07 September 2010

Summer of Memories # 1: Ukraine, a pruning or an overhaul?

The whiff of change – not necessarily to the good, for some democracy-watchers – has been in the air since Yanukovych’s election victory.

Various events have sparked discussion this Summer, from the visit by Security Forces to the rector of L’viv University (followed by his open letter to academics internationally), to the changing of the guard at the Institute for National Memory in Ukraine.

On the latter: one of the first moves was to deny the basis of the Holodomor, the man-made Stalinist Famine that has been the emphasised by former Presidents, pre-Yanukovych.

Opinions on the matter vary, but the focus for comment again remains the fashioning of historical memory, as L’viv historian Yaroslav Hrytsak makes clear in a blog entry for zaxid.net (in Ukrainian). 

There’s also muttering about press censorship, from pre-censorship of all appearances by the President to more sinister allegations about human rights.

However, those seeking to read the runes are also met by conflicting signals from Yanukovych’s camp which, according to some reports, is seeking to calm fears.

(Additional thanks to Tarik Amar for drawing attention to some of these links)

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