has opened a criminal case due to the events on
Hoverla Mountain.
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Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 26, 2007

KYIV – Russia’s Ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin has described

the incident involving defilement of Ukrainian national symbols on the Hoverla
Hill as a bad joke. Chernomyrdin was speaking at a press conference.

“I have to tell you that the information is wrong. Nobody sawed anything.
They took pictures, they bought a lot – including in Ukraine – and simply
daubed their sign,” Chernomyrdin said. He added that information available
to him indicated that everything was simulated.

“However, no matter the case, it is bad and I condemn it,” Chernomyrdin
said.  According to him, the Eurasian Youth Association is an international
organization and the organization’s Russian division had nothing to do with
this incident. According to him, the Ukrainian division was involved. At the
same time, he stressed that it was bad, no matter who did it.

Asked how the Russian special forces would react if such an incident
occurred in Russia, Chernomyrdin said: “They would first find out what
happened rather than give an instant assessment. Regarding the Kremlin
stars, they would not reach it because it is too high.”

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Prosecutor-General Oleksandr Medvedko
believes that the filing a hooliganism case in connection with the incident
involving defilement of Ukrainian national symbols on the Hoverla hill was

The Ivano-Frankivsk regional administration has said that the pictures
showing damage to the granite slab installed on the Hoverla hill in
commemoration of the Constitution Day were faked.

Viacheslav Koval, a parliamentary candidate for the Our Ukraine-People’s
Self-Defense bloc, recently accused supporters of the Eurasian Youth
association of destroying national symbols on the Hoverla hill.
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Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 20, 2007

KYIV – The Ivano-Frankivsk regional administration has announced that
snapshots of the broken granite slab erected on the Mount Hoverla on the
Constitution Day are a fake. Ukrainian News learned this from its press

“Most of the snapshots published on the Internet to describe this event have
not been proved as authentic,” the press service said.

At 7 a.m. on October 18, an investigation team from the regional SBU office
climbed Hoverla together with representatives of the Hoverla forest board of
the Carpathian National Natural Park, the press service reported.

On the mount top, they saw the pole, intended for the Ukrainian flag,
waiving a black cloth with symbols of the Eurasian Youth Union.

The press service told Ukrainian News that there was no Ukrainian flag on
the pole on that day because it is usually raised on great occasions only.
Workers from the Carpathian National Natural Park pulled down the flag of
the union.

The SBU agents also could see that the trident had been cut off from the
symbolic sign standing near the flagpole and attached to the sign pointing
the directions to different Ukrainian cities.

A snowflake, which is the symbol of the Eurasian Youth Union, was painted

on the granite slab. The slab itself had no signs of damage.

The photographs showing that the slab is broken do not depict the reality,
the press service explained to Ukrainian News. Moreover, snow has covered
Hoverla and air temperature is -5. The press service said the regional
administration will restore the symbolic sign on Saturday.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Security Service of Ukraine and the
Interior Affairs Ministry are investigating the October 19 destruction of
national symbols on Hoverla.

Parliamentary candidate Viacheslav Koval of the Our Ukraine-People’s
Self-Defense Bloc stated that the Eurasian Youth Union followers destroyed
the national symbols on Hoverla.
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Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, October 24, 2007

KYIV – Around 30 members from such youth organizations as the Nationalist
Youth Congress, Plast, Spadschyna, and the Lviv Polytechnic’s Student
Brotherhood have held a theatrical demonstration in Lviv to protest the
desecration of national symbols on the Mount Hoverla. The performance

named  “Come to Visit Us” was full of humor.

The protesters gathered at the Monument to Stepan Bandera in Lviv downtown.
They tied a dummy the size of a man in glasses and sweater to the tree and
named it a ‘provocateur’ or ‘moskal.’ The dummy was in air balloons all

The protesters read out their message to Eurasian Youth Union heads
Aleksandr Dugin and Pavel Zarifulin. The address was entitled “Message

from the Ukrainian youth to Dugin, Zarifulin, and other degenerates and
provocateurs” and was written in the style of old Ukrainian letters that
Cossacks used to write to a Turkish sultan.

After that, the protesters began to beat the dummy with sticks, and broken
air balloons were found to contain sweets.

“The performance is a mock of what Eurasian Youth Union members have

done on Hoverla. We shouldn’t respond to their slap in the face with radical
measures,” said one of the protest organizers Andrii Mochurad, a
representative of the Nationalist Youth Congress.

The organizers said they manifested humanism when they tied the dummy to

the tree by its leg because if they tied it by its head, it would mean death.
“For those who don’t have enough brains, for the blood to reach the head,”
Mochurad commented.

The organizers also said that they held the protest at the Monument to
Bandera because the Eurasian Youth Union announced that it would make its
next sortie to this monument.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the investigative department of
Ivano-Frankivsk Region Police filed a criminal case on October 20 alleging
the desecration of national symbols on the Mount Hoverla.

The Security Service has established the names of three masterminds and

two vandals who desecrated the national symbols. The suspects did not
destroy the signs, they only simulated the process, the SBU said.

The SBU has renewed the ban on entry to Ukraine for Eurasian Youth Union
heads Aleksandr Dugin and Pavel Zarifulin after it established that they
controlled the act of vandalism on Hoverla from Russia.
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Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007

KYIV – Russia’s Ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin supports

the erection of a monument to Russian Empress Catherine II in Odesa.
Chernomyrdin announced this at a press conference.

“I welcome it. I always welcome it when history is being restored and not
broken,” Chernomyrdin said. Chernomyrdin also stressed that this was the
affair of Odesa.

“This monument is not being restored. It existed. It was simply moved to
another place. The city decided to return it,” he said. He also expressed the

belief that historical monuments deserve special treatment.
“Catherine II played a huge role in history… Some people need to bow down
to her and not pick a fight,” Chernomyrdin said.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Our Ukraine People’s Union party has
expressed opposition to unveiling of the monument to Russian Empress
Catherine II in Odesa.

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who is also the leader of the Party of
Regions, considers demolition of the monument to Catherine II in Odesa

On September 2, Ukrainian nationalists from the Svoboda all-Ukrainian
association, Ukrainian Republican Party Sobor, and other organizations

held a rally in front of the Odesa regional administration building in protest
against the erection of a monument called “Founders of Odesa.”

Local authorities are erecting a monument called “Founders of Odesa” on
Yekaterina Square in Odesa. The central figure of the monument is Empress
Catherine II.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Monuments to oppressors of Ukrainian people should not be allowed

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007

KYIV – The Our Ukraine People’s Union party opposes unveiling of the
monument to Russian Empress Catherine II in Odesa. The Our Ukraine

People’s Union party announced this in a statement, a text of which Ukrainian
News obtained.

“The OUPU strongly opposes the intention of the Odesa municipal authorities
to unveil a monument to Russian Empress Catherine II on October 27.

