Myroslav Marynovych Мирослав Маринович

* 1949  

  • At the turn of the 76th year, in March of the 76th year, we organized for the KGB our last farewell action of disobedience. It took place at Shevchenko's poetry night, in the Kyiv Philharmonic, which we attended being well aware that the 76th year is a frenzy of Brezhnev ideology, and there will be nothing Ukrainian there. But we went there, the hall of the Philharmonic was full because people were still thirsty for something like that. Well, the evening begins with the speech of Mykola Shamota, he is... still a Ukrainian, but also a turncoat, as they say. He is a literary critic, and he made a speech about Shevchenko, but it was actually a speech about Lenin, describing how Lenin respected Shevchenko, and that he even went to Shevchenko's poetry night in Krakow even though the event was a bit nationalistic, and so on and so forth. Then the concert began, which had a very interesting pattern: no poem or song based on Shevchenko's words in Ukrainian. When singing songs - singing only Ukrainian folk songs, when reciting Shevchenko's poetry - only in Russian from Shevchenko's "Dnievnik (The Diary)" because he wrote it in Russian. That is, these quotations were read, but in Russian because that's how it was written in the original. So... When the intermission started, Mykola and I agreed that, since we knew that it would be like this until the end, we agreed on making a demonstration. Then it really was like that until the end, at the end they sang a song, I don't remember which one, people chanted "Za-po-vit, Za-po-vit" (Tes-ta-ment, Tes-ta-ment). They then announce a song about the party that shocked people in general, and that was all, the concert was over, they said in Ukrainian: the concert is over, disperse. Well, people started going out, then, as we agreed, I jumped on stage, went to the microphone and told people: Stop. And I started saying something like this: we have heard from our lecturer today at the beginning that Lenin respected… Respected Taras Shevchenko, and at the same time we must remember that Lenin loved not only Beethoven's "Appassionata", but also Shevchenko's "Testament." So, let's sing Shevchenko's "Testament" [cheerfully]. And people at once, I saw them in the front rows, started smiling [laughs] from ear to ear, everyone understood that turn of events, and nodded - yes-yes-yes. The piano was in the middle of the stage, I approached the piano and wanted to take the first chord to sing the Testament. A woman runs up to me and just hissed so softly: Stop right now! And she turned to the people: The concert is over! The concert is over! And she kept my hands from the piano and didn’t let me take the chord. Well, I wouldn't fight with a woman on the stage [laughs], so then I got up, shrugged my shoulders, and… I couldn't do anything else, but then Mykola jumped on the stage. He came to the microphone and the first thing he said was "People, aren't you ashamed?" And the audience answered: "We are ashamed" [laughs]. Well, then we realized that we had the audience's support, we jumped off the stage, we were surrounded by people, we started singing "Testament", and all the people in the audience began to sing. And those others they run, shouted, no one heard them. Then what they did - they started flashing light. We did not react and continued singing. Then they turned off the lights altogether. And that was a huge psychological mistake because when the whole audience was singing "Testament" in the dark hall it sounded colossal, it was such an experience, you know, to sing that loud "Testament" in darkness.

  • The next day we went to Koncha Zaspa, met Mykola Danylovych Rudenko, and he happily greeted and received us. We talked, he asked about us and so on, and so we became members of the Helsinki Group, he included us in the declaration, which he just had to distribute, and… one second, I apologize, or was it… in any case, there is my signature on the declaration, but I no longer remember at what point I signed it. We agreed that we join the group, and a few days later, when in the evening, at night, the information on Radio Liberty was announced that a group had been formed in Kyiv, the names of the group members were announced too, because the declaration included our surnames and our addresses, it was not an underground group. It was us who announced that we don't raise the question of changing the government, we only work for human rights. And as soon as our surnames were announced, our surnames, the situation changed. I'm just amazed how the KGB didn't catch the moment when we met and signed the document, they apparently missed it, because as soon as it was announced on the radio, the next morning, I was… I often spent nights with Mykola at his sister Tamila's in Kyiv, because she lived in the very Kyiv. And umm... I go out to go to work, to the publishing house "Tekhnika", and there is a car in the yard, and I want to go right, in the car direction, I start going, and the car leaves turning the headlights on. So I am walking illuminated by headlights. It was a psychological pressure, I walk, and they drive away, away, but all the time I am illuminated by those headlights. I understand very well that this is the KGB, and since then a targeted psychological attack has begun. They followed hot on our heels, as people say.

