FULL DISCLOSURE: Sourced from Russian State-Controlled Media
MOSCOW, 11 April 2022, RUSSTRAT Institute.
The essence of the problem
The “Ukrainian question” faced the world community in the first half of the 21st century, just as it faced the so-called “Jewish question” at the beginning of the 20th century. In both cases, we were talking about ethnic groups without a state, ethnic groups that are part of the Empire as a national minority, passionate, active, ambitious, and therefore hate the Russian Empire, in the bosom of which they found themselves by the will of historical fate.
Any attempts by imperial moderates to somehow make peace with these ethnic groups, tame them and turn them against Europe and the united West, turning them into imperial sub-ethnoses, and the territory of Okraina (the Russian borderlands – ed.) into a cordon sanitaire loyal to historical Great Russia, always ended in a resounding failure.
Nevertheless, the heated discussion about “how we should reorganize Ukraine” reproduces all the old Ukrainian myths that twice in the 20th century led Russia to a state catastrophe.
The liberal wing of the Russian intelligentsia, from the moderately conservative to the left-wing radical format, imposes ideas of such a solution to the “Ukrainian question” that inevitably guarantees the imminent return of the nightmare from which both residents of Ukraine and residents of the Russian Federation, these two fragments of a once historically unified national-state community, are now trying to escape.
Nevertheless, the Ukrainian issue itself exists, and its solution is the core of the confrontation between Russia and the united West. This makes it necessary to clarify the essence of the problem, which is described in terms that the disputing parties by default attach completely different meanings to. This makes the discussion useless since absolutely opposite conclusions are drawn from the same premises. The result is that the problem is not solved, and this has been used by the West against Russia for the third century.
The main term, the lack of clarity of which creates polemical and administrative deadlocks in relation to the Ukrainian issue, is “Ukrainian identity”, from the interpretation of which the solution of the problem of Ukrainian power and Ukrainian statehood follows. And even more specifically – the Russian question, a broader one, in the context of which the Ukrainian question is being resolved.
In any version, this is a question of Russia’s absorption into the civilization of the West, its subordination to the West, the termination of its original existence, and transformation into a conglomerate of peoples that is not sovereign, geographically fragmented and is in a state of permanent war of all against all.
That is, the Ukrainian question is one of the ways to destroy Russia and the Russian statehood, to return to the period when some Russians were part of the Polish-Lithuanian Principality and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth as national minorities, some lived in the territories where the Ottoman Empire ruled, and the rest was divided into appanage principalities and were at war with each other.
It is from this point of view that it is necessary to answer the question of what is the Ukrainian identity and Ukrainian statehood, what should Russia do when solving the problem of the denazification of Ukraine by military and political methods, so as not to step on the old rake once again and not face the problem of the emergence of a rabid separatist horde on its western outskirts, the brutality of even the armies of European conquerors, whose level of cruelty is so standard that it would seem impossible to surpass it. It turned out to be possible, and Ukraine clearly confirms this.
Who is to blame?
As is known, the basis for the formation of national identity is considered to be language. Regarding the Ukrainian identity, it is important to say that two hundred years ago there was no trace of the Ukrainian language in Malorossiya. Plans for its creation were not hatched by anyone.
Studies of the Malorossiya ethnographer A. F. Shafonsky (1740-1811), conducted at the end of the 18th century in the Chernigov province and the western half of the Poltava province, recorded that all of Malorossiya and the Russian Empire use one language, Old Russian, which differs from Great Russian in the pronunciation of certain words.
The three-hundred-year Polish occupation led to the introduction of polonisms into the Malorossiyan dialect, creating a certain Russian-Polish dialect, but its lexical stock was very poor. In the literary community, works written in this dialect did not claim to be literary and caused controversy only in narrow circles. This language was used mainly for jokes, greetings, and love poems.
