Saturday, Dec 03 2022
All Cities
Choose Your City
'The Yenisey is powerful, furious hero who does not know what to do with his strength and youth'
A.P. Chekhov, 1890

Bikers protest at 'distortion' of war history at conference

By The Siberian Times reporter
27 May 2015

EU delegation targeted by activists, who say meeting is glossing over the truth and turning Russia into aggressors.

The action was taken by members of the Legion 55 club to complain about the theme of the conference, about Polish exiles in Siberia. Picture: Tatyana Shakirova

A group of Siberian bikers have held a protest against what they see as a 'distortion' of war history during a meeting attended by a senior European Union delegation.

Several dozen motorcyclists booed, sounded their horns and created a 'corridor of shame' that officials had to navigate through at the entrance to Omsk State Agrarian University.

The action was taken by members of the Legion 55 club to complain about the theme of the conference, about Polish exiles in Siberia between the 18thand 20th century. The bikers claim much of the topic vilifies supposed Russian action against Poles.

'The conference was devoted to the theme of the humiliation of Poles by Russia,' said Yury 'Uncle Yura' Votintsev, the president of the club. 'Supposedly we deported and humiliated them, but we oppose this distortion of history.

'We have a monument to the Polish victims, and there is a free access to this monument for all, yet we cannot reach our monuments in Poland.'

Omsk bikers protest

Vice-Rector of the university, Nina Kazydub, telling them that the meeting was analysing history rather than politics and that no political statements would be permitted. Pictures: Tatyana Shakirova

Members of the Night Wolves, another Russian bike club of which Vladimir Putin is an honorary member, recently wanted to do a ride in Europe dedicated to Victory Day. But they were banned by Poland and Germany and a number of other countries. Despite this some of them did manage to sneak through and celebrate the patriotic Russian cause.

The official theme of Monday’s conference in Omsk was called 'Polish exiles in Siberia in the second half of the 18th century to the early 20th century'.

Among those who took part, and were booed by the bikers, were Vigaudas Ushatskas, the head of the EU Delegation in Russia, Yarsolav Ksenzhek, Poland’s Deputy Ambassador in Russia, and Marek Zielinski, the Consul of Poland in Irkutsk.

The bikers say they wanted to speak at the meeting and put across their point of view about the supposed inaccuracies. They also wanted to bitterly complain about why Polish officials had not corrected Ukrainian claims that Russia had started the Second World War.

Omsk bikers protest


Omsk bikers protest

Several dozen motorcyclists booed, sounded their horns and created a 'corridor of shame' that officials had to navigate through at the entrance to Omsk State Agrarian University. Pictures: Tatyana Shakirova, Channel 12

Despite their plea, organisers said they could not address the delegates, with the Vice-Rector of the university, Nina Kazydub, telling them that the meeting was analysing history rather than politics and that no political statements would be permitted.

Uncle Yura said: 'My grandfather was a Pole who fought in the Second World War, so what? I am ashamed that Poland now allows such an attitude to history.'

Another biker, called Vladimir, added: 'Why aren’t the Poles challenging the Ukrainians? Their Stepan Bandera killed 120,000 Polish people in Volhynia [in a genocide] during the war. Now the President of Ukraine says that they are heroes? Why are the Poles staying silent? This is unacceptable.'

Despite the protest, and the 'corridor of shame', the head of the EU delegation greeted the bikers and wished them a good day.

Comments (2)

It has been said that in Russia, the past is never certain though the future always is. Here is an example of historical revisionism as current politics.



My great-grandfather, my grandfather and my father were all deported by Russians to Siberia for the crime of being Polish patriots. I congratulate the University at Omsk for its courage and independence in studying this history and deplore the bikers' attempt to distort history in the name of Russian nationalism.
Stefan, Sydney/Australia
06/08/2015 07:10
0
0
The difference between a Hover, and a Harley, is the Hoover has the dirtbag on the inside.
Darwin, USA
27/05/2015 21:37
0
0
1

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR64.99USD61.77GBP75.78Other...