Memories of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union and the present


. In fact, that's just the way it is. "

This statement by Margaret Mead, a researcher who first formulated the concept of childhood in the early 20th century, made a significant contribution to the development of the social sciences, I learned quite recently, but I have been using it for a long time. In 1990, the Union of Ukrainian Women, to which I then belonged, organized Mother's Day in Kyiv for the first time. We made this holiday for three children who were taken to Pirogov, to the Cossack church, which at that time was the only one that did not belong to Moscow. Father Yuriy Boyko led them to the first communion, and we celebrated it together there, in Pirogovo. Then, sometime in June, a journalist from Moscow from Rabotnitsa magazine came to Kyiv. I was a co-chair of the Kyiv Union of Ukrainian Women, so the journalist wanted to meet with an "alternative" women's organization. I asked Ms. Oksana Meshko to meet with her as well - I wanted as many people as possible to know about such a person, and I also hoped that by that time we could have written about our passion in the magazine. Ms. Oksana agreed, and we came to Sofia Square together. Ms. Oksana began to talk about the Ukrainian liberation movement, UHS, current problems and aspirations, I told about the first steps of our women's organization, in particular about Mother's Day. "And how many children did you invite to the party?" The journalist asked. - Three. - And do you think this means something to Kyiv? - Ms. Oksana looked at the journalist the way she sometimes did - sharply, surprised, as if seeing for the first time - how did we start? And nothing - we will be independent soon!

Let me remind you - it was June 1990…

And Mother's Day in Ukraine has been officially celebrated since 1999. It turns out that it only takes nine years for some ideas from three people to become accessible and acceptable to a large country.

On July 16, 1990, the Verkhovna Rada was to adopt the Declaration of Independence. We knew this, although in general our knowledge and awareness of the "single legislature" was scarce at the time. People were already near the Parliament in the morning. We stood behind the "chain", talked, caught the slightest news from within. And suddenly - there is a Declaration of Independence! Not yet fully aware that this is for us, for Ukraine, we wanted to somehow celebrate what happened. At that time we were not experienced in "performances", but we were sincere. Therefore, the thought immediately came - you need to buy flowers and give deputies as thanks and congratulations on the important step that has taken place. Bought daisies. But who will hand it over? We will not be allowed "behind the fence". Children! Here is our salvation !. Nastunya, as always, is nearby - at rallies, meetings. They also found a boy - so that there would be parity (gender - we didn't know the words then, but we thought in the same direction) - and asked the policeman to let the children at the door so that they could hand out flowers. The children were let go, and they met each and everyone - regardless of whether they voted for the Declaration or not - handed out flowers and thanked.

Ten years later, on the day of the proclamation of the Declaration, I saw a photo on the front page of the Voice of Ukraine, in which a little girl looked in the door of the Verkhovna Rada. At first I recognized the dress J, and then I realized that it was Nastunya. I would really like to have this photo of better quality, but I can't find the photographer who captured it.

"Don't cry, don't be afraid, don't ask"

Such a "code" is written for "thugs" regarding behavior in the cell and in the area. But if you think about it, in situations where "communication" with the authorities takes place everywhere, such a credo is useful to everyone.

When MP Khmara was illegally arrested on November 7, 1990, after Colonel Grigoriev's provocation, the PSA (re-registered with the UHS in April of that year) could not stand aside and organized a series of rallies demanding his release. One day (it was a Friday) it was decided to organize a picket in front of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (now the presidential administration). We arrived early (around half past seven), stood in front of the entrance to the Central Committee (so as not to obstruct traffic, because at that time there was a provision that obstructing traffic or entering the premises of its staff is illegal), unfurled posters. I had a poster "Hands off the Cloud". Of course, everything was written by hand in the simplest way.

We realized that they were waiting for us, because as soon as we arrived, the police started walking around with a walkie-talkie, reporting something (probably J). Just five minutes later, an officer approached us and warned us that we were breaking the law and that if we did not leave now, appropriate measures would be taken against us. We, of course, thanked him and said that we would continue to stand. Literally in three minutes the bus "pazyk" arrived, chubby guys began to pull us inside - politely but persistently. I was detained for the first time, I did not know how to behave, but, as my husband later laughed - "you, like a real" bunny ", did not walk with his feet to the area." I just got up and didn't go to the bus, and the chubby guys took me inside.

There were about seven or nine of us, and the whole group was taken to the Leninsky district police station on Prorizna Street (then Sverdlova Street). 

in the State Television and Radio (then the Ministry of Culture) in the yard. We were taken into the corridor and, closing the door outside, left. Our group was very diverse. Most are men between the ages of 17 and 60. I think there was another woman, but I can't remember for sure - sorry!

