Past year Den published a record number of books: the publicist triptych (“The Trap,” or A Case without a Statute of Limitations; I am an Eyewitness. Notes from the Occupied Luhansk; Catastrophe and Triumph. The Stories of Ukrainian Heroes) and the history volume Return to Tsarhorod. The print run of the new books was sold out in a record time, too, – only six months. Now the newspaper is actively looking for partners to republish the books, but life proves: the demand for the knowledge of true history, especially the new history, is huge. It would be especially important if the books that analyze the deep reasons of our chronic-crisis and war-ridden present-day reality reached the Ukrainian politicians and all those who call themselves political experts. For after numerous presentations of our triptych with the participation of the authors in different cities of the country “experts” still show outrageous lack of understanding (or lack of will to understand) who and when laid the “mine” under the Ukrainian statehood. Maybe it is time to hold open public conferences based on the books from Den’s Library?
We continue to give word to the readers of our new books.
“I RECOMMEND ‘THE TRAP’ TO EVERYONE WHO IS ABLE TO THINK AND ANALYZE”
Vira CHOPKO, research fellow, Viacheslav Lypynsky Memorial Museum in Zaturtsi, Volyn:
“I bought the book ‘The Trap,’ or A Case without a Statute of Limitations following the advice of our Zaturtsi librarian Liubov Levchyk. Our library differs from others, because it has books published by the newspaper Den/The Day. The librarian takes care of this and finds a reader for every publication. I remember most of the events described in the book ‘The Trap’ from the news. When Leonid Kuchma was elected for the second presidential term, it was clear to most of the citizens that it was done as a result of total falsifications and bribery. When Georgy Gongadze was killed, I was 17, my generation was growing and getting adult in the understanding of the fact that in our country the person with money is allowed to do everything. Most of children didn’t even try to obtain any knowledge, because they didn’t find it necessary for their further lives. On January 10, 2001 the then students of Volyn State University were categorically ‘invited’ to the meeting at Theater Square in Lutsk, and even all the exams on that day were delayed. It was very strange, especially when we got to know what the aim of the event was. But the picture for the news was ready: Volyn youth supports the president. Although no one asked the opinion of the youth, everything was decided for them, probably not even by the administration of the university. Such meetings were organized in many oblast centers, to show what a great people’s support Kuchma enjoys – on the contrary to the actions ‘Ukraine without Kuchma,’ attended by people following their own beliefs, with an aim to achieve the rule of law, not force, to make the incumbent power act in the legal field and be held responsible for their crimes.
Photo by Artem SLIPACHUK, The Day
“For the indecisiveness of the 1990s, 2000, 2005, and 2014 we will pay for a long time, and not only with the lives of our servicemen and peaceful citizens in the east of the country. You can hear many people saying that it would be better to have Yanukovych than the war. Unfortunately, people don’t understand that we are all to blame for the events that are taking place in our country. It is hard to fight against the system, maybe not everyone is able to do this, but we need this very much. You cannot blame other people, at the same time giving and taking bribes instead and thinking that someone else is responsible. We have the best constitution in Europe, but there is a problem: nobody keeps to it. After the Euromaidan people start saying that we have an aware society, but this is not true, because an aware society controls the power on a daily basis, and it has no need to go to Maidan every decade. Maybe Ukrainians are put in the circumstances, when they think only how to survive and support their families, but not be trying to ask uncomfortable questions to representatives of power of various levels but every rowing is broken during the flood. The materials that are published in the daily newspaper Den later make books of modern political writing. Everyone who cares about the state of affairs in the country needs them. Most of us learn the news from television and often forget that TV channels highlight the news in a one-sided way, according to the opinion of the owner of the TV channel. People who are too lazy to look for information elsewhere consider Kuchma the greatest peacekeeper in Ukraine, not understanding that owing to him and co. we have the current system of power with all of its drawbacks.
“People have forgotten how to read books, but I have read ‘The Trap’ with interest, recalling the data I knew and comparing them with the new ones. I recommend the book for everyone who is still able to think and analyze.”
