New methods against historians: Holodomor historian dismissed


Well-known historian of Holodomor 1932-1933 and the liberation movement, Hennady Ivanushchenko has been dismissed from his post as Director of the Sumy Regional State Archive on less than convincing grounds.

Less than a month ago the Research Centre of the Liberation Movement publicly stated that the Sumy regional authorities were putting pressure on the head of the local archives, historian Hennady Ivanushchenko.  The statement said that the local authorities had over the last 5 months been looking for reasons to dismiss Ivanushchenko.

The dismissal came after an “official investigation” initiated by the Sumy Regional State Administration. There were a number of infringements over this investigation, with Mr Ivanushchenko not being given time to read the act drawn up on the investigation nor the opportunity to write an explanation on the results of the check.

Given Mr Ivanushchenko’s position, the reasons seem stretched to say the least. He is supposed to have refused to accept some material for holding. He explains that any restrictions were according to their plan for the year given lack of space and staff, and that they were prepared to take the said material from 1 January 2011.  Mr Ivanushchenko was dismissed over such “failings” less than a month before that date, on 2 December.

Hennady Ivanushchenko, the Research Centre of the Liberation Movement, colleagues and many members of the public are convinced that the historian’s dismissal reflects interference by a political party in the academic discussion regarding a number of issues on political repression, Holodomor 1932-1933 and the liberation movement.  They see this as a continuation of the persecution of historian Ruslan Zabily.

Mr Ivanushchenko is a well-known historian and has written books about Holodomor 1932-1933 and the liberation movement.  Under his leadership (he became Director in 2005), the Sumy archives became  the only archive to fully computerize archival material on Holodomor.

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