INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE: WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH RENAMING

08.07.2019

FОТО: 24tv

The decision on renaming avenues after Roman Shukhevych and Stepan Bandera was cancelled in Kyiv, and in Kharkiv Petro Hryhorenko Avenue got back its old name – Marshal Zhukov Avenue.

All of the evidence associated with the processes of de-communization, and directly with the renaming of streets and cities should be very clearly spelled out. There should be prosecution evidence written in front of each name: at least – scientific work, and ideally – the decision of the court. That is, if we trust the Ukrainian courts, then, for example, the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance should apply to the court with these pieces of evidence. That is, there must be a legal fact that a person is a war criminal of the communist regime. And this should not be spelled out in the law but should be a fact established during discussions in an open format, together with scientific justification. But technically, the court is the easiest way.

Therefore, while there is no legal justification for changing the name of streets or cities, even inherently correct decision to rename the avenue after Shukhevych, risks falling across a negative court decision.

Ihar Tyshkevich, the expert of the “International and domestic policy” programme of UIF