Tag Archives: Viatrovych

Bandera, Shukhevych Had ‘Intense Sexual Relationship’ -Viatrovych

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.”

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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.

A step in the right…er..correct direction

It’s rare one finds good news coming out of Ukraine these days. Minsk II is a sick joke, corruption is still rampant, and the transfer bus from Boryspil no doubt still sucks. But lo! It appears that some folks in Ukraine, among them former presidents and other important public figures, have taken a bold step towards bringing the country into the 21st century.

A proposal has been put forth from the Ukrainian side to create a joint day of remembrance for the victims of the “Volyn tragedy.” To be sure, the word “tragedy” is a bit euphemistic. “Genocide” would be more appropriate to describe what the OUN-UPA committed starting in 1943 against the largely defenseless Polish population. But seeing as how the consistent tactic of the Bandera cult going all the way back to 1945 has been to outright deny any war crimes or atrocities of the OUN and UPA, this a major step forward.

There are a few key things to note about the proposal. Firstly, it may not be met with open arms by many Poles, especially considering the rise of the right-wing Law and Justice Party, which has hitherto demonstrated a propensity for whitewashing history. The “patriotic” Polish narrative of WWII generally portrays Poland as a wholly innocent and blameless victim of virtually all sides. More radical renditions posit Poland as a “savior” of Europe. As it pertains to Ukrainians, Polish nationalist have tended to deny the persecution of Ukrainians and other minorities during the interwar era of the Second Republic, as well as the murder of around 20,000 Ukrainians in areas outside of UPA control by forces such as the AK (Polish Home Army).

The second point to note is who is absent on this list of figures who support the proposal. We don’t see Volodymyr Viatrovych, for example, in spite of his being head of the Institute of National Memory. Perhaps that’s because rather than preserve and study national memory, Viatrovych seems to have spent his entire career whitewashing and distorting the legacy of Bandera and the OUN. A large part of that has involved transforming the ethnic cleansing of Poles in Volyn into a two-sided “war.”

This is a small step, but an important one, and while I’m cautious I must admit these days I’ll take any good news I can get. One last thing about this proposal that everyone should keep in mind is that while it is good that Ukraine collectively examines this event in a critical and proper way, this is not a question of Ukraine’s collective guilt. The overwhelming majority of Ukrainians did not support the OUN or UPA. A considerable number of those Ukrainians who did joint the insurgent army did so under duress. Another large portion joined, again sometimes under duress, long after these crimes had been committed. It bears keeping in mind that historically there have been two factions who have resolutely insisted on associating Ukrainians and Ukrainian culture with Bandera and his radical right-wing movement. The first is naturally the descendants of the Ukrainian right-wing nationalist movement, and those they have duped with their fairy tales about a heroic revolutionary struggle against the Nazis and Soviets. The other side is the Kremlin and its minions.

 

BS highlights

Last week has produced too much BS for me to handle with my current projects, so I’m giving you another highlights reel. Yeah, I know, it’s the clip show of blog posts, but it is practical and I have to devote most of my time to pursuits which earn money.

NATOphobia

As we all know, the go-to excuse for why Russia needs a corrupt dictatorship is always: “NATO encirclement!”  For some reason, countries like Finland and Sweden don’t seem to be too concerned about NATO encirclement, in spite of their small military forces and lack of nuclear weapons. But of course if you listen to vatniks tell it- that’s because Finland and Sweden are just whorish slaves of the US, unlike independent Russia, whose living standards are laughably poor compared to those states and most other “American colonies” in Europe.

But how real was the threat of NATO encirclement, particularly considering the fact that at no time has the alliance considered invading Russia, nor did it ever raise territorial claims against the country? Turns out that as usual, Putin and his crew were bullshitting. See for yourself.

The truth is that the increase in NATO activity was deliberately provoked by Putin, and he was probably counting on it. He needs it because he could see storm clouds on the horizon possibly before Maidan. And yet in spite of all Putin’s pathetic sabre-rattling which only leads to more plane crashes, the US is still downsizing its military and closing bases in Europe. The US army alone still plans to cut 40,000 personnel in the next two years. This doesn’t bode well for Operation: Barbarossa II.

