Люба Маринович Liuba Marynovych

* 1948

  • “In general, about the activities of the Ukrainian Helsinki group, although it was open - the human rights group announced to the whole world their surnames, names, these 10 participants - but we, I call it a support group, we did not know much. After all, there had to be a conspiracy. And when the boys were arrested, we were summoned to court... Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot to add that on the day when I was at that reprehensible meeting at the publishing house (it was April 23), when I then returned home to my dormitory for the workers where I lived at that time in Bucha, two Kagebists came to search me. And they took some texts in German from me that I did in German language courses, they thought that they were something illegal, foreign texts, they took the poems of Vasyl Stus, whom I discovered for myself at the time, people copied them for me. Return to me, my memory, Let a weight fall on the heart Of my land as a merciful sorrow, Let the nightingale sing. In the night grove. What an amazing imagination, I have goosebumps! And he wrote this during gray casemate everyday life. I was most sorry for these poems. Maybe they took something else, I don't remember. And then the next day I found out that all the people who talked to the boys had the same searches. All of them were summoned to Volodymyrska, 33, for questioning by the KGB. Of course, I was also summoned. I tried to say the best I knew about the boys. They were tried in March [19] 78 in Vasylkiv. They did not want it to be in Kyiv, so that fewer people would come to this court. In Vasylkiv, where Mykola Matusevych's family lived. The trial lasted three days. Of course we went there, I went there. We froze there for three days on a high threshold in the cold March wind, because they did not let us in. As always, only verified people were allowed into the hall, who would indignantly express their contempt for nationalists, dissidents, and so on. But we knew, we realized later, that the boys knew we were there, near them. Because Nadiika Svitlychna, who was called as a witness, said: “And you call this an open court, when so many people are freezing outside and they are not allowed here?!” So we were glad that at least this is how our boys found out. In general, it was very sad."

  • “So, this group was created by Mykola Rudenko, the former Communist Party leader of the Union of Writers of Ukraine, who greatly changed his vision of the world after the enlightenment that God gave him. I don't know how you feel about it, but I know it happens. That is, a lot was revealed to him. His condition, his consciousness changed, and he went from being a Communist Party writer to becoming the head of the human rights movement in Ukraine — he created the Ukrainian Helsinki Union. Actually, what is it? Brezhnev was at such a huge meeting somewhere in Helsinki... I forgot all the details... And there they legalized all the borders, all the countries of the world, which the Soviet Union agreed with, i.e. Brezhnev, but they approved the “fifth basket”, which was called “human rights”. And the Soviet Union promised that it would respect human rights. And what does that mean? Freely move from one country to another, freely receive information and so on. So, at first, conscious Russians in Moscow decided to support this decision of the Helsinki meeting by creating their Moscow human rights group. And soon such a group was created in Ukraine. And I say that it was precisely on the yet another anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, as it was called, on November 9 [19]76, it seems. And Rudenko was in Moscow and in the presence of journalists, international journalists, at the apartment, it seems, of Hinzburh or Orlov (there were no foreign journalists in Kyiv) announced the creation of this group. This group included 10 people: Rudenko, Sviatoslav Karavanskyi, Ivan Kandyba, Levko Lukyanenko, I think, Oles Berdnyk, maybe someone else... But the last - the youngest members of the group - were Mykola Matusevych and Myroslav Marynovych. They announced it. How was this group different from the previous national liberation movement? Because that one was underground, and this group announced its creation to the whole world. That we are going to support the state decision on human rights and will publicly monitor how human rights are followed in our country, in the USSR. Myroslav was the youngest member of the group, he was 28 years old at the time. Although this group was open, we, I say “we” when I mean sisters, mothers, wives of political prisoners or dissidents. Or just people who sympathized, we didn't know exactly what they were doing. After all, some kind of conspiracy was needed. Only Olia [Heiko] sometimes told me that she would come to work and would see that one document was no longer there anymore. And Olia printed the documents of this group.”