We began to look around - one door led to the room where the police came in and out (police officers, as I later understood). They looked at us with interest and from time to time threw phrases like - "Oh! This will give two or three years "," Well, they will be closed now… "and so on. It was only later that I realized that this was part of the "processing" of the detainees. One of the policemen greeted me, which surprised me a lot. Then I realized that this is our precinct. We lived on Saksagansky Street then, my father was active in the district veterans' organization, so his previous impressions of me were "positive".

The other door led to a room with a small barred window, where from time to time there was a shout - "boss, I want to say, lead me…". There were detainees for theft, hooliganism and more. "Political", that is, we were not locked up there - either because we were rich for such a room, or for other reasons. So we stood all day (we arrived around nine in the morning, and I left at the beginning of the seventh in the evening), leaning against the wall in the corridor.

At two o'clock we were not touched at all, and then one person was called to the office. Tactics with different detainees were different - threats, intimidation and so on. When it was my turn, a different approach was taken. There were three men in the office (they didn't introduce themselves, and I wasn't experienced enough at the time to ask) who were sitting in different corners. They asked me about my place of work. At that time I worked at a design institute. They didn't ask about the family, but I understand that the precinct officer told them that I had not been noticed "in the connections of the defamers." The audience began to ask (almost rhetorically) - how did it happen that I am so successful - with work, with family - husband and child, with a veteran communist father (not said, but probably thought and hinted to me), with an apartment - with all the attributes of a "good Soviet man" - contacted "these" - demigods and criminals.

Since childhood, I did not like when they began to negatively evaluate my friends and deny me a relationship with them. Therefore, it was not a successful communication on my part. I'm not talking about what infuriated me that they reduced everything to some aspect of everyday life, without touching on the ideology (which I was then naive J).

After "individual treatment" we were left alone again. We entertained each other as best we could. Suddenly, one of the detainees, a man of retirement age, mentioned that he lived here. We were very impressed - how is it here? in the police? It turned out that there used to be a conservatory dormitory in the police station - a kind of "transformation". This made us very happy, and the mention of the conservatory suggested that, as we sit here, we have nothing to do - why not sing? We started singing our songs. The first, of course, was "Oh, in the meadow red viburnum" - extremely popular at the time, without it no meeting was complete, and sometimes it was sung several times. And I must say that the door between us and "freedom" was transparent. And when we started singing the song, we suddenly saw that in front of the transparent door on the other side are our leaders - deputies of the city council, members of the PSA. Everyone laughed at once, because it looked like a movie about the revolution - the detainees are singing revolutionary songs, and their leaders are watching it with approval. Deputies were listened to (there, behind the door), we were not allowed in and nothing was promised for us.

Knowing that we should be summoned to a judge, we decided that no one would agree to speak without a lawyer. We heard this from "adult" dissidents, so we decided to do it ourselves.

Sometime in the evening (after five o'clock) we were summoned by one person to the judge, after which the detainees did not return, so we did not know anything about what and how was happening "in court".

I left almost at the end. One judge was sitting in the room. He gave me a report of the detention with the testimony. There were many testimonies, but there were no "witnesses" when we stood near the Central Committee. That is, it was a "linden". I was outraged, and when I saw in the text of the testimony that she was standing and holding a poster "Down with the CPU" (see the beginning of the story - what poster I was holding), I could not stand it and said: "I have long known that there are falsifications in the courts, but I did not think that this could happen due to such a trivial fact. I agree with the slogan "Get rid of the CPU", which is attributed to me, but I had another poster in my hands. That's why I won't sign anything without a lawyer. " The judge looked at me and asked - when will you come with a lawyer? Remember, I wrote that it was Friday. Of course, I didn't have a lawyer, but then there was Hapersky's lawyer who advised the Movement, and I hoped that I could find him and convince him to help. It takes time, so I said I could come next 

and Tuesday. "All right," said the judge, "come tomorrow at 11 o'clock in the morning." That's what I went for.

Our small community, which has already been "judged", stood on the street. I thought they, like me, should come tomorrow or another day. But, as it turned out, only I had such a situation. Everyone else was awarded either 10 rubles or administrative violations. It came as a complete surprise to me - they agreed so, but it happened differently; others got rid of "small losses", so why should I go to court on Saturday? I go back, look at the judge and ask - and you can convict me today, because everyone was given 10 rubles - I also agree! And the judge looked at me so cunningly and said - no… come tomorrow with a lawyer.

I came out upset. My detention comrades calmed me down and said that everyone would come to support me tomorrow. Someone gave me Hapersky's phone, I called him and told him what had happened. He said so - in what you said, I do not see the corpus delicti or even an offense. There is no need for my presence. And then this phrase - if you are arrested - I will join.

