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Why does Russia no longer have any need for the GULAG museum Perm-36? (Radio Svoboda)

27 June 2014

Original source: Radio Svoboda

A discussion with Vladimir Kara-Murza and Yan Rachinsky (historian, human rights activist and member of ”Memorial”), Vladimir Bukovsky (author and former Soviet political prisoner), Sergei Kovalev (human rights activist, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group and former political prisoner at the Perm camp) and Tatyana Kursina (historian and former director of the “Perm-36” Museum). 
Photo: Sergei Kovalev

Vladimir Kara-Murza: The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation has refused to lend its support to a project aimed at commemorating the victims of political repression. This decision has come at a time when the “Perm-36” Museum, a unique historical monument which preserves the atmosphere of the political camps, is at risk of closure.

This will be the subject of our discussion today with Yan Rachinsky, a human rights activist, co-chair of the Moscow “Memorial” group and member of the board of directors of the “Memorial” Human Rights Centre, and Vladimir Bukovsky, a former Soviet political prisoner.

Vladimir Konstantinovich, why do you think that the idea of commemorating the victims of the repressions has once again proved at odds with the optimistic slant of official propaganda?

Vladimir Bukovsky: It’s not something I find particularly surprising. The last few years have seen us heading backwards to Soviet times, and not at all by accident – nowadays this is the Kremlin’s modus operandi. It was obvious that sooner or later we would reach a point where former political prisoners became enemies again. The trend started to become apparent a few years ago, with the blatantly staged campaign against "Pilorama", a summer concert which took place at the camp. They dredged up a few former guards, but the whole thing was laughable. It was obvious back then that we would end up with a phasing out of any commemoration of political prisoners and repressions, and with people finding justifications for these events.

I remember that someone voiced similar thoughts in the Duma recently, saying that it was right that these people were persecuted. I can even remember who it was – Lugovoy, a murderer himself, who’s proposed giving the KGB back its old name. He believes that they were entirely right to persecute people for holding different beliefs, and that this is exactly what should have happened. His views are typical of a gradual but persistent trend, which is leading us back to a point where the Chekists are held in high esteem and the dissidents are the enemies of the nation.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Yan, why do you think that the authorities are opposed to both the "Pilorama” festival and the very idea behind the “Perm-36” Museum? Your colleagues were recently the victims of defamatory statements aired during an NTV programme on dissidents and the "fifth column".

Yan Rachinsky: This is unfortunately a symptom of a wider trend which has been evident for some time, and it was easy to guess that this would happen. The original proposal for a programme to commemorate the victims of the repressions was presented to President Medvedev back in February 2011, and an order was subsequently issued to establish a corresponding Federal Target Programme. Three and a half years have passed since then, but more or less nothing has been done to carry out the order, even though it has been reissued as a decree by President Putin in the meantime. The latest development is a letter signed by the Deputy Minister of Culture, responding to the President’s decree, which says that the Ministry of Culture (the body tasked with drawing up the Federal Target Programme) believes it inadvisable to implement the President’s decree on the basis of reports submitted by other departments. Given the current climate, I’m not sure whether the President will insist that his instructions are followed – the chances are that he won’t, which takes us back to square one.

We’ve not forgotten President Putin’s comments during his first term in office, when he said that we should be proud of our history. It’s not easy to be proud of the kind of history which is on show at the Perm Museum, because this history – the history of the fight against non-conformism – is as sombre as that of any other totalitarian state. The Museum tells the story of those who dissented, and makes it clear that dissidents are an integral part of public life in any normal state. That’s not something that people want to hear nowadays.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Sergei Adamovich Kovalev, a human rights activist and former Soviet political prisoner, recalls how he ended up in the “Perm-36” camp.

