MOSCOW, January 7. /TASS/. The idea of recognizing the entire period when Ukraine was part of the former Soviet Union as a period of occupation is absurd as it reveals complete ignorance as far as the knowledge of history is concerned, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Sunday.
"People of the older generation won’t take this bait: they remember only too well that back then people in Ukraine lived better, wealthier than in Russia. As a matter of fact, it could be said about all other Soviet republics. Russia was literally sacrificing its interests to ensure good living standards to other nationalities," Frants Klintesevich, the first deputy chairman of the defence and security committee of Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house, told journalists commenting on a corresponding initiative advanced by director of Ukraine’s Institute of National Memory, Vladimir Vyatrovich. "Then, who is an occupant?"
According to the Russian lawmaker, Vyatrovich’s initiative to codify by law that present-day Ukraine is successor to the Ukrainian People’s Republic is beyond understanding. "Does it mean that Kiev wants to get back to the then borders and nearly half itself? By the way, Ukraine obtained this half when it was part of the Soviet Union. This is what they call an ‘occupation’?," he stressed.
Vyatrovich earlier came out with an initiative to recognize the period of Ukraine’s being a Soviet republic as a period of "occupation" and pass laws to declare it being successor to the Ukrainian People’s Republic. According to Vyatrovich, Kiev must make "political and legislative steps to follow succession of Ukraine’s statehood from 1917-1921 to the present day."
In May 2015, Kiev adopted decommunization legislation aimed at denouncing the Communist regime and outlawing Soviet symbols. The decommunization crusade requires that all facilities bearing the names of Soviet figures regardless of status be renamed. Also in the crosshairs, anything mentioning communism, Soviet power, or its institutions, is deemed illegal as well.
One of the greatest uproars of late was fueled by Ukrainian parliament members, when they decided to rename the city of Dnepropetrovsk to Dnepr and the city Kirovograd to Kropivnitsky. According to the Ukrainian authorities, 987 settlements have been renamed across the country.
In practice, in the course of this campaign the new authorities are doing all to get rid of all that reminds of Soviet times, but also everything reminding of ties between Ukraine and Russia. Thus, the Moskovsky Avenue was renamed to Bandera Avenue. Besides, the Institute of National Memory published the list of 520 historical names whose activity falls under decommunization legislation.