The so called "Victory Day" is coming. The closer the date is, the easier becomes to trace the resurgence of "sovietism" in Russian information policy. This year, the leadership of the so-called “DPR” and “LPR” decided to name Donetsk and Lugansk as Stalino and Voroshilovgrad three times a year in order to “preserve historical memory” of the Soviet era. "DNR" leadership decided even to issue a commemorative postage stamp dedicated to birthday of Vladimir Lenin. Why does Russian propaganda machine spend so much resources on preservation of the memory of Victory Day?
To begin with, the Russian Federation consistently continues the Soviet information policy with a strong focus on the military actions of the USSR against Nazi Germany during 1941 - 1945, viewed ony the "Great Patriotic War". The media does not mention any details about the real date of the start of the war, information about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact or military operations against Finland, Poland and the Baltic countries. The population of the Soviet Union named as "the victorious nation" in scientific articles, textbooks, legislative acts, without any references to 53 states of the anti-Hitler coalition. The heroization of the Soviet population was also a disguise for the glorification of the "father of the nations" Iosif Stalin, who led the heroic battles against foreign invaders. Emphasis on liberation and victory in war becomes a tool for the adoption of communist ideology, totalitarian regime, justification of genocide and crimes against millions of people.
Russian legislation is the main defender of Russian propaganda and the myth of "victory". It criminalizes coverage of the facts about World War II that differs from the official version. Thus, a citizen was convicted of reposting an article on social networks, which, according to the court, included "false information about the activities of the USSR during the Second World War." It is noted: “The court assessed the knowledge of the citizen as sufficient for realizing the falsity of statements about the role of the USSR in World War II on the grounds that he had a "B" mark in history in his school certificate." The aggravating circumstance was the fact that the article was viewed by 20 people.
The information policy of the puppet republics imply a creation of a society of tacit consent, which will support the imperialistic policy of the Russian Federation, justify the occupation of the aggressor and defend his interests. The ORDLO leadership is consistently introducing laws that look like a modified version or even a copy of the Russian legislation. For example, "Law on perpetuating the victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945", where the second paragraph actually prohibits expressing an alternative point of view on the "Great Patriotic War". Of course, the interests of the Russian Federation mirrored by the leadership of so-called republics.
The militarization of the population in the occupied territories starts from a kindergarten. The civil defense studies have returned to schools, and in “DPR” students study “lessons of civic and spiritual consciousness of Donbass” that include a special course “Lessons of Victory,” introduced in 2020. "LPR" organized the Letter to the Past competition, the annual historical quiz "I Remember! I'm proud!" Teachers underline the need to create a strong sense of patriotism and belonging to the heroic past, as well as familiarity with the history of their native land. Of course, these are all euphemisms that only capture twisted facts about Soviet heroes, “Bandera's people” and “father” Stalin in the children's imaginations.
Russia is creating a material basis for an aggressive information policy in the so-called "republics." Back in September 2015, two humanitarian convoys delivered 1,500 tons of Russian textbooks to Donetsk. The aggressor does not hesitate to import training manuals for the younger generation, conducted according to the "School of Russia" program.
Probably the most important part of the artificially created idea of the struggle of the “victorious Soviet people” against Nazism is the parallels between the “Great Patriotic War” and the Russian-Ukrainian war. This war in the quasi-republics appear in media as "liberation" with comparison of German Nazis to "Ukrainian nationalistic fascists". The Russians thus create a lofty ideal of a "holy war" in order to clear the land from the Ukrainian "brown plague".
Children seem to have a desire to fight evil on the side of good, on the side of new "heroes," who often become a part of local "patriotic" folklore. It implies heroization ofthe leaders of the terrorist groups Motorola and Givi. A commemorative sign "Hero's Star" was installed on the house where Motorola lived. In honor of both, "DNR" bank issued commemorative coins.
Russian propaganda is promoting the slogan “We can repeat” on Victory Day as an indicator of the population's readiness to approve of Russia's military actions and fight for the country's imperial ambitions. It can be considered that May 9 is an artificially created mythologeme that is rapidly advancing with the help of a system of prohibitions, incentives and infringement of the rights of citizens. It is not intended for a real celebration of historical memory, and becomes only a cover for the expansionist policy of the Putin regime, which does not even withhold continuation of the Stalinist line in foreign policy. Victory Day is becoming an instrument for creating a society hostile to human rights, democracy, and Ukraine. The Russian authorities are increasingly trying to plunge Ukrainian society into a Soviet nostalgic dream, and May 9 is another opportunity to remind themselves of the aggressor's intentions.
Cover photo: Mayor's Office of Makiivka, May 9, 2015
On October 2 at 16:00 in Poltava Art Museum human rights defenders will present the publication "City, where the war had started" ab...
Coalition members will present the book "City, where the war had started" in Poltava
On October 2 at 16:00 inPoltava Art Museum human rights defenders will present the publication "City, where the war had started" about human rights violations that took place during the occupation of Sloviansk from April 12, 2014 to July 5, 2014.
Sloviansk became not just a city where the war in the East of Ukraine had begun - the events in the city became a role model for seizure of other cities of Donbas. During the presentation, human rights defenders will discuss civilians survived and adapted to life under occupation, the activities of illegal armed formations controlled by the Russian Federation, and the direct commander Igor Girkin; persecution of residents for their religious beliefs; involvement of minors in illegal armed groups; problems of shelling and mining of civilian infrastructure. Also, the authors of the publication will highlight the issue of pro-Russian propaganda in the city and the problem of finding ways of reconciliation in society after the restoration of government control over Sloviansk.
