It seems so close. He lived among us, spoke from the tribune, and was the symbol of the epoch. For someone he was an idol, for others – an opponent, but he immutably provoked respect by his position, consecrated with his struggle for Ukrainian independence of many years, prison trials, his merits before dissident move. The meaning and magnification of his personality were realized even by ardent antagonists of his political views. During his life he was incontestable authority among National –Patriotic forces. Unfortunately, now he gradually becomes a monument, an idol, a mythological character, which keeps moving away from us, vanishing in the years, that seem old and vague to the new generation – 1980th-1990th.
He forever remained in the 20th century as if he closed the time of romantic belief in Ukrainian independence with his life. His death opened the sequence of biggest mysteries and tragedies of our young country. Our history changed after his life, after his death. No matter how cruel the epoch of 90th was, but after Vyacheslav Chernovol`s death our country crossed the boundary. Alas, the tragedy on Borispol highway drew a line under romantic idealism of fighters for Ukrainian independence, under the faith in possibility of building a really national-democratic state. As if a pivot was bended, a flame, lit up by Chernovol in the distant 1960th died out.
Swiftly thickening darkness only emphasizes the scale of the loss.
Memories remain, which are gifted to us to be kept and to be an example. The Memorial Cabinet of Chernovol was opened on December 24, 2002 – on the day when he could have celebrated his 65th anniversary. Photos, documents and personal belongings of Vyacheslav Maksimovich are gathered there. “The effect of presence is especially perceptible with the look at Chernovol`s work table: modest jacket, carelessly thrown over the back of the chair, a cap, carefully placed glasses, self phone.
Feels like the owner has just left – for a conference or meeting – and will be back in a minute, endowing everybody with his famous smile.
Chernovol`s wife Atena Pashko, his sister Valentina Chernovol, companions from National Ruh of Ukraine helped to create the exposition. There are lots of things that have become rarity, historical in the cabinet. The legendary self-published “Ukrainian Bulletin”, prison photos and letters, political leaflets and personal documents of Vyacheslav Chernovol, the clothes he wore on the day of his death… The excursion unfolds in circle, from stand to stand the story about childhood, youth and student years, the human rights activity of the Hero of Ukraine, his stay in Soviet Camps and exile is told. Further the stands show the first meetings for independence at the end of 1980th, creation of Ukrainian Helsinki Group, election to the post of Chairman of Lvov regional Council, his activity as Hetman of Ukrainian Cossacks, State Rada deputy, a member of Parliament Assembly of Council of Europe, the leader of National Ruh.
The interiors of the cabinet as well as the building, where the Central Office of National Ruh is still located, are of great interest. Fancifully decorated house № 33 on O. Gonchara Street was built for private clinic of Kachkovskiye brothers according to the project of architect I. Ledukhovskiy. The gates of the clinic became an exact copy of the gates of Parisian Hotel “Castel Berange”, created by Ector Gimar. After the Kachkovskiyes, surgical clinic of doctor Makovskiy functioned here, the evidence of which is kept till present time in form of inscription on the pediment, decorated with two almost “Vrubel” sirens with otherworldly look and hairstyle of the beginning of 20th century. In September of 1911 the lethally wounded in Kiev Opera Prime-Minister of Russian Empire Petr Stolypin died right there. There used to be an operating room where they unsuccessfully tried to save life of the high official in the present Memorial Cabinet of Vyacheslav Chernovol. And 80 years later this building turned out to be connected with life and death of another politician who had cardinally different political views, but was not less consistent and principled in asserting them. It is connected with life of the first leader of Ukrainian National Ruh Vyacheslav Chernovol - the true hero of Ukrainian people.