Ігор Калинець Ihor Kalynets

* 1939

  • I lived not only near the school, but also near the church. I served in the church for several years – already from the eighth grade. Our priest - the one who was there at a time – really followed those old church rules. That is, it was as if he accepted Orthodoxy [after the Lviv pseudo-cathedral of 1946, at which the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church was forcibly annexed by the “Soviets” to the Russian Orthodox Church], and at that time he did everything, served and at the church, so to speak, educated people - and us children - in the former spirit, in the Greek-Catholic one... So I grew up kind of torn all the time. Torn, but I knew which was right and which was supposed to be just a mask for protection.

  • Ihor Kalynets: It was a difficult situation - a very uncertain period in the life of Ukrainians, especially in Western Ukraine. My father's brother was taken into the Red Army in (19) 43... or 44... and died. My father didn’t want to go to the army as well, and so he hid. But back then, hiding meant being… well, not so much illegal, but you had to connect with someone, because you can’t hide yourself. He was connected with our partisans. Nazar Danchyshyn: From the UPA, from the OUN, right? Ihor Kalynets: Yes. With Banderites. When the war broke out, they (Ihor Kalynets' parents - ed.) moved from Khodoriv to Horodyshche. My father thought that in Horodyshche (“the Soviets” - ed.) would most likely lose track of him. And he was connected with the boys (Ukrainian nationalist underground - ed.). I even remember, I was already several years old, how in the evening, when there were no more guards, they would come to my grandmother... those boys from the forest... Well, they would give them (the boys “from the forest” - ed.) something to eat, and they, so to speak, played with me, the little one. They put me on a horse... I don't know where the horse was from, because it is too difficult to hide even without it, and with horses it was too hard... well, but the horse was there... I was on top of the horse, holding some kind of weapon in my hands. In a nutshell, that’s the story.

  • I found myself in this... In the Northern Ural. Political camps were just beginning there. New ones. We (Ukrainian political prisoners of the past years - ed.) used to be there in the old ones, but we do not know what was there in the previous ones. But it was not, so to speak, a continuation of Mordovia. They (“soviets” - ed.) started then... Due to the fact that in Mordovia there was very little discipline in those camps, so that it was possible, so to speak, to cut down all the political writings that were in the camps or parcels to freedom . They decided to make the camps stricter - so that everyone in them would be terrified. And then several camps were moved from Mordovia to Ural. People who worked in those camps were scared because they were told that terrible thugs, fascists would be brought there - well, so that they would be very vigilant with us and strict. And so it was until some time. But when you live in a camp, you get into that society you know (the society of already political people), then, of course, you will not sit quietly like a mouse, but contacts begin between people, some conversations, and then the action began. We started with the fact that we need to release information about life in the camp - a chronicle of camp life. Then in the camp we started writing various documents, appeals to those people who were free, to societies, to organizations like the UN and so on - about what was being done there. But it must be written and carried out. This, in fact, was our task - how to do it. Because it was easy to send everything from Mordovia through those workers of the Mordovian camps - they could be subsidized, bribed, so that they would take some letter or hand something over. And here it was impossible, here you had to somehow organize it yourself. So we organized such an underground, illegal transfer of materials to the West. Mostly to Moscow first, to Sakharov. And they already passed it on, so to speak. I also had a few non-fiction articles written, but only one got published and the others didn't. Because, it turns out, they didn't allow it in Moscow. Because they (dissidents there - ed.) were talking about human rights in Moscow, but here it was about the rights of the nation, such nationalist opuses. And they didn't let it.

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    LVIV, 20.04.2022

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Igor Kalinets: down the Road of Memories

Ihor Kalynets as a child
Ihor Kalynets as a child
photo: родинний архів

Ihor Kalynets was born on July 9, 1939 in Khodoriv, Lviv region. He received his higher education at the philological faculty of Ivan Franko Lviv State University in 1956-1961. In 1961-1972, he worked as an archivist, and later - as a scientist in the Lviv Regional State Archives. Since 1965 poetic works of Ihor Kalynets have been published. Married the poet and philologist Iryna Stasiv. In 1972 first Iryna, and soon Ihor Kalynets were sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment in a concentration camp and three years of exile. After returning to Lviv in 1981 he stopped writing poetry. Since 1987, he was a co-creator of the self-published “Yevshan-Zillia” magazine, and later became its editor. Was a participant in actions for the restoration of the Independence of Ukraine and the revival of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC). In 1991, two complete volumes of Ihor Kalynets’ poetry – “Awakened Muse” and “Slave Muse” - were published outside of Ukraine. In Ukraine, the collection of poems by Ihor Kalynets “Thirteen Alogies” was officially published. In 1992, Ihor Kalynets was awarded the Taras Shevchenko National Prize. Since 1993, Ihor Kalynets has been working at the International Institute of Education, Culture and Diaspora Relations (MIOK). In 2015, Ihor Kalynets was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Ihor Kalynets has received a number of awards. In particular, the Ivan Franko International Prize and the Hryhorii Skovoroda International Literary Prize. Also, Ihor Kalynets is a knight of the Order of Freedom and the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, 5th class. Lives and works in Lviv.