History as a science appeared when the mankind learned to understand itself, to remember and to retell future generations its past. The history is identified by both scientists and ordinary people with an establishment of the truth and a means of confirming facts.
The history is not limited to the narration of any events nowadays. This science has several directions – social, political, economic, and demographic – it can study the past of one family, small town or city. So, when it comes to learning the history of the whole country, not only historians are involved. Economics, sociology and politics come in. The way how historians will present to their own people one or another event will influence not only the current state of the country, but also its future development.
The practice has shown that there can be completely different views on events in every particular community. Every country, at every stage of its development, has its own heroes and accents. Eras had been changing as well as views. It says that we should not be afraid to reconsider the history, but it is dangerous to politicize it and to manipulate facts. But, apparently, Ukraine has a different opinion about truth: we plainly see today that the intentional falsification of historical events has become a method of state policy since its independence.
There are countless examples of such manipulations in Ukraine. They are the schism of the Orthodox Church, supported by the first Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk, and, as a result, the establishment of the Kyivan Patriarchate. And it was headed by the KGB’s ward and the Kravchuk’s friend, Filaret (known as Mikhail Denisenko). The Mazepa’s glorification was the next step in the global manipulation of facts, who was declared a national hero. Later, during the Leonid Kuchma years, some nationalist movements had been trying to erect a monument to hetman.
Viktor Yushchenko went even further. The ex-president is reputed to be the main beekeeper of the country, he announced a political “amnesty” for all Ukrainian nationalists, whose role was exalted to “fighter for independence”. However, the Ukrainian government is still trying to conceal their complicity with the Nazis or to present it as a liberation movement.
But Yushchenko did not rest on his laurels. He rehabilitated the members of the Stepan Bandera’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army – OUN-UPA, despite of the known historical fact, that the nationalist organization made mass ethnic cleansing. Tens of thousands of Poles fell victim to OUN in July 1943. The events in Volhynia was called Volhynia massacre and recognized as genocide of Polish people.
The “Holodomor” project, which was turned into a national idea, was an apogee of his rule. Yushchenko tried his best to inflict the idea on both the Ukrainian citizens and the world community that the Soviet famine of 1932 should be regarded as “genocide of the Ukrainian people”. Even a denial of “famine” facts is criminalized in Ukraine. The result of this activity caused huge financial expenses for monument construction, political meetings and memorial books. As it turned out later, some of these memorial books were fake ones. For instance, the villagers of Andriyashevka were very surprised when they found their names in one of these books, just because the authors of the project had a plan for “the victims of the famine”. It is worth noting that the events, described in the “Holodomor” project, took place in the territories that were not a part of the Ukrainian SSR, for example, Northern Bukovina. The question is why did they hold such events in Chernovtsy, when the city was not a part of another country in 1940? Such mishaps occur with other USSR territories because of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
The Ukrainian history had been revised year by year. So, nationalist movements were supported during the “orange revolution” in 2004, with the help of which the coup d’état was staged in 2014.
Within a year of the “Revolution of Dignity”, Petro Poroshenko singed the law on assigning a status of fighters for freedom and independence to the soldiers of OUN-UPA. And now, the government has assigned the status of veterans of the Great Patriotic War to the nationalists and provided benefits. The Ukrainian history textbooks say that the victory over Nazis is a merit of banderovites. The Great Patriotic War was renamed the Second World War, and the Victory Day is called the Day of remembrance and reconciliation.
Where has Ukraine ended up? The country is split. There are war and destruction. The Ukrainian political elite turns black into white, considers true heroes as enemies, and glorifies outright thugs and sadists, honors them with awards and renames cities and streets in their honour.
However, according to the latest polls, more than two-thirds of the Ukrainian population does not consider Stepan Bandera an outstanding personality. And even modern “heroes” and “liberators” cannot find support and respect of the Ukrainian citizens. They are considered as criminals, who are not even allowed to use their free travel privilege. We can only believe that the Ukrainian population will not live with lies of pseudo-historians from the Institute of National Remembrance
Miroslav Rudenko, the DPR People’s Council deputy