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Kyiv Post | 30May2012 | Yurij Onyshkiv

Controversial lawmaker accused of copyright breach by famous historian

A leading American scholar on Ukraine has threatened to sue pro-presidential lawmaker Vadym Kolesnichenko for breach of copyright for using one of his articles without permission.

Timothy Snyder, a Yale University history professor, said that two Ukraine-based nongovernmental organizations associated with Kolesnichenko reprinted his blog post in a book called “OUN-UPA: An Investigation of the Creation of ‘Historical’ Myths,” which came out earlier this year, without his permission.

The book is essentially a collection of articles by three Western scholars and deals with the controversial partisan organization Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Ukrainian Insurgent Army (known as OUN-UPA) that was active in western Ukraine, starting before World War II through the 1950s.

In his foreword to the book, Kolesnichenko wrote that OUN-UPA was a fascist organization, which was involved in numerous crimes against humanity and disapproves of any attempts to glorify them.

Snyder, who specializes in East European history of the 20th century, has printed several books about Ukraine and the region. But Kolesnichenko's book featured his blog post published on The New York Review of Book website in 2010, called “A Fascist Hero in Democratic Kiev.”

The piece describes Stepan Bandera, leader of OUN who was assassinated in Germany by a KGB agent in 1959, as fascist and terrorist. In Ukraine, Bandera remains a controversial figure. Many, including ex-President Viktor Yushchenko, praised him for fighting for Ukraine's independence, while others believe he was a villain for siding with the Nazis to fight the Soviets.

“The publishers of this book, the International Antifascist Front and International Charity Fund “Dnipro-Sich” (whose co-chairman Kolesnichenko is) – asked my permission to publish this material, but I turned it down,” Snyder wrote in a recent statement.

Kolesnichenko told the Kyiv Post that his NGO asked Snyder to reprint his blog and “we never got a refusal,” thus confirming he had no permission to print.

In an email to the Kyiv Post Snyder wrote that it means “that Ukrainian authorities should investigate.”

He also pointed out that the blog is misrepresented in the book as a scientific article, and his name is mistranslated as “Shnyder” all the way through the book.

Snyder says Kolesnichenko owes him an apology for copyright breach and demands that the book is removed from the Internet, and its print-run destroyed.

If he fails to comply, Snyder threatens to consider legal action.

Two other historians whose articles have been reprinted in the book without their permission -- Per Anders Rudling from the Lund University in Sweden and Grzegorz Rossolinski-Liebe from the University of Hamburg in Germany -- have also in a statement issued on May 28, 2012 said that their works have been published in the book without their consent, calling such conduct “unethical.” The statement also raises concern that their works have been used as political tools both by the Party of Regions as well as pro-nationalist groups.

Rudling also accused the Kyiv Post and Istorychna Pravda website to be part of this biggest problem, say that these websites have not only failed to address this problem, but “are very much part of it.”

Kolesnichenko, a lawmaker from pro-presidential Party of Regions faction, is known for his vociferously pro-Russian views and fierce defense of the Soviet legacy, which many consider anti-Ukrainian.

In an email to the Kyiv Post, Rudling called Kolesnichenko's conduct “unethical and possibly criminal.”

Kyiv Post staff writer Yuriy Onyshkiv can be reached at [email protected]


Himka & Marples snubbed | May 31 at 09:24
Even Vadym Kolesnichenko didn't include their anti-Ukrainian junk in his anti-Ukrainian propaganda "book"! Himka is a well known Holodomor denier and Marples wrote a chapter calling Bandera a Fascist even though he never ran the economics of any government along the lines of Mussolini nor is there any proof that he would have -- given the chance. Furthermore Marples accused the OUN of murdering 4,000 Jews in Lviv using his only source for this accusation the notorious hysterical propagandist, Sol Littman, who was responsible for McCarthy style "witch hunts" in Canada for "Nazis" claiming that Dr Mengele was a regular visitor to Canada along with thousands of other Nazis! These two "scholars" know who to cater to...so its really not fair for their "works" to be ignored in anti-Ukrainian books!

Dr.M.H. | May 30 at 22:49
I fail to understand why Jews like Snyder expend so much time talking about OUN and UPA. Why doesn't he write books about the fascist governments who suported the Nazi! Hungary (and her Iron Guards), Romania, France, and Slovakia which worked hand in globe with Nazis in establishing a state where everything could be bought during war-time. Many Slovaks became incredibly wealthy dabbling in these Nazi enterprises. But today no one writes or talks about these GOVERNMENTS, just about one man Bandera and his misguided illusions of fighting the Russians with the aid of the Nazis. Well he was certainly disabused of these notions when the Nazis locked him up also.

| May 31 at 15:39
"Jews like Snyder" - that should not be tolerated.

carl | May 30 at 21:23
Was OUN fascist? The same could be said for zionist founders of Israel. Fascism is something many people don't understand. Public figures need to stop throwing around terms like fascism,nazism,communism out of context.

USA Presidents Bush & Obama | May 31 at 09:03
are also Fascists...they bailed out the criminals running Wall Street and the Big Fat Cat Unions who bankrupted the companies they worked for and thus forgo their Fat pensions---instead the Fascist presidents went against the will of the people and illegally bailed out the criminals in a Fascist manner!
Their actions were NOT democratic and the people were NOT allowed to vote -instead it was pure Fascism!

AL | May 30 at 21:20
Kolesnichenko, a lawmaker from pro-presidential Party of Regions faction, is known for his vociferously pro-Russian views and fierce defense of the Soviet legacy, which many consider anti-Ukrainian.

carl | May 30 at 21:28
Ukraine was a founding republic of USSR so where is the line between pro-soviet/anti-Ukrainian? Clearly prohibiting Ukrainian language is anti-Ukrainian but is it not possible to be both pro- soviet an pro-Ukrainian.

Mykhayl | May 31 at 01:05
Ya, pro-Soviet is the Russian usurpers and
pro-Ukrainian are the aboriginals.
Pro- Soviet Ukrainian? Oil and water.
Pro-Soviet Russian in Ukraine = malignant cancer.