Rewriting History: Ukraine Marks Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, praises the UPA

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Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

9th May, 2016

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Ukraine observed the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation for the second time on 8th May. In Europe, this day is considered to be the day of victory over Nazism, because the act of surrender of Germany came into force on May 8th, central european time. In Kiev, it was already on 9th May, as in Moscow. But the Ukrainian authorities, contrary to the calendars, and sometimes just common sense, rewrote history. Enemies are announced as heroes.

Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance has long been informally called the Institute of forgetfulness. It appeared even under Viktor Yushchenko. Formally — for the reconstruction of fair history of the Ukrainian nation. In fact, the history of the country is simply rewritten. And, lately, it was done with great enthusiasm under the leadership of Volodymyr Viatrovych.

In the years of Yushchenko’s presidency, he was convinced that the famine of the 30’s was directed exclusively against the Ukrainian people, somehow supporting this view for some reason with photos of the great depression in the United States. Now, with Poroshenko there is a new task — to break all ties with Russia, drawing a line through the common Soviet past.

“The most simple is the destruction of monuments that stand here. Under the guise of the destruction, it creates the illusion of some activity, ” says historian Vladimir Skachko. “There is the illusion of updates, struggle, and victory, because of course the monument can’t answer. Although it is not so. When the monument to Lenin was torn down in Kharkiv, the rope broke twice and knocked out two idiots’ eyes. Because in what they are providing, besides idiocy, there is a monstrous historical injustice”.

The pedestals are free for new heroes. Members of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army were officially announced as fighters for independence. Head of the Institute of National Memory Viatrovych has given dozens of interviews in which those who collaborated with the Nazis are called partisans who fought for the freedom of Ukraine, referring to scientific papers. But it is much more convincing than the words of the veterans who know about pro-UPA fighters not from books.

“At Stalingrad, we took them as prisoner, those of the UPA, in German uniform. And when some were identified, and we asked them which street they live, they tried to present themselves as being Germans,” says the veteran of World War II Dmitry Stadnyuk. “I can say this anywhere — I did witness this. I saw them in a German uniform,” he adds.

Dmitry Petrovich Stadnyuk – a participant of the Stalingrad and Kursk battles, defending Kiev and Poltava – talks about the atrocities of UPA fighters. Volodymyr Viatrovych has a very strange view for a certified historian.

He even tries to justify the Volyn massacre of 1943, when members of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army killed more than 50,000 Poles. These same falsified historical documents were written about by the journalist Josh Cohen in the American “Foreign Policy” magazine.

Viatrovych called the killing of 70,000 to 100,000 poles in 1943-1944 a side effect “of the Polish-Ukrainian war”. Historical documents, once again, refute his statements. In fact, the UPA reports confirm that the organization had systematically destroyed the Poles, acting with the same methods with which the Nazis exterminated Jews.

The great Patriotic war has been completely struck out from the annals of the country by the current government. They even renamed the famous Museum. Now its official name is “Museum of history of Ukraine during the Second World War”.

“According to all the documents that have come out up to now, it is not called the Great Patriotic war, but the gradient that led to the Second World War. But the second world began in 1939. Now for some reason we forget that Ukraine was in the Soviet Union — we defended their homeland,” said Alexander Solovey, head of the Committee for the protection of the truth of history of the Kiev city organization of veterans of Ukraine.

The history of Ukraine now needs protection. When trying to pass black as white, enemies are trying to appear as heroes. The St. George’s ribbon – a symbol of victory over fascism – is called a sign of aggression. The swastika is shown at an exhibition in the heart of Kiev, on the Sophia area.

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