Today concluding my review of this piece from VZGLIAD. Where we left off, reporter Dmitry Bavyrin was dubious that anything will come of the Russian Prosecutor’s Office warrant against Viatrovych, or even that it is worth the paper it is written on. Here is his reasoning:
Viatrovych’s activities in whitewashing Ukrainian war criminals, is taking place on Ukrainian soil, and not within the borders of the Russian Federation. How are Russian law enforcers even supposed to get to him, short of riding in on a tank? It is unlikely that Viatrovych will ever show his face on Russian soil; therefore it will not be possible to arrest or interrogate him. In fact, Viatrovych was even previously, several years ago, declared persona non grata in Russia and denied any chance to ever get an entry visa. The Poles did the same thing to him, so he can’t ever travel to Poland either. Also, in the Game of Sanctions, Viatrovych has also been added to the list of “sanctioned” individuals in Russia, so if he has any money in Russian banks, that money has been frozen. Realistically, what else can you do to the guy?
[yalensis: My answer to that argument is: You never know. The guy could get drunk one night and wander over the border, like Savchenko. And then…. BOOM!]
Also, realistically, International Law, as defined by the post-war tribunals and institutions, doesn’t really exist any more. The United States has taken over the role of World Police, Judge, Jury and Executioner. They decide who is good guy and who is bad guy. Russia’s cries of outrage are just so much empty wind.
In fact, everybody and their grandmother is praising Hitler nowadays: For example, take the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, who likes Hitler a lot; and is considered a “friend of Russia” nowadays. But you have to take into account that the Philippines is not Europe. The people there don’t have anything against Jews per se, maybe they just see Hitler as an example of a strong leader who raised his fallen nation from its knees and got even with the people who demeaned it. [And then proceeded to lose the war rather badly, I might add.]
Anyhow, Bavyrin suggests a different approach for going at Viatrovych. Not the Hitler stuff, but rather attack him at his weakest point: His incompetence as a historian. His poor reputation, his lack of scholarly integrity, his plagiarisms and falsifications, of which there are legions. His machinations within the archives, etc. A broad front can be formed consisting of all reputable historians who study the 20th century.
Now, if this “broad front” were to consist just of Russian, Polish and Jewish historians, then it could be seen as partisan. No, the key tactic is to pull in American historians as well. Snagging an American or, even better, a Canadian-Ukrainian, into this project to discredit Viatrovych, would be like winning the lottery! And bingo, we have such people, for example John-Paul Himka (University of Alberta) and Marco Carynnyk (University of Toronto). Both of these men are members of the Canadian-Ukrainian diaspora, both ideologically favorable to Ukrainian Nationalists and collaborationists, but at the same time neither can stomach Viatrovych’s falsifications, he is a “bridge too far” even for them!
Therefore, Bavyrin concludes, such historians should be harnessed into the war against Viatrovych. And the war should be fought on the battleground of scientific history, using real actual historians as ammunition. And it is certainly true that, if the criticism was coming from “one of their own”, i.e., fellow Ukrainian Nationalists, then it would be taken more seriously than just Russia yapping on about Nazis. “Oh, that’s just Russia yapping on about Nazis again, don’t listen to her!” Bavyrin is hopeful that Viatrovych can be ideologically defeated in this manner, since the guy has made so many enemies abroad, even among his own kind; thus once again proving that the most ardent Ukrainian Nationalists simply can’t get along with anybody! Plus, his methods are so unsound that he makes Colonel Walter Kurtz look like Elliott Ness.
Bavyrin concludes his argument with the following paragraph:
For the time being, though, the fight against Viatrovych is being waged mainly by Poles and Israelis. And the majority of Russian archives are still sealed, which hinders the work of historians who are trying to refute the fake documents and falsifications upon which is being constructed the History of Independent Ukraine.
Next: Although I am done with Bavyrin, I realize I need one more installment of this series, to delve a bit more into the biographies of the two aforementioned Ukrainian historians, Himka and Carynnyk. My ears pricked up when I glanced at Himka’s bio and saw that he is married into the Chomiak family.
Oh, but one more thing, first: Bavyrin mentioned that the majority of Russian historical archives are still sealed, mostly (still too soon); and this is a very good point. I think everybody should insist that the archives of the Great Patriotic War (World War II) should be opened, for all historians to study. I am not a historian, but I personally think that is a terrific idea. In an earlier post that I did, about the Salaspils concentration camp, we saw that Soviet authorities may have released, at the time, exaggerated numbers of dead Jewish children. Oh, the Nazis killed children, all right, no doubt about that; but in the fog of war, maybe there was not an accurate count done of the corpses and graves. And Nazi apologists use Soviet khalatnost to their own advantage: If the numbers were exaggerated, then maybe that means there was not actually a crime at all! That sort of specious reasoning. Which makes it all the more imperative that the archives be unlocked and all the documents published, for everybody to see, in the clear light of day. Let the real historians sink their teeth in. And let the chips fall where they may!
[to be continued]