With such "preconditions" I came to court the next day. Apart from me and my husband, only one of the detainees came yesterday, a colleague Nadiya Samulyak, who brought all the money she had in the house (about 300 rubles - rough money as at that time) as bail, as well as my husband's colleague. who at that time was a deputy of the Shevchenkivska district council, chairman of the democratic bloc) - a deputy of the Kyiv city council also from the democratic bloc. Deputies came with badges and asked the judge to be present during my case. The judge did not object. At that time, district judges were waiting for approval from the city council, so the presence of "support" was to increase the tolerance of judges. I repeated what my lawyer had advised me to do. The judge silently flipped through the case file. Then he looked up at me and said - I reviewed your case and found no corpus delicti. That's why I'm closing the case.

After a short pause, I asked - what now? - Go yourself - says the judge. - But I was detained, kept without water and food all day, it harmed my health… - and it's not up to me, says the judge, - File a complaint to the appropriate authorities.

That's what we came up with - happy, winged and determined about the next steps.

At that time, there were very few people who could help write a complaint properly. Interestingly, I was introduced to a lawyer who helped me write a complaint to the prosecutor's office for 25 rubles (a large sum is more than an administrative penalty).

The answer made me tense again - the conclusion was that there was a violation, as a result of which I was "illegally acquitted." When I later and to this day mention this wording and give it to lawyers, judges, lawyers, they say that it is, to some extent, a unique answer. Because there are known cases when people were illegally convicted, and in order not to be legally acquitted, they did not meet.

And now what? I asked again. I was told. that the prosecutor's office may now, under supervision, reopen my case to punish "in all the severity of Soviet law." But it was 1990, no one began to engage in such misery, and I learned a lesson for life - do not cry, do not be afraid, do not ask!

"… And then, as if, wings grow, and you are not afraid of anything"

The first half of 1991 was held under the "slogan" of Stepan Khmara's arrests and dismissals. We were in constant tension, waiting again for provocations from the government or its shameful acts. My husband Oles and I constantly talked about it at home, so it is logical that our daughter Nastunya was also "aware". She asked, "What can I do to get him out of jail?" "Pray," we said. A sincere children's prayer commemorated Stepan Ilkovich every night, and it so happened that he was released from the pre-trial detention center on April 5, Nastuni's birthday. How much joy there was - it was me, it was me who helped him!

Who knows - maybe so…

But after a few days of euphoria, Khmara was arrested again, so on May 1, after a rally on Independence Square, the PSA leadership decided to go to the Lukyanovka detention center. The attitude to this decision was not unequivocal in all leaders, but such a "turn" took place. The wave of protesters moved up, and then Velyka Zhytomyrska went to Lukyanivka. We knew that the police or the military were moving towards us, so we went fast enough to get up and have a more or less advantageous position. My husband wandered between the groups for coordination - there were no mobile phones at that time, and my daughter and my older sister and I, who came from Sumy "for the holidays", were in the front line. As we approached Volodymyrska Street, we saw that military trucks were moving towards Lukyanivka. Both columns slowed down but did not stop. My sister started shouting for us to leave the pavement. I asked her to leave with my daughter, and we continued to move towards the cars.

I remember the next moment very well, despite the fact that almost twenty years have passed. It really was just a moment that, as in the movie, 

stretched out on something much longer. Sister and daughter on the sidewalk, she yells at me - you're crazy, look, here's your child. My daughter shouts - she doesn't shout at her mother, my mother knows what to do, and she looks at me with fearful eyes. We approached the trucks, the wheel of the car is almost the same height as me, it continues to move slowly, and I understand that I can not take a step back. Everything is running through my head - and that my daughter is only ten years old, and that all my loved ones will be bad without me, and that I myself am only thirty-three, and I also want to live, but I also know that I can't miss this car anymore. I look carefully into the driver's eyes… and the car stops. All cars stop - they will not overwhelm people. Awareness of this is worth everything that happened before, and then, as if, wings grow, and you are not afraid of anything.

We "leaked" everywhere the shaft of cars, reached the beginning of Dekhtyarivska Street (then - Parkhomenko), there we were met again - benches and benches of police, ZMOP, military. They tried to "squeeze" us, but I already had the courage - I went to the bench and stared into the eyes of those who walked on me. I looked and asked - do you want to beat me? It was a kind of experiment - will a person beat me with a truncheon if I look her in the eye. No, I didn't beat her then.