After the attachment of the right-bank part of Malorossiya to Russia under Ekaterina II in 1793, a huge Polish influence remained here. Poles continued to dominate the local economy and culture, just as the Germans dominated the Baltic states. Until 1864, the Russian government did nothing to reduce the hostile Polish influence here. The village was dominated by Polish landowners, and the leading positions of Poles remained in the bodies of noble self-governance.
This influence was especially noticeable in the field of education. After the partitions of Poland, eight gubernia were added to Russia: Vilna, Vitebsk, Grodno, Minsk, Mogilev, Kiev, Podolsk, Volyn. From 1819 to 1823, Tsar Aleksandr I appointed Prince Adam Czartoryski, a Pole who fought against Russia and then fled to England, as the trustee of this district. During the Polish uprising, Czartoryski headed the rebel “government”, then settled in Paris and participated in plots against Russia.
In addition to Czartoryski, another educator of Little Russia was the Pole Tadeusz Chatsky, a friend and associate of Czartoryski. Under his tutelage, in particular, a gymnasium was opened in Kremenets, which later became a lyceum. Only Polish youth studied here, attracted even from Austria and Prussia. When the Lyceum was closed in 1831 in connection with the Polish uprising, not a single student was found in it: all were in the ranks of the rebels.
The process of forming Ukrainian identity, which lasted for two centuries, was not spontaneous, it was completely artificial, inspired from the outside, and was based on the blissful connivance of all formats of the Russian government.
It was not only the Bolsheviks, who are now accused of cultivating the Ukronazi monster, who participated in the Ukrainisation of Ukraine. The Bolsheviks only completed the task when they were confronted with the insurmountable manifestations of the Ukrainian nationalism of their Ukrainian “comrades”, even for the internationalist RSDLP (b).
The Ukrainian (as well as Georgian) composition of the Central Committee was so infected with nationalism that the Russian-Polish-Jewish part of the party leadership found no other way to compromise, except for the formation of the USSR on the principle of union republics with the right to secede from the Union, turning them into proto-states with borders along national lines and laying the very bomb that it exploded in the late 20th century.
I must say that under such an agreement, the issue with Turkestan was also resolved. After the local elites agreed to enter the USSR with the right to leave, the civil war immediately stopped, and local babay joined the leadership of the party and the republics. They sat there for all the seventy years of Soviet power, and when it began to weaken, they brought the republics out of the USSR and now lead them according to the old tribal customs, maneuvering between the centers of power and conducting their multi-vector policy.
Under other conditions, the disintegrated Russian Empire could not be assembled – the elites of the national outskirts categorically did not go for unitary reintegration even as autonomies, and the Civil War did not bring victory and tightened the noose around the neck of the Bolshevik government more and more.
It is customary to reproach Stalin for not taking advantage of the opportunity to de-Ukrainise Malorossiya and imposing the Ukrainian language there. In fact, the reason for such actions was the same: it was technically possible to defeat the Communist Party of Ukraine Central Committee, but this would destroy the influence of the CPSU (b) in Ukraine and completely return the discourse to the nationalists.
After all, the times of Petliura and the Verkhovna Rada under the Germans showed that there is a broad social base for Ukrainian separatism and nationalism. It has a mixed character, ranging from radical political Ukrainism in the West, to political-ethnic Ukrainism in the center, and milder cultural-ethnographic Ukrainism in the East.
Outwardly, the policy of the Bolsheviks seemed contradictory. Russian industrial regions were introduced into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in order to dilute and neutralize rural nationalism, and at the same time attempts were made to Ukrainise Ukraine, believing that it would be possible to form it in a pro-Russian, communist, and, most importantly, anti-Western spirit.
To form not a political, separatist, and fiercely Russophobic, but a soft, pro-imperial, anti-Western ethnographic Ukrainian. As is known, all this ended in disaster: it was not the Russification and Sovietisation of Ukraine that took place, but the Ukrainisation and de-sovietisation of the Russian regions transferred to it.
Who are the Ukrainians
But the beginning of this process, as can be seen from history, was laid in the Russian Empire. All major bookmarks occurred here. The principle of historical truth requires recognition of this fact.
There is a version of the statement of the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Empire, Pyotr Durnovo, who wrote to Tsar Nikolay II about the inexpediency of an alliance of Russia with England and France. In the note, the minister also touched upon the problem of Ukraine. “Only a madman can want to annex Galicia. Whoever annexes Galicia will lose the empire”. There are several publications of this note. In the magazine “Krasnaya Nov” from 1922, which published a version of the note, this phrase is not present. But there is an excellent analysis of Ukrainian identity.
“It is exactly the same with regard to Galicia. It is clearly unprofitable for us, in the name of the idea of national sentimentalism, to annex to our fatherland an area that has lost all living connection with it. After all, for an insignificant handful of Russians in the spirit of Galicians, how many Poles, Jews, and Ukrainised Uniates will we get?
The so-called Ukrainian or Mazepa movement is not terrible here now, but we should not allow it to grow, increasing the number of restless Ukrainian elements, since this movement is undoubtedly the germ of extremely dangerous Malorossiyan separatism, which, under favorable conditions, can reach completely unexpected proportions.”
P. Durnovo accurately says: Ukrainism is Uniate Mazepaism, and the so-called “Ukrainians” themselves are the anti-Russian separatist movement of Malorossiya that took shape in 1849 and still exists today. There was no other content of the word “Ukrainian”, there is not and can not be.
Banderism is not a radical version of Ukrainism and not its concentrated embodiment, but only one of its versions, all the competition between which is reduced to the competition of field commanders and applicants for the status of leader and obtaining foreign funding. There is no moderate and radical Ukrainism. There is an under-formed Ukrainism and there is a formalized one. The first is not Ukrainism, but a damaged form of Russianness. The second is pure and true Ukrainism.
There is no difference between Bandera, Melnik, Konovalets, and Shukhevych, just as there is no difference between them and Mazepa, who sold himself to the Swedes, or Hetman Vygovsky, who sold the pro-Russian Malorossiyans of Poltava into slavery to the Crimean Tatars of the Ottoman Empire. All this is the same Ukrainian identity. What is it based on and what are its features?
1. Ukrainian identity is not gopak, songs, vareniki, Ukrainian language, wreaths, rushnyk, and embroidery. Ukrainian identity is a sense of deep qualitative superiority of Ukrainians over Russians. Otherwise, there is no point in becoming a non-Russian.
Experts rightly see here an analogy with Belarusisation in the recent version of A. Lukashenko: “A Belarusian is a Russian with a quality mark.” The Ukrainian goes even further. This is anti-Russian, and therefore with a quality mark. This is exactly what Kuchma said when he wrote that “Ukraine is not Russia”. In the development of the topic, the Ukrainian is superhuman, and the Russian is subhuman.
2. The Banderist myth of blood and soil. Only the Banderists of Western Ukraine provided a theoretical basis for the concept of “nation-building” of the Ukrainian nation and its identity, which is the opposite of the Russian one. Banderist identity is no longer ethnic, but deeper, it is racial. This is different anthropology. And we can see this in the image of modern ideological Ukrainians. All soft versions of Ukrainism either slide to Banderism or lose to it.
Any Ukrainian elites looking for legitimation will inevitably look for it on the basis of nation-building and therefore, in its purest and most concentrated form, will accept the Galician political theory. The Banderist ideology will always be the only popular ideology of the Ukrainian national elites. They need it, they are not going to separate themselves from it, without it they are dissolving into the identity of the Russian state and Russian nation. And they immediately lose their legitimacy.
Certificate of a professional “Ukrainian”
D. Korchinsky, a Galician ultranationalist and one of the field commanders of UNA-UNSO who participated in armed conflicts in Transnistria, Chechnya and Abkhazia, expressed the essence of political Ukrainian in a very interesting way. He said this in 1992, at the beginning of privatization in both Russia and Ukraine:
“They talk about the privatization of property, but we need to talk about the privatization of power, the privatization of state functions, the privatization of war.
