Makukh, Vasyl

Makukh, Vasyl [Макух, Василь; Makux, Vasyl’], b 14 November 1927 in Kariv, Rava-Ruska county, Galicia, d 5 November 1968 in Kyiv. Political prisoner and protester. Having deserted from the Soviet Army in November 1944, he joined the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. Heavily wounded in battle in February 1946 and arrested by the NKVD, Makukh served long terms of imprisonment throughout the 1950s. On 5 November 1968 he set himself on fire on Khreshchatyk Boulevard, the main thoroughfare of Kyiv, to protest Soviet political repression and the colonial subjugation of Ukraine. Before his death he was heard to shout ‘Colonialism out of Ukraine!’ and ‘Long live a free Ukraine!’ His self-immolation was the first such act of protest in Ukraine.

[This article was updated in 2013.]

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