KYIV– Head of Ukraine’s Institute and National Memory and beloved writer of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) young adult fiction series Volodymyr Viatrovych dropped a bombshell on fans on Thursday when he announced that two of his biggest characters in the franchise had what he called “An intense sexual relationship.”
“Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukhevych- all the fans who really pay attention knew what was going on there,” Viatrovych said, adding that the new plot point was “canon.”
So far reactions from the fanbase have been mixed over what they call Viatrovych’s latest “retcon” to the series.
Dasha Ponomarenko, a 22-year-old student from the city of Lviv, said that she see’s the change as mostly positive.
“I mean sure, it’s great that he’s giving his main characters more progressive values that fit 21st century Ukraine,” she said.
“But just once it would have been nice to see things like this in the story rather than Viatrovych just saying them after the fact on Twitter.”
Oleh Kolysnik, 19, said he wasn’t against the changes, but that he didn’t really see evidence for the relationship between the two in the material he’d read in school.
“Relationships have to have build-up, chemistry, ” he said.
“You can’t just drop that on the die-hard fans who pay attention to every detail without laying the groundwork.”
Some were not pleased with the revelation, however. Yaroslav Tereshchenko, 18, is a member of the National Corps, one of the most rabid fan-clubs for Viatrovych’s work.
“This is nonsense,” Tereshchenko said at a recent event for fan-fiction writers who write their own stories based on the characters in Viatrovych’s fitional universe.
“Neither Stepan Bandera, nor Roman Shukhevych, were homos. This just shows how Viatrovych is ruining his own work due to pressure from the Marxist SJWs (“Social Justice Warriors”)!”
According to Tereshchenko, fan-fiction writers often “ship” different characters, a term meaning to put two characters in the story into a romantic relationship even if this isn’t in the text. However, he expressed his anger at Viatrovych for declaring this allegedly new relationship to be “canon,” making it an official part of the fictional universe’s history.
In the past Viatrovych was praised for introducing progressive values to some of his characters. For example, long after the OUN series was finished, Viatrovych changed many key points in the story to reduce needless violence and make some characters more positive. For example, he declared certain parts of Ukrainian Insurgent Army leader Roman Shukhevych’s backstory, such as the part where he spends time in Belarus fighting for Nazi Germany, to be “non-canon” and part of a “dream sequence” that did not actually happen.
Viatrovych said that most of the replies to his latest retcon tweet thread have been “overwhelmingly positive,” but he also reminded fans that while he encourages them to imagine his characters however they like, as the author and their creator, his word is final when it comes to what happened or didn’t happen in his fictional universe.