“NOT TO BE AFRAID OF THE TRUTH AND THE DIFFICULT PATH OF ITS SEARCH”
Oleksandr VESHELENI, teacher at the Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky State Pedagogical University in Vinnytsia, program director of the International Festival of Short Story Intermezzo:
“For me the publication of the book triptych by the newspaper Den is truly a symbolical event, because the present-day reality dictates very quick demands concerning analytics and reports. It is important to understand that a picture from the news rarely gives an opportunity to get deeper into the essence of the problems and changes in the state – however the work of the authors and compilers of the books from Den’s Library thoroughly makes emphasis on the events experienced by Ukrainians. I was equally impressed by the books telling about the time of Kuchma, when I was a schoolboy, and those telling about the war of the past two years – in both cases it is clear that history and its turns are connected with concrete people and their destinies, the tests that we would have never imagined in the time of relative peace. The more the vacuum between real events in the state and their media highlighting grows, the deeper the ‘traps’ in which we are all to be caught will be – and this is a very important message, and Ivan Kapsamun mentions this in particular. Not to be afraid of the truth and the difficult path of its search is the example the Ukrainian journalists show to every one of us. It seems to me that on the level of printed reports we often have a better situation than in television or online investigations, especially concerning the revision of the crimes and cases that have almost been forgotten (and our society has found itself in a situation when the number of such spots in the new history is increasing exponentially). I would like the investigation books to become a trend of present-day book market, because it is hard to rely on powerful arguments in the struggle for saving and development of the country.”
“RETURN TO TSARHOROD IS A BOOK TO GROW INTO”
Natalia HATALSKA, leading research fellow at Zaturtsi-based Viacheslav Lypynsky Memorial Museum, Zaturtsi Village, Lokachi raion, Volyn oblast:
“I remember from childhood that there were five icons in my parents’ house: my parents’ wedding icons, St. Nadia (from the day of my mother’s christening, she was born on September 4, 1911), and Sts. Olha and Volodymyr icons. The three icons in the end were small (a quarter of an A4 format): a colored paper postcard was glued on light-brown cardboard.
“I once asked my mom about these family relics (we were preserving them as a great value, because during the World War Two when my parents’ house was on fire they took first children, icons, the family album, and only then the pillows, feather-beds, and other things). I knew about the wedding icons, St. Nadia icon, but I didn’t know who was depicted on the rest. Now I recall my mom’s answer to my question: ‘These are the baptizers of Ukraine, Olha and Volodymyr.’ Of course a seven- or eight-year girl at that time didn’t know anything about baptizing of Rus’, or virtues and crimes of these historical personalities. For moral violence (especially the violence concerning religious beliefs), like physical one, is inacceptable for people who will be later pronounced as saints. Teachers forbid us to go to church at that time, my parents were not fanatical believers. My mom said many times jokingly that my father goes to church only when he needs to bring an Easter basket there. For these reasons, and also because of my passivity in this question, I didn’t recall this conversation for a long time.
Photo by Ruslan KANIUKA, The Day
“When I entered a Kyiv university I went to Volodymyr Hill and saw a monument to St. Volodymyr, and heard from the guide that no one can see the face of this saint from a close distance. That was my personal acquaintance with St. Volodymyr the Great. My studying at the Taras Shevchenko University (formerly St. Volodymyr University) increased my desire to learn more about this symbolic historical personality. Later (those were the 1970s) I visited St. Volodymyr Cathedral illegally (to put a candle for a successful session), and many things followed, which I must have forgotten.”
“Now back to the book Return to Tsarhorod. In fact this is a book to grow into. I do not consider myself an absolute dilettante in the questions of the history of Ukraine – but this is a book you need to read thoughtfully, coming back again and again and discovering new names and events, analyzing, comparing the official assessment of this historical phenomenon or person with your own perception and understanding.
“Therefore after reading the article by Doctor of History Volodymyr Rychka ‘Thousand-year-old Volodymyr. Great baptizer of Ukraine-Rus’ and his trace in history,’ which is a valuable piece of information, a thoughtful reader will come up with many questions. It is gratifying that the scholar mentions in his article Zahoriv Monastery in Volyn, which is located about 25 kilometers away from Zaturtsi and stores a collection of manuscripts created at the beginning of the 17th century, where Volodymyr is glorified as the spiritual enlightener of Rus’.
“However, the personality of Volodymyr the Great is unfortunately used now by the ideologists of Russian orthodoxy and politicians who are trying to own this piece of Ukrainian history as well. But I think we will be able to defend not only our territory, but our national spiritual values as well.”