Sunday, May 15, 2011

What really happened on Victory day in Lviv

A good 'Global Voices' report on recent Day of Victory clashes in Lviv, here.

After the Soviets annexed/liberated Western Ukraine in Autumn 1939, many hundreds of thousands of Poles and Ukrainians [including members of your blogger's family] were deported to Siberia and elsewhere, or were destroyed in the most terrible ways. However, a great number of Western Ukrainians [including other close members of your blogger's family] served loyally in the Soviet armed forces and made an important contribution in the defeat of Hitler's Germany, of which their families are proud. A lesser number may have joined Ukrainian Insurgents or volunteered for the SS Halychyna divisions.

Such a multi-strand narrative is common amongst the current population of this part of Ukraine. As a result, events such as those described in the 'Global Voices' link above have not occurred before to any significant degree. WW2 memorials are invariably well maintained and regularly adorned with flowers, and local veterans have always been free to parade in their Soviet regalia on Victory Day in Western Ukraine without being bothered.

As 'Global Voices' points out, the silent majority Ukrainians and Russians in Lviv have little time for the new big political game being played out by political technologists in Moscow and Kyiv...

Are ruling politicians in Kyiv wise enough and smart enough to deal with this kind of provocation? Sadly, I fear not - it's worse, because they helped set it up..

No comments: