Innocent Maidan Protestors & Russian Aggression: What Is Said in New School Ukrainian Textbooks?

Recently the Ministry of Education of Ukraine submitted a new concept for upper education, which describes how the educational process will change.

However, it doesn’t describe how textbooks will change, which is a topic that is being discussed on social media. Thus, the political scientist Nikolay Kapitonenko quoted on Facebook some phrases from a fifth-class book:

“Well I can’t read without laughter a school history textbook. ‘In these conditions society realised to what extent the changes that would ensure the development of Ukraine and the establishment of its independence are necessary. Reforms began in the country’. On such a note the paragraph about Euromaidan comes to an end. A good, cheerful joke. After this there are questions. For the fifth class: ‘Why did Russia engage in aggression against Ukraine?'”

The Ukrainian “Strana” website decided to find out what else is written in textbooks about Ukraine and its role in contemporary history?


In February it became known that the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine included in the history of Ukraine program for the 11th-class the topic of the creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the granting of Tomos of Autocephaly.

Senior school students will study these subjects already this spring. And this topic will be published in history books from the next academic year, since it is planned to print new books for the 11th-class in 2019.

In addition, the topic of the church and Tomos will be brought into the program of the External Independent Evaluation (EIE) for Ukrainian history, but exams on it will take place no earlier than 2021.

Shukhevych isn’t a Nazi anymore

One more recent innovation is the withdrawal of unattractive facts from the biography of the founder of UPA Roman Shukhevych. More precisely, the narrative that is taught to school students. The Ministry of Education and Science obliged history textbook publishing houses to remove for the 10th class the mention of Roman Shukhevych’s cooperation with the SS “Galicia” division with units of Hitler’s army.

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“Fed the whole world”

In the summer of last year a new geography textbook was actively discussed. In the textbook the idea of the “wheat” exclusiveness of Ukrainians was promoted.

The creators of the textbook Pyotr Maslyak and Svetlana Kapirulina claim that Ukrainians since ancient times supplied countries with wheat worldwide: “Today the whole world is being fed on genetically Ukrainian, Trypillian wheat that Ukrainian immigrants brought to the US, Russia, Canada, Kazakhstan, and Argentina”.

Home reading about lesbians

In November 2018 there was a scandal concerning the anthology of Ukrainian literature for the 11th class – works that are based on intimate relations between two sisters were found.

The anthology was published in 2011 and edited by A. Borzenko. In the summary it is specified that in it “offers works of Ukrainian literature that are recommended for studying within the current school program, approved by the Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of Ukraine”. The book contains works from the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century.

The work that became a stumbling block was written by Tatiyana Malyarchuk’s feather from Ivano-Frankovsk. Her work “Tsvetka and her I”, which was included in the scandalous textbook, is devoted to the relationship of two sisters in which one will experience romantic feelings for the other.

Removing the word “parents”

In June 2018 the media wrote that an “anti-discrimination examination” of school textbooks that are being prepared for printing at the state’s expense found examples of “discrimination” in them. After the examination was carried out, “most children can’t find in Ukrainian textbooks either a reflection of themselves, or a reflection of their relatives, or those special circumstances in which they live”.

The Ministry of Education offered an explanation. In particular, the anti-discrimination examination recommended to replace the word “parents” with the word “relatives” in textbooks.

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Manuals about Maidan and the ATO

In 2015 the Ministry of Education dispatched to schools a 29-page brochure entitled “Revolution of Dignity and the aggression of Russia against Ukraine”.

In the brochure it is said that those who cooperate with “separatists” are “collaborators”, without specifying whether, for example, doctors who work in local hospitals fall match this description.

Among the authors of the brochure there is the political scientist Aleksandr Paly, who is a known pro-Poroshenko propagandist. Here are some laughable quotes from the brochure (embedded in full at the bottom) designed to cover up the truth about the coup in Kiev in 2014.

About Euromaidan:

The center of the capital resembled the well-known Zaporozhye Sich. On Maidan alcoholic drinks were forbidden, and food and treatment was offered to all volunteers free of charge. Millions of people over all the country endowed money and necessary things for protesters. For months protesters didn’t commit any offences on Maidan, despite the fact that some million people passed through Maidan during this time”.

About “titushki”: 

“The authorities [Yanukovych – ed] pulled together thousands of ‘titushki’, who, for the purpose of destabilisation and justifying repression, set fire to cars in Kiev, destroyed property, and cruelly beat passersby. In January 2014 the quantity of arsons, robberies, and theft of cars increased threefold in the capital. The police practically didn’t investigate these crimes. In reply the inhabitants of Kiev created groups to patrol the city and defend property. The caught ‘titushki’ were forced to publicly repent for the committed crimes.

In many countries protesters quite often smash shop-windows, plunder shops, and the authorities intervene. In Kiev this winter everything was on the contrary – the authorities themselves organised attacks on law-abiding citizens and their property”.

About “separatists”:

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“Like during World War II, there were people who became collaborators, that are traitors of the country, cooperating with aggressors. Many drew trouble upon the land, being under the influence of Russian propaganda. Some betrayed their country, counting on big social payments in the event of a Russian occupation. Others, including criminals and addicts, hoped that a coup will help them reach the top and will allow them to plunder and be engaged in marauding with impunity. However, the core of the separatists were Russian agents”.

About war:

“War was harshly reflected in the fates of millions of Ukrainians. Few states in modern history have passed through such tests. Thousands of civilians and military personnel perished. According to the estimates of the UN, at the beginning of 2015 the number of displaced persons in Ukraine reached more than 1 million people.”


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