The Kyiv City Council has named a small street in the city’s Shevchenkivskyi district after Welsh journalist Gareth Jones. He was one of the first foreign correspondents to write about the Holodomor, a man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine that killed millions of people in 1932–1933.
The initiative to rename the street came from the creative team behind the recent film “Mr. Jones,” which tells the story of the journalist’s reporting from Ukraine during the famine, and the Institute of Journalism at Taras Shevchenko National University.
Symbolically, the street is located near the Institute and the city’s TV tower. Previously, this street was nameless.
“The initiators appealed to the Kyiv Commission on Toponyms. In February 2019, the commission supported this proposal unanimously and submitted it for public discussion. It was also supported there,” said Pavlo Ostrovsky, a member of the commission.
“Then, other procedural stages followed: approval of the results of the discussion, then this decision was considered by the profile commissions of deputies of the Kyiv City Council. Today, the Kyiv City Council made the final decision.”
In the future, the crew of “Mr. Jones” plans to honor the memory of Gareth Jones at this location. Currently, they are considering organizing a community cleanup there, planting trees along the street and other ideas, Alisa Kalyuzhnaya, promo producer of the film, said.
She also said that renaming the street was an obvious decision.
“Prior to that, the publishing house Zhnets (“Reaper”) published a book with (Jones’) articles. In November 2018, on the anniversary of the Holodomor, an exhibition in honor of Gareth Jones was held,” she said.
According to Kalyuzhnaya, it is symbolic that this news about renaming the street appeared on the eve of the 115th anniversary of his birth and on the 75th anniversary of Gareth Jones’ death.
The lane named after him near the Institute of Journalism is also symbolic, thinks Myroslava Prykhoda, docent at the Department of Publishing and Editing of the Institute of Journalism.
“Gareth Jones will be in Ukraine forever,” Myroslava said
Gareth Jones was one of the first journalists to travel to the villages of Soviet Ukraine and uncover the mass famine, which many believe Soviet dictator Josef Stalin used to break Ukrainian resistance to collectivization.
More than 3.9 million Ukrainians lost their lives in the famine.
Jones was killed in mysterious circumstances in China in 1935. Some suspect that Soviet secret police may have been involved in his murder.
On July 30, the Kyiv City Council also renamed several other streets in the Ukrainian capital.
The council renamed Dymytrova Street in Desnianskyi district in honor of Polish-Ukrainian artist Nikifor Drovnyak. The square in Dniprovskyi district between Yevhen Sverstyuk Street and Raisa Okipna Street was renamed after Serhiy Naboka, a Ukrainian dissident, journalist and human rights activist.
According to the same council decision, a square in Shevchenkivskyi district at the corner of Zoologichna and Degtyarivska streets will receive the name “Munich.” And the square at the intersection of Sichovykh Striltsiv Street and Vyacheslav Chornovil Street in Shevchenkivskyi district was renamed in honor of Soviet Azerbaijani singer Muslim Magomayev. The square already featured a monument to the pop star.
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