In Paris yesterday, Yushchenko put flowers to Symon Petlyura's grave (three photos at Maidan.org.ua - here).
In Paris today, at the age of 86, died Marina Denikin-Grey, daughter of General Anton Denikin (two recent photos of her in the Kommersant - here).
Petlyura's Wikipedia bio is here; Denikin's here.
I don't have any particular feelings for either of these men, and I have to admit I know very little about them - but I do find it amazing that their life and afterlife stories seem to cross at some really significant points:
- before and during WWI, both served in the Russian Tsarist army, with Denikin based first in Kyiv, then in Galicia;
- during the civil war, Petlyura fought against Denikin, among others;
- after the Communists came to power, Petlyura and Denikin both eventually ended up in France;
- during the Soviet times, they were never mentioned in a positive context, let alone praised, not officially anyway;
- now they've both reclaimed their 'national hero' status in their respective motherlands, with Denikin's body re-buried in Moscow in a lavish ceremony a month or so ago.
If nothing else, this means that at some well-hidden level Russia has changed as much and in the same direction as Ukraine.
I don't care about Denikin or Petlyura, but I did fall in love with Denikin's daughter, who has died today.
At 86, she had the energy of a beautiful, young woman, she was shining all the time in this really contagious way, and she looked both fragile and resilient, both very kind and very tough - at least, this was how she appeared to me on TV.
In one interview with her, I read that she'd spent 40 years with her third husband; they both loved tennis, but she also loved football (soccer), while he hated it; when she gave him a second TV set as a present, he was extremely happy, because that meant he'd be able to watch whatever he liked while she was watching her football!..
Rest in peace, Marina Antonovna.