The feudal lord (or warlord, or oligarch) must give his people order – the only thing they want after the end of an era of mass revolt. Order is when a worker has a high-paying job, a well-to-do house. On Sunday – the opportunity to go with their big family to a clean river in an expensive car.
Order is when the priest has a church to go to, when a person living on the fringes of society has a fairly hygienic garbage bin, when the artist has a bright workshop, and the researcher has an expensive laboratory when our spivs are fatter than the neighbors, everyone always has a lot of money and sweets everywhere, and the knight manages all this and has the opportunity to fight a little at his pleasure.
… But the war for the future will be won by us, and we will allow the lads from the wagon train to loot freely on the battlefield and sell boots that they will pull off the corpses of enemies. The main thing is that people are happy.” (Sergey Tkachenko, “Rebel Army: tactics of struggle”, Minsk, Moscow, Harvest AST, 2000, p. 378).
This is the quintessential value matrix of a professional “Ukrainian”. This is a mixture of several paradigms, none of which has even a grain of Russian moral dogma, even in its most integrated form. The image of a field commander of Ukrainian nationalists is a Latin feudal lord. He’s a “knight”. Copied from the Poles, who themselves copied it from the Germans and French. Imitating a copycat. Cultural is not even secondary, but tertiary.
At the same time, ethics at the junction of Ukrainian Cossacks and Latin knights – raids as valor. The aestheticization of robbery. Allowing one’s peasants to plunder and pillage. The Ukrainian peasant robs easily and willingly on occasion. He is a sole proprietor. A farmer.
The Russian peasant is deterred from robbing his own kind by the community. “Obchestvo”, as the peasants say. The Ukrainian peasant is not held back by anything – he has no community. But there is a feudal lord, a robber of an even higher flight. It encourages looting, violence, looting, and cheating. The “life was a success!” model is simple: there is a lot of money and sweets everywhere. And so that our hucksters are fatter than the neighbors, then everyone will be fine.
In general, it is interesting to read D. Korchinsky – describing the essence of “Ukrainism”, he is extremely frank. “Studying any episode of Ukrainian history, immediately look for where treason is here. This will be the key to understanding the situation.” An interesting point. Korchinsky describes the Transnistrian conflict:
“The history of the new state of Ukraine began with the betrayal of the Ukrainians of Transnistria. … In the war between the Ukrainians of Transnistria and the Moldovans, Ukraine supported the Moldovans” (ibid., p. 379).
Political Ukrainians betrayed everyone. Russia, Russians, their people, each other. “Ukrainians” and citizens of Ukraine are often mixed up. Korchinsky is right: Ukrainian is synonymous with betrayal. They are the ones who hold their fellow citizen’s hostage and shoot them in the back or sell their homes, schools, and hospitals.
This is not a dislocation of Ukrainian, but its pure essence. Citizens of Ukraine with Ukrainian surnames and citizenship of this country, who do not share the betrayal and are outraged by nationalists, in fact, are not Ukrainians, as they think, “different, correct, undamaged”, but Russians. As Oles Buzina said: “You will understand that you are Russian – and like a stone from your soul fell.”
What to do? Myths and reality of denazification
Officially, the goal of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Ukraine is stated as follows:
- recognition of the independence of the DPR and LPR within the borders of the regions;
- recognition of the Russian ownership of Crimea;
- Demilitarisation of Ukraine;
- Denazification of Ukraine;
- Federalization of Ukraine;
- non-aligned (neutral) status of Ukraine.
This scenario may already be outdated, at least in terms of demanding recognition of the L/DPR and Crimea. In other points, it has not yet been replaced by anything else. And here the question arises: how to carry out denationalization, and what model of Ukrainian statehood can be proposed instead of leading to the restoration of Nazism? Who guarantees the non-aligned status of Ukraine if it is beyond the legal and political competence of Russia?