Sergei Kovalev: I managed to end up there because of the “Chronicle of Current Events”, which I edited. I had no choice – I would have been ashamed of myself otherwise. More or less all of us ended up there, and we were all driven by a sense of shame. Things are the same again today, unfortunately. Anyway, I ended up in the camp, where I was one of the younger inmates. Once upon a time, many years ago, people like us were called “fascists” in the camps, but without any hint of rudeness or disrespect – if you were opposed to the Soviet authorities then you had to be a fascist, that was simply the way it was. Some people called us “Marxists” too, as a hangover from earlier times when the first political prisoners started to appear in the Soviet Union. That was back in the early Khrushchev era, in 1956 and 1957, and there were in fact plenty of Marxists among these prisoners, who disapproved of the Soviet authorities on the grounds that they were just pretending to embody the tenets of Marxism instead of being guided by true Marxist beliefs. Then people began to understand that there is no such thing as “true” Marxism and no guiding beliefs.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: What is so valuable about a museum like “Perm-36”? Why is it so imperative that we save it from being abandoned and demolished?

Vladimir Bukovsky: I think that its real value can be seen in relation to the generation of young people in Russia today who are sadly prevented from learning any real facts about the totalitarian regime. What they’re told is essentially propaganda. They're taught in school that Stalin was a good manager, but they're not told that he killed 60 million people in the process. Today’s younger generation has absolutely no concept of the dark underbelly of the eternal dream of socialism. That’s why they harbour many of the old illusions and have such a distorted idea about Russia’s history, and that’s the reason behind the outbursts of imperialism that we’ve seen in connection with the Crimea and other conflicts, which have a huge influence on public opinion. We are faced with a new generation which is completely lacking in any historical education.

The most convincing way to approach this kind of education is of course to preserve the places where the victims of the repressions were actually imprisoned, and projects of this kind have been implemented throughout almost all of Eastern Europe. There are museums and research centres in nearly every country dedicated to either the Communist past or both the Communist and fascist past. A good example is the House of Terror in Hungary, which has sections about both the fascist and Communist eras, the aim being to educate new generations by bringing the past vividly to life. We’ll never forget our past, but young people weren’t there, and so they have no real sense of what happened.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Tatyana Kursina, human rights activist and former director of the “Perm-36” Museum, claims that the Museum has acted as the basis for a successful public-private partnership over the past 20 years.

Tatyana Kursina: There is a tradition of collaboration between civil society and the regional administration in the Perm region. We all worked together on the project for 18 years, with the administration providing significant amounts of funding in recent years and participating in almost all of our major outreach activities, such as the international civil forum “Pilorama” and the public reading in remembrance of Viktor Petrovich Astafyev. Perm's regional government turned out in full at “Pilorama”; they stayed in tents, played basketball and ate kasha in the field kitchen. We were all in it together.

We were very proud of the fact that it was a joint project. The museum came about through the joint efforts of the regional authorities and an NGO, which involved the setting up of a successful public-private partnership. By 2012 it was apparent that the museum would be included in the Federal Target Programme aimed at commemorating the victims of political repression. The plans which were drawn up for this programme last year named “Perm-36” as one of three federal-level monuments dedicated to the national remembrance of the GULAG tragedy.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Yan, whose idea was it to rethink the idea behind the “Perm-36” Museum?

Yan Rachinsky: I’m not sure I know whose it was exactly. The government of the Perm region ultimately initiated the changes, but there had been a propaganda campaign running against the museum for quite a long time beforehand, instigated by the infamous Kurginyan and his movement “Essence of Time [Sut’ vremeni]” (also fittingly known as “Dregs of time [Mut’ vremeni]”). The accusations levelled at the museum could have come straight out of the Soviet era which Kurginyan misses so much – talk of vilifying and distorting our glorious past, spreading propaganda and fascism and who knows what else. It goes without saying that all of these accusations are complete rubbish, but sadly we are seeing hysterics of this kind ever more frequently, and it’s been a permanent fixture on the central television channels for some time now. It’s clear that this quasi-hysterical campaign influenced the position of the Perm government to some extent.

We can but hope that all is not lost, since this has been a very rare example of a joint undertaking involving both civil society and the authorities. To take Ukraine as a counter-example, since we keep on returning to the subject of Ukraine anyway, our project is very different to the Ukrainian model, where work has been going on for many years to commemorate the victims of the repressions by publishing books of memory with lists of their names. Every region has followed a standard approach to the best of its abilities, and almost all of the books are now complete. I think that this has also been a factor influencing the public mood and opinions.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: The human rights activist Sergey Kovalev recalls the make-up of the prison population during his time in the “Perm-36” camp.

