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Stus’ commemorative plate is opened in Donetsk.

Aleksandr Bukalov.
A memorial plate was opened on the building of the philological faculty of Donetsk national university to commemorate Vasyl Stus, who studied here in early sixties. Less than ten years have passed since the all-Ukrainian society ‘Prosvita’ and other public organizations of Donetsk initiated this event. Many guests from Kyiv, as well as representatives of the oblast administration and Donetsk city executive committee, took part in the happening, although the authorities pretended not to notice the insistent efforts of public organizations for ten years. Now they shamelessly uttered the proper words about the ‘inflexible spirit’ of the poet. Academician Mykola Zhulinskiy pointed out that Stus became an example how one must love Motherland. The event has also become an example of how the authorities behave: they did not notice the efforts of the public for decades, and now they pretend to be the initiators. The local mass media have not found space and time merely to mention those, who did their best to commemorate the poet. Yet, since now the process, as Gorbachev liked to say, ‘has started’. At the press conference representatives of city and oblast administrations declared (in 2001!) that the poet’s memory must be respected; the conference ‘Creative activities of Vasyl Stus in the context of European culture’ was held in the Opera theatre.

Maybe, these ‘initiators’ would recollect that in Soviet times in the Donbass tens of thousands of innocent people became victims of repressions. The city authorities, suddenly fallen in love with poetry of the dissident, may now make one step further and open the memorial plate dedicated to these victims, which was made by the initiative of ‘Donetsk Memorial’ as early as in 1992.
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