Unveiling such a monument plus a celebration in connection with it amounts
to an outrage over the memories of the thousands of Ukrainian patriots who
suffered in the hands of Catherine II and a challenge to the entire
Ukrainian people,” the statement says.

‘The party warns that attempts to unveil such a monument would only result in
civil confrontation. “We are calling on all democratic forces and all
government institutions to provide an assessment of the provocative actions
of the Odesa municipal authorities and not allow monuments to oppressors of
the Ukrainian people to stand on their land,” the statement says.

The Our Ukraine People’s Union party stressed that it was on the orders of
Catherine II that Zaporizka Sich was destroyed, the democratic system of
Ukraine destroyed, peasants enslaved, and education destroyed.

“The perseverance with which the Odesa authorities – before removing
monuments to Lenin and the communist punishers of Ukraine from the center of
Odesa – are attempting to replace them with monuments to other oppressors is
surprising,” the statement says.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who is
also the leader of the Party of Regions, considers removal of the monument
to Catherine II in Odesa unacceptable.

On September 2, Ukrainian nationalists from the Svoboda all-Ukrainian
association, Ukrainian Republican Party Sobor, and other organizations held
a rally in front of the Odesa regional administration building in protest
against the erection of a monument to Odesa’s Founders.

Local authorities are erecting a monument called “Founders of Odesa” on
Yekaterina Square in Odesa. The central figure of the monument is Empress
Catherine II.
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UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian Oct 25, 2007
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, October 25, 2007
KIEV – The [propresidential party] Our Ukraine People’s Union has
issued a statement decisively condemning the intention of the city
authorities in Odessa to unveil a statue to Russian empress Catherine the
Great on 27 October.

The authors of the statement say, “The unveiling of this statue, and what’s
more to make an occasion out of it, is an insult to the thousands of
Ukrainian patriots who were killed by Catherine and is a challenge to the
entire Ukrainian people.”
The party says that all qualified historians give a uniformly negative
assessment of Catherine’s role in Ukrainian history. “The Ukrainian people
composed countless songs about the ‘hostile mother’, who ‘destroyed the
Sich [stronghold of Ukrainian Cossacks]’.
This assessment was marvellously summed up by [19th century poet] Taras
Shevchenko in countless lines of his Kobzar [collection of patriotic and
pastoral poetry],” the statement says. 
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Why does Ukraine have monuments to Catherine II and Peter I
but not to Hitler and Stalin

By Taras Chukhlib, Historian, Director, Cossack Research Center
Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Adieu, my charming and freedom-loving Odesa! “Bye, my darling mother,
 Adesa,” as speakers of the local patois say.

Goodbye, my lovely city on the Black Sea, where I, a provincial youth from
the Kyiv region, ended up three decades ago and saw that, in addition to
metropolitan Kyiv, there was another splendid city on earth with extremely
beautiful streets and squares, buildings and churches, theaters and parks,
where there was a special air of respect for people, no matter what language
they speak, where they come from, what their nationality is, and what
swimsuit they are wearing when they take a dip into the sea.

I don’t want to offend the current residents of Odesa, but I must say that
now all this has disappeared from the city and may never return.

With the erection of this disgraceful monument of the empire, this
world-famous Black Sea gem lost its inimitable charm and unique civilized
nature and turned into a dictator – a monster that strives not only to
dominate residents and visitors alike, but also to scorn their ancestors,
who had particular national customs, traditions, and historical memory.

So the people of Odesa want to be contemporary spiritual serfs and slaves,
who are skillfully manipulated by oligarchic leaders for the sake of
politics and profit. But Odesa doesn’t just belong to the city residents but
to me: it is not only part of the Ukrainian cultural and state space but
also a treasure of world civilization. Odesa belong to all of us!

For various reasons, Odesa, which throughout the centuries zealously
maintained its multicultural and polyethnic civilization under all kinds of
political regimes, has unfortunately lost all this.

Today it is difficult to call Odesa “mother” because one of its downtown
squares will soon display a Russian empress, who was a wicked and spiteful
“stepmother” of many nations. It is common knowledge that even today most
historians call the Catherine-era Russian Empire none other than a “prison
of nations.”
It is not clear to me, and perhaps many other people who are concerned about
their own past, why some Ukrainians should have chosen – in the 16th year of
independence, when all the archives are open, there is access to libraries
and the Internet, when everybody can familiarize themselves with history,
warts and all – to erect a monument to a person who may well be called a
Schicklgruber-Hitler or Dzhugashvili-Stalin in a skirt.

Why this kind of comparison?

Because during her 34-year reign from 1762 to 1796 Catherine II, alias
Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst, a minor Prussian princess from
Stettin (today: Szczecin, Poland), destroyed not only all things Ukrainian
(the abolition of the Ukrainian Hetmanate, the liquidation of the
Zaporozhian Sich, and the imposition of serfdom) but also the statehood and
culture of the Tatars, Poles, Jews, Greeks, Finns, Lithuanians, Latvians,
Estonians, Kalmyks, Bashkirs, Chuvashes, Karelians, Mordvins, and many

other peoples that populated the multinational Russian Empire.

It was Catherine II who sought by repressive means to drive all the people
into a single “corral” called the “undivided Great Russian people.”

Thus, she resembles the world’s No. 1 criminal Adolf Hitler, who tried to
form the “great German nation” by means of wars and concentration camps,

as well as his follower and later enemy Joseph Stalin, who deported entire
nations to the camps of the GULAG in order to create “the great
Soviet-Russian people.”

By no means do I wish to insult the Russians or the Germans, who are proud
of representing their truly great nations and who also suffered at the hands
of their former imperialist leaders.

But what do you think a present-day Turk, for example, will feel, standing
in front of Catherine II’s magnificent monument in the resort city of Odesa?
After all, the bronze figure is trampling a Turkish flag with Islamic
symbols. And what will a Tatar feel?

Catherine II not only destroyed the Crimean Khanate, but also tried to expel
by force all the Tatars from the Crimean peninsula, well before they were
deported by Stalin in 1944.

Jews will also feel distress because Catherine II was the first to introduce
the discriminatory “Pale of Settlement” for their ancestors whom she banned
from holding any government post in Russia.

The unveiling of the monument will also be painful for Poles because it was
Catherine II who partitioned and then erased the Polish Kingdom from the
world map and then, well before the Nazis (who exterminated the residents of
Warsaw in 1944), allowed General Suvorov in 1794 to massacre thousands of
Warsaw residents, mostly old people, women, and children.

Obviously, every Pole who was taught in childhood to respect his history
will remind the people of Odesa that Catherine’s troops put down the
national liberation uprising led by the famous Tadeusz Kosciusko.

A Greek beholding the bronze monument will probably recall his family’s
story that in the late 1770s and early 1780s all the Greeks who had lived on
the Black Sea coast for millennia were forced out of the Crimea on the
orders of Catherine II. The Kalmyks and Bashkirs will recall that Catherine
II did not allow their forefathers to escape to China and sent her troops to
exterminate them.