  • "On May 22, year 73, I graduated from the institute in 72, and in May 73, I was already working at the Positron plant in Frankivsk. I flew on a business trip to Kyiv, at that time, or rather I flew a little sooner, maybe on the 20th, but on the 22nd I was still in Kyiv, and this is a special day for Ukrainian Kyiv because at that time there was a tradition that has actually gone away, I don't hear people following it now, and I no longer follow it myself. At that time, on May 22, people gathered at the monument to Shevchenko, Ukrainians and patriots gathered to honor Shevchenko on the day of his reburial in his native land. But since this idea, this call to gather on this very day, was initiated by the Ukrainian diaspora, it was considered a Bandera event. Everyone who went on May 22 proved by it that they are nationalists, a Bandera man, and so on… And they were subject to some punishment. At that time, all demonstrations were being dispersed, which were… that is, those protests or… gatherings near the monument, which were in the evening. And so we, knowing that they can disperse us in the evening, we went there on the morning of May 22. By we I mean Mykola Matusevych, Nataliya Yakovenko, a historian known today, then she was still young, and me. The three of us went with flowers to the monument to Shevchenko and stood there, we did not make any demonstrations there, just stood for a bit and walked away. We didn't even sing "Testament" or anything else, we just stood there and went every which way, because in particular, I had to go to Zhulyany to return to Frankivsk. I come to Zhulyany, and I am grabbed by the po..., by the militia, we didn't have police at that time. They took me to the militia department, searched and asked the following sacramental question: What was the purpose of going to the Shevchenko monument? [with laughter] I understood that the reason for the detention was the visit to the Shevchenko monument. I no longer remember what I said, what they said, but I remembered that phrase very well. Well, this information got to my factory in Frankivsk, my factory KGB officer called me and started talking to me very harshly, because in their eyes it already looked like an affront. Because they told us earlier not to do such things, and now we see that you are going against us. And he says: keep in mind whoever is not with us is against us. And at that time I was tired of everything, and I said: well, I will be against you. Honestly, I don't know where it came from, only youth can give such an impulse, umm… I said it and… and that's all, and I call that day a birthday of me as a dissident."

  • "But at that time I just met new friends in Kyiv, first of all, Mykola Matusevych, we had a mutual friend, she invited me to Kyiv, and I came and joined the community of Ukrainian Kyiv. The community was small, it was cohesive at that time, and I remember, my meeting was near the Bilshovyk metro station. I approached and saw a sea of Ukrainian embroidered shirts. Well, it was a big shock for me, I didn't even see it in Lviv, but now I saw it in Kyiv. It's like: my soul immediately reached out to these people."