Russia’s elite loves the West

One of the most infuriating thing about the foodstuffs import ban, is that submissive vatniks love to make posts, videos, etc. attacking their fellow citizens, laughing at them and saying: “You’ll just have to do without your jamon, Camembert, and Parmesan!” The implication is that the only people who buy these things are liberals and “creative class types” who have a better life than the salt-of-the-earth, working class Russian. Russia was actually importing something like 40% of its food when these idiotic “counter-sanctions” were announced, meaning that a lot of the banned imports were more or less ordinary goods, not expensive cheese, jamon, etc.

The other thing that makes this so infuriating, however, is that these submissive dipshits are attacking their own fellow citizens while the masters they support do not abide by their asceticism. Rest assured, Russia’s elite has plenty of access to the products they so gleefully order to be destroyed at the border. If they don’t have their channels to import it, they simply go there.

What better recent example than the honeymoon of Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov? After receiving a watch worth over half a million dollars, Peskov rented an incredibly expensive yacht to travel along the coast of “degenerate gayropa.” Not the Crimea, which needs tourism, not Sochi, which is practically abandoned, no- Europe.

And that’s what this all comes down to really. Whenever you hear a Russian politician or their cowardly, submissive supporters babbling on about “sovereignty,” understand that it doesn’t mean the same thing that it does for the rest of the world. Sovereignty in Russian parlance means that the elite should have a blank check to continually and constantly rob their own people, siphoning off money from vast natural resources, so that they can go ahead and turn it over to the West which they love so much.

Yes, the Russian elite loves the West.  They love it so much they’d steal from their nation, leaving millions impoverished and deprived of basic civil rights just to make sure that they and only they are allowed to taste the finest the West has to offer. If you are an ordinary Russian, you should shut up and be happy with austerity, import bans, censorship, and churches, lots of churches. But for the elite? Never!

You see, when they send their children to live abroad in those degenerate countries, and when they spend Russian taxpayer money on Western luxury, it’s to protect the masses from the dangers of consumerism. These brave  souls are essentially sacrificing for the sake of others! They are the patriots!

Volodymyr Viatrovych – Bullshit artist

Jared McBride exposes Viatrovych, a pseudo-historian and Holocaust denier behind Ukraine’s anti-free speech laws. And yes, I said Holocaust denier and meant it. This is the appropriate term for someone who dismisses and ignores scores of Jewish eyewitness testimonies and attributes all contrary evidence to a massive KGB conspiracy. If you want a good example, look at this excerpt, showing how Viatrovych ducks the question of collaborator atrocities in Poland and Belarus.

When confronted with the fact that the head of UPA, Roman Shukhevych, served the Nazis until 1943 as commander of a mobile police battalion that murdered thousands of civilians in Belarus, Viatrovych responded: “Is it possible to consider Poles or Belarusians a peaceful population, if, during the day, they work as ordinary villagers, only to arm themselves in the evening and attack the village?” In other words, civilians are fair targets, especially for “heroes” of Ukraine in the service of Nazis.

Viatrovych’s answer here is basically word-for-word the kind of thing you’ll hear from Holocaust deniers when it comes to Nazi atrocities on the Eastern Front. Believe me- I know. And yet for some reason nobody will explain, this kind of excuse making is tolerated right now when it concerns Ukrainian collaborators, but not for regular German forces or other pro-Axis organizations such as the Croatian Ustashe. If there’s a good reason for endorsing Holocaust denial in certain situations, I’d really love to hear it.