As for the Finns, Lithuanians, Latvians, and Estonians, they are still
comparing Catherine II to Stalin because the tsarist government robbed them
perfidiously and forcibly of their statehood, culture, and language.

Perhaps some contemporary Russians, who come to Odesa on vacation,

will also recall that the tsarina, in pursuit of her policy of “enlightened
absolutism,” traded their serf ancestors like cattle and suppressed numerous
popular revolts, including the one led by Yemelian Pugachev.

Well before the notorious Hitler and Stalin, Empress Catherine II physically
destroyed her political opponents and her own family members (an
illustrative example: in 1762 she seized the throne as a result of a plot
and had her husband Peter III killed), waged aggressive imperialistic wars,
ruined other states, suppressed national liberation movements, repressed
entire nations, and wiped out the spirituality and culture of many peoples
both in the Russian Empire and abroad.

In view of this, I think that the Odesa city councilors who made the
controversial decision in July 2007 to restore the 19th-century monument to
the “founders of Odesa,” of which the majestic statue of Catherine II is the
main element, committed a crime that – don’t be surprised! – is punishable
under certain articles of Ukraine’s Criminal Code, including those that ban
offenses against human dignity and incite interethnic enmity.

I hope these “people’s servants” from Odesa will in due time answer to the
law and the people – and to their own conscience, if they still have one –
for their antihuman action.

But what about President Viktor Yushchenko, who presumably has an excellent
knowledge of Ukrainian history? Even in the not so distant year of 1995 his
predecessor Leonid Kuchma banned such a monument.

It is painful to lose Odesa – not just for me, a Ukrainian who is engaged in
researching the history of his fatherland, but also, I trust, for many of my
compatriots, who are aware of their place in the world vis-a-vis their
past – Russians, Jews, Tatars, Turks, Poles, Greeks, Bulgarians,
Belarusians, and representatives of other peoples that today form the
Ukrainian political nation and which populated the Russian Empire in the
time of Catherine II and suffered from her rule no less than the Soviet
people did under Stalin or the European nations under Hitler.

However, while our parents and grandparents experienced the crimes of the
communist and Nazi regimes “on their own backs,” the misanthropic actions

of Catherine II have been somewhat forgotten over the course of time.

Furthermore, Russia’s ideological machine is continuing, unfortunately, to
spit out mythically sweet “bonbons” about the tsarina and her retinue in
films and movies made for TV, books, and the mass media. As we can see,
these are being consumed with pleasure not only all over Russia but also in
Odesa and the rest of Ukraine.
The reasons why the infamous Odesa bureaucrats are installing the monument
are very questionable: they maintain that Catherine II was by far the best
ruler “of all times and nations,” a statement that is discussed on an almost
daily basis in Odesa’s government-controlled and gutter press as well as
many television programs.

This situation is the result of a powerful wave of tawdry TV and film
productions, which has been inundating our informational space for decades,
as well as belletristic newspaper and magazine publications by writers from
our neighbor, a state that portrays Catherine II as a “defender of all the

What inspires the Russian popularizers and their Buzyna-style apologists in
Ukraine is the fact that, from the second half of the 18th century to this
day, Russian historiography has been assessing Catherine’s contribution to
the building of the Russian Empire in more than positive terms. During the
tsarina’s lifetime, court historians, showered with money from the royal
coffers, created a slicked- up image of an “educated,” “democratic,” and
“wise” ruler, even calling her “Great.”

This myth-making tradition thrived in subsequent years, too. Sergei Solovev,
one of the best- known Russian statist historians, always emphasized the
tsarina’s efforts in the “glorious annexation” of the Crimea, Northern Black
Sea Coast, “Western Russia” (Poland and Belarus), and Southern Russia
(Ukraine) by St. Petersburg and Moscow.

There were exceptions, though, in Soviet times, when scholars adopted the
so-called class approach and described the Russian tsarina’s historical role
without excessive reverence. For example, in his book Field Marshal
Rumiantsev in the Period of the Russo-Turkish War in 1768-1774 (Moscow,
1951) Yurii Klokman writes that one of the consequences of Catherine’s
policies was the “enslavement of the Ukrainian peasantry and the liquidation
of the last vestiges of independence and particular features of Ukraine’s
political order.”

From then on, Soviet scholarship no longer mentioned the destruction of
Ukrainian statehood, although almost every Soviet schoolbook discussed

the enslavement of Ukraine as well as other “national borderlands” of the
Russian Empire.

Therefore, while Russian “bourgeois” historiography, which had always been
institutional (i.e., it always justified the necessity of imperial state
institutions), as a rule extolled the tsarina, her social policies were
treated negatively in the Soviet era, Moscow and Leningrad lavished more
praise on Peter I, who was a more appealing figure to Stalin and, through
inertia, other communist bosses.

Are the historiographic conclusions of Russian and Soviet scholars the norm
for Polish, Turkish, Finnish, Israeli, Lithuanian, and other scholars?

The truth is that foreign historians have adopted an unequivocal attitude to
Catherine II and her associates, and, although their assessments of the
Russian Empire’s aggressive foreign and domestic policies in the late 18th
century are contradictory, they in no way induce the public and the
government of any country to spend public or private funds on the erection
of majestic and totally unnecessary monuments.

What have we, latter-day historians of independent Ukraine, done to promote
the truth to the public, including the people of Odesa, about events that
took place more than 200 years ago? Let us examine the value judgments of
Ukraine’s leading experts on the reign of Catherine II and her attitude to
Russian-ruled Ukraine, which the Russian Empire’s official documents called
Little Russia.

The historian Valerii Smolii, who is a member of the National Academy of
Sciences of Ukraine, and his co-author Valerii Stepankov, noted in their
book The Ukrainian National Idea in the 17th-18th Centuries (Kyiv, 1997)
that in 1764 “the Petersburg court nurtured the idea of finally abolishing
the autonomy of Ukraine and totally ‘Russifying’ the area.”

To substantiate their claim, these well- known scholars cite a secret
instruction that Catherine II sent to Prince Viazemsky: “Little Russia,
Livonia, and Finland are provinces governed on the basis of granted

It would be inappropriate to flout these privileges right now but, on the
other hand, these provinces should not be considered alien and treated as if
they were foreign lands – this would be nonsense. We must do our utmost so
that these provinces, like the Smolensk region, are Russified and cease to
resemble wolves that are looking into the woods…And when there is no
hetman in Little Russia, we must try to ensure that the era and the names of
the hetmans will vanish” (author’s emphasis).

