Ukraine maestro: Atrocities are the worst since Second World War

Ukraine maestro: Atrocities are the worst since Second World War


norman lebrecht

February 20, 2014

kiev music Kiev today.

National Symphony of the Ukraine conductor, Theodore Kuchar, writes:  Such atrocities as are being experienced at this present moment have not been seen by the civilized world since the Second World War. For over 400 years, Ukraine has lived under the fear and terror of Russia. History is continuing to repeat itself.


  • G Ell says:

    Very eerie.

  • PR Deltoid says:

    “For over 400 years, Ukraine has lived under the fear and terror of Russia” – Kuchar doesn’t seem to know his history very well. Ukraine came under Russian rule through a series of treaties starting in 1654, which is much less than 400 years ago.

    Also, the “fear and terror of Russia” hasn’t turned off the very large proportion of the Ukrainian population that prefers association with Russia to EU membership.

    • Mikey says:

      @PRDeltoid: 360 isn’t my idea of “much less than” 400. It’s a rounding out error of 40 years.

      Oh and I guess you mean that “large proportion of of the Ukrainian population” that has been lied to and fed Russian propaganda for years now?

      • Christy says:

        There is indeed a large portion of the Ukrainian population that wants to associate peacefully and in friendship with Russia, but they do not want to be owned by them and held in a morass of corruption and oppression.

        A portion of Ukraine was not ruled by Russia until into the 20th century. The differences in years of absorption explain much about the different views toward Russia in different parts of the country. There are distinct differences East-Center-West. The West of the country was Soviet for “only” roughly 40 years, after centuries of battles. The oldest generation remembers the “free” years of pre-Soviet occupation as part of either Poland or the Hapsburg Empire.

      • Whereas USA and EU always, always tell the truth. If you don’t believe that just look at all those Iraq WMD stockpiles…Oh, wait!

      • MWnyc says:

        Now that’s not entirely fair, Mikey. There’s a sizable portion of the population in Ukraine, especially in the far east and south of the country, that’s ethnically Russian. There’s another sizable part that’s ethnically Ukrainian (or mixed Ukrainian and Russian) that lives their lives speaking and reading Russian.**

        Then there’s the Crimea, which was part of Russia from 1783 to 1954, when Khrushchev lopped it off Russia and added it to Ukraine.

        Here’s an article with maps arguing that recent election results correlate highly with ethno-linguistic makeup.

        So it’s not just Russian lies and propaganda …

        ** My last Russian teacher was from Kiev. She told me about how, when independence came, the members of Parliament promptly passed a law requiring legislation and debate to be in Ukrainian – and then the members realized that very few of them actually spoke Ukrainian well. She was one of the philologists hired to teach them Ukrainian.

      • Anon says:

        Not exactly on topic, but 10% is a bit more than a ’rounding error’.

        More on topic, I think it would be fair to say the EU has its own share of propaganda just as Russia does.

    • MWnyc says:

      Okay, it’s not 400 years, it’s 360 years. Totally invalidates anything else he has to say, right?

      • PR Deltoid says:

        Yes, a lot of Ukrainians have a view that differs from the one presumably held by Mikey. But we can dismiss them as boneheads who have been bamboozled by “Russian propaganda.”

  • G Ell says:

    The atrocities being committed in Syria are nothing to laugh about either. Atrocities from both or multiple sides.

  • The easiest solution is simply to divide Ukraine into two countries, West with Europe, and East with Russia.

    • sdReader says:

      There is a sliver of vital land along the western border of Ukraine controlled by Russia. It’s called Transnistria (spelling unsure) and it is actually in Moldova. You can be sure that nothing east of it, meaning the whole of Ukraine, is EVER going to fall outside Russian power, and therefore Ukraine won’t be divided.

    • Christy says:

      There is absolutely no support for the that within any region of Ukraine, according to several reliable polls. Eastern Ukrainians love Russia but do not want to be Russian. It is a total non-starter.

    • Kassandra says:

      Rrright, the western part, without any resources and industry, associates with the EU, the resource and industry rich east with Russia. The EU will have one more sinkhole for endless subsidies and the national conflict that ensues from the balkan style divide will keep that region down and in trouble for decades to come.

      That “solution” only is of interest for political players, who want to weaken Europe, Russia and the EU… ummm, wait a second…

    • Kassandra says:

      Oh, and by the way, Russia is Europe(an) too. But the divisive thinking has been rooted deep in the western people…

  • laura claycomb says:

    Thanks for keeping this under our noses – – it’s so easy to just get lost in our music or our busy lives and forget uncomfortable things going on in this world!

  • Michael Borovsky says:

    I suppose Maestro does not consider atrocities in Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, China and several dozen others others (like Kosovo, Serbia etc) to be so tragic, or maybe those peoples are not considered civilized? Just a history note… As for leaving under terror of Russia… At appears Ukraine has now a real opportunity to get a taste of Bandera kind of ruling spread all over the country rather than Lviv forests like in 1945-46. Let us see which orchestra will be left in Ukraine to conduct.

    • Gonout Backson says:

      Funny : this is exactly what the Russian TV has been chanting for weeks now. Fascinating no-debates, in perfect unison (is it a musical blog, or what?), where – just an example – Mr Oleh Tsaryov (member of the Rada, currently on leave of absence, fled Kiev on Thursday) kept calling for a direct Russian military intervention in Ukraine, claiming that “if you don’t put up this fire now, tomorrow it shall burn down your houses”.

      Even funnier, here are some of his supporters :