  • “A few words about Olia Heiko. She was my closest friend first. Because she was a proofreader at the publishing house “Soviet School”, and this publishing house was close to us. I came to her... home, to her parents. Her father was a kind of Communist Party member who looked like a dark cloud when I came. And the mother - Hanna Ivanivna - was gentler, kinder, calmer towards her new friends. Olia was very brave, very courageous. Sometimes we go on a tram, and she scolds the Brezhnev government, Brezhnev and so on at the top of her voice. She annoyed the Kagebists terribly, as, one might say, she was very defiant. Perhaps, just as Oksana Yakivna Meshko, (she remembered Beria times, although later she also witnessed Brezhnev time) she was an older woman, just like... “Cossack mother”, as conscientious Ukrainians in Kyiv called her. So, Olia, she left the Komsomol and applied for withdrawal from Soviet citizenship. When the Ukrainian Helsinki Group was formed, she joined it. Actually, she was tortured by the Kagebists at first by throwing her into a closed dispensary, knowing that there was no reason to do so. Then she was arrested and kept in a criminal colony in Odesa for three or four years [YUG-311/74 camp]. Later, when she was about to get free, she was taken out, taken to another room, and there a new sentence was announced: three or four years in the women's political colony in Barashevo [camp ZhKh-385/3-4, village Barashevo, Tenhushev District, Mordovia, RF] — in Mordovia or Perm region, I was not there...”

  • “I want to talk more about Valerii Marchenko, because he is a very important person in my life. Once, it was 1981, I came to Borys Dmytrovych [Antonenko-Davydovych] and saw there a tall, very thin guy with such an ironic smile, very similar to the French actor Belmondo. We met there and continued to communicate. It was Valerii Marchenko. I heard about him as a talented journalist, a native of Kyiv, who wrote works and articles that were called anti-Soviet by the KGB. And for this he was arrested in [19]73. He served time in a camp, and then in exile in the Kazakh village of Saralzhyn. This village will be very familiar to me later. Because Zorian Popadiuk from Sambir, whom I later met, was also exiled in this village, and so was Myroslav. What I want to say about Valerii: he was very ill with nephritis, but behaved very dignified in the camp. <...> So, he behaved very dignified, joked and so on. When he returned from Saralzhyn to Kyiv, he paid attention to me simply because I seemed too big an atheist to him. <...> He was simply a very caring person to all his surroundings. He, in fact, invited me, for example, to the church in Solomyanka - the church where, as he said, “Lesya [Ukrainka] married her Kvitka.” And then I was at a church service for the first time in my life. He learned from me about my problems at work and brought me to his home (I forgot the street where he lived in Kyiv, he lived there with his mother and stepfather). Nina Mykhailivna is his mother, who worked at the Research Institute of Pedagogy. And introduced me. And he asked her if they had any work so that I can get a job there. Unfortunately, there was no such job. When he found out that I was studying at the Faculty of Journalism by correspondence, he said that it should be used. “Don't just listen to Borys Dmytrovych but record and write about him.” I obeyed. I spent many evenings with Borys Dmytrovych. And I wrote everything down: I copied his poems, which he wrote in exile, kept a diary of my meetings with Borys Dmytrovych. And then I wrote. And how did I write? When Valerii arrived at that worker's dormitory, he brought me such an old typewriter, showed me how to use it: press, move the carriage, and so on, and I slowly began to type. Later, he took this essay about Borys Dmytrovych "In the Labyrinth of Circumstances" from me and sent it abroad. Later I found out that... Mykhailyna Khomivna told me that when they started to leave in independent Ukraine, she told me what they had seen there. I signed it under the pseudonym Y. Bairak, that is, so that it would not be clear whether it was a woman or a man. And I tried to write in the diary so that it was not clear whether it was a woman or a man, I used such verbs and adjectives, so that it was unclear to figure out the gender. But I communicated with him only for two years and a few months, because in [19]83, in October [19]83, he was arrested again - for, firstly, that he sent works abroad, and secondly, for the fact that he sent a copy of the order of the Minister of Education of Ukraine with the order to devote more hours and more time to the study of the Russian language, and less Ukrainian. And he commented on this order: “Fresh Valuev Circular”.

