09 April 2010
Clash in Kyiv over 'Volyn Massacre' Exhibition
Yesterday in Kyiv a group of Ukrainians protested an exhibition at Ukrainian House organised by a 'human rights group' called 'Russophone Ukraine' (Русскоязычная Украина, a project of Party of Regions MP Vadim Kolesnichenko) and the Polish 'Society for Honouring the Memory of the Victims of the Crimes of Ukrainian Nationalists.' Video of the confrontation is embedded above. The exhibition is entitled 'The Volyn Massacre: Polish and Jewish Victims of OUN-UPA [Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army]'. An essay on the memory of the Volyn Massacre among the Ukrainian diaspora by John-Paul Himka can be read here. As with other events of this period, the historical scholarship on the massacre -- not to mention public discourse about it -- is often fraught and lacking in contextualization.
This volatile collision of Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian memories of wartime violence is the focus of our project, 'Memory at War: Cultural Dynamics in Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.'