Less than a day after this article was published on the website of the Ukrainian World Information Network (in Ukrainian), I was accused of “dispersing “treason”:
“Even if there is some truth in your post, it doesn’t say anything. Children are not responsible for the actions of their parents, especially for the actions of their grandfathers. Today’s actions of children and grandchildren are important. Therefore, there is no need to look for a cat in a dark room, if it is not there, that is, to dispel “treason”.
This is a view quite typical for the Ukrainian segment in social media. It’s good that there are people who know how to answer such objections:
“… the author does not say a word about the responsibility of children for their parents actions. What I read in this article is simple: an oak tree will not grow from an aspen root. Do not look for betrayal where there is none. I know that the author is one of the real Ukrainians, of whom, unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer now.”
* * *
Olena Zelenska received the Dissident Human Rights Award at the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington. She talks about this event on her social media page:
“An award for every Ukrainian man and every Ukrainian woman. This is your reward, dear compatriots!
I had the honor of receiving the Dissident Human Rights Award, awarded to the entire Ukrainian people, at the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington.
Since 2015, the prize has been awarded to activists and dissidents – representatives of enslaved peoples for their courage in defending human rights and freedom. This year, for the first time, it was awarded not to a specific individual, but to the entire people of Ukraine for the “courageous struggle for freedom and against Russia’s aggressive war.”
Although the Memorial is dedicated to the victims of the crimes of communism, it is worth remembering that communism is only one face of totalitarianism.
The system attacking you can be called anything you want. But we can easily recognize totalitarianism by its main features – aggression, violence, complete devaluation of human life.
This is exactly what Ukraine is dealing with in the form of the Russian Federation. Russia has not been called communist for a long time, but Stalin’s methods of governing and enslaving other peoples are still practiced there.
She told those present at the ceremony how Ukrainians pass through Russian filtration camps, how those who do not agree to cooperate with the occupiers are tortured. How our people are forcibly deported to Russia.
Our long-suffering warning to the world: remember that the darkest past easily returns. And in some places it has not disappeared and only pretends to be modern.
This is what today’s award, which I am taking to Ukraine, testifies to”.
* * *
We do not know the family history of Olena Zelenska, and therefore we do not know whether anyone from her family was a victim of Bolshevik and communist repression. The only thing that seriously compromises her is the inclusion of her name in the “Peacemaker” database for reposting on her Facebook page in 2014 a publication from the Russian propaganda resource LifeNews with the following content: “Send a video of the movement of Ukrainian troops. The fee is 15,000 rubles” (for details, see: “Zelenskyi’s wife was brought into the base of the “Peacemaker” for an old repost”).
However, we know that the family of her husband, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi, definitely was not a victim of the Soviet authoritarian-totalitarian regime. On the contrary, representatives of this family were part of the repressive machine of the USSR.
People interested in the biography of the current president of Ukraine found out that the great-grandfather of V. Zelensky, Isaak Abramovych, was a member of the Bolshevik Central Committee since 1918 (see: Zelensky, Isaak Abramovych – Wikipedia).
His paternal grandfather began his service in the ranks of the NKVD, the driver of Stalinist repressions, and probably spent the Second World War in the barrage detachments, and ended up as a colonel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR. Google will tell you about the participation of Colonel Zelenskyi in the suppression of the uprising against the Soviet authorities in Kryvyi Rih in the early 1960s (see: “Zelenskyi’s grandfather and the shooting of residents of Kryvyi Rih in 1963 – an unknown story”). While teaching abroad for a long time, the president’s father could have no choice but cooperate with another successor of the NKVD, the KGB; some authors even claim that Oleksandr Zelenskyi retired with the rank of KGB colonel.
From this family tradition, the favorite metaphor of V. Zelenskyi himself – “servant of the people” – which brought him television and film popularity thanks to the main character he created in the TV series of the same name, and which gave the name to his soon-to-be political party and gave him a monomajority in the Verkhovna Rada, giving birth to modern Bolshevism according to historical tradition, according to spirit, and according to real deeds.
