One of the founders of the national liberation movement “Sixties” prisoner camps, creator of the “People’s Movement of Ukraine” Vyacheslav Chornovil died prematurely become a symbol of the country’s breakthrough to democracy and independence.
He was born in the village Yerky in Cherkasy region. In 1946 he went to school – once in second grade because reading of four years and graduated with honors. In 1955 he entered the Kiev State University, the Faculty, and then transferred to the Department of Journalism. Already a student has written, published in the press.
Since July 1960 Chornovil began work on Lviv television studio at the same time acted as a literary critic and essayist. To continue the literary work in 1963 moved to Kyiv and then with I. Svitlychny Dzyuba, E. Sverstyuk and other intellectuals participated in the movement “Sixties”. A talented organizer and activist, he immediately became one of the leaders of the struggle for the revival of Ukraine.
For participation in the human rights movement Chornovil was subjected to numerous interrogations and searches, and for refusing to testify against friends got three months’ imprisonment. In response to the repression Chornovil study published documentary “Justice or recurrence of terror?” – An outstanding example of political journalism, and the documentary collection of political arrests in Ukraine “Woe from Wit” in 1967 was sentenced to three years of labor camp. After his release Chornovil started production of the underground magazine “Ukrainian Journal”, which published a chronicle of the national resistance, and in 1972 he was arrested again and sentenced to 6 years imprisonment and 3 years of exile.
The camp Chornovil earned the nickname “The general prison sign” – as the organizer and leader of the protests for the rights of political prisoners. Almost half the period spent in punishment cells. In 1978 he was transferred to the position of Yakutia exile, and in 1980 re-arrested for publishing abroad material about methods of struggle for the status of political prisoner and sentenced to five years in prison. Released him after three years, but without the right to enter Ukraine.
In 1985, after returning home. Vyacheslav Chornovil was the initiator of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union. The first public organization in Ukraine that openly opposed the communists. Since the establishment of “People’s Movement of Ukraine” (1989) Chornovil was its head, and with the election of parliamentarians became the leader of its radical-democratic part. He was a candidate for president of Ukraine, won more than 23% of votes.
March 25, 1999 Vyacheslav Chornovil under circumstances still not clarified killed in road accident near Boryspil near Kyiv. For services to the independent Ukrainian state, he was posthumously awarded the title Hero of Ukraine.