war crimes in Ukraine

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Vasyl Stus Street in Kyiv

Vasyl Ovsienko, Kyiv
Since the last year Kyiv consists of 10 districts instead of 14. The districts got their historical names. One of them is now called Sviatoshisnkiy (earlier it was the territory of the Leningradskiy district). The district power was also replaced and the positive changes began. In particular, the district administration achieved the fulfillment of a decision taken long ago – on renaming Radgospna Street into Vasyl Stus Street.

There are several tens of big new houses in this street, thousands of people live there. Nearby, at the Vernadsky Avenue, one of the houses is decorated with the memorial plate made by Boris Dovgan. This plate informs: “In this house in 1963-1965 lived poet Vasyl Stus”. By the way, this plate was installed twice – in 1995 and in 2000, since the first plate was stolen by some barbarians.

In 1965 Vasyl Stus got married to Valentina Popeliukh and moved to the neighboring Lvivska street, where he lived until his arrest in 1972. Now Stus’s widow lives in the same district, at Chernobylska Street. There the poet, human rights protector and a member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group lived only for 8 months, till the arrest on 14 May 1980. When Stus was reburied, his body was taken there for the last obeisance. The poems of Vasul Stus are full of the light reminiscences about the Sviatoshisnkiy district. The local inhabitants also remember and respect him.

The celebration devoted to the renaming of the street was hold on 21 May 2003 near the house, and then moved to school No. 200, which will also be named after Vasyl Stus. Poet’s widow, his son Dmytro, Mykhaylina Kotsiubinska, Evhen Sverstiuk, Mykhaylo Goryn, Mykola Gorbal and Mykola Malyshko took part in the celebration.
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