  • “At the nearby publishing house “Soviet School” they were going on a tourist trip to Poltava. The head of our editorial office - Nila Yakivna Kucheriavenko, a kind, intelligent woman, a wise woman, me and another proofreader, Nadia (she is my former student whom I... she had difficult circumstances in her life, I called her to Kyiv, I found her the job in the proofreading office ), so the three of us joined this trip. I saw a very interesting picture near the bus: three men in serdaks. Can you imagine what it is? <…> This is such folk clothing, such short, knee-length, with patterns, such a folk cut. Three young guys in these Ukrainian serdaks, with mustaches, two with black mustaches and one with a red beard, and two girls, ordinary looking girls. On the way, when we were driving, they were singing wonderful rare Ukrainian songs. And when they heard that Nadia and I spoke Ukrainian, they invited us to sing them too. But what did we know then? What was played on the radio in Soviet times? “Halia is Carrying the Water” or “The Thorn Bush is in Bloom” and so on. We didn't know other songs - we just listened. Then there was a stop, they arranged interesting games. Poltava, you know how they sing in the song, even though it was October, it was “snow on a green leaf”, you know, there is such a song. This is how Poltava was. We were there in the museums of Volodymyr Korolenko, Panas Myrnyi, in the museum of the Battle of Poltava. And when we returned, the boys suggested that I join them, learn carols and go caroling. I was so interested in it, the guys were very handsome... And I agreed, started going with them. I told Mykhailyna Khomivna that I have some new acquaintances. And she said: “Oh, I know them.” Mykola and Myroslav - Mykola Matusevych and Myroslav Marynovych, and the third guy there was Mykola Netiaha. These guys - Myroslav and Mykola - they live in a small house opposite the house where she lives, and she feels very comfortable in their loose young company. So, I started going to the apartment of twins Olha and Pavlo Stokotelni <...>. And the girls were Olia Heiko and Liuda Savchenko. And Liuda Savchenko, who was a member of Leopold Yashchenko's Ukrainian choir, an amateur choir that the authorities later accused of Ukrainian bourgeois nationalism, and she taught us carols and nativity scenes with us at these twins’ house, at Skotelni. I liked it so much that I said: “Liudo, come to our publishing house.” Because I also wanted to stage this nativity scene in our publishing house. And Liuda came, and we learned, we had one rehearsal. But all this, as it turned out, “was not allowed.” And how I found out about that. Our head of the personnel department in the morning of the day when we were supposed to go caroling... the head of the personnel department, a former officer, called me, and when I came, I saw that a strange man in civilian clothes was sitting there. Then the head of the department came out, and the man said that he was from the security service, that my new acquaintances, whom they knew, were anti-Soviet and dangerous people. I don't remember what else he said there, but I remember that I promised him that I wouldn't go caroling. I returned home so confused, very upset, it was hard on my soul. And in the end, I decided to protest and went to join the group. Then there I was dressed in the serdak of Alla Horska. Alla Horska... Mykhasia [Mykhailyna Kotsiubynska] told me about her - she was a monumentalist artist who lived with her father in the Crimea, spoke Russian, but then an amazing miracle happened to her. She switched to the Ukrainian language, she had such a trait... she gathered around herself the whole conscious Kyiv Ukrainian society and was its soul. And so Mykhasia told me how Alla Horska once came to her. The doorbell rings, she opens the door - Alla Horska in that Ukrainian serdak with a bunch of onions around her neck, with a bag of red-sided apples at her feet, blond hair blown by a whirlwind... She was the one delivering to her friends from Kyiv the salary that was given to her in some collective farms or state farms for her work as a monumentalist artist. But I have only heard about these people - Vasyl Stus and Alla Horska - but I have not seen them. Because when I found out about them, Vasyl Stus was already fulfilling his martyrdom in the camps, concentration camps, and Alla Horska was lying in the raw earth, killed by the dark KGB force.”