The Coalition members are going to explain why the experience of Sloviansk is so important for understanding the war and reconciliation processes in the East of Ukraine:
For any questions regarding organization, please contact Iryna Boiko: +380503051284.
The event will be organized in compliance with all anti-epidemic recommendations of the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
The publication "City, where the war had started" was prepared by the Eastern Ukrainian Center of Civic Initiatives, the CF "Vostok SOS", the Human Rights Center for Public Research, Moloda Prosvita Prykarpattya, the Public Committee for the Protection of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms of Citizens, which are members of the Coalition Justice for Peace in Donbass ”, supported by Kurve Wustrow - Center for Training and Networking in Nonviolent Action within the framework of the Civil Peace Service program funded by the German Federal Government.
Interactive exhibition of testimonies "On the Rift" about the violation of rights of civilians during the war in Donbas was presente...
An interactive exhibition "On the Rift" now opened in Khmelnytsky
Interactive exhibition of testimonies "On the Rift" about the violation of rights of civilians during the war in Donbas was presented to public on September 17 at 15:00 in the Regional Universal Scientific Library in Khmelnytsky. It is the 12th city where the exhibition is being shown. Among the guests of the presentation were representatives of public organizations, former detainess and witnesses of the war from Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, volunteers, and representatives of culture and media.
"On the Rift" reveals the essence of the changes that the civilian population faced in 2014 on 14 stands, and 5 of the are interactive. The last stand "What do we have in common?" works also as an interactive review book, where the viewer has the opportunity to leave a comment about the exhibition.
"We chose the name "On the Rift" because it clearly shows the irreversibility of changes that have taken place in people's lives because of the chaos created by "L / DPR" illegal formations. Key themes are human fear, family separation, atomization of society, uncertainty, despair, horror experienced by prisoners, sexual and gender-based violence in illegal prisons in Donbas. We demonstrate thorough research the answers to the questions: “When have the war started?”, “What is restoration of justice for you?", - noted Anton Udovenko, project manager of the Eastern Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives.
The exhibition "On the Rift" was also created as a discussion platform for discussing the problems of war victims. “We can once again be convinced that art can serve as a tool for change when there is strong polarization in society. Thanks to the testimonies of these people who are mentioned in the exhibition, we can feel their stories and understand the severity of the challenges they have faced because of war. This is an exhibition of empathy. It shows that it is worth learning to understand each other in order to prevent events like in 2014," - said Olga Bauer, head of the NGO "Eco-Culture," local co-organizer of the exhibition.
Former prisoners and witnesses of hostilities in the East of Ukraine also had the opportunity to speak: Halyna Haiova, who was a prisoner of the illegal prison "Izolyatsia" for 16 months, and Kateryna Kramskova, an IDP and the wife of a militaryman who witnessed the seizure of Luhansk.
During the presentation, between the participants arose a discussion regarding the vision of reintegration of the occupied territories. Some of those present underlines impossibility of reintagration in the future.
"How could you say that we need to clear that territory? People live there, it is devoid of respect for them", - noted Ivan, a former resident of Luhansk.
"There are still people in Luhansk, who support Ukraine. They hung yellow and blue T-shirts alongside on Flag Day to show their position. Don't forget about it", - noted Anastasia, also a former resident of Luhansk, head of the local Center for Tolerance.
The presentation and creation of the exhibition "On the Rift" was possible within the framework of the project "Empowering Civil Society to Transform the Culture of Memory - Nonviolent Ways to Resolve the Cruel Past of Donbas", implemented by public organizations Kurve Wustrow (Germany) and Eastern Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives (Ukraine) together with NGO "Eco-Culture" and partners supported by the German Federal Government.
On September 17 at 15:00 human rights activists will present the traveling exhibition "On the Rift" about the violation of civilian ...
The travelling exhibition "On the Rift" moves to Khmelnytskyi
On September 17 at 15:00 human rights activists will present the traveling exhibition "On the Rift" about the violation of civilian rights during the war in eastern Ukraine in the regional universal scientific library in Khmelnitsky (Heroes of Maidan street, 28).
More than 4000 spectators from all over the country attended the exhibition "On the Rift". Presentations happened in 11 cities of Ukraine: in June 2019, the project went from Kyiv to Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, while this year the exhibition visited Dnipro, Kropyvnytskyi, Cherkasy, Zhytomyr and Vinnytsia. Currently the guests can visit the exhibition in Khmilnyk, Vinnytsia oblast.
The exhibition demonstrates the personal experiences of 26 civilians on the issues of uncertainty, life in a legal vacuum, the destruction of family ties due to the polarization of society. The interactive exhibition combines personal stories of witnesses and victims with infographics and statistical evidence that show the scale of profound changes in the structure of society since the outbreak of conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
"On the Rift" focuses the audience's attention on deeper problems that have affected Ukrainians: the atomization of society, the difficult adaptation of IDPs, demographic changes in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the lack of a common vision of the reintegration of lost territories.
Guests of the event will have the opportunity to:
meet with the authors of the multimedia project "On the Rift"