Amidst all of the writing on the dreadful murder of Alexander Livinenko, one piece, from today's 'Ukrainska Pravda' written by a friend of his, caught my eye.
I've translated a bit:
"All of the might of the KGB, and now the FSB, is held together by total fear - of control, of the system. So throughout the whole period of existence of the Soviet authorities only one thing was said about the KGB: "They know [what's happening] everywhere - [they'll get you] from under the ground, if this becomes necessary."
And in order for those who sit in the building in Lyubyanka to hold people in a state of terror it is necessary to confirm everyday the certainty of the irreversibility of punishment for deviation, and for overcoming fear of the system.
A person such as Alexander Litvinenko, who knew the system from the inside and who did not stop fighting it for a minute, could not be an exception for them. For the Kremlin it wasn't Litvinenko that was dangerous. The danger was the precedent of his impunity.
It was necessary to destroy him as a lesson and a warning for those who may try some contortions ['tricks'] before the next presidential elections."
A significant portion of the last century's history of Russia and the Soviet Union was called "The Great Terror" - the instrument for application of this terror was the NKVD and KGB. Their successor is the FSB.
By coincidence the following piece [which I've also translated below] appears in today's "Donbass" newspaper. It helps explain why 'Ukraine is not Russia' - and how Ukrainians are coming to terms with their past, even in what some observers simplistically call the 'pro-Russian' eastern regions.
Candles lit up
Yesterday, hundred of people gathered in the Rutchenkovskoye Field, at a memorial service dedicated to the 'Victims of Political Repression and Holodomor'. This city outskirt hid ominous secrets for decades. In the thirties and forties of the last century thousands of "enemies of people" were shot here and dumped into a ditch. Only at the end of the eighties were their remains reinterred.
Relatives of the victims of political repressions, witnesses of the Holodomor [famine], members of political parties and public organizations, and students from the schools of the Kirov region came with the flowers and candles. The oblast governor Vladimir Logvinenko, and city mayor Aleksandr Lukyanchenko both addressed the meeting. Then after a requiem mass, flowers and lighted candles were placed at the foot of the monument.
Aleksandr Bukalov, the head of the civic organization "Donets Memorial" stated that there had been over fifty thousand victims of political repressions in the Donets region. He said that two 'books of memory' had been published in which it is possible to find lists of victims; and that work on the books continues.
To the question, "Was Holodomor of the thirties a planned genocide of the Ukrainian people?", he answered: "I think it is erroneous to speak about national aims. There was another purpose - to destroy a portion of the population and to hold people in fear in order to remain in the authority ."
During the same day meetings and the placing of flowers took place at the memorial plaque in honor of the victims of political repression in the Ukraine on the building of the Donetsk State Music Academy im. S.S.Prokof'eva' and at the memorial in honor of the Ukrainian poet Vasil Stus.