Sergei Kovalev: Most of my fellow prisoners were Lithuanian, Latvian or Estonian “Forest Brothers” or members of the western Ukrainian opposition, the "Banderists", to give them their current derogatory title. What kind of people were they? They were imprisoned for betraying their motherland. Yet which motherland did they betray? The authorities which had occupied their country called themselves the motherland and told them, "Now we are your motherland, what you had before is no longer a motherland – you may not defend it, you must defend us.” And so these people – these honourable people – ended up in the camp. They were falsely accused of all manner of things, brutality, cruelty and who knows what else. But they were fighting for their motherland - their own motherland, not the one which had been imposed on them. That was who was in the camp.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: How is it that we have returned so quickly to a situation where innocent people falsely condemned by the state are portrayed as public enemies?

Vladimir Bukovsky: This is where the Kremlin’s current political strategies have brought us. The moment when it all started was back in 2000, when the Chekists finally came to power. They brought back the Soviet national anthem and the Soviet army's red flag, as symbols of their intention to restore the Soviet system both internally and externally – internally by reinstating the practices of repression and censorship, as we have seen, and externally by restoring the Soviet sphere of influence. That’s the reason behind Georgia, the Baltic and Ukraine – it’s a deliberate political strategy. And if that’s the direction we’re heading in, anyone who is opposed to the past must be an enemy again, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. It’s entirely logical; if we decide to return to our Soviet past and insist that everything about it was good and proper, anyone who was opposed to the Soviet system will again become an enemy.

The second issue is the propaganda currently being spread by the Kremlin on this subject, which is shameful not merely because of its arrogance and blatancy, but because it is entirely devoid of any truth or facts. Events are being deliberately distorted. I watched the programme on NTV, and Levko Lukyanenko, with whom I shared a prison cell, was called a Banderist, even though he was never once a member of the Banderist movement. He was called up to the Soviet Army, and even served in the war. Yet the programme claimed that he was a leading Banderist and portrayed him as the worst kind of riffraff. Now the Banderists are supposed to have seized Ukraine, and we are being fed pure propaganda which completely distorts the facts. If Russia continues to take this approach to its public information policy, we’ll soon be rehabilitating Yagoda, Dzerzhinsky, Berin and their ilk. It’s only logical – maybe we should build a memorial to Dzerzhinsky on Lubyanskaya Square, open up Lenin’s mausoleum and reinstate the Soviet system in all its glory, including the mass repressions.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Tatyana Kursina regrets the fact that the local authorities have started to turn against the museum in recent years.

Tatyana Kursina: There was nothing to warn us of the confusion and crisis we’ve experienced over the past two years. Strictly speaking, everything began with the international civil forum "Pilorama", which started as a festival of singer-songwriters, but had grown over the past five years to involve film screenings, performances, several dozen exhibitions and a discussion panel, the participants in which held lively debates about everything from the history of the GULAG to the fate of Russia. I think the key point is that some of the opinions which were expressed were extreme, and I can only presume that someone somewhere didn't like it or got scared. I don't know the exact reasons, but in any case it all started with "Pilorama".

“Pilorama” was held for the last time in 2012. We had to fight long and hard for it, and the situation was very tense, but we managed to reach an agreement. Viktor Fedorovich Basargin, the newly-appointed Perm governor, successfully acted as advocate for the project. But there were almost no events held under the “Pilorama” banner in 2013, and the same will be true again in 2014. The local authorities thought up all manner of clever schemes and ways to cut administrative funding, and so “Pilorama” has been postponed.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: What annoyed the authorities so much about the “Pilorama” festival?

Yan Rachinsky: I think it was the discussion panel that annoyed them most – the fact that people were given the opportunity to voice independent opinions that never used to be heard. I don’t think it’s the subject itself which bothers the authorities so much, since neither Medvedev nor Putin are really fans of Stalin when it comes down to it. The real issue at stake is making sure that the focus is always on the splendour of the state and ensuring that the state’s values come first. When we tell the truth about the repressions, the problem is not so much that we are questioning these values or the eternal infallibility of the state – what we are doing is making it clear that people come first, and that the authorities will always lead the country down a dead-end street unless they are subject to the necessary checks and balances.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Sergei Kovalev reminds us who set up the “Perm-36” Museum and who is responsible for its closure.

