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08 January 2016

Open appeal to the leadership of Donetsk National University


On 6 January the dissident and poet Vasyl Stus would have turned 78. The poet was born in Vinnytsia region, yet studied in our Donetsk National University (then the Donetsk Pedagogical Institute), which he graduated from in 1959 with honors.

Stus was one of the most active members of Ukrainian cultural movement of the sixties, the pride not only of our university and of Donbas, but of all Ukraine.

In 2008, there appeared an initiative in Donetsk,  of renaming the Donetsk National University (DonNU) in honor of Vasyl Stus. However, this student campaign was suppressed by today’s members of the separatist organization ‘DPR’ and was presented as the "ideological decay" and "harmful to all by its ideological orientation, in all its essence." These are quotes from the Soviet criticism of Stus, which aptly convey the atmosphere that prevails in Donetsk to this day, in the building where the National University used to be, and where Vasyl Stus studied.

Today on the birthday of the poet and our outstanding alumnus is important to remind to the leadership of DonNU, which is currently in Vinnytsia (by the way, home region of Stus), the need to rename the University into Vasyl Stus Donetsk National University.

For us, the alumni and the public, his name in the title of the University is a very symbolic step to commemorate the Hero of Ukraine, who laid his live for the liberation of Donbas from Soviet rule and died in 1985 in the Soviet prison camp.

Author: Oleksiy Matsuka, journalist, Radio Free Europe, director, Donetsk Institute of Information, alumnus, Faculty of History of Donetsk National University.



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