  • ON LETTERS OF FREEDOM In addition, we secretly passed these or similar statements abroad. From… to Moscow, and from Moscow abroad. I must say that I was immediately involved in this, involved in writing secret information about life in a prison camp, where we recorded every punishment, everything that happened to us... And Ivan... No, Yevhen Sverstiuk was… Was it Yevhen Sverstiuk or?... No, it was Ivan Svitlychnyi who jokingly called it a PEN club because we were writing a lot [laughs]. So, I was involved in this PEN club, and I wrote the letters. The essence was to write on… preferably on cigarette paper, which… which we bought for… those who smoked shag, because it had to be wrapped, then on this cigarette paper, (you could do it on another paper as well but it was a little worse). It was necessary to write this information in small detail, very finely, and seal it in ampoules. By "seal it" I mean wrapping it in a plastic paper... sorry, in plast... in a plastic bag, yes. So, we had to wrap it several times and make... a ball, wrap it and seal it, so that no water could enter it. I'll tell you more, although it doesn't sound very aesthetically pleasing, the transfer of these documents. Suppose one of our prisoners knows that he will have a meeting with his family tomorrow. So he swallows this ampoule, goes on a meeting with family, gets this ampoule out during the meeting after a while, washes it, and poor relatives swallow this ampoule, go home, and take out this ampoule on the way [laughs], and that's how they pass it to Moscow. And from Moscow to the… to the West, and there are other people too… umm… So… Moscow dissidents, by the way, had a lot of work with those ampoules because it was necessary to unsolder everything, and it all did not look very aesthetically pleasing. It was necessary to have a magnifying glass, decipher it all, rewrite it… so we were really thankful to them, extremely thankful. For all of this.

  • The night, the night was characterized by the fact that from time to time one of the prisoners asked to go to the toilet, and you could go to the toilet only once in the morning. That was your problem if you wanted to do it sooner. And it was always the same picture: someone begs, begs, begs, and then calms down. And I don't know what they did then... but thank God I wasn't in this situation. And then in the morning, there is a specific time to go to the toilet - they announce it in the morning. And it brought me new impressions and the first lesson learned for a prisoner, which was very important to me. So, they announced the toilet time, they announced that they would escort us in a minute, I grabbed a towel, toothpaste, brush and soap. And I was standing there [laughs] and waiting. It's funny to me now that I… I… I didn't get the situation then, I was waiting. They opened my cell, and a warrant officer (praporshchik), the warden, saw everything I was holding in my hands and started swearing wildly. And I was standing there, I didn't understand what I did wrong, what I did wrong. I could see by the look on his face that the fact that I hold those things irritated him. And I thought - okay [laughs]. I put everything off and went without those items. And then I started to understand what was going on. No washing was provided, for him, the presence of a toothbrush and toothpaste was like a red fabric… a red fabric for a bull because it meant that I am a human. Forget about the fact that you are a human being, you don't wash anymore, you... you are just being transported like an animal. So the toilet time looked like that - he was standing with this... with the rifle in front of the toilet, and I... I want you to look at me, so he stands there with the rifle and says - Go. And there are no doors.

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Lviv, Ukraine, 24.09.2020

    (audio)
    délka: 01:52:09
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Paměť Ukrajiny
  • 2

    Lviv, Ukraine, 24.09.2020

    (audio)
    délka: 01:47:51
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Paměť Ukrajiny
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

„Zakusil jsem nádherný pocit - osvobození od strachu“

Myroslav Marynovyč v sedmdesátých letech
Myroslav Marynovyč v sedmdesátých letech
zdroj: Personal archive of the witness

Myroslav Marynovyč se narodil 4. ledna 1949 ve vesnici Komarovyči ve lvovské oblasti na Ukrajině. Maturoval na škole v Drohobyči, nastoupil na lvovskou polytechniku. Během studií se zapojil do okruhu kyjevské ukrajinské mládeže. V listopadu 1976 se stal jedním ze zakládajících členů Ukrajinské helsinské skupiny. V dubnu 1977 proto Myroslava Marynovyče zatkli, byl obviněn z „anitsovětské agitace a propagandy“. Byl odsouzen k nejvyššímu možnému trestu – sedm let v pracovním táboře a pět let ve vyhnanství. Svůj trest si odpykával v táboře BC-389/36 v Permi. Od dubna 1984 byl ve vyhnanství ve vesnici Saralžyn v Kazachstánu. V roce 1987 byl propuštěn a vrátil se na Ukrajinu. Myroslav Marynovyč nyní žije ve Lvově a působí jako vicerektor na Ukrajinské katolické univerzitě.