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VOLODYMYR VIATROVYCH AND UKRAINE’S DE-COMMUNIZATION LAWS

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Current Politics in Ukraine

David Marples

Volodymyr Viatrovych’s response to the Open Letter [http://krytyka.com/en/solutions/opinions/decommunization-and-academic-discussion], written and signed by some 70 scholars from North America, Western Europe, and Ukraine in response to the April 9, 2015, laws makes a number of unwarranted assumptions about our intentions and about Western scholarship on Ukraine generally that need to be addressed.

In his opening remarks he comments that the letter does not analyze the circumstances “under which the Ukrainian Parliament approved the “decommunization” package. Later he suggests that we did not read all the laws because we only focused on two of them. Of course we read all the laws. The two laws to which we referred caused most concern. And it was not the circumstances so much as their rapid path to approval without much discussion—not merely in the Parliament, but in the country generally, including among the scholarly community–that elicited our response.

Viatrovych asserts that “similar laws were adopted by…

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