Thursday, April 8, 2010

Two versions

Sometimes different reports depict the news in completely contradictory terms, giving readers the chance to see the distortion of events in sharp focus. Here's just such a case.

The story according to Ukraine's Kyiv Post: Ukrainian nationalists outraged by exhibition about Volyn victims in Kyiv

The Congress of Ukrainian nationalists, the Ukrainian Nationalist Assembly - Ukrainian Nationalist Self-Defense (UNA-UNSD) and other nationalist organizations have asked President Viktor Yanukovych to "stop the attempts to falsify the history of the national liberation movement."

Such is the message issued by the protestors on Thursday outside the Ukrainian House in Kyiv, where a photo exhibition has been opened under the title, "The Volyn slaughter: Polish and Jewish victims of the OUN-UIA (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists - Ukrainian Insurgent Army)," an Interfax correspondent said.

The exhibition is organized by the Russian-language Ukraine, a human rights group, and the Society of the Victims of Ukrainian Nationalists' Movement (Poland).

"You have been elected the president of an independent state and not an occupational administration, and therefore your actions must be aimed at asserting and defending the independent state, in the name of which the OUN-UIA and hundreds of thousands of known and unknown freedom fighters struggled against the bolshevist Russia and Poland," the letter said.

The event involving about 50 participants passed without incident.

That article was illustrated with a stock photo of the Ukrainian House. Nothing happening here. Move along.

Then there's this version from Vos iz Neias: 13 Arrested for Breaking into Polish-Jewish Memorial Exhibit

Police arrested 13 men on Thursday for breaking into a memorial exhibit and vandalizing photographs of Polish and Jewish victims of World War II repressions.

The attack took place in the Ukrainsky Dom exhibition hall in the capital Kiev, shortly before a Ukrainian parliamentarian was scheduled to open the exhibit formally.

The exhibit, called Volynska Reznya (The Volyn Slaughter) displayed photographs and personal memorabilia of ethnic Poles and Jews living in the territory of modern Ukraine's Volyn province during 1944, many of whom were killed in inter-ethnic violence.

Thirteen members of the extreme right Ukrainian national group Svoboda (Freedom) entered the exhibition hall shortly after opening, and used fists and boots to demolish displays.

The nationalists hurled some of the artifacts, among them books and household items dating back to the mid-20th century, at parliamentarian Vadym Kolesnychenko in response to his request they leave the hall.

Svoboda activists fought with police called to the scene. Some of the nationalist fighters were still resisting as law enforcers carried them outside.

Seven of the detainees will face charges of destruction of private property, and six of failing to obey a police order, the Interfax news agency reported.

This photograph of either the peaceful protest or violent break-in (depending on which version you believe) is available from a Russian news service:

Photo: RIA Novosti

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