Russia Promotes Myths about Ukraine – Bernard-Henri Lévy

Russia Promotes Myths about Ukraine – Bernard-Henri Lévy
11 September 2015

The renowned French author and media personality Bernard-Henri Lévy joined a panel entitled “Truth Today. Information, Narratives, Media, Propaganda,” and spoke of his belief that Russia is promoting a number of myths about Ukraine.

Lévy was joined by Peter Pomeranzev, Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum, Legatum Institute; Timothy Snyder, Bird White Housum Professor of History, Yale University; Oksana Zabuzhko, author; and moderator Stephen Sackur, Presenter, HARDtalk, BBC World News, in the discussion.

He elaborated: "Recently, there has been a great debate among historians of Ukraine and Russia concerning the issue of the Holodomor. You know, Russia's diplomatic corps, the ambassador made great efforts to prove that it was not five million victims, but fewer, that there was no plan to organize the starvation.

“Ukraine was trying to prove the opposite, that there were five million victims, that Ukraine was the goal and that it was Stalin's deliberate plan. Very many scientists, including European ones, carefully checked the facts. The truth is that the Holodomor was the genocide and Ukraine's story was closer to the truth.”

According to Lévy, another failed Russian myth is that the First Ukrainian Front during the Second World War allegedly consisted mainly of representatives of other Soviet republics and was only formed on Ukraine's territory.

"Western historians analysed and saw that the Ukrainian Front for the most part consisted of Ukrainians. The battalion that went to Auschwitz and liberated prisoners was led by a Ukrainian," he said.

The philosopher also refuted the myth about the attitudes among the population of eastern Ukraine.

"The idea is that the population in the east supports Russia and is ready to support President Putin. I myself was in Kramatorsk (a city in Ukraine's Donetsk Region) and saw the reality - people welcome the president of Ukraine, and during a few hours of communications, I did not hear any anti-Ukrainian position... Then I stayed there to confirm it myself. I myself is a witness that information about Ukraine's east is a myth, a legend," he concluded.

The 12th Yalta European Strategy Annual Meeting will be streamed live at as well as web-sites of the Media Partners in English and Ukrainian.

The official Twitter of the 12th YES Annual Meeting is @yes_ukraine, and participants and followers can include the hashtag: #YESUkraine2015.

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Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
66th Secretary of State of the United States, 9th YES Annual Meeting, 2012
«Democratic transformations require time, require patience, and require support - from outside as well as from inside, from people»