Sergei Kovalev: The man responsible for founding “Perm-36” is Viktor Aleksandrovich Schmyrov, who was never a prisoner himself. He is simply a historian who is remarkably knowledgeable about the Perm region, as well as being a wonderful person. He set it up together with his wife, Tanya Kursina, who was sacked from her job, and other supporters. The local authorities have now decided that they are extremists – an honest man is being called an extremist, while those who suck up to their superiors are considered honourable.

Let me tell you more about “Perm-36”, which is a territory of freedom as well as a museum. Yet last summer there was no “Pilorama” festival, and there won’t be one this year either. Who was behind the attacks on “Perm-36”? The so-called patriotic youth, these young boys and girls who have been raised to honour the traditions of the glorious Communist past. Who was responsible for their upbringing? The people who visited "Perm-36", who came to our conferences and festivals, who enjoyed freedom of speech and the opportunity to state their position – the protégés of Sergey Kurginyan.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: This year is the 75th anniversary of the start of the Second World War. Why has the memory of its real heroes and anti-heroes become a threat to the state at precisely this moment?

Vladimir Bukovsky: We need to think about the broader message behind the propaganda. By the end of the Soviet period there was nothing positive that could be celebrated in propaganda except for the Second World War, understood in the narrower sense of the Great Patriotic War which started in 1941 rather than 1939. This was their final frontier, a safe haven for them to talk about heroism, ideals, the role of the party and so on. Nothing else remained, since all the other periods of Soviet history had been denounced at some time or other by the party itself. Every time they found fault with a period of history, they were forced to turn their backs on it and sketch out new milestones. The Second World War, or at least their version of it, was the only part of history which was left and which they could use to cook up propaganda.

It was a source of supreme annoyance and irritation to them that there was so much evidence and so many publications proving the mendacity of their version of events. They fought until the very end to defend this final frontier of Soviet propaganda. And now they need to resurrect this model, since every aspect of our history is apparently wonderful and nothing bad has ever happened – minor and isolated problems perhaps, but overshadowed by the heroics of the Soviet people. We are seeing the deliberate reinstatement of the clichés trotted out by the Soviet authorities. What is lacking is any understanding of the fact that it was these very clichés that brought about the downfall of the Soviet system, and history will repeat itself if we return to them, for exactly the same reasons that the Soviet Union met its downfall. They blindly refuse to see this fact. We are treading the same paths and falling into the same traps.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Yan, tell us about the “Last Address” programme, which is also awaiting approval from the state.

Yan Rachinsky: Sergei Parkhomenko is the main driving force behind the “Last Address” programme, although in some senses we laid the groundwork. The programme involves placing signs on buildings from which people which were taken, never to return – to be shot, basically. Many of these buildings are still standing and the addresses are already known to us – we have identified around 12,000. Many people have been involved in getting this project off the ground. To begin the focus was on Moscow, but groups have now appeared in St Petersburg, in Kostrom, in Saratov, and I think also in other towns. Initially it looked like the authorities would support the idea, but recently there have been reports suggesting that they think it would make the city look too sad. Apparently it wouldn't be sad because of our history, because of the fact that around 30,000 people were summarily executed in Moscow alone during the “Great Terror” – it would be sad because of some little signs with the names of these people. I find this is a very strange way of thinking about the issue.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Tatyana Kursina believes that until 1 July there is still a small chance that the closure of the museum can be stopped.

Tatyana Kursina: A meeting of representatives from the Perm region took place on 17 June in Moscow, hosted by the administration of the President of the Russian Federation. Attendees included Aleksey Frolov, head of the administration of the governor of the Perm Region, Aleksey Kirillovich Simonov, head of the board of the NGO “Perm-36”, Arseny Borisovich Roginsky, member of the board of the international “Memorial” organisation and of the social council of the NGO “Perm-36”, and Vladimir Petrovich Lukin. My colleagues have told me that a decision was taken to carry on working on the agreement which sets out the roles of the state and public bodies involved, and to draft a final version of this agreement to be signed by the members of the board and the government of the Perm region. A deadline of 1 July was set. We’ve not yet reached this deadline, but we are in an enormously difficult position. The museum has been closed since 1 April, and the electricity and water have been switched off. The NGO "Perm-36", which was responsible for running the museum for the first quarter of the year, has not yet received any grant from the Ministry of Culture of the Perm region. I have appealed to the courts, since I have never before seen or heard so many lies and so much hypocrisy and deceit.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Would you say it is a coincidence that these programmes have been brought to a halt both in the capital and in the provinces?

