The Idea of a Russian People

The ideas of a “Russian” people is a fairly new (18th century) idea. Ever since the Grand Duchy of Muscovy conquered the Kingdom of Novgorod, the Russian idea has been the annihilation of local cultures and identity for the purpose of uniting disparate peoples.

It is also fundamentally contradictory to the idea of a Ukrainian people.

Ukrainians see themselves as the unlucky but noble inheritors of Kyiv-Rus, who, since the kingdom’s destruction by the Mongols in 1241, have defined themselves with efforts to resist slavery (feudalism) from Moscow, Poland or the Ottoman empire, and cultural invasion from Muscovites. A lot of Ukrainian poetry deals with the idea of a hi-jacked identity. (“What are these Muscovites searching for in our torn-open graves? An ancient parent?”)

Russians see themselves at the cultural descendents of Kyiv-Rus whose political center shifted to Moscow and St Petersburg. They see themselves as the great uniters of slavic (and non-slavic) people.

The Ukrainian ideas can exist without Russia. The Russian idea can’t exist without Ukraine.

2 Comments

  1. ED K

    You focus too much on history, or the past, or what you think has been.

    There used to be a sign that said “Think A [then the print got smaller and turned down] head – to fit on space available. Think Ahead!

    I appreciate and enjoy your comments on history. However, you forget your obligations.

    Look what this guy said, “”The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place.”
    – Albert Einstein

    Reply
  2. elmer

    he who does not know history is doomed to repeat it

    part of solving a problem today is knowing what has not worked before

    otherwise one will be indeed doomed to repeat the same thinking that caused the problems in the first place

    Ukraine is a culture in search of a state

    The Rasha is a psychotic state in search of a culture

    And right now, the Rasha is simply – Putlerism, where the “president of the Rasha nominates the president of the Rasha who is then elected by the president of the Rasha.”

    Reply

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