Catherine II’s extremely negative role in the history of Ukraine is also the
subject of extensive research by historians based in Kyiv, Zaporizhia,
Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Vinnytsia, Kamianets-Podilsky – even Odesa, such as
L. Melnyk, A. Putro, H. Shvydko, V. Stepankov, A. Boiko, V. Horobets, O.
Hurzhii, S. Tsviliuk, and O. Bachynska. Unfortunately, the print runs of
their books are very small, and you will not find them in bookstores or
makeshift book markets in Odesa or other Ukrainian cities.

If somebody questions the conclusions of Ukrainian historians, they would

do well to turn to the works of foreign researchers, such as the American
historian Dr. Mark Raeff, who showed that Catherine II’s policy towards
Ukraine, Poland, Finland, the Baltic territories, and other “national
borderlands” was aimed at institutional Russification, i.e., integration
that was intended to result in administrative, economic, social, and
cultural sameness (Mark Raeff, “Uniformity, Diversity, and the Imperial
Administration in the Reign of Catherine II,” Osteuropa in Geschichte und
Gegenwart, Cologne, 1977).

An interesting conclusion about the importance of the social restructuring
of Ukrainian society during the reign of Catherine II may also be found in
the book Russian Centralism and Ukrainian Autonomy: Imperial Absorption

of the Hetmanate, 1760s-1830s by Zenon E. Kohut, a Ukrainian Canadian
historian, which was published in Ukraine in 1996.
This Harvard graduate and professor of the University of Pennsylvania and
the University of Alberta writes that Catherine II and her successors
successfully managed to integrate the Hetmanate into the Russian Empire,
while at the same time Ukrainian cities became Russified, whereas the
countryside, populated by the Cossacks, peasants, and nobles, remained
predominantly Ukrainian. In this historian’s opinion, it was at this time
that the word ‘Ukrainian’ became synonymous with ‘peasant.’

Yet the people’s memory is more truthful than historical science, which
always caters to the dominant political regime in any country. In the 19th
century, the ethnographers and historians O. Afanasiev-Chuzhbynsky, Y.
Novytsky, D. Yavornytsky, I. Manzhura, O. Storozhenko, and H. Nadkhin

found much anecdotal evidence (tales, songs, proverbs, etc.) from southern
Ukrainian peasants and former Cossacks about their recent tragic past.
Here are some brief statements from what eyewitnesses and their closest
descendants said: “Tsarina Catherine liked the Zaporozhian land, so she
decided to hound the Zaporozhians out of it,” “It just followed the evil
witch’s curse: Tsarina Catherine ravaged the Sich, the Zaporozhian nest,”
“They had forty kurins and 40,000 warriors, but Catherine drove them
away and gave the land to the Germans,” and the like.

If you examine the song collections published in the 19th century by M.
Maksymovych, Z. Dolega-Chodakowski, O. Bodiansky, P. Kulish, P.

Lukashevych, M. Vovchok, O. Markovych, M. Drahomanov, and you
will see that the words of the vast majority of late-18th-century folk songs
are full of oppressive sadness, despair, and undisguised outrage: “I was
born hapless and I will die hapless, for my mother bore me in an evil hour.”

There is much original documentary evidence that speaks eloquently of the
misdeeds of Catherine and her bureaucrats. On May 14, 1776, Potemkin, the
Russian empress’s longtime favorite (whose figure is also part of the
controversial monument in Odesa) sent her the following proposal, “My
gracious sovereign! Your Imperial Majesty is aware of all the brazen
offenses of Petro Kalnyshevsky, the former Zaporozhian Sich ataman, and his
accomplices, Judge Pavlo Holovaty and Secretary Ivan Hloba, whose riotous
treachery is so grave that, under all civil and political laws, they quite
legitimately deserve capital punishment…I suggest that they be
incarcerated in monasteries for life – the ataman in the Solovky Islands and
the others in Siberia.” Catherine gave a terse answer, “So be it.”

Do you think that Kalnyshevsky and his senior officers, who spent roughly 25
years rotting in the dungeons of Solovky, Tobolsk, and Turukhan, really
committed crimes against Catherine’s regime?

Not at all – they had not only helped the tsarist government in the
victorious Russo-Turkish war of 1768-74 but also dissuaded the Cossacks from
taking up arms when the empire was mopping up the Zaporozhian Sich in 1775.
All those who today are advocating the restoration of all kinds of “unions”
and “single economic spaces” should think all these facts through.
As a historian, I am well aware that our historical national memory was
effaced for centuries by powerful totalitarian-state actions that were
always of an imperial (i.e., predatory, totalitarian, inhuman) nature.

As a citizen of Ukraine, I know that even today my country is still facing a
well-planned and generously-funded informational and ideological enemy
attack aimed, on the one hand, at drawing Ukrainians into the globalized
world and, on the other, at sending them back to the democratic-looking but
still imperialist Muscovite stables.

One element of this campaign is the attempt to persuade Ukrainians
(including the residents of Odesa) that all the cities in eastern and
southern Ukraine, as well as in the Crimea, were founded, if not by
Catherine II, then by other Russian rulers. There is no mention of the fact
that there had been Ukrainian Cossack settlements on the territory of
Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, and Nykopil long before they were “founded”

by the St. Petersburg government.

Moreover, present- day Sevastopil and Bilhorod- Dnistrovsky have an ancient
history that spans thousands of years, not 200. The obvious goal of this
historical disinformation is to prove that these are “primordial Russian”

Meanwhile, sources indicate that in 1415 the Grand Duke of Lithuania
Vytautas founded a fortress town on the site of present- day Odesa and named
it Kachybei. The Ukrainians, whose lands were then ruled by Lithuanian
dukes, called the town Kochubeiv and engaged in a brisk trade with it,
thanks to its harbor.

When the Ottoman Empire conquered the Northern Black Sea Coast in the late
15th century, Kachubei-Kochubeiv was renamed Khadzhibei in the Turkish
manner and was repeatedly attacked by Ukrainian Cossack units in the
following years.

Long before Catherine II issued her “city foundation ukases,” this Ottoman
town had a small port, a population of about 3,000 (including Turks, Tatars,
Noghays, and Greeks), and more than 600 houses, including stone ones.

It should be emphasized that six regiments of the Cossack Otaman Zakharii
Chepiha, who remained loyal to the tsarina after the destruction of the
Sich, helped the Russian army win back Khadzhibei from the Sublime Porte.

It would be very instructive for modern-day apologists of Catherine II, the
mythical “founder of Odesa,” to read the fundamental monograph On the
History of the Settlement of the City of Khadzhibei, 1775-1789, written by
the well-known Odesa-based scholar Prof. V. Yakovlev in 1889.

In his work, the longtime chairman of the Odesa Association of History and
Antiquities convincingly proves that all the tsarist government did was to
settle a new Slavic population in Khadzhibei. Out of the 1,000 new town
residents, nearly 650 were Ukrainians – former Zaporozhian Cossacks.

