An appeal by Kyiv Mohyla Academy president to education sector workers

21.03.2010, 14:43, 18 March, 2010, 18 March, 2010

Yesterday at 17:59 | Serhiy Kvit

Dear colleagues,

The appointment of Dmytro Tabachnyk as education and science minister of Ukraine became a downright shock – he is a politician who doubts the very Ukrainian identity, offering instead a concept of the unknown “Ukrainian-Russian culture.”

In Tabachnyk’s opinion, the law of Ukraine “on Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine” places our state “in the same line as the most repulsive totalitarian dictatorships.” The minister for education and science thinks that “the desire to play little dirty tricks on the neighbor, betray, make something up to deceive another, a readiness to lose an eye if the neighbor goes completely blind are characteristics of the forming Ukrainian nation.”

His dictums like “Halychyna residents are lackeys who have barely learned to wash their hands,” who “practically have nothing in common with the people of the greater Ukraine in either mental, or confessional, or linguistic, or political sphere,” as well as other statements about “the struggle between the two types of ethnic groups, Roman-Catholic-Halychyna and Russian-Orthodox” that is supposed to be happening on the territory of Ukraine make one wonder how can they possibly belong to a Ph.D. in history.

This intolerance towards any nation or national culture is characterized as xenophobia. In this particular case, we’re talking about hatred of Ukrainians and the Ukrainian culture by the minister responsible for state policy in the education sector.

Sensitivity towards the lack of tolerance is a distinguishing feature of the whole post-war world, especially Europe. That’s why a minister like this cannot sit at the negotiations table with ministers of any civilized countries, and cannot be left in charge of science and education in our country.

Ukraine needs unification and more culture. Our education and science need a leap in quality. We need to improve our ability to compete in the global arena. Our universities need more autonomy. These are the tasks that cannot be undertaken by Tabachnyk because the humanity sphere cannot be built on hatred and lies.

Let’s not be indifferent today because our pupils and students will never forgive us tomorrow! Real teaching starts by example, including standing up for your own dignity. We’re calling on you to publicly come out against Tabachnyk, a person who is unacceptable in this important and responsible job of science and education minister.

Serhiy Kvit is the president of the National University “Kyiv Mohyla Academy.” The original appeal can be found on