Yan Rachinsky: It is unlikely to be a coincidence, unfortunately. It is merely a continuation of the ongoing trend of narrowing the field of discussion. We are already alarmingly close to what happened back in Soviet times, when the press failed to report in any way on the huge number of deaths during the famine. The country was not told, and we too are now living in a country where anyone who watches the state television channels is simply not told about many things. To take the events in Ukraine as an example, all we are told about is what is said in Comrade Churkin’s speeches to the Security Council. It’s thought that television viewers have no need to know what the others said, which just shows how far we have come.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Sergei Kovalev recalls that a number of famous people were imprisoned in “Perm-36”.

Sergei Kovalev: Many people ended up as "special" prisoners, as they were called. We had a black uniform, but theirs was striped, so that they wouldn’t run away. Not that they wouldn’t have caught us even without stripes, of course. But they were brought to Perm towards the end of my time there, when I was taken to a prison in Tatarstan. That was when these “special regime” prisoners, the ones with the striped uniforms, began to arrive from Mordovia. They included Lukyanenko, Vasyl Stus, a very famous and gifted Ukrainian poet who was nominated for the Nobel Prize even while he was in prison because of the poetry he had written, but who died at the camp, Yevgen Sverstyuk...All of these Ukrainians were prisoners at Perm-36.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Is there also an anti-Ukrainian context behind the opposition to “Perm-36”?

Vladimir Bukovsky: Yet, of course. A campaign is currently being waged, and after all both the Soviet Union and modern-day Russia draw their lifeblood from campaigns. The current campaign is that against Ukraine, and Perm-36 was where the Banderists were imprisoned. One the one hand they’re supposed to be scoundrels, and on the other they’re being celebrated. This is very clearly a factor, judging by the programme shown on NTV. And yet I’ve always found it funny that the people fighting in today’s Ukraine are called Banderists. I was once in prison with real Banderists, and I know for a fact that none of them have survived to the present day. Even if they had, the youngest Banderist today would be around 90 years old, and so it makes me laugh when they tell us that the Banderists have seized Kiev.

But that’s not the point. Anyone who fights for independence, in this case Ukrainian independence, automatically becomes an enemy. And who were the original Ukrainian freedom fighters? The Banderists. And so everyone is lumped together and called a Banderist. This then becomes relevant to "Perm-36" because this is where these people were imprisoned, and the museum tells you what they were imprisoned for and what the conditions were like at the camp.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Some people have suggested that someone else could be appointed custodian of the museum, such as Vladimir Petrovich Lukin or another Kremlin favourite, by way of a compromise. Is this a possibility?

Yan Rachinsky: It’s missing the point somewhat. Vladimir Petrovich has been heavily involved with the museum for many years and holds it in high regard. It would be good if we could find some way of resolving the complex situation brought about by the dealings of the Perm authorities, but I’m not sure whether we will succeed in doing so. The propaganda being spread in an attempt to place people on different sides of the barricades, to paint everything in black and white, is a very obvious trend and unlikely to change or abate. The good thing about the museum was that it allowed a more nuanced view of history rather than resorting to simplifications. All of the events in Ukraine are complex, ambiguous and heterogeneous, but they are all lumped together under the heading of "Banderists", without any explanation of who Bandera was, the fate which met him, or what the Banderist movement actually involved. No attention whatsoever is paid to any of this, and the term is merely used as a shibboleth to divide the audience into two halves. This is a fundamental and extremely dangerous tenet of propaganda.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Do people abroad and the global community understand what is going on in Russia, and why we are seeing a return to the times cited by the Western political elite in connection with our current president?