Using archival documents, Odesa researchers provide ample proof in their
books that the history of Odesa did not begin in 1794, when Catherine II
promulgated her well-known ukase on the construction of a more modern city
and a new large port on the site of the conquered Turkish fortress: the
history of this city goes back four centuries, when
Kochubeiv-Khadzhibei-Odesa was under Lithuanian, Turkish, and Tatar rule.

Now try to conduct a kind of straw poll. Ask the average Polish schoolchild
why there is no monument to Catherine II in the Polish city of Szczecin
(formerly the Prussian German city of Stettin). After all, she is world
famous and, therefore, Poland could glorify her.

Believe me: you will get an exhaustive and unequivocal answer: the Russian
empress partitioned the Polish Kingdom, crushed the Kosciusko-led national
liberation uprising, and slaughtered Warsaw’s residents.

Then ask a Ukrainian schoolboy from Odesa why this Ukrainian city is getting
a monument to the person who destroyed the Zaporozhian Sich and the
Hetmanate, introduced serfdom, and suppressed the Ukrainian language and
culture. Exhaustive answers to these questions can be found in all textbooks
on Ukrainian history, encyclopedias, and reference books.

Then you can poll contemporary Crimean Tatar children on their attitude to
Catherine’s activities and the attempt of the Crimea’s denationalized
residents to install not only a monument to Stalin, the murderer of millions
of people, but another one to his predecessor. Obviously, the answers of
young Poles and Tatars will differ very little. What will the Ukrainian
schoolchild say?
Goodbye, Odesa! Everybody is fed up with your trite humor. There are lots

of cars on your streets; there is smog in the air, dirt in the sea, garbage on
the beaches, foreign information junk in the brains of bureaucrats, and
slavish emptiness in the souls of Odesa residents.

It is this emptiness that laid the groundwork for building a monument to the
“immortal” empire – Chauvinism, Corruption, Ignorance, Tastelessness, and
Profanity. I would rather go on vacation to the Muslim town of Antalya in
neighboring Turkey.

But as soon as I return from my “campaign on Istanbul,” I will immediately
visit Odesa. That is where my historian friends live, who have been writing
fundamental monographs and articles for a long time.

“Knocking on all the government doors,” they say that their city is much
older than 200. Yes, Catherine II’s ukases expanded the former Khadzhibei
and renamed it Odesa, but this does not mean that the tsarina is the founder
of this beautiful Black Sea coastal city.

Let us hold another scholarly conference (what else can scholars do?) and
once again call on the city authorities to realize the harm that imperial
monumentalism does not only to the city’s architectural environment but also
to the difficult process of making Ukrainians perceive themselves as a
modern political nation.

Let us try to prove that City Hall does not need this materially and
spiritually costly “imperialization” of Odesa, and that it would be far
better to restore the good memory of the indefatigable scholar Apollon
Skalkovsky who, while living in Odesa from 1828 to 1898, loyally served both
Russia and Ukraine and was the first to write an unbiased history of the
Zaporozhian Sich.

People of Odesa! Let us choose the historic figures who helped to unite, not
disunite, entire nations and states and are thus worthy of being revered and
immortalized in bronze. I will continue to visit Odesa over and over again
because it is finally awakening from its stupid, lethargic, Soviet-era

Some Odesa residents who are not indifferent to their history – genuine
modern- day Cossacks – have launched an unequal but righteous battle

against the supposedly democratic authorities.

The efforts of concerned Ukrainians of Odesa, who since 1992 have been
opposing the renaming of a downtown street to Katerynenska and the erection
of a monument to the tsarina in 1995 and 2007, could serve as the plot of a
thrilling documentary film.

It would show the clashes between Cossack patriots and police, when dozens
of youths were beaten to a pulp and detained for 15 days for their
“knowledge of history.”

There was also a special security service operation, during which people who
were protesting against the plans to erect the monument were savagely
manhandled, while plainclothesmen told eyewitnesses that a movie was being
shot. This complete “repressive set” of the Brezhnev-Suslov era was used
only to immortalize the dubious heroine of a neighboring state.

To counter the “brazen-faced khokhly,” a lavishly-funded civic organization,
with the interesting name of Undivided Fatherland, was founded recently. Its
leader, a certain Kaurov, makes no secret of the fact that he is constantly
receiving “moral support” from Moscow.

Meanwhile, representatives of Odesa’s Cossacks and other Ukrainian
organizations are actively protesting against the wanton abuse of the memory
of their forefathers and all those who were executed, tortured to death,
deported, or oppressed by the Russian tsarina.

As Odesa slowly wipes the imperialist-communist film from its eyes, I
believe that one day it will again be a good “mother” to its residents and
visitors. Hello, my beautiful Ukrainian city!
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

“We have lived decades in untruth…in the yoke of an empire”

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007

KYIV – President Viktor Yuschenko has called on Ukrainians to examine
the history of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). He made the call while
addressing journalists in Kyiv.

“Regarding the role and mission of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, I am a
supporter of the view that we need to approach this issue delicately and
tolerantly. It is not an issue for one day.

“We have lived decades in untruth, we have lived decades under the yoke

of an empire that very frequently explained to us – as the Ukrainian nation –
in the editorials of the Pravda [newspaper] and every district newspaper
what is the truth and what is a lie. We did not write our own history,
unfortunately,” Yuschenko said.

According to him, all the issues that can prevent unification and
consolidation should be discussed publicly for the sake of the idea of unity
of the nation.

“I am a supporter of the notion that we should lead our nation to the status
of an open civil society that will provide these difficult answers to these
things through patience, tolerance, truthfulness, and better knowledge of
history,” Yuschenko said.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Yuschenko conferred the Hero of
Ukraine award on Roman Shukhevych, the commander-in-chief and cornet
general of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army during the 1942-1950 period, on
October 12.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, October 18, 2007

MOSCOW – The Federation of the Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR) has
condemned Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko’s decision to bestow a Hero
of Ukraine’s title on commander of the Ukrainian Rebel Army (URA) Romand

“This is a provocative action aimed at rehabilitating the Nazis’ crimes
against humanity and insulting the memory of the victims of these crimes,”
FJCR said in a statement circulated in Moscow on Thursday.

A corresponding decree signed by Yuschenko says that Shukhevich was

awarded the hero’s title posthumously for his “outstanding personal
contribution to the struggle for the liberation and independence of Ukraine.”

“Under ‘personal contribution to the struggle for Ukraine’s independence’
the Ukrainian President evidently implies the mass killing of Jews and Poles
perpetrated by Shukhevich,” the FJCR statement reads.

On June 30, 1941, a battalion commanded by Shukhevich took part in massacres
of Jews in Lviv after German troops captured the city, the document says.

The FJCR warns that similar political gestures are extremely dangerous and
are playing into the hands of those who want to revise the history of WWII.

The heroization of Shukhevich is a “sign of disrespect for the Soviet
soldiers URA detachments fought along with and for those who gave their
lives in the name of freedom, the statement says.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 197
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, DC, Wed, Oct 24, 2007

President Viktor Yushchenko’s recent efforts to commemorate World War
II nationalist fighters have provoked a wave of pro-Russian and leftist
extremism in Ukraine.

