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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Paradoxes of post-Soviet consciousness

While Luhansk melts into tears at the rock opera Young Guard, Kherson for the second time bans the exhibit on the 1917-32 liberation movement in Ukraine, because it is “sad”
20 September, 2012 - 00:00
Sketch by Anatolii KAZANSKY from The Day’s archives, 1997

The parliament will have only two plenary sessions before the October elections: on October 2 and 16. The rest of the working days the people’s deputies will work in the districts, committees, and factions. In other words, they will be involved in their own business, the election campaign. Communists, inspired by the increase of the rating, have actively voted for the changes to the calendar plan, though on the eve Petro Symonenko stated that the Communist Party of Ukraine does not support the idea or regionnaires to work only once a week. However, Communists are used to these changes of mood. The saddening thing is that the state of the country gives an opportunity for their political “second-hand” to find supporters.

Recently the present-day “Komsomol members” who held the meetings in Ukrainian cities have demanded from the Cabinet of Ministers to bring back to the school curriculum the Soviet novel Young Guard by Oleksandr Fadeev. Even a resolution on this issue has been approved in Poltava. Communists consider that this book will foster patriotism in Ukrainians. It is clear what kind of patriotism it will be, the same one is trying to foster in the Luhansk Oblast Academic Ukrainian Theater of Music and Drama which has recently showed the rock opera Crucified Youth dedicated to the 70th anniversary of creation of the clandestine youth organization “Young Guard.” The press release reads that this rock opera “gives the facts about the activity of the organization ‘Young Guard,’ known from textbooks, from the point of view of present-day youth.”

Meanwhile, Kherson authorities have banned the exhibit “People’s War of 1917-32.” So, this city is blocking for the second time the exhibit dedicated to Ukraine’s forming as a state and its liberation movement of 1917-32. The argumentation of the power is simply startling: they say that this is a too sad exhibit to be held on The Day of the City. So, while in Donetsk, according to mass media, people are in a flood of tears while watching the play Young Guard, Kherson authorities are blocking with full awareness the access to getting to know one’s own history.

“This is proof that political forces, which are part of the government, are carrying out the humanitarian policy, especially in the sphere of history, which is aimed against forming of Ukrainian identity. This is an ideological standpoint for Communists. But there are representatives of power like Dmytro Tabachnyk, who are imposing this way. During his career the current minister of education has studied political repression, Holodomor-genocide, and now he is openly carrying out the Russificiation of Ukraine. He is one of those people who are trying to bring back the Soviet vision of history. This is proof of the fact that the present-day Ukrainian government is practically working against their own state.”

A purposeful policy to please the north-eastern neighbor? Or simply a mess in the minds of people, which by the way spreads not only to the events distanced in time, but the modern history as well. A bas-relief to Kuchma has been unveiled in Dnipropetrovsk, and several days later his portrait was burned during the event commemorating Gongadze. And Iryna Herashchenko, under the impression of Yalta European Strategy Summit wrote on her Facebook page that Kuchma was not so bad.

Is this Kremlin’s hand? Or a mess in our heads?