Galicia, or Halychyna, is a territory formed by three regions in Western Ukraine, Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk, and Ternopol', and it is special in the context of Ukraine. Due to historical circumstances, discussion of which is far beyond the scope of the present post, large part of the population there has mutated into nationalist orcs. And these orcs have elected their representatives into local municipal and regional councils.
Galicians often claim that in their region there live "true Ukrainians." (TM) This implies that a "true Ukrainian Ukraine" (TM) will not come about until the entire territory of the state called Ukraine, and perhaps other neighbouring territories, don't become one Greater Galicia. At present however, there seems to be a lot of disagreement between Galicia and the rest of Ukraine, primarily because of "Galician peculiarity."
Due to local municipal and regional councils being held by nationalist orcs, cultural and educational initiatives of the central government are not respected there. On 9 October, the Lvov regional council voted to make the new language law invalid on the territory of the Lvov region. The initiative came from the infamous Lvov regional council member, Irina Farion.
Farion is a member of the ultra-nationalist VO "Svoboda". She made headlines by going to a kindergarten and telling kids with Russian names to go to Moskovia. She also made headlines by successfully demanding that a driver of a mini-bus public transport who played Russian music be fired from his job. After that she triumphaly declared: "That creature was sacked!" And even more recently she was annoyed by a Russian rock band "Mashina Vremeni" advertising its concert in the Russian language on the streets of Lvov. She demanded that these billboards be dismantled. However, she was told that the new language law allows people to advertise in a language of their own choosing.
No such law allowing people the freedom of choice should exist in world of Farion, and it needed to be made invalid. In Galicia, Lvov is certainly not the only region which has denounced the new language law and made it invalid. Similar motions were passed in regional and municipal council across the region. The problem is that all of these actions of Galician councils are unconstitutional. Regional and municipal councils have no right to denounce laws passed by the Parliament. In this case, the central government has the right to dismiss the regional and municipal councils in Galicia for disobedience, but I doubt that measure will be taken.
But recent Galician deviations from the national norm do not end here. The current Minister of Education, Dmytro Tabachnyk, decided to purge nationalist dirt out of the history curriculum. This has made him "very popular" among the usual suspects, from Lvov all the way to Toronto. In Lvov they decided to supplement the official material of the Ministry of Education with their own publications that will tell the "truth."
The book that the schools in Lvov now use to supplement what they see as incomplete programme of the Ministry of Education, was written by a 26-year old teacher from a Lvov school number 28, Zakalyuk. I sense we are dealing here with a professional with years of practical experience. To provide funding (70,000 Hryvnas, or approximately 8600 USD) for Zakalyuk's project, back in August, the VO "Svoboda" members on Lvov municipal council refused to listen to the mayor's account of the work of the executive organs of the municipal council, until money from the municipal budget will be provided.
Ironically, a month later, 1000 of Lvov's street cleaners and road workers went on strike because the municipal council failed to provide funds for keeping the city clean in the critical months of October, November, and December. Seems like the council finds the time and money to erect statues of Bandera, ban Russian language, and provide supplementary history books for local kids, so the latter don't become contaminated by "improper discourse." But the fact that the leaves fall in Autumn, and snow falls in Winter, that does not appear to be high on their agenda.
And what is that "proper discourse" that Zakalyuk and VO "Svoboda" want to teach kids in Lvov? Zakalyuk's book claims that the Ukrainian Insurgent Army are heroes, and that the Holodomor is a genocide. The first I can sort of understand, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army is a West Ukrainian phenomenon, and they don't want grandpa to feel bad. But I have a hard time understanding this strange obsession of Galicians with telling the the story of Holodomor "right." These people were not even part of the Soviet Union at the time of Holodomor.
But the best of all included in the book is yet to follow. I translate a quote from the masterpiece:
The attempt to introduce a second state language provoked a sharp resistance from patriotic forces. In Kiev there began a hunger-strike of several members of the Ukrainian Parliament. Attempts by the police to disperse those on hunger-strike ended in failure because members of VO "Svoboda" stood up for the defence of the people.
So it is not only a history textbook but a piece of political propaganda as well. The Ministry of Education could not let this pass without a comment, and informed Lvov municipal authorities, that all study materials need to be approved by the Ministry of Education before they can be used in lessons.
On 11 October, the press-service of Lvov municipality reported, quoting the mayor of Lvov, Sadovyy, that the city is not planning to negotiate the textbooks with the Ministry of Education. Sadovyy said, I translate:
The job of the school is to give children, thorough, comprehensive education. These textbooks do not require any approval from the Ministry of Education. These are supplementary books.
Our children need to know the truth about the history of our state. So let the Ministry take care of its own business, and we will do what depends on us, so that our children receive truthful history of our nation.
Basically, Sadovyy says that educating Galician children is no business of the Ukrainian Ministry of Education. This once again shows how hollow is the Ukrainian "Unitarian model" as enshrined in the Constitution.