Letters from Viacheslav Chornovil to Iryna Stasiv-Kalynets, 1978.
Viacheslav Chornovil’s three letters sent to Iryna Stasiv-Kalynets in 1978 were donated to the museum-memorial along with much of her correspondence from her time in exile in the Chytynsk region of Siberia, in a village not far from the Chinese border. These letters penned by her close friend, fellow dissident and journalist Chornovil, while he served out his own lengthy sentence in Yakutia, are particularly illuminating about the conditions in which they lived.
Curators of the collection note that this is a unique item, as its vibrant and accessible language brings to life Chornovil’s experiences in the camps, and later in exile, the changing circumstances of his day-to-day life, and ongoing discussions over the legality of the work regimen with correspondents. He and Stasiv-Kalynets also discussed Chornovil’s concerns over the agendas of likely well meaning, but unknown parties from the Ukrainian diaspora in North America. This was most probably tied to the fact that one such person, Yaroslav Dobosh, a member of a nationalist youth organization, came to Ukraine from Belgium to meet with dissidents, triggering one of the gravest campaigns of surveillance and arrests against Ukrainian dissidents—called Operation Bloc.
These three letters chart a year in the life of political prisoners in internal exile in the Soviet Union and once translated and published are expected to provide a unique and illuminating window into this world for researchers, students and the general public.
L'viv Stepana Bandery Street 1, Ukraine
We are permitted by the Prison on Lonskogo St. to use any of their photos with attribution.
- Kulick, Orysia Maria
1On the Mordovian camps, Dubravlag, harsh regime camps, and the establishment of the Perm political labor camps in the Urals, see: http://museum.khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1164240891.
2Interivew with Iryna Yezerska, March 24, 2017. See also: Iryna Yezerska, „Vyacheslav Chornovil pro hnylu bul’by, lvivskykh plitkarok kumon’ky i vyno. Iz lystiv,” ZIK, 25 bereznia 2017. URL last accessed: May 24, 2017: http://zik.ua/news/2017/03/25/chornovil_pro_gnylu_bulbu_lvivskyh_plitkarok_kumonku_i_vyno_1067523.
3Бажан О.Г. "ДОБОША СПРАВА" 1972 [Електронний ресурс] // Енциклопедія історії України: Т. 2: Г-Д / Редкол.: В. А. Смолій (голова) та ін. НАН України. Інститут історії України. - К.: В-во "Наукова думка", 2004. - 688 с.: іл. – Режим доступу: http://www.history.org.ua/?termin=Dobosha_sprava_1972 (останній перегляд: 26.05.2017); В. В. Овсієнко, ДО́БОША Справа, http://esu.com.ua/search_articles.php?id=22352; see also: https://chronicleofcurrentevents.net/2016/03/30/24-3-arrests-in-the-ukraine/