I wrote about this back in 2019 in the article “Servant of the people” as a phenomenon”.That the authorship of the metaphor “servant of the people” belongs to Joseph Stalin is known not only to me, but to a broad layer of the older generation of Ukrainian society, who remember this image from school.
The generation of Volodymyr and Olena Zelenskyy’s even at school could not take the image of a “servant of the people” to heart: Soviet history was subjected to a serious revision during the Gorbachev perestroika, so independent Ukraine no longer smelled of the spirit of Stalinism, and post-Soviet Russia under the presidency B. Yeltsin did not tolerate the use of Stalinist traditions in a positive way.
Therefore, V. Zelenskyy could store the “servant of the people” in his memory and stir up his creative imagination only under the influence of his environment, which lived with warm memories of the glorious Soviet past.
At the same time, it is known that in his stage and television appearances, Zelenskyy allowed himself to speak very skeptically and unethically about the Holodomor, arranged by Stalinism in Ukraine in 1932-1933. The millions who died during that Holodomor, as well as during the other two, as well as the prisoners of the Gulag, were the real victims of the Soviet regime.
It is noteworthy that even after becoming the president, V. Zelenskyy discreetly mentions the Holodomor and practically does not mention the Ukrainian victims of the Gulag and the NKVD’s hunt for UPA soldiers or those peaceful residents of the cities and villages of Ukraine who helped the UPA in whatever way they could.
Unnoticed among the victims of communism, the Zelenskyys did not appear among the dissidents either.
I do not think that serious American researchers, including the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington staff, should know about this and, given this, should refrain from presenting the Dissident Human Rights Award to all Ukrainian people through the hands of the Zelenskyy’s. There are many worthy people in Ukraine who are truly victims of communism and/or dissidents and to whom this award could be handed.
One of the photos from the Victims of Communism Memorial, posted by Ms. Zelenska, shows numbers indicating the years 1930 and 1932. The last date is connected with the Holodomor. It is noteworthy that in those years the USA was not very concerned about the violation of human rights in Ukraine and at the height of the Holodomor even established diplomatic relations with Moscow, officially recognizing the USSR. Just at the same time, Stalin was abetted by the “servants of the people”.
It would be appropriate to remind here that New York Times journalist Walter Duranty, awarded the Pulitzer Prize precisely for the materials he whitewashed the Bolshevik regime, denying the Holodomor, did not see victims of communism or, to put it mildly, violations of human rights in Ukraine.
For thirty years, Ukrainian communities have been creating petitions, agitating public opinion with the idea of canceling the Duranty’s Award and giving it to Gareth Jones. Did the first lady of Ukraine use such a wonderful opportunity to raise this issue at such a high level? It is doubtful that this could have occurred to her or her speechwriters.
Can you imagine how painfully all of the above will be perceived by that part of Ukrainian society, whose families suffer from the unhealed wounds of communism victims (Holodomor, Gulags, etc.) or persecution for dissent (prisons, camps, mental institutions, exile)?
I personally, whose family was affected by the physical Bolshevik massacre for non-proletarian origin, which left my father an orphan when he was still an infant, and the deportation of the entire family of my grandmother’s parents, brother and sisters as kulaks to the distant Urals, and the marks on my father for staying in the occupied territory, for nothing that he was not a collaborator and half of that stay was imprisoned by the Gestapo for sabotage, and on my mother for being taken to forced labor in Germany, and my own dissidence under the supervision of KGB agents from the age of sixteen, which, thanks to fate, did do with no promised prisons, mental facilities, camps, and more than once, all this does not allow me to perceive the awarding of the Dissident Human Rights Award of my people through the mediation of O. Zelenska as a correct and righteous action.
Some kind of blasphemy! And it doesn’t matter whether it was done deliberately, demonstratively or just out of ignorance, unknowingly. Because this is the case when ignorance does not exempt from responsibility. Neither on the American side, nor on the Ukrainian side.
July 20, 2022.
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