Viatrovych, try as he might, is essentially a vatnik mentally. In essence, there is no difference between him and a Russian “patriot” like Dugin or pseudo-historian Yuri Mukhin. If he were a real historian, he would not push so hard to get the state to enforce his historical narrative on the country, thus making it far easier for him to defend his revisionist claims. Just like in Putin’s Russia, Ukraine has people like Viatrovych whose claims cannot stand scrutiny and open debate, and thus they must be forced on people. This is why, again just like Russia, these people have a double approach to defending their claims. Outside their own borders, where they cannot control debate and use the state to suppress dissent, they resort to hysterical whataboutery and conspiracy theories. Inside their borders, they simply use the state to censor and crush dissent, effectively ending the debate before it begins. A vatnik and a vishivatnik are the same- only the packaging differs.

In short, fuck this guy. If he wants to be such a patriot, someone hand him a Kalashnikov and send his ass to the front. If he’s anything like his OUN/UPA predecessors, he’ll most likely desert to the separatists’ side.

What’s next

I’m fairly busy this week making various arrangements, but I’ll try to release some more original content before heading back to Ukraine for roughly two weeks. Stay tuned.

Vishivatnik case study

So yesterday I posted on the difference between Russian vatniks and possible analogs in other countries. One of those analogs is the so-called vishivatnik, a Ukrainian breed of vatnik.  Obviously the vishivatnik is not as popular as the vatnik, who dates back to 2011-2012, so some people quite understandably want more info. Then as luck would have it, I checked my Twitter feed this morning and a perfect case study was practically staring me in the face. Coincidence? Yes I think so.

The case study in question is pseudo-scholar Volodymyr Viatrovych, a major supporter of Ukraine’s new laws banning Communist and Nazi(but not collaborator, of course!) symbols and criminalizing criticism of the OUN(Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) and UPA(Ukrainian Insurgent Army). Viatrovych, quite predictably, wrote a response to David Marples’ open letter to Ukrainian president Poroshenko asking him to veto the laws. The letter, incidentally, was signed by 70 scholars specializing in Ukrainian and Eastern European fields from North America, Western Europe, and Ukraine itself. Marples responded to Viatrovych, quite diplomatically in my view since he at no time points out Viatrovych’s use of fake sources and his denial of well-established atrocities committed by the OUN and UPA, but it was quite apt. I hadn’t read Viatrovych’s response myself, but in Marples’ response to his accusations, Viatrovych’s vishivatnost becomes apparent. Let me share a few excerpts.

Viatrovych asserts that “similar laws were adopted by other Eastern European countries,” a non sequitur as an explanation of the motives for adopting them in Ukraine. First of all, we were not discussing the laws in other countries.

Does that sound familiar, dear reader? Of course- it’s whataboutery. For one thing, this doesn’t address the question of whether those laws are good. They certainly haven’t done anything to improve the situation with corruption, unemployment, or demographic issues, or example. Second, there’s often a very curious phenomenon in countries which equate Nazism and Communism. They usually tend to have a rather active right wing, and since they tend to use other symbols as opposed to German ones(just like most collaborationist organizations did anyway), they get to slip through the massive crack in the law. To the credit of such European nations, at least they do not criminalize the public criticism of nationalist and collaborationist movements or organizations. Viatrovych is far closer to Moscow than he thinks.

Viatrovych dismisses the non-voting MPs on April 9 as pro-Russians who do not have at heart the interests of Ukraine. But are they not elected officials representing their own specific communities? Opinion polls circulating in early 2014 suggest that fear of Euromaidan was as prevalent in Ukraine as support for the protestors. But for Viatrovych all opposition to the laws is either pro-Moscow or of benefit to Moscow and thus should be dismissed and disparaged.

Sound familiar? Ilya Ponomarev is a traitor! An agent of the State Department! What’s that? The ruble is tanking? The Russian Central Bank is controlled by the USA! Nakatem bleyat’!!!

It is still unclear what happens to those who fall on the wrong side of these laws. Viatrovych suggests that no scholars will be punished for what they write. But one of the Ukrainian signatories to our letter to Poroshenko and Hroisman has already been harassed and threatened by his superiors, suggesting that opposition to the new laws will not be tolerated.

