Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
On October 14th, 2017, on Day of the Defender of Ukraine in Vinnytsia a bronze monument to the Ukrainian figure of the beginning of the last century Symon Petliura was unveiled at the address 15 S. Petlyury Street.
The monument was established in the yard of a historical building – earlier there was the Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, and now – regional radio. This is the first life-sized monument to Petliura in Ukraine – the bronze Petliura is represented as sitting on a bench with the map of Ukraine on his lap.
Local politicians and social activists spoke during the celebration on the occasion of its unveiling. In particular, the governor of the Vinnytsia region said that “the NKVD tried to tarnish the good name of Symon Vasylyovych, using elements of hybrid war”.
“Today is an historical day – we open a new page, and it is important that here, on the Podolsk land, we unveil the first monument to Symon Petliura. This is a person who sincerely loved their country, their native language, who sought to be honest with their own people … Elements of hybrid war was used against Symon Vasylyovych at a time when everything was done by the NKVD to blacken his good name,” said the chairman of the Vinnytsia Regional State Administration Valery Korovy during the monument’s unveiling.
On May 25th, 1926, the Ukrainian Jew Shalom-Shmuel Schwarzbard shot Symon Petliura in Paris. According to Schwartzbard, he wanted to get revenge on the former head of the Directorate of Ukraine for the numerous murders of the Jewish population in Ukraine. The family of Schwartzbard also suffered from the actions of pogromists.
After a one-and-a-half-year investigation the jury completely acquitted Shalom-Shmuel Schwartzbard. The arguments in defense of the murderer of Petliura were so convincing that in 90 years nobody has decided to reconsider the results of the hearing and the facts stated during the trial.
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