Viktor Linchevski, 1990

Secretary of Rukh
Interviewed 28 February 1990 in the Rukh central office, Kiev
Interviewer: Gwynne Dyer

Rukh started meeting openly in 1988 and it was not really about ecology, but ecology was the only grounds on which they could get a permit to hold a demonstration or gathering, so that is what they did.

Do you have anything in Ukraine like Brazowskas and the others in Lithuania — communists who are trying to beat the nationalists at their own game?


Was it Gorbachev’s tactic to leave Shcherbitsky here for 4 yeears after the other Brezhnevites elsewhere were dismissed?

Gorbachev was quite happy with Shcherbitsky. He is really on the side of the empire. In the Baltics, although the Russians were a minority there, they were a majority in the party.

Is that true here in the Ukraine also? Are the Russians also disproportionately involved in the CP?

He doesn’t have any information about the number of people in the party who are Russian. The whole party itself is just a colonial administration from Moscow. For a long time the Ukrainian newspapers had orders not to use Ukrainian words that had different roots from Russian ones, in order to transform Ukrainian into a dialect of Russian. They had some success in this.

With so many Russians in the Eastern part and so many Ukrainians in the Western part, are you as popular in Kharkhov as in Lvov?

We are a little more popular in Lvov than in Kharkhov, because of the situation there.

He is a nationalist who wants full independence from Moscow, but not everyone in Rukh feels that way.

The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy, by Metta Spencer, published by Lexington Books