The Organizing Committee of the Bandershtat creative festival, which was held in Lutsk, canceled the presentation of the book by Olena Herasymyuk about Stalinist repressions titled “Rozstrilny Calendar” (The Hit List). The presentation was scheduled to be held on August 6.
As reported by author of the publication Olena Herasymyuk, as well as the writer and one of the organizers of the literary scene of the festival Hanna Lutsyuk on Facebook.
According to them, organizers received threats from people who called themselves as representatives of the Svoboda (Freedom) and Pravyi Sektor (Right Sector) political parties. The threats stated that they would disrupt the presentation. Nationalists, in particular, were offended by Olena Herasymyuk’s position regarding the support of KyivPride.
“In the morning, I was approached by the guys (related to Svoboda and Pravyi Sektor) and they said that they will prevent a meeting with Olena Herasymyuk, due to some of their conflicts, because of her Facebook post that was made in April, because she supported the KyivPride. The presentation on the territory of the festival was canceled in order to avoid collisions and fights and to guarantee security for Olena and listeners”, - Lutsyuk wrote.
Lutsyuk noted that at 11:00 a.m. about 200 people gathered to the canceled presentation of the “Rozstrilny Calendar”.
“This is a very important book about memory, which describes the chronicles of repression against the Ukrainian intelligentsia. The first presentation was to be symbolically held in Bandershtat “the festival of the true Ukrainian spirit” and symbolically it will not be held here…”, - she wrote.
At the same time, Olena Herasymyuk herself commented on Facebook about the cancellation of the presentation at the festival.
“Presentation of the “Rozstrilny Calendar” will not happen at the Bandershtat. I was informed that guys from Svoboda party came to organizers and warned that they would disrupt my presentation. I am currently specifying the details. Organizers decided to protect people from attacks and to cancel the event. Such is a story about the love of your native land. PS if my friends in work will support me during their speeches at Bandershtat – I will be grateful. And I hope that the dead will be grateful as well”, - Olena wrote.
As it became clear from the comments in social networks, it was about Olena’s post in April, where she called to prevent nationalists from disrupting the Equality March in Kyiv.
At the same time, a member of the Brovary City Council from Svoboda political party Serhiy Boyko wrote in the comments to the Olena Herasymyuk’s post that “the party has never opposed the publication of communist crimes, in particular, the “Rozstrilny Calendar”.
And Mykola Fedyk, representative of the Lutsk city organization of the Svoboda party, said that Svoboda has never conducted, does not hold and will never hold any protest actions at the Bandershtat festival, which is currently taking place in the city.
“Regarding the comments made by Olena Herasymyuk about the events at the Bandershtat festival. In addition, I, as the Head of the city organization, have never made any statements and have not authorized anyone to make statements and to perform actions on behalf of the Lutsk city organization Svoboda”, - Fedyk wrote.
In a commentary made to Hromadske, Hanna Lutsyuk said that it is not known for certain whether people who threatened to disrupt the presentation have any relation to the Svoboda organization. But she also heard that they allegedly presented themselves as members of Svoboda party.
Herasymyuk in the comments in social networks clarified that according to the organizers, one of those who threatened to disrupt the presentation named himself Yuriy Noyev, who, according to the information on the political party website is a member of the Svoboda political council.
Noyev called Herasymyuk a provocateur on his Facebook page.
Colleagues of Olena and human rights defenders spoke in her support.
In the posts, defenders of Olena, in particular, are outraged by the actions of the organizers of the Bandershtat festival, who succumbed to threats and agreed to cancel the presentation, and have not even turned to the police.
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