Igor Plisyuk: March of National Shame in Odessa

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



I am not tired of being surprised by the primeval and aggressive mix of shamelessness, stupidity, and tactlessness that nowadays governs in Ukraine, and, alas. in my city. And this morning gave the next food for this purpose. Just listen!

On January 31st, Shevchenko Avenue  – the arterial road connecting the city centre and the Fountain – was blocked for several hours. Another ritual action of the regime took place there: the march of the 28th mechanised brigade of Odessa that came back from Donbass from the so-called “ATO”“anti-terrorist operation”.

Having spent about half a year there, this unit of the regular army lost 144 fighters. And it is to their memories that wreath-laying and the placing of flowers in front of the memorial sign at the Regional State Administration, and then a march to the memorial stele on the Square of 19th April were devoted. Yes, the monument of liberators of Odessa from German-Romanian occupiers during the Great Patriotic War! Really, it’s impossible to think of a bigger concentration of cynicism and pharisaic lies!

After all, the very participation of units of the regular army in the civil conflict contradicts the Constitution of Ukraine. The name “anti-terrorist operation” is just a clumsy euphemism replacing the truth: the fact that in Donbass already for the fourth year the punitive-terrorist operation of the Kiev junta is being conducted against the inhabitants of this region who rose against the coup and the infringement of their legitimate rights. And one can call the LDPR “occupied territories”, and the militia “occupiers” as much as one wants, but it is clear to the reasonable person who are the occupiers, who are the punishers, and who are people with a clear conscience defending their houses, families, and human dignity.

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And the march towards the monument of liberators of Odessa looks like real schizophrenia. After all, the officials in Kiev refused the concept of the “Great Patriotic War” long ago, having replaced it with the new historically insignificant euphemism “The Soviet-German war”. State propaganda glorifies fascist henchmen like Banderists and mercenaries of the “SS-Galicia” division, consistently perverting history and crippling the minds of children and teenagers with false textbooks. So that’s why I ask you – how blasphemous is this flower-laying to a monument to our liberators by those who returned from the fields of a fratricidal war, opting for the path of punishers?!

Everybody understands that civil war is ongoing in the country. But, in that civil war [1917 – ed], the leaders of the White movement considered decorating their heroes with awards to be inadmissible. Because, even being confident in their correctness, they understood that Russians kill Russians. And that’s why even victories and feats were mournful.

But here, a couple of days before the shameful march, the governor Stepanov handed to “heroes and veterans” new bright trinkets. It’s as if they are saying: you merited it, wear it, and we will stamp more.

I don’t know what those who these signs of national shame were handed to distinguished themselves in. But I want to believe that also among soldiers and officers of the 28th brigade there were those who, like the hero of the song of Vysotsky, didn’t shoot at their brothers, fellow countrymen, women, and children. Or – consciously missed the target. After all, it is known that the inhabitants of Odessa who left the city after the tragedy on May 2nd, 2014, claim second place after locals in terms of numbers among the militiamen of Donbass.

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And I believe that there will be also another parade in Odessa. A parade in which true heroes and fighters for freedom will march across the city streets. And the inhabitants of Odessa will meet them with tears of joy, and not the estranged silence of the today’s march. Like it was in April, 1944.

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