On 23 September unknown perpetrators in military fatigues beat the editor-in-chief of Ukrainian ‘Political Critique’ magazine, doctor of humanities, lecturer at the Kiev-Mohyla University and head of the Centre for Visual Culture Research.   

Vasily participated actively in social, academic and artistic life of the Ukrainian capital having invited a number of intellectuals to the conference ‘Ukraine: Thinking Together’ (among them Agnieszka Holland, Timothy Snyder and Ivan Krastev).  He organises open debates and artistic events and was involved in the work of ‘Open University’ on the Maidan square.

Vasily was attacked in broad daylight on the crowded Kontraktova Square; near the university he works at.  The perpetrators in military uniforms, albeit with no official distinctions, beat him up while calling him a ‘separatist’ – which is not true and in the light of his involvement in the ‘Political Critique’ simply absurd.  Militia arrived on the scene too late and was unable to identify or capture the perpetrators. With numerous injuries to his face, including a broken cheekbone, Vasily was hospitalised and will most likely require a surgery.

Vasyl has been a target for rightists attacks in the past, this is first time it has become violent.

The Visual Culture Research Centre has declared:

‘We demand a quick investigation into this appalling attack. We also demand an investigation into the activities of paramilitary groups that use the war in Ukraine as a pretext to justify their own misantropic views.’

We pass on solidarity, and join the calls of his friends in Kyiv for a swift action to resolve this case.

Chris Ford

Convenor Ukraine Solidarity Campaign

Visual Culture Research Centre

Thank you to Jan Ladzinksi for translation assistance