Radical leftists disrupted commemorations of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army
(UPA) across Ukraine on October 14, and the Russian radical nationalist
organization Eurasian Youth Union (ESM) claimed responsibility for
vandalizing national symbols on Ukraine’s highest mountain.

On October 12 Yushchenko posthumously proclaimed Roman Shukhevych,
the UPA commander in the 1940s, a Hero of Ukraine, and two days later
he decreed that the 65th anniversary of the UPA should be commemorated.

On October 14, a monument was unveiled in the western town of Lviv to one
of the main ideologists of 20th century Ukrainian nationalism, Stepan

The leftist and pro-Russian forces have made it clear that they will not put
up with “the president’s attempts to impose pro-fascist, neo-Nazi policy on
society,” as one of the leaders of the Communist Party (CPU), Oleksandr
Holub, put it.

The CPU issued a statement saying that Yushchenko had “voiced support at
the state level for an ideology that was condemned internationally and by
the Nuremberg trial.”

The UPA has always been respected in western Ukraine, which the Soviet Union
annexed from Poland in 1939, as freedom fighters. Official historiography
maintains that the UPA fought both the Nazis and the Red Army. Most right-
of-center parties, the far-right groups, and President Yushchenko share this
point of view.

Pro-Russian parties and leftists, most of whom are nostalgic for the Soviet
past, say that the UPA collaborated with the Nazis, so it does not deserve
commemoration. This negative view of the UPA dominates in the
Russian-speaking regions, and it is apparently shared by the majority of the
Party of Regions of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

UPA veterans and several thousand supporters of the far-right parties
Freedom, the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, and the Ukrainian National
Assembly organized a march in Kyiv on October 14 to commemorate the

They were confronted by supporters of the CPU and the radical left
Progressive Socialist Party, who behaved aggressively. Police prevented
scuffles between supporters of the rival camps, briefly detaining 24 of

Similar events happened in several other cities across Ukraine, including
the second biggest city, Kharkiv. In the Crimean capital of Simferopol,
where pro- Russian and leftist radicals by far outnumber the nationalists,
police had to work especially hard to prevent serious confrontations.

Yushchenko’s calls for UPA commemoration were largely ignored by the local
authorities beyond western Ukraine. Not everybody would understand this.

We have to first conduct serious explanatory work, said the governor of
the central Ukrainian Poltava Region, Valery Asadchev, who is a member of
Yushchenko’s team.

The council of Ukraine’s easternmost region, Luhansk, voted to approve
an appeal for Yushchenko to revoke his decree on proclaiming Shukhevych
a hero. Luhansk voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Party of Regions in
the September 30 parliamentary election.

On October 18, the ESM, a Russian radical youth group, said that its
activists had demolished Ukrainian national symbols that had been erected on
Ukraine’s highest mountain, the Hoverla. The mountain, located in western
Ukraine, is a symbol by itself. Yushchenko, when he was opposition leader,
 would ascend it ceremoniously each year accompanied by crowds of his
political supporters.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) confirmed that the ESM’s activists had
vandalized the symbols but said that the ESM had exaggerated the damage. The
SBU said that this was committed by three young men, two of whom had arrived
from Russia for the purpose.

One of the leaders of the ESM, Pavel Zarifullin, commenting on the SBU’s
statement, said the three young men in question reside in western Ukraine,
rather than Russia.

Zarifullin mocked the SBU, saying that it only pretended to have full
information on the ESM activists in question. The Ukrainian version of the
Russian daily Kommersant quoted the ESM’s main ideologist, Aleksandr
Dugin, as saying that the “action on the Hoverla” had been prompted by
Yushchenko’s commemoration of Shukhevych.

Dugin and Zarifullin were declared personae non gratae in Ukraine in 2006
for their participation in anti-NATO and anti-U.S. protests in Crimea.

Ukraine’s main parties displayed very different reactions to the incident
on the Hoverla. Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine People’s Self-Defense condemned

it as a criminal act committed by anti-Ukrainian forces.

Yushchenko’s allies from the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc urged immediate reaction
from the Prosecutor-General’s Office. The Party of Regions kept silent. The
CPU’s Holub said that the Hoverla incident was Ukrainian society’s emotional
reaction to Yushchenko;s neo-Nazi policy.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Press Service of the President of Ukraine (in Ukrainian)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2008
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #884, Article 23 (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, October 28, 2007

KYIV – 2008 should be declared the national year of remembrance for the
victims of Holodomor, President Yushchenko said on Oct. 23 in Kharkiv

during a session of  the Holodomor Commemoration Coordinating Council
held to prepare for the 75th anniversary of the 1932-1933 Famine in Ukraine.

The president also said he will initiate a bill to impose criminal liability
for the denial of two worst genocides in world history, the Holocaust and

The Ukrainian president instructed central and local authorities to hold
events on 24 November 2008 to commemorate the victims of the Soviet-era
famine and political repression.  He also added that November 24 will be the
start of official events to mark the 75th anniversary of Holodomor.

The president also noted that the world-wide tradition of lighting candles
by the citizens of Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora to pay tribute to the
victims of the 1932-1933 Great Famine and political repression will
continue. Yushchenko urged church leaders to join the Holodomor memorial

Yushchenko stressed that it was of utmost importance to erect Holodomor
monuments in all regions hit by the famine, expressing hope that such a
monument will soon be unveiled in Kharkiv. He also said that all graves of
Holodomor victims should be found and put in order.

Addressing the local authorities, Yushchenko has again emphasized the
importance of preparing regional memory books that will become part of the
National Memory Book.

“I would very much like every oblast of Ukraine to make its contribution to
the National Memory Book. The latter must incorporate all eye-witness
reports about the Famine. The local authorities must facilitate the
inventory by the archives of all Holodomor documents,” the president

The head of state criticized the Education Ministry for failing to raise
Holodomor awareness. “I hope the Education Ministry will understand that
this subject is very important for shaping outlooks of the young,” he said.
He called on artists to create films, paintings and books  about that
tragedy, pledging to support their initiatives.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Interfax Ukraine Focus, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, October 25, 2007

MOSCOW – The famine in Ukraine in the 1930s was not genocide directed
exclusively against Ukrainians but was part of the then Soviet state’s tough
policy towards all nationalities of the former Soviet Union, ombudsman in
Russia Vladimir Lukin said at a press conference at Interfax’ main office
[Moscow] on Thursday.

“Attempts are being made to portray the great famine in Ukraine in the 1930s
as an exclusive action directed against Ukrainians, which is, of course,
absolutely untrue,” he said.

“This [famine] was the toughest action against all Soviet people, Ukrainians
were not alone in suffering from it,” Lukin added.

