Memorial plaque for George Shevelov was brutally and criminally removed in broad daylight on September 25. It was smashed to pieces, and the remains were taken away. That is, they were stolen. The memorial sign survived for 21 days only in the city which a growing current of public opinion has dubbed “the capital of neo-Stalinism.”
The three vandals told a local journalist who witnessed them in the action that they were employees of a municipal utility. Half an hour before the event, Kharkiv city councilors overwhelmingly supported overturning the city’s permission to install the plaque, with 65 ‘ayes’ to 4 ‘nays’ and 3 abstentions, despite numerous scholars all over the world appealing to their senses and speaking out in defense of Shevelov. Even so, a legitimate removal might not go ahead without a court decision. Thus, the three utility employees and the person who gave the order to destroy the plaque broke the law. Civic activists Roman and Kostiantyn Cheremsky, who have been involved with the plaque from the very beginning, filed a crime report with the militia. “They have instituted a criminal proceeding. People who have done this act of vandalism should pay material and moral damages to the community,” Kostiantyn Cheremsky commented on the events. However, we feel it necessary to note that nobody has ever been apprehended and punished for destruction of Ukrainian history monuments in Kharkiv. For example, even the huge stone commemorating the Ukrainian Insurgent Army has vanished without a trace, despite criminal proceedings being instituted in every case. Thus, it is unlikely that the three criminal utility employees are in any great fear of the local law-enforcement agencies.
The civic activists believe now that September 25 was a black day for the city, when the authorities demonstrated openly that Kharkiv’s rulers are criminals and neo-Stalinists.
Oleksandr PRYLYPKO, journalist:
“On this very day, I received George Shevelov and Valerii Marchenko’s articles, reprinted by The Day in its “Subversive Literature” collection. I read about the patriotic scholars and writers who worked to help the nation’s liberation effort: ‘The official propaganda defames and abuses them with dirtiest insults, while the deceived common people turn away from them with contempt... It forces one to recall that old woman who brought a bundle of firewood to the fire of Jan Hus...’ This miserable ax-wielding wretch, as well as Kernes and Dobkin who sent him, are similarly old men, so humiliated that they have no self-consciousness left.”