Insisting that society is free while people’s careers and sometimes freedom is threatened because they dissent from the state’s line. Sound familiar?  I suspect Viatrovych secretly has a dozen ushanka hats in his closet. He also probably eats food covered in dill.

On UPA he seems to have a blind spot. He suggests inter alia that our comments on ethnic cleansing in Volhynia represent simply one point of view, hinting that perhaps this event never took place or that it has been misconstrued. “It is only one of the opinions that has the right to exist.” It is not an opinion, however, but a fact and one that has been carefully documented by a number of scholars, including Timothy Snyder in his Past and Present article of May 2003. I cite this article in particular because Snyder can hardly be accused of being anti-Ukrainian and has been among the most supportive scholars of Ukraine throughout the current crisis.

Post-modernism where everything is a matter of opinion and all narratives are valid (but some can be enforced by the state)? That sounds really familiar. Kind of reminds me of a certain TV network with a green and black logo.

Also Marples correctly invokes Timothy Snyder, but of course we all know that Snyder is a paid Kremlin whore who secretly supports Vladimir Putin…By writing scathing criticisms of his regime and its actions.

Lastly, Viatrovych objects to certain signatories on our list whose articles on “primordial Ukrainian collaborationism” are “actively used by Russian propaganda.” Unfortunately, propaganda organs, Russian or otherwise, regularly exploit and distort scholarly work in this way. But Viatrovych is suggesting also that our naive trust of a group that wishes to malign Ukraine “was a reason for the appearance of this appeal,” which “has already become an instrument in this war.”

Here Viatrovych reveals the vishivatniy trope of Russia as the puppetmaster pulling all the strings. For the Russian vatnik, it’s America. Any criticism of Russia’s government, foreign policy, or even endemic social problems( some of which predate Putin’s rise to power) is viciously attacked as either pro-Western propaganda, or material which can be used by Western propagandists.

Oddly enough, in both cases the nefarious propagandists usually don’t use the material in question. For example, most Russian propaganda tries to portray Ukrainian nationalists as Hitler-loving neo-Nazi racists. The reality is far different. The nationalist narrative, thanks to falsifiers like Viatrovych, tells them that the OUN/UPA fought against Hitler as much as Stalin. Pseudo-scholars like Viatrovych have even insisted that those who joined the Ukrainian 14th Waffen SS division “Galicia” shouldn’t be seen as collaborators. Some may have even bought into the lie that the OUN was a democratic, liberal, tolerant organization, something totally unheard of at that time and place in history. Now obviously if you believe that these collaborators were inclusive liberal democrats, you’d be wrong and you need to pull your head out of your ass. But that is a lot different from someone who knows the reality of the OUN and joins because they support that ideology and its goals. It is even further from someone who glorifies Hitler. Of course none of that stops Russian propagandists from photoshopping portraits of Hitler into photos of Ukrainians or claiming that Hitler will appear on the new Ukrainian banknotes.

So in case you weren’t keeping score, we have:

-Whataboutery and red herrings (Russian equivalent: What about Uganda? What about Iraq and Libya? What if those girls tried to dance in a mosque in Saudi Arabia?)

-Use of the traitor label (Russian equivalent: 5th column! 6th column! 38th column! Our constitution was written by the USA!)

-Acting like all points of view are equally valid (Russian equivalent: Okay so that’s what your fancy investigation of MH17 and all its evidence has to say, but I have eight, no wait, nine alternative theories about that!)

-Warnings that criticism could be used by others as propaganda (Russian equivalent: We can’t let the Americans hear us complaining about our country!)

-Overwhelming desire to use state force to impose beliefs and narratives on people (Russian equivalent: Too many examples to count)

There you have the ultimate irony and tragedy of the vishivatnik. He wants recognition of being the polar opposite of the Russian, yet when you scratch beneath the surface you see that he embodies all of Russia’s worst qualities. This is why Ukraine cannot possibly hope to escape Russia’s domination with such people in charge. Putin’s Russia will always be able to beat them at this game, and their antics divide Ukraine rather than unite it.