Earlier, UN coordinator in Kyiv Francis O’Donnell announced that the issue
of the 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine, known as Holodomor, was a very
important problem for the entire international community.

More and more countries officially recognize Holodomor as genocide,
he told reporters in Kyiv.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
October 22, 1932 special commission on grain requisitions

Radio Svoboda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 22, 2007

On 22 October, 1932, 75 years ago, the decision was taken in Moscow to send
a special commission on grain requisitions, headed by Viacheslav Molotov, to
Ukraine. As a result of the Molotov Commission’s activities, all reserves of
grain were taken from the Soviet part of Ukraine.  This led to Holodomor
[the Famine] and the death of millions of people.

Collectivization and the campaign against “kulaks” had already in 1931
resulted in a considerable reduction in the grain harvest in Soviet Ukraine.
In October 1932 Ukraine only reached 22% of its monthly grain requisition

In order to ensure that the full amount of grain was taken, the commission
of five set up by the Politburo sent special brigades to villages to search
the courtyards and remove stocks not only of grain, but of any food. The
commission banned sales of grain, and so that villagers couldn’t travel to
other regions of the USSR for food, villages were surrounded by military

In fighting the so-called “grain requisition sabotage”, the NKVD [then
called GPU] arrested 3,525 village leaders. Then on 22 November the Moscow
leadership approved Molotov’s proposal to create a “special commission” of
three in Kharkiv to pass death sentences in cases involving grain

On 23 November the Molotov Commission left Kharkiv for Moscow. Their
activities lead to grain reserves being taken from Ukraine. By the end of
November 1932 this resulted in a manmade famine which claimed the lives,
according to different estimates, of between 7 and 10 million people in

Top Secret: From the Central Committee of the All-Soviet Communist

Party to Comrade Stalin

We suggest giving the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine,
represented by a special commission, the final decision on whether to apply
the highest measure of punishment during the period of grain requisitions.
It should report to the Central Committee of the All-Soviet Communist Party
on its decisions every ten days.

Molotov, Chubar, Stroganov, Kalmanovych
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2007
KYIV – President Viktor Yushchenko said that Ukraine will join the world
action “Light a Candle” on November 24 in memory of the Holodmor and
political repression victims.

This was disclosed by the president in Kharkiv at a sitting of the
coordination council on gearing up to the 75th anniversary of Holodomor,

the president’s press service told Ukrinform.

According to the head of state, he appealed to heads of churches in Ukraine
to join the commemorating event. He also stressed that some memorial plagues
and monuments should be inaugurated in the entire Ukraine to commemorate

the victims.

Viktor Yushchenko also stressed a necessity to draft regional books of
memory to form the National Book of Memory. I would like every region to

do its part in this activity he said.  Local authorities should do their best
to form full registers of documentary sources on the 1932 to 1933
Holodomor, the president stressed.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 19, 2007

KYIV – Ukraine’s First Deputy Foreign Minister, chairman of the Ukrainian
National Commission for UNESCO Affairs Volodymyr Ohryzko has submitted

a draft resolution, “Commemorating the victims of the 1932-1933 Holodomor
in Ukraine,” at the 34th session of the UNESCO (United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization) General Conference.

In his speech last Thursday, Ohryzko said that, “Holodomor (Ukrainian
famine) was the result of anti-Ukrainian policy of the Stalin totalitarian

The draft resolution urges “to facilitate the spread of information about
the Holodomor in order to prevent similar tragedies from happening in
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 26, 2007

KHARKIV – On 25 October, the European Court of Human Rights issued
its chamber judgment over the case of Oleg Yakovenko.

It found that Ukraine had violated Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or
degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights because
of the conditions Mr Yakovenko was held in, the failure to provide proper
medical care, and the way he was treated when being transported between two
detention centres. The Court also concluded that Article 13 (the right to an
effective remedy) had been violated.

It is very much to be hoped that the government will take heed of such
judgments since the damages awarded have become bitterly meaningless.
Mr Yakovenko died in May of this year, aged 32.  He had suffered from
tuberculosis and was HIV-positive during his period of detention.

The following is a brief summary from the ECHR press release which can be
found at:

In June 2003 Mr Yakovenko, on probation following a conviction for burglary,
was arrested and placed in police custody, again on suspicion of burglary.
The applicant alleged that he confessed to that crime after being subjected
to ill-treatment in police custody and retracted his statements when on
trial before Balaklavsky District Court.

In November 2005 he was found guilty as charged and sentenced to three years
and seven months’ imprisonment, later reduced on appeal in October 2006 to
three years and six months.

Awaiting that conviction Mr Yakovenko was detained in the Simferopol
Detention Centre (Simferopol SIZO). As the police, prosecution and judicial
authorities who dealt with his case were based in Sevastopol, he was
transferred each month to the Sevastopol Detention Centre (Sevastopol ITT).
Between June 2003 and April 2006, he spent in total about one year in that

The applicant claimed that Sevastopol ITT was constantly overcrowded:
he was held in cells of 15 to 22 m2 with 25 to 30 inmates.

To corroborate that claim, the applicant submitted a letter of 10 May 2005
from the Head of Sevastopol City Police Department which stated that 240
inmates were held in the detention centre, which was designed to hold a
maximum of 82 detainees.

The applicant further alleged that inmates had to take turns to sleep, that
the lights in the cells, situated in the basement, were permanently on and
that the ventilation system was often out of order.

Mr Yakovenko alleged ill-treatment while in police custody; inhuman
conditions of detention in Sevastopol ITT and when being transported to
and from that facility; and, lack of medical care.

The Court rejected the claim of ill-treatment since Mr Yakovenko had not
appealed against the prosecutor’s office’s refusal to institute criminal
proceedings over his allegations.

The Court found that the applicant had been held in seriously overcrowded
conditions and that the sleeping conditions had also adversely affected his
health. It also agreed that the lighting and ventilation had been

 “In the light of its findings above concerning overcrowding, sleep
deprivation and lack of natural light and air, the Court concluded that the
conditions of the applicant’s detention in the Sevastopol ITT had amounted
to degrading treatment. Accordingly, there had been a violation of Article 3.”

It found a further violation of Article 3 in the failure to provide timely
and appropriate medical care to the applicant in respect of his HIV and
tuberculosis infections “no urgent medical measures, as stipulated in Decree
No. 186/607 on the treatment of detainees with HIV/AIDS, had been taken.

Notably, he had not been given antiretroviral treatment, had not been
monitored for infections and had only been registered as an HIV patient at
the local anti-AIDS centre in May 2006. Instead, the authorities had
continued to send him to the Sevastopol ITT, which had no medical staff”

Article 3 was also found to have been violated over the crammed conditions
Mr Yakovenko endured for a total of about 64 trips to and from Sevastopol
over a period of two years and eight months.

