There’s a well-known expression from Vynnychenko, that states, “Where the Ukrainian question begins, the Russian democrat disappears.”
Has no one ever wondered why this is so?
I came to an interesting conclusion on this after I had a conversation with a guy, who is a history major; he was coming back from the ATO on furlough to Kyiv, to his wife and small child. Returning from my lecture tour, I picked him up in Cherkasy and took him to Kyiv.
He told me an interesting story from a village in the Luhansk region. He used to buy milk from this very old woman who was well over 80 years. He went to her on purpose, precisely because she had a furious attitude toward Ukrainian soldiers, but nevertheless money came in handy for her, so she sold milk to those whom, in reality, she truly hated.
This old woman was herself from Russia. She was brought to this village when she was still very little by her parents, who were deliberately transported here by the Soviet regime. People were relocated to this village where over 90 percent of the villagers died of starvation during the Holodomor period. Russians were settled in those exact homes where Ukrainian peasants used to live, and where they died of starvation along with their entire families. And this old lady hated with passion everything Ukrainian, because she understood that at one time, her parents were given that which originally belonged to Ukrainians. They did what looters do; appropriated from those killed by them.
That’s why such a subconscious hatred developed in this old woman, of those who may be considered descendants of Ukrainian villagers who were victims. This hatred is based on fear of exposing the previously committed crimes.
We are seeing the same thing happening on a subconscious level to the vast majority of Russians. They understand that – by their own [Russian] grandfathers – at one time for Ukrainians their history was stolen from them, the name of their people, and all that is the foundation of the nation. And that’s why there is such hatred for everything Ukrainian–a denial of Ukrainian traditions, language, and cultural heritage.
Because if they admit that all of it was stolen, then it becomes clear that most of what Russians now call “historically Russian,” does not belong to them. It’s just something that they seized from other nations at some point in a very brutal and cunning manner. It’s the hatred of villains, who are afraid that one day the crime will be called a crime, and what was stolen, as stolen.
It’s no wonder that so often one can hear from totally intelligent Russians, this emotional thought that the question in general is not about Ukraine or Ukrainians, which on a subconscious level they have never recognized as a distinct nation. The question now lies in Russia itself. If they recognize Ukraine and Ukrainians, it will become inevitable to admit that they themselves are the descendants of those who once lived in Kyivan Rus–Ukraine. And then the whole concept of the “Russian world” will crumble to dust. That in reality, they have nothing of their own. Everything [they have] was at some point violently taken from others.
That’s why right now the fate of the Russian empire is really being decided. If Ukrainians preserve their sovereignty, then the final collapse of this prison of nations is only a matter of time. Moreover, I’m convinced that we are not talking decades. It’s a matter of several years.