New History Textbook contains Biography of Yanukovych



The new history textbook for the 11th grade is 100-pages shorter than its predecessor, but it contains a biography of Viktor Yanukovych. The Education Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk had demanded that the textbook be rewritten.

As reported earlier, the new textbook has reinstated the Soviet term “Great Patriotic War”. In the old textbook the first section was called “Ukraine during the Second World War”, in the new – “The Great Patriotic War”. Previously the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists was described in three paragraphs, now in one sentence: “The struggle against Stalin’s totalitarianism in the country was headed by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists [OUN] which had around 20 thousand [supporters]”. Neither book describes the deaths of Roman Shukhevych and Stepan Bandera.

According to historian Volodymyr Serhiychuk, the new textbook makes no mention of Carpathian Ukraine “although it was with the declaration of this that the Second World War effectively began for Ukrainians.  Not in September, like for Poles, but already in March 1939 when the Hungarians moved against the Ukrainian state just declared in Transcarpathia. For Transcarpathians the struggle against Hungary was a patriotic war. They were defending their motherland. And the Ukrainian SSR was a Soviet state, but not independent. The authors speak of the victory in the War through the words of Russian writer Konstantin Fedin, while Ukrainians are labelled collaborators”

Political Analyst Oleksy Haran comments: “This is a partial return to the previous framework. I think this is directly linked with the role of Tabachnyk, his interpretation of the Second World War, negative utterances about the OUN and UPA [Ukrainian Resistance Army] In assessing events he applies classic Soviet historiography”. 

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