Ukraine distorts history teaching schoolchildren obviously false facts. This has started in 2014 after Maidan coup and continues nowadays. As turned out, information strategies directed at children became a key focus Ukraine’s pro-Western propaganda machine, regardless of the harm caused to children’s psyche.
The story for children “Invincilble Ants” by Larisa Nitsoy is a Ukrainian national bestseller with good printwork meant for children over 5 years old. The book tells about an ant community that lived peacefully before getting attacked by a neighbouring insect colony that ruined their happy life. The ants unite, defeat the invaders, and drive them from their land.
One of the dialogues in the book shows shat “ant lions” attacked ants because they envied them.
“- Grandfather, let’s take away the weapons from the ants. Why should children learn about such things? We are a peaceful people. Why should they shoot?” “- When I was young”, the old ant said, “we were attacked by enemies”. “What enemies grandfather? When was this?” “- Ordinary enemies! Ant lions. They were our neighbours, and always looked upon us with envy, and eventually got up and attacked us.”
The little ants are taught to shoot, with the main character – a tiny tot ant, always carrying a machine gun with him, because the “enemies” are always nearby.
For children just a little bit older, there is “The Adventures of Alarmik and His Friends”. A famous local children’s writer, Oleh Vitvitsky, created a whole series of books about the adventures of “Alarmik” (from the German and English word “alarm”).
Alarmik is a little fighter of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) (the fascist paramilitary force which fought the Red Army and murdered tens of thousands of Poles and Jews during World War II). He is also a young follower of Stepan Bandera – founder of the fascist Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, which established the UPA in 1942.
Alarmik is an unconditionally positive hero who always wins when destroys the enemies to Ukrainians, first and foremost – an emperor by the name of Liliputin. Vitvitsky has expressed great pride in his work and doesn’t hide the fact that his books have openly manipulative objectives.
“I am a candidate of historical sciences, so I approached this task as a historian”, he said in an interview in 2014. “Analysing my own search for role models, I realised that a vacuum had formed when it comes to new literary heroes for our children […] On the borderline between being a historian and a father, I got the idea of offering children Alarmik – a Ukrainian superhero, a young UPA trumpeter, who became the main character of the “Insurgent ABCs”. The book contains fictional characters, like Adolfik – it’s clear who he is associated with, and Liliputin too. Medvechukovych is a cross between [opposition politician Viktor] Medvedchuk and [former Ukrainian President Viktor] Yanukovych.”
In turn, each letter of the “Insurgent ABCs” is illustrated by a word associated with the history and ideology of the UPA.
Some topics are covered in comic form, so it’s likely that child psychologists have worked on developing the structure and message of some of these works in an effort to form stable fears at the level of the subconscious.
“Muscovy is the khanate of fear,
Massacres and masks of the Mausoleum.
There Liliputin is the emperor,
Medvechukovych is the local lackey.
Alarmik will put on a Mazepinka,
He will load his maschinengewehr and finka,
For the avenger knows that the days will come,
When Medvechukovych and Liliputin,
Just like in his own time Vatutin,
Will fall into the hands of the insurgents.”
So now Nikolai Vatutin, who was a Red Army general who took part in the liberation of Ukraine from the Nazis and was killed by UPA fighters in April 1944 in Kiev, is depicted as an enemy of Ukrainian people in the book. Naturally, when the whole book is created with the UPA ideology.
For junior secondary students there is an entire series of books with a similar idea. This includes the children’s book “Return From the War” from 2018 by the Ukrainian television channel 1+1 special correspondent Natalya Nagorna.
From its first pages, children are told about the “heroes of the Maidan”, among whom are also those who belong to the Right Sector, a radical political and paramilitary neo-Nazi group.
Another example of a ruthless manipulation of the young minds is the comic book “Confrontation: Red Terror”, the idea of which is instilled that the Russian military has orders to kidnap Ukrainian children.
