Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ukraine has Two Reasons for De-Communization Effort, Vyatrovich Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 23 – Vladimir Vyatrovich, the director of Ukraine’s Institute of National Memory, says that Kyiv has two reasons for pursuing its de-communization effort: to undercut Moscow’s appeals to the Soviet past in its aggression against Ukraine and to reaffirm its commitment to becoming a normal democratic country.

            In a comment to today, Vyatrovich says the first is the more immediate task but the second is “the more important” because “without overcoming the Soviet past and the totalitarian inheritance we will have no chances to develop as a normal democratic country” (

            Of the former Soviet bloc, those countries which have pursued an active policy of de-communization have moved forward, he says. “Today they are developed democratic states for whom a return to totalitarianism is impossible.” But those in which such de-communization has not occurred – including Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and the other former republics except for Moldova and Georgia and the formerly occupied Baltic countries -- remain in a state where “democracy is illusory and merely decorative.” Instead, they are “authoritarian.

            According to Vyatrovich, “de-communism is an inherent part of reforms on the path to the construction of a democratic state for countries which have a communist past in exactly the same way that de-Nazification” after World War II “was necessary for Germany to become a normal democratic state.”

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