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Ivan Dziuba—From Internationalism or Russification to Facets of a Crystal

Description: CIUS Seminar Audio Part 1 and 2.

The Institute's fourth seminar of the current academic year took place on November 17. Michael Savaryn, first year law student at the University of Alberta, spoke on "Ivan Dziuba—From International- ism or Russification to Facets of a Crystal. The writers of the 1960s gave Ukrainian cultural life a spark of inspiration.

Ivan Dziuba, a literary critic, symbolized the post-Stalin renaissance in Ukraine by becoming a political activist. For ten years, seemingly motivated by uncompromising conviction, Dziuba fearlessly criticized government policies; his actions culminated in the preparation and circulation of the now renowned dissertation Internationalism or Russification. Then, quite unexpectedly, Dziuba broke down under pressure and recanted.

Valentyn Moroz attributes this downfall to Dziuba's lack of fervent faith combined with too much logic and "realism." Leonid Pliushch, on the other hand, believes that Dziuba lacked the necessary ideological persistence, and that his arguments were overly emotional. There is also a third interpretation Dziuba was part of a reformist movement in Ukraine whose success depended on a strong lobby for reform and compromise by Ukraine's top political leaders. Indeed, Shelest, the first secretary of the C.P.U. , encouraged efforts to improve the status of the Ukrainian language in Ukraine, and Dziuba naturally became a fullblown political activist at a time when the system seemed to offer genuine opportunities for reform.

Two trends have been evident within the dissident movement in Ukraine: one consisted of reformists willing to compromise with the system while demanding reform, another consisted of uncompromising revolutionaries who lack contact with the political elite. When in 1972 the entire political elite in Ukraine was purged, Shelestivshchyna fell, and Dziuba, imprisoned at that time, saw his movement torn to shreds. He had become a dying remnant of a bygone era. Resistance was futile because his self-imposed duty was reformism, and he had adhered to it to the end of its possible life.

Found in CIUS Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 2 (Winter 1977)
Author: CIUS
Publisher: CIUS
Date: November 3, 1977
Contributor: Michael Savaryn
Language: English, Ukrainian
Original Format: Magnetic tape, audio cassette





CIUS, “Ivan Dziuba—From Internationalism or Russification to Facets of a Crystal,” CIUS-Archives, accessed March 25, 2023,
Unless otherwise noted, this work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license .