The Unacknowleged Legislators
By Steve Komarnyckyj, May 14 2015 04:30AM
The Russian occupying forces in Donetsk have destroyed a memorial tablet to Vasyl Stus at Donetsk University. Vasyl Stus (January 8, 1938 – September 4, 1985) was a former student at the university. His poetry was banned by the Soviet state and he spent twenty three years in detention. He was a human rights activist whose sole crime was to protest against political oppression. He died after going on hunger strike in Perm 36, a Soviet forced labour camp. This intelligent and humane man is a fitting symbol of all that every dictator tries to destroy: human rights, cultural dialogue and poetry unfettered by ideological orthodoxy. The regime's attempt to destroy his memory testifies to the power of poetry.