Vladimir Bukovsky: They’ve started to understand it now. For a very long time, ever since 2000, it’s been extremely difficult for us to explain to them what is going on in Russia, which processes are in motion and what their outcome will be. The West decided of its own accord that Russia was a democracy and that everything was just fine. Any minor problems were mere trifles which would resolve themselves in time. Russia’s recent response to Georgia, and in particular to the Crimea, has however suddenly brought it home to the West that we are facing a real threat to peace, and a real threat of war. This has scared them and brought them back down to earth with quite a bump, and they now harbour very few illusions in respect of the current Russian authorities.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Do you believe that the amendments will be adopted, and that it will in future be possible for the relevant bodies to decide that an NGO should be named a foreign agent?

Yan Rachinsky: We have already committed many words to paper about the fact that the whole idea behind this law is anti-constitutional and unlawful. It represents a return to earlier times, when the state named anybody it fancied a foreign agent. It’s hard to see this as anything new; unfortunately we have seen all of this before, and it’s simply yet another of the many signs that we are heading down the same path again.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine signed economic association agreements today with the EU. Will this protect them from the economic and political pressure exerted by the Kremlin?

Vladimir Bukovsky: No, under no circumstances. It’s an illusion harboured by certain people living in the post-Soviet sphere, who regard the EU as some kind of counterweight to the Kremlin. This is far from the truth, and reveals a complete misunderstanding of the relevant history. The European Union is a sluggish and weak imitation of the Soviet Union. It guarantees nothing, particularly since signature of an association agreement does not entitle a country to subsidies or anything else. It is a gesture, and a fairly meaningless gesture at that. NATO membership would be much more significant for these countries, since NATO guarantees the security of its members, and the EU does nothing of the kind.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Would you agree that Putin's request to revoke his permission to deploy troops abroad smacked of hypocrisy?

Yan Rachinsky: I believe that it was little more than a publicity stunt, particularly since permission had been granted previously for the deployment of troops outside the borders of the Russian Federation, a fact already noted in many places. It is hard to view it as a serious suggestion.

I would however like to raise an objection to what was said about the European Union. It is true that it offers no guarantees, just like the promises given by Russia have proven to be so much flannel. It does however provide a certain form of protection while a country is moving towards EU membership, since it must meet certain requirements which rule out the possibility of a return to the conditions in Soviet times or even in modern-day Russia. The fundamental freedoms are guaranteed, and I think that this in itself is extremely valuable. An association agreement channels development in the right direction, towards civic freedom and prosperity.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Are you saying that all democratic freedoms will be guaranteed in these three countries from now on?

Vladimir Bukovsky: No, of course not. Unlike you, I live in the European Union. All the surveys show that over half of the population of the UK wants to leave the EU, but we are not even allowed to hold a referendum. The European Union itself is not a democratic institution, it is not elected. The European Commission appoints itself, just like the Politburo. The only elected body, the European Parliament, is not fit for purpose. It sits for only two weeks of every month and has around 1000 members, which means that each MEP has just 6 minutes each year to speak before the chamber, or in other words zero influence. And it doesn’t even deal with the really important issues.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Moving on from the subject of European red tape, will we succeed in overcoming our own country’s red tape and gaining support for a programme to commemorate the victims of political repressions?

Yan Rachinsky: We will of course keep trying and continue our efforts. We have been doing so for 25 years, and we are not going to give up.

Will we manage to navigate all the red tape? I’d love to hear the President’s response to this question, since after all it was him who issued the decree which Mr Aristarkhov, the Deputy Minister of Culture under Minister Medinsky, has deemed inadvisable to carry out. We could quite rightly ask ourselves who the red tape is affecting most, since it is the President who has been left looking stupid.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: As regards the fate of the “Perm-36” Museum, can we expect new developments from 1 July?

Yan Rachinsky: We certainly hope so, although we sadly cannot be sure. But we have not lost hope.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Vladimir Konstantinovich, will the idea of commemorating the victims of political repressions survive?

Vladimir Bukovsky: That depends on the timescale we're talking about. They might succeed in hushing the idea up or in gagging, obliterating and banning it in the short term, but this regime cannot survive much longer. These issues aren’t going to go anywhere. Once the country moves into a new stage of development, everything will return and be remembered and resurrected again. There’s nowhere to run from history.

Source: Radio Svoboda, 27.06.2014

Translated by Joanne Reynolds