It is clear that any subsequent collapse of an independent Ukraine into Nazism is simply guaranteed. Everyone already knows how professional “Ukrainians” fulfil their contracts. Undefeated remnants of the enemy will certainly raise their heads. Another Maidan – and all the contracts are not worth the paper on which they are written. Once again, the West will reign supreme in Ukraine. By that time, denazification of Ukraine again through a special military operation will mean nuclear war.
It is clear that the Russian authorities still maintain their desire to remain within the framework of political correctness and so-called “international law”, but does such a desire now look like an unacceptable political risk? Why these efforts to preserve the Zelensky regime, with which it is necessary to sign a capitulation to legitimize this act?
The old legitimacy is rejected in an era of wars and revolutions because it is unable to resolve the antagonistic contradictions of the era. The very fact of fighting is a way out of the legal field and a transition to the right of the strong. Violence is truly the midwife of history. Only those who don’t want to win are afraid of this. The Russian Empire and the USSR were destroyed illegitimately. Recognition of the USSR lasted from 1919 to 1944. Did it affect anything? The act of unconditional surrender of Hitler’s Germany was signed by Keitel. Did this prevent the legitimization of this act?
Zelensky’s signing of the Act, with or without Western consent, will not force the West to lift sanctions. This is simply impossible – tomorrow any Nigeria will send the US to hell and will do what it wants because the sanctions will be lifted after the victory. The EU and China will certainly draw conclusions. And Russia will remember how many of its neighbors have not yet been identified. No acts will be recognized by the West, and sanctions will remain, if not forever, then for a very long time. Most of them, anyway.
This means that it is time to stop being held captive by false aspirations for legitimization. What Russia does should be legitimate, not what the West agrees with. According to their rules of legitimacy, we should not exist at all. The West will accept what Russia does, and if it doesn’t accept it, it will get into a crisis, and either disappear as a center of power, or it will accept it later.
For Russia, this is not a reason to limit its national goals, the main one of which is security at all costs. And if necessary, even illegitimate – from the point of view of the West. The US has never sought legitimacy. A sovereign Russia should not do this either.
Any denazification is carried out under a new structure, under which this new identity is formed. The United States and the USSR denazified Germany in this way – under their own projects. Under what project does current Russia intend to denazify Ukraine and form its new identity? Without clarity on this issue, no denazification is possible. It will slide back to the old identity, where the sheep’s skin will be stretched over the old wolf.
Denazification should not be reduced to denouncing Nazism. The formation of a new identity must go through a tough forceful dismantling of not only the old identity but also the associated statehood in which Nazism was formed. Denazification is not soft, it must pass through a national-state catastrophe. There is no and cannot be a non-Banderist Ukrainian identity, its support is on the verge of terror and treason.
Now in some Russian media outlets, soft pro-Banderist “devil’s advocates” are appearing. Their position is as follows: Ukrainians are such a musical nation, let’s not rush to stifle their passionately. It is better to dispose of it correctly and direct it against the West.
The main point is to put everything under doubt. There is no fascism in Ukraine because fascism is a strong state and a struggle against a liberal plutocracy. And in Ukraine, there is supposedly no state and there is a liberal plutocracy. Nazism is not there either, because Nazism is hatred of other nations. And in Ukraine, allegedly, this is also not the case. There is the envy of the Russian imperial complex, anarchy and parochial idiocy caused by a lack of iodine, and sieg heils and SS paraphernalia are buffoonery and a game.
The conclusion is a proposal to tame Ukrainian nationalism, make friends with it, unite and stand together against liberals, LGBT people, and other conservative values. And make Ukraine a “bridge” between the West and the East. Substantiation of neutrality.
Such ideas of the “bridge” are a long-standing thesis of the Russian fifth column in relation to all post-Soviet republics. In practice, this means that under the guise of “bridge” and “neutrality”, Ukraine will be the center of all anti-Russian forces and institutions. This is a kind of cordon sanitaire between Russia and Europe, and the regime on this cordon will be established by the United States. A huge number of such supporters of the “bridge” in the form of Ukraine and Belarus work in Russia for grants.
