June 30th in Ukraine – Two Different Perspectives of the Same Day

Translated by Ollie Richardson



June 30th in the history of Ukraine is a difficult and contradictory day. On this day, on June 30th, 1941, the notorious Jewish pogroms started – with the entry of German troops into Western Ukraine, in all big cities nazis and their helpers began to hunt the local Jewish population.


Footage from Day 1 of “Shukhevychfest” in Lvov – June 30th, 2017

In the past few years Roman Shukhevych’s identity — one of the leaders of OUN(b), the head of UPA, was raised to the level of Ukrainian hero. June 30th, 1907, is his day of birth. The attitude of the official authorities of modern Ukraine towards the date June 30th is characterized by Vladimir Vyatrovich, the head of the Ukrainian Institute of National memory.

On his Facebook page Vyatrovich, on June 30th, 2017, suggested to take part in a test: “How well do you know Roman Shukhevych”, which shows a collage of Shukhevych’s photos with modern Ukraine “Roman Shukhevych Today”, showing the continuity and unity of the actions of Ukrainian representatives of those years and the present power of Ukraine.

In turn, Eduard Dolinsky, the head of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, placed posted on his Facebook page a shocking video. The footage, as Dolinsky wrote, captures precisely the day of June 30th, 1941 – the beginning of the Jewish pogroms.

“The largest was a pogrom in Lvov in which over two days 1,000 Jews were killed. Peaceful, innocent, and unsuspecting people were beaten, raped, thrown out from houses, plundered, and killed… Today in Lvov the birthday of Roman Shukhevych is celebrated — ‘Shukhevichfest’,” wrote Dolinsky.

As Eduard Dolinsky wrote, the pogroms were organized and carried out by the German troops and OUN groups (b) that entered Lvov. “Roman Shukhevych and his battalion “Nachtigall”, consisting of members of OUN, also were in the city, although it is claimed that he was granted a leave of absence,described the head of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee.

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This is confirmed also by Vladimir Vyatrovich. Besides tests for knowledge on the identity of Shukhevych and photo collages, Vyatrovich posted text describing the experiences of the Ukrainian leader of the “Nachtigall” battalion on his birthday, June 30th, 1941, upon entry into Lvov. In the text the author clear specified that Shukhevych entered Lvov in the ranks of the German army:

“…The outlines of his hometown against the backdrop of the morning sky were a gift on (oh God, it is dreadful to think about!) his 34th birthday … He came back to the city, which endured two years of horrible Soviet occupation. He came back as he had once dreamed — as a soldier of the army banishing the occupier. However, not yet the Ukrainian army. On him and his colleagues — German uniforms …”

On June 1st, 2017, Kiev City Council renamed General Vatutin avenue into Shukhevych Avenue. June 30th, on the anniversary of his birthday, the decision on renaming the avenue came into force. The electronic petition “Ukrainians against the renaming of Vatutin Avenue in Kiev” actively collect signatures. Today it has 8044 signatures from the 10,000 necessary. It needs 1954 more signatures, and then the Kiev City Council will consider the appeal of citizens.

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