Viktor Shenderovich, a columnist for Gordon and a famous Russian writer and satirist, gives us his impressions of the “citadel of Ukrainian fascism”
As a Ukrofascist-in-law and an inveterate friend of the Kyiv junta, I express my deep concern and extreme disappointment after my investigative visit to Lviv (Western Ukraine).
Russian is heard everywhere on the streets of the citadel of Ukrainian fascism. There are Russian-speaking tourist groups roaming the streets in broad daylight. No lynchings have been reported.
Russka Street has not been renamed Washington Street; Tchaikovsky Street is still there and has not been renamed Wagner Street. Very few UPA flags can be seen… and no swastikas! Someone has written a message in Ukrainian on a wall of Kopernika Street: “Nazism belongs in the dustbin of history”. On Staroyevreyska (Old Jewish) Street, I was greeted by a Negro child in a wheelchair. Students of the Polytechnic University stroll up and down Bandera Street.
The museum in central Ploshcha Rynok (Market Square) presents an exhibition – “Stories of the Jewish Quarter”. “Patriotic” open-air book bazaars on Shevchenko Boulevard display one sorry-looking anti-Semitic pamphlet beside a couple dozen volumes on the history of the Bolshevik occupation of Ukraine. Elderly UNA-UNSO veterans gather here under a red-and-black flag on the weekend to recall the days gone by, but there is a much bigger crowd standing around the chess players at a nearby bench.
Rubles can be exchanged officially (of course, people are surprised if someone actually wants to buy them). Townspeople are relaxed and friendly, the weather is sunny, the coffee is delicious. The toy store Cheburashka (iconic Russian classic cartoon character-Ed.) is open, and there’s another one with a lion cub at the entrance, the same baby lion that sang a song with the turtle (Soviet cartoon “How the Baby Lion and the Turtle Sang a Song”-Ed.).
I have a practical proposal – for the actual needs and demands of Russian propaganda, scenes of an angry and spiteful anti-Russian western Ukraine should be shot in Lyubertsy (working class suburb of Moscow-Ed.). It is much closer and has more swastikas, and any Russian straying into the neighbourhood is more than likely to get punched right in the face!