In addition, such “experts” simply do not know anything about Bandera, or how the UPA-UNSO and OUN are structured. Bandera is a man who preached homosexuality among like-minded people and at the same time tried to rape the wife of his closest assistant when he took Bandera’s wife to the maternity hospital. After that, turning to Ukrainian nationalism as an ally in the fight for conservative values is simply stupid. There can be no civilizational projects with the Nazis, whether they are German, Ukrainian or any other Nazis.
Scratch a Ukrainian and you’ll reveal a Russian
Every Ukrainian who fights with Banderist Ukraine will lose their Ukrainian identity. Ukrainian truth that denies Bandera and is ready to die in the fight against him, does not exist as a phenomenon. Here, those experts who point out that non-Banderist Ukrainian is an oxymoron are right. Soviet Ukrainian did not become such an alternative, because it lost the fight back in Soviet times, and the flag of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic for all 30 years has never been raised by any party in any political crisis in Ukraine.
Russia in Ukraine faces not the excesses of Banderism, but the modern Ukrainian identity. Something else simply doesn’t exist. Ukrainism is Banderism. The clash of Russian and Ukrainian (i.e. Banderist) identities has already happened, and the Ukrainian one must be broken. It should be replaced by an all-Russian identity. Whereas a Ukrainian is a Russian sub-ethnos, just like a Belarusian. And the Ukrainian dialect is one of the dialects of the Russian sub-ethnos. Like Bavaria and Kölsch in Germany or Cantonese and Putonghua in China.
In both of these countries, an attempt to sever the common German or Chinese identity of sub-ethnicities with their dialects is considered a grave state crime. Separatism. The punishment should be the most severe. Whatever confederation current Ukraine becomes (and it should by no means remain in its current form, otherwise nothing of this should have begun), it should cultivate not a national Ukrainian, but an all-Russian identity.
It is necessary to return the former names: Novorossiya, Malorossiya, Galicia. Keeping the name “Ukraine” is only behind all this temporary confederate entity. Moreover, the participation of Novorossiya in the confederation, quite possibly, will be specified, it is possible that some of its regions will want to return to Russia.
This raises the question of whether Russia should divide Ukraine between Poland, Romania and Hungary. There is a certain temptation here: no one will crush the Ukrainian idea in Galicia with more frenzy and cruelty than the Poles. They will turn Galicians into Poles in three generations, forever solving the Ukrainian question. The Hungarians and Romanians will do the same with their shares of Ukraine.
In addition, conflicts with the population of the attached territories are guaranteed to them, and this will weaken them to a certain extent. Poland will add 40% of its territory by attaching part of the Eastern Borderlands and challenge Germany and France. And this will increase the conflict between the United States and Great Britain, which seeks to have a decisive influence on Poland and, through this, on Europe, where the United States is used to dominating.
But we must understand that Poland, Hungary, and Romania are already NATO. Any expansion of it and its approach to the Russian borders is unacceptable. Therefore, it is easier to solve the problem of Ukraine’s confederalisation than to strengthen NATO. Galicia will be handled not by Moscow, but by Kiev.
Heading for a new Union
In the future, the Ukrainian Confederation (or a federation with signs of confederation) should come to a more general confederation – within the framework of the CIS or the EEU. This will require going through a period of nationalization of large-scale property as part of the de-oligarchisation of former Ukraine and the restoration of cooperation between Ukrainian state-owned enterprises and enterprises in Russia and Belarus.
The economic mechanisms of Russia and former Ukraine will differ due to the greater share of the state in the economy of Novorossiya and Malorossiya during the transition period, then conditions will be aligned and unified. A fully-fledged Union should be formed by 2030. The subjects of the Ukrainian confederation should join it themselves.
In any case, the current Ukrainian Nazi identity and the Ukrainian statehood that expresses it should no longer exist. Its dismantling is actually already underway. This will guarantee demilitarisation and denazification. There are no other guarantees.