  • “Our family was Soviet. Shevchenko holidays were celebrated in the village. My father, who graduated from the department of Ukrainian language and literature at the Mykolaiv Pedagogical Institute, once sat us with my brother on a bench in the kitchen and began to read to us “Haidamaky”, the chapter “Honta in Uman”. Mom was sitting nearby and listening. There was a fire burning in the stove, and we, as if enchanted, listened to how Honta killed his Catholic children, about Uman engulfed in the fire of the Haidamaky uprising. We were so impressed by this that a few years later, when I was in the sixth or seventh grade, I learned this passage by heart and read it at those Shevchenko readings that my father organized. One year, there was a blizzard that exact year, even though it was March, the beginning of March, but the village was covered in snow, there was no electricity... But we collected different gas lamps that the neighbors still had at that time, and in the school, which was in the center of the village, in this building of the parish school - we had a junior school there - in the largest class, people gathered, students, older people, and I was reciting “Honta in Uman”.

  • “Can I tell you about the village? The village was previously owned by such a landowner - Dymov. And the village used to be called Dymovka. It was still in tsarist times. The landlord was rich. He built a huge church, so beautiful, wonderful, for all the surrounding villages, he built a stable, a parish school. He himself lived in such a house. We lived just near the center of the village. And all this amazing place was fenced with limestone. And a garden inside. A very beautiful garden, with various fruits. In the times of collectivization, in the times of collective farms, somehow this household still managed to function. And more and more during the time of Soviet power, especially during the time of Brezhnev and those old general secretaries, all those good things were gradually destroyed. I think the main reason was that the church, as people told me, was destroyed by collective farm activists in 1934... The priest's body was dug out of the grave and thrown away. And someone took his boots, which were well preserved. Such was the anti-religious agitation in the village. It is clear that after that it was as if a gray cloud hung over the village and all those good things were gradually destroyed. The stable was destroyed, the hospital was also gone (it was in a separate, beautiful building) - only the paramedic station stayed. And this park, I don't know how - I wasn't in the village then - but it turned into a wasteland overgrown with weeds. Now, already in the times of independent Ukraine, when the owners... when it was no longer a collective farm, but a society with added value, or however it was created, the new owners made a wonderful playground there.”

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    Lviv, 05.11.2022

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    Lviv, 07.11.2022

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    Lviv, 27.11.2022

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“My arrival in exile is no heroism, it’s just happiness...”

Third-year student
Third-year student
photo: family archive

Liuba Marynovych (née Kheina) is a philologist, dissident, wife of Myroslav Marynovych. She was born on February 20, 1948 in Malynivka (now village Pidlisne), Nova Odesa district, Mykolaiv region of Ukrainian SSR in the family of teachers. Graduated from the Faculty of Russian Philology of the Mykolaiv Pedagogical Institute and the Faculty of Journalism of Taras Shevchenko Kyiv University. From 1973, she worked at the “Vyshcha Shkola” (High School) publishing house, where she met the literary critic and dissident Mykhailyna Kotsiubynska, whom she calls her spiritual mother. In 1977, she entered the milieu of Ukrainian dissidents of the seventies, which radically affected her outlook and future fate. In 1986, she left her job in Kyiv and moved to the village of Saralzhyn of the Kazakh SSR to become the wife of Myroslav Marynovych, a Ukrainian political prisoner and a member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group. Since then, she has remained a faithful associate of this Ukrainian dissident, human rights defender, publicist, religious scholar and public figure. One of the co-founders of the group Amnesty International in Ukraine “Ukraine-1” (1991, Drohobych, Lviv region). The author of the essay about the Ukrainian writer and dissident Borys Antonenko-Davydovych “In the Labyrinth of Circumstances” (published in Ukraine under the pseudonym Y. Bairak), the autobiographical book “My Myroslav” (“Kolo” publishing house, 2018), editor and compiler of many publications. Lives and works in Lviv.