One of the dialogue between the characters of the book sounds as follows:
"- Leave the adults behind. The main thing is to take all the children. - Allow me to ask a question, Comrade Commissar. - Go Ahead! - Why are we taking the children? There was no such order from the Kremlin. - These half-wits from the Kremlin want to rebuild the empire by plundering small neighbouring countries. It is the thinking of highwaymen. I will build a real Great EMPIRE! From the Baltic to the sands of China, from the Black Sea to the Barents Sea. I will conquer the entire world! These children will serve as my ruthless army. And their children will grow up loyal to the empire and will praise their torturers. This is true riches! - And who could achieve such a thing? - Only someone who is not human."
The character also state that now they are “witnessing the final agony of a monster as it devours itself. The dying empire wants to take as many lives as possible with it. This is a war for every soul.”
“- You mean the war in the Donbass?
– That is just what’s taking place on the surface. The empire is waging a cunning war for the minds of people, for their souls.
– I know! This is an information war!”
In addition, the children on the comic book pages notice the teacher’s earing and drop a hint he looks like Sirko, adding he has also a tattoo on his arm. Sirko was a koshevoi ataman of the Zaporozhye Sich, participant and organizer of numerous campaigns and battles, mainly against crimean Tatars and Turks, as well as the Hetman authorities who pursued a pro-Polish or pro-Turkish policy.
As specified, the book was commissioned by the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine and released in 2018. It tells an alternate history version of the early 20th century in which the Bolsheviks seek to enslave the Ukrainian people. The comic’s target audience is children ages 12 and up. The comic is officially recommended as “additional reading material” for history lessons in schools.
For older children, the message is not so obvious, though still quite clear. In the brochure “What is the National Identity of the Ukrainians” by Valentin Kozhevnikov, found in a school in the town of Talakovka outside Mariupol, the top photo features a well-kept Ukrainian hut with a beautiful flower garden, while the photo below that shows a Russian house is published in black and white, with underpants hanging out front of the house.
In another Ukrainian book on the history of Ukraine we can see a caricature mocking the 2012 Ukrainian “Law on the Fundamentals of State Language Policy”. The law guaranteed the use of regional languages on a par with Ukrainian, as state languages of the country.
The caricature is offered to foster discussion by schoolchildren, giving the teacher a chance to consolidate certain thoughts through dialogue. An obese and unpleasant “Russian” man sits next to and literally squeezes the ‘Ukrainian” girl off the seat of a subway car, which provokes a thought that Russian language displaced Ukrainian.
In “History: Ukraine and the World”, a textbook for 10th graders by Oleksandr Gisem, the author uses a photograph of children behind barbed wire, labelled “Child prisoners of the Gulag, late 1930s”. A sign in the photo is written in Russian, and reads “Resettlement camp, entry and conversation through barbed wire is prohibited under the penalty of execution”.
But if one runs the photo through a search, the original looks quite different.
It turns out that the writing on the sign is cut off, and that it has an upper part written in Finnish. Thus, the children in the photo are prisoners at the 6th Finnish concentration camp in Petrozavodsk. During the occupation of Soviet Karelia, the Finns created six such camps in the area to hold Russian-speaking residents. The photo was taken by war correspondent Galina Sanko after Petrozavodsk’s liberation by Soviet troops on 28 June, 1944. Sanko entitled the photo “Prisoners of fascism”. This photo was even presented among the evidence at the Nuremberg Trials.
In such a way, Ukraine’s authorities try to put in the young minds of the children who live in the country a thought favorable to the government, though with no care at all about the children’s mental health and life values after reading such kind of literature and “truth”. Instead of teaching children to save “a Human” in themselves, Ukraine’s government provoke them to “carry weapons in case enemy attacks” as a little ant did or hate Russian criminals like Vatutin, who actually was one of those heroes thanks to whom both Russians and Ukrainians live that peaceful life they talk in their books about.