Zoryan Popadyuk Зорян Попадюк

* 1953  

  • Yes, before that in 1987, when we were released, I was called and asked questions "if you were released, where would you go?" - Where… I'd go home, to my grandma. Well, yes, yes - Will you continue to engage in anti-Soviet propaganda? - I don't know what it is, I never did it. Of course, I laughed at them. They sent me to the cell. We sit in the cell, at night we hear those decrees of Gorbachev, they turned on their radios out loud. We thought that probably concerned us. Indeed, in the morning the cell door is opened, and we are evicted, with belongings, and we see them handing over some money. Then they sent us to the bus and to the railway station.

  • And so they brought him. And there was one... Starosolskyi Liubomyr, a young boy from Temnyk, he got there because he hung out a Ukrainian flag and did something else. He was not yet an adult when he was imprisoned, he turned 18 here on Lontskoho Street. And we played with him in the snow, or something like that, and then we see them walking Stus past us, they led him past us, we said hello. Once or twice we made a pedestal like a sculpture of Stus, a bust. We made it and put it on the road. The first monument to Stus. He himself laughed, saying: "I see you have already erected the first monument to myself."

  • We were arrested on another occasion. In Lviv in 1973, at the Shevchenko House, in early March, the regional committee of the party banned various events dedicated to the anniversary of Shevchenko. We responded to it in the same way, with mass flyers distributed in Lviv, we placed them everywhere, and it was, in fact, March, 27, when we distributed those flyers, it was between March 27 and 28, 1973, and on the same night we were arrested. Our group and a few other people, were arrested. But they didn't know those who placed those fliers around the city, so they kept us in prison, but those flyers were still being distributed. 25:32 And where did you place flyers? 25:35 Everywhere, starting from the present Dobrobut market, behind the Opera House and further to Horodotska Street, in the city centre, on Svobody Avenue, Kopernika Street. In that area. 25:46 What was there, what information was indicated on the flyers? 25:49 There was information, it began similarly to the famous words of Lenin, who said that the ban on the dates of the centenary of Shevchenko was the best anti-tsarist agitation. From those words the epigraph was taken, that was the style of the flyers.

  • Of course, the thing that affected consciousness and formation of personality was the case in Sambir, when in probably 1963 or 1962, there was a flood on the Dnister river. The flood dug graves, we called them little mounds. There were graves of schoolchildren of the Ukrainian gymnasium, which was here, now in its room there is an infectious hospital, on the street, I don't remember what that street is, Vyhovskoho street I think. And then, when the flood came, then my grandmother worked at sanitation station, she was alerted at night, they collected those bones there, took them to the cemetery, there was a pit already dug, they put everything in the pit and filled with lime. My grandmother took me there a few days later. We came to the school and started asking at school and asking what it was and who was doing it. And our teacher... in the elementary school, she was called... the head of the class, she was a German - Hudvan Mariya Eduardivna, and she said: "you should ask this question at home, I will not tell you anything." Well, in the end, I already knew everything, to the penny, and of course, I told everyone. The children knew where they lived. Then the backbone of this organization that we did was actually the base of the school.

  • First, my grandmother lived all her life alone, because my grandfather died early, my mother was two years old back then. He was a rifleman in the Ukrainian Galician Army, he was taken as a prisoner by the Russians, kept in a camp... I don't remember the name of that camp... It was located in Proskuriv, now Khmelnytskyi city. From there he fled, cutting across a river, a small Zbruch river, where he was shot, and somewhere there the peasants helped him get home. That's a story about him. And then he worked as a school inspector, somewhere in Zalishchyky.

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    Sambir, 11.11.2020

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All political prisoners had dignity

Zoryan Popadyuk, Myroslav Marynovych and Oleksiy Smyrnov in 1987
Zoryan Popadyuk, Myroslav Marynovych and Oleksiy Smyrnov in 1987
photo: Personal archive of the witness

Zoryan Popadyuk was born on April 21, 1953 in Lviv. He spent his childhood in Sambir, Lviv region, with his grandmother Sofiya Kopystynska. While studying at school he became interested in the history of Ukraine, local lore. He united his comrades around his interests. Mother Lyubomyra Popadyuk was one of the scribes of the samizdat in Lviv. She belonged to the dissident society of Lviv, which included Ivan Hel, Vyacheslav Chornovil, Mykhailo Horyn, Mykhailo Kosiv, Vasyl Stus, Ivan and Nadiya Svitlychnyi, and others. Zoryan repeatedly joined the discussions of this society and helped them. From 1970 to the beginning of 1973, he studied at the Faculty of Philology of Lviv University. He was expelled for „Spitting on Soviet power.“ In March 1973, for organising events in memory of Taras Shevchenko, Zoryan Popadyuk was arrested and convicted under Article 62 „anti-Soviet propaganda and agitation.“ He was imprisoned and exiled in various places until 1987 in Mordovia, in Volodymyr prison, in Magadan region, in Kazakhstan, in the Urals. There he had the opportunity to meet other “great” prisoners: Vasyl Stus, Yuriy Shukhevych, Zenoviy Krasivskyi, Gabriel Superfin and others. In 1987, Zoyan Popadyuk was released, according to Gorbachev’s lists. In 1991, he was rehabilitated in two cases. In the early 1990s, the Sambir branch of the Narodnyi Rukh political party nominated Zoryan Popadyuk as a candidate in the local elections. He won this election. From 1990 to 1994, he headed the city of Sambir. Now Zoryan Popadyuk lives in Lviv and is retired.