VOLYA Institute for Contemporary Law and Society commends the Ukrainian civil society on their successful effort to remove a historically inaccurate textbook that misrepresented the EuroMaidan movement and was especially insulting to people in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. We further commend the Ukrainian government for listening to the public and taking action to withdraw this material.
A history textbook by A.V. Hisem claimed that there was “no support” for the EuroMaidan movement in Luhansk, Donbas or Crimea. This is a gross misrepresentation of facts – multiple news reports and photographs documented many demonstrations in support of EuroMaidan in these areas. Large numbers of residents from these areas participated in both these local demonstrations and the national protests in Kyiv.
The aforementioned textbook was submitted for approval in September 2014 and initially did not contain any material about EuroMaidan at all. In fact, it only covered the Ukrainian history up to 2011. The new material was added by the author after the initial approval had already been granted.
In response to public outcry, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine announced on May 16 that it was withdrawing its approval for the textbook. This step is extremely important at this critical moment in Ukraine’s history, with thousands killed in the armed conflict with the Russian Federation in eastern Ukraine, with over a million people displaced by the war and the Russian Federation’s continued illegal occupation of Crimea, with tensions and divisions being exacerbated by those who would like to undermine the unity of the country.
The vigilance and prompt response by the Ukrainian civil society demonstrates that the awakened citizenry refuses to tolerate manipulation and misinformation and demands accountability from their government. Ukrainians abroad and our allies in the West welcome and take note of the promising sign that the Ukrainian government is acknowledging and responding to the concerns and the voice of its people.
Open Letter to the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine is available for download below:
In addition, it has been translated into Ukrainian, and is available for download below:
VOLYA Institute for Contemporary Law and Society is a newly formed international think tank organization dedicated to generating and promoting intellectual leadership in the fields of civil society, human rights and the rule of law through rigorous and relevant research that informs scholarship, policy making, advocacy and practice. Organizational activities focus on creating strategic and sustainable solutions to specific societal issues related to Ukraine, in local, regional, and global contexts. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org