Myroslav Marynovych, Vice Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University, took part in the #DialoguesOnWar project from The Ukrainian PEN Center. During the interview, he told Serhii Plokhii, Director of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, about the events in Ukraine during the war.
Several key theses from Myroslav Marynovych’s talk:
- Lviv’s railway station now appears as though it is from a film about World War II, and it’s horrible.
- Taras Shevchenko’s words of wisdom always speak to Ukrainians in difficult times. In prison, Kobzar, a collection of Shevchenko’s poems, revealed its inner depth and meaning to me much more than it did during normal life.
- When there is a clash between good and evil, Shevchenko’s relevance appears immediately. We, Ukrainians, say that his writings are like another Gospel for us.
- While Nazi ideology was condemned and forbidden by rule of law, this didn’t happen with communism. Victorious Soviets hid their crimes after the Yalta conference.
- There were no Nuremberg trials for communist crimes. In modern Russia, the seeds of communism gave springs for the new regime.
- Putin’s regime is the reincarnation of Stalin. He is still a hero for Putin and many many Russians.
- After 1991, Ukraine and Russia went in different directions. When Ukraine started inroads to European democracy, Russia regressed back to its totalitarian past. Ukrainians don’t want to go back as we already have freedom. Putin’s imperial vision for Russia cannot be realized without Ukraine, because his vision is only legitimate with Kyiv. This means we’re fighting for our independence.
- Putin’s regime uses three forms of evil: lies, hatred, and violence. Ultimately, this approach leads to a dead end
- Ukrainian identity is a mosaic. Our main challenge is to find a way to properly harmonize all the mosaic differences (after winning the war).
- Controversies between the Ukrainian and Russian speaking population in Ukraine would have never turned into a violent conflict without Russia having intervened. It is Russia who transformed these differences into the current war.
- Every nation has the ability to transform itself. The Russian nation also has this ability, but they will need a moral reckoning after the fall of Putin’s regime.
Link: Watch the full interview below.
Ukrainian PEN is a Ukrainian non-governmental organization established to protect freedom of speech and copyright, promote literature and international cultural cooperation. It is part of the network of national centers of the PEN International.
PEN International celebrates literature and promotes freedom of expression. Founded in 1921, its global community of writers now spans more than 100 countries. PEN’s campaigns, events, publications and programmes aim to connect writers and readers wherever they are in the world. PEN International is a non-political organization and holds special consultative status at the United Nations.