The Court also considered that Mr Yakovenko’s inability to register a
complaint about his conditions to have constituted denial of an effective
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, October 21, 2007
KYIV – A monument to writer Mikhail Bulgakov was inaugurated in Kyiv. It
was erected at Andriyivskiy Uzviz, where the writer lived and where he settled
the heroes of “The White Guard” and “The Days of the Turbins.”

Since 1989, the building has been hosting the literature-memorial museum of

According to Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky, who attended the monument
inauguration, Bulgakov spent 28 out of 49 years of his life in Kyiv, that is
why it is right that the first monument in the CIS was opened in Kyiv.

According to the mayor, several more monuments to outstanding figures will
be opened in Kyiv soon, in particular to Boris Pasternak. The monument was
erected at Maecenas funds.

Much in the life and creative work of the writer (1891-1940) was connected
with Kyiv, he was born in the family of professor of the Kyiv Theological
Academy, studied in a Kyiv school and in Kyiv St Volodymyr University’s
medical department. He worked as doctor in Russia and then visited Kyiv
after the 1917 revolution again.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


By Svitlana BOZHKO, special to The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, July 24, 2007

Trypillia is rightly considered the most wonderful pearl on the
archeological crown of Kyiv oblast, where over a hundred years ago a local
history student named Vikentii Khvoika discovered the Trypillian culture.

According to scholarly data, this Slavic civilization existed only for 1,500
to 2,000 years. Other research sources indicate that Ukrainians are the
descendants of Europe’s first Trypillian land-tilling culture that existed
for 3,500 years, from 5,700 to 2,200 BC.

Researchers continue to debate this hypothesis. One of its opponents is
Academician Petro Tolochko, who believes that Trypillia is a narrow and
well-trodden path in history. Among its proponents is the equally reputed
academician, Yurii Shylov, who regards Trypillia as the cradle of the entire

The inhabitants were the ancestors of Ukrainians, who at one time settled in
the Balkans. Anthropologist Serhii Seheda claims that the Trypillian-Aryan
tribes and today’s Ukrainians form an uninterrupted line to this very day,
and that the Trypillians laid the foundations of the Ukrainian nation.

While scholars debate this issue, the Kyiv City State Administration’s
Culture and Tourism Department offers tours of the area, where locals in
their vegetable plots are still digging up pieces of earthenware dating back
8,000 years. If you are lucky, you will see some archaeological digs that
take place there on a regular basis.

Although the most important archaeological finds were made during Khvoika’s
lifetime and sent to museums in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kyiv, the local
history museum has numerous items on display that prove that the Trypillians
were the first to invent the wheel (6,500 years ago), domesticated horses
and cows (8,000 years ago), and cultivated 12 varieties of grain (including
three kinds of wheat, barley, rye, and peas).

Trypillian ceramics are beautiful. Long before the Sumer and Chinese
civilizations our forefathers decorated their earthenware with signs and
symbols that would spread across Europe and the Orient, including yin and
yang; svarha, the symbol of the sun; the cross, symbolizing the sun, fire,
and eternal life; and an image of the Primeval Mother – the

Among the unsolved mysteries of Trypillia are the bipartite ceramic pieces
(“binoculars”) whose designation is still being debated: they may have been
ritual vessels, candlesticks, or musical instruments, like African tam-tams.

Tourists should proceed from the State Archaeology Museum to the private
Museum of Trypillian Culture. It was not founded by civic organizations or
prosperous businessmen but by enthusiasts with medium incomes, including
collector Oleksandr Polishchuk, construction worker Volodymyr Lazorenko,
artist Anatolii Haidamaka, and scholar Yurii Shylov.

This museum is the cultural gem of Kyiv oblast, and its exhibit is based on
Polishchuk’s collection currently valued at seven million dollars. All the
items on display were salvaged, collected in ravines and quarries, where all
these artifacts were discarded.

In the 1930s, a special resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist
Party of the Soviet Union instructed every school to engage in regional
history studies, along with archaeological digs, and establish regional
history museums. On the outskirts of Trypillia anyone could unearth an
archaeological treasure. Among the finds were genuine masterpieces.

For many years, fragments of earthenware collected dust in school and
village museums without professional restoration. When the Communist Party
was no longer there to supervise the process, all this was junked.

In one of the many ravines on the slopes of the Dnipro River Polishchuk
found three tons of fragments of unique earthenware. The restoration of a
40-cm jug cost the collector between 100 and 800 dollars.

Says Polishchuk: “Owing to private collections, our country has retained its
archaeological wealth. Otherwise, all of it would have long been exported,
especially to Russia, where a number of oligarchs, including Bryntsalov, are
admirers of Trypillian culture.

I see my goal in life to promote this culture in Ukraine and the rest of the
world, so that the greatest possible number of people can learn about it.

Since this museum opened two years ago, 12,000 people have come here.
Visitors are charged a token admission fee, while the management has to
pay all taxes as a business entity, without any concessions, including
electricity, gas, and land lease bills.”

Polishchuk is convinced that in order to attract more tourists a tourism
infrastructure has to be developed. His plans include the creation of a
Trypillian village complete with wooden and thatched- roofed two-story
structures built exactly the way they were constructed 8,000 years ago, with
the addition of modern household equipment and amenities. Five hectares

have already been allocated for the project.
Whereas enthusiasts like Khvoika and Polishchuk saved the Trypillian culture
from oblivion, the villages on the right bank of the Dnipro, with their
inimitable environs and folkways, suffered the same lot as Atlantis, when
they were inundated by the Kaniv water reservoir in the early 1970s.

There is a memorial to this Soviet man- made disaster, a church that looms
over the waters in the vicinity of Rzhyshchiv. It was built by a group of
monks on the highest point in the village of Husyntsi in 1857. Its golden
domes could be seen from a great distance.

The church experienced alternating periods of well-being and persecution and
ruination. In 1969 the chairman of the local collective farm used his budget
to finance major repairs. He was then reprimanded by the oblast party

Locals still remember the chairman with love. Thanks to his restoration,
this church has endured 30 years of standing in water. Today it stands on a
silted island, as though raised above the water by human or heavenly forces.

A few years ago an executive of the Top Service Company undertook to
reconstruct the church (his dacha was located nearby). He hired a developer,
who fixed the windows and covered the roof with asphalt felt, but that was
the end of it because the philanthropist was later arrested and jailed on
murder charges.

Apparently, Bishop Serafym of Bila Tserkva wants to revive this house of
God. If so, in several years his plans will come true, and we will have
another Church of the Mother of God on the Water. Today it will cost you
15-20 hryvnias to hire a boat from a Rzhyshchiv fisherman to get there and
explore this unique historic site.

To reach the small island and hear the voice of the sunken Ukrainian
Atlantis in the sonorous silence of the temple, you will have to walk
through clumps of water chestnut, which was entered on the World
Conservation Union’s Red List of Threatened Species after the 1933 famine

in Ukraine. You will realize that the past sometimes returns to the present.
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