And when later, the man was already working as deputy head of the district state administration, and the "brothers" tried to seize all sports clubs, and came to him with an offer to exchange one of these clubs for a brand new luxurious white "Toyota" standing under the window, he also mentioned this time he said: I was not afraid to go under the police batons and military vehicles, and I am not afraid of you, scum. I now have a dictaphone in my pocket (if! J), it records everything you say, and in a few minutes the recording will be with the head of the regional department (internal affairs). So now you will follow me and my family and blow the dust off us, because if, God forbid, something happens to us - not even because of you - you will be the first to blame.

If the intersection of Velyka Zhytomyrska and Volodymyrska streets had not changed, it would have been the place where I first felt what the Authority was.

"Lithuania has already seceded - now it's Ukraine's turn"

The Chernobyl disaster called on people from all over the world to join the problem. Valya, a Ukrainian woman who lived in Lithuania for more than twenty years, received the surname Kukenene after marrying a Lithuanian man. She was friends with Nadezhda Samulyak, who worked on the radio, was a co-chair of the Kyiv Union of Ukrainian Women, and actively participated in various good deeds. And so Valya came up with this idea - she went on Lithuanian television and said that she, a Ukrainian, has lived in Lithuania for more than twenty years, knows and loves Lithuanian culture, speaks Lithuanian, but her soul hurts for Ukraine, and in particular for the fact that the Chernobyl problem in Kyiv is no less than in the 30-kilometer zone, but who will rehabilitate a city with a population of more than two million? She asked if people would agree to take in children and families from Kyiv, and in Kyiv she gave the same information on Nadiya radio.

The preparation for the summer was full of emotional experiences, because people from all over Lithuania called, told how good it would be to have a rest, said they could come to Vilnius and pick up guests, there were many other details that moved us. Yes, one collective farm, which still existed in Lithuania at the time, suggested that a whole group come and settle in a kindergarten that closes for the summer.

One day Valya called us at home and said - this address is just for you! A hamlet, a museum of booksellers on the farm (when all languages ​​except Russian were banned in the tsarist empire by Valuysky and other decrees, Lithuania developed a system of booksellers who carried books in Lithuanian from West Prussia across the border), and the landlord was excellent. and welcomes guests from Ukraine. Why for us? Because at that time we had just bought our first car - Izhevsk "Muscovite", and to get to Julius (so called owner) without a car was problematic.

Only after finishing the courses and driving a car from Moldova, the man decided to drive a thousand kilometers, and we did not regret it.

As we approached the administrative border between Belarus and Lithuania (there was no other at the time), we were stopped by Lithuanian police. Then the police were dressed in other, "Lithuanian" caps. My daughter looked at it and said a sacramental phrase that we often remember in the family - Lithuania has already separated - now it's Ukraine's turn. We smiled, because, although we wanted it with all our hearts, we did not know how long the "Soviet monster" would resist.

Staying in Lithuania would be incomplete for us if we did not visit the Mountain of Crosses, which from the XIX century will be filled with crosses of various shapes, materials and sizes. We came to the mountain, bought a small cross, gave it to Nastuni and went to the mountain. They found the place where we wanted to put it and asked our daughter - what she wants to ask (because the Mount of Crosses, they say, 

fulfills desires). My daughter didn't even think - I want Ukraine to be as independent as Lithuania!

It was the end of July 1991…

And finally…

I wrote a statement resigning from the PSA in late November 1991, just before the presidential election. Why? I saw that I was a non-partisan person. In what? That the party already then acquired those features for which we so criticized the Communist Party.

Talks have begun about the need to talk seriously with those party members who do not attend the meeting of primary cells. I did visit, but I said that in Soviet times I tried not to go to trade union meetings, and now you are talking about "party discipline." Is this the purpose of building a party of a new European type? There were other signs of "bureaucratization".

However, the latest impetus was the presidential campaign, when two democratic candidates, Chornovil and Lukyanenko, were transformed from allies into allies. On both sides, the staffs sought out and presented arguments and facts that would reduce the chances of each of the candidates winning. My conversations in the party did not yield anything to this topic - the accusations continued, and I decided to leave the party.

When I brought a statement to Mr. Mykola Horbal, the head of the city organization, he told me a phrase that I still remember - well, Ms. Olenko, that the time has come when you can apply to leave the party, and it doesn't matter to you. threatens.

Ambiguous phrase… and because it is really good that such times, and because the party saw no other tool to work with personnel than reprimands, expulsions and other repressions, and because the problems of the national democratic movement in Ukraine were already serious and deep that we had and have the opportunity to see to this day.

My memoirs contain few grades, not because I didn't have them or not. Estimates are set by life, and sometimes they change even for a short period. The main reason I wrote this is because I really don't like mystification, mythologizing and other "actions". So I tried to remember the facts, my emotional state at the time, our family life, which was closely connected with the desire to gain independence. Ukraine gained independence. Now it is important that we do our best to make it truly capitalized, both for us and for the world.