Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
Who could imagine at the beginning of Ukrainian independence that in 2017 Bandera and Shukhevych will be officially recognised as heroes, and that the Kievans trying to defend the name of the avenue named after the General Vatutin will be beaten with impunity in broad daylight by nationalists? But all of this is political ordinariness today.
The protests of Warsaw, which is not at all thrilled by the new Ukrainian heroes, also don’t stop Kiev. And after the “reform” of education new enemies appeared – Hungary and Romania (the reaction of Moscow isn’t counted) …
But the post-Maidan power can’t change course, because it is afraid of losing the trust of radical nationalist forces definitively. This was stated by the known Kiev publicist Dmitry Skvortsov in an interview to Politnavigator. In his opinion, the West will reconcile with the chauvinistic ideology, because for the West it is more important that Ukraine plays against Russia.
Why does the government in Kiev heroize the figures of UPA, carry out the “banderisation” of the country, what is the practical sense for this for politicians in power? After all, this isn’t the most convenient ideology for external use. And what are the consequences for the people?
“The authorities can’t not heroize Hitler’s collaborators because they are obliged to justify, at least in this way, the promptly-thawing trust put in them by neo-Nazis – the striking force of Maidan. Now for them this is much more important than the reaction of the Western world, which, besides this, never cancelled one of the cornerstone formulas of their foreign policy: ‘a son of a bitch, but our son of a bitch’.
It is precisely for this reason that long before the fascistisation of Ukraine the European Union looked through their fingers at the marches glorifying SS members in the Baltic States of the EU. The most important thing for them is that these marches are Russophobic.
That’s why the private indignation of secondary, young-European Poland concerning the glorification in Ukraine of certain historic figures who were former enemies of Poland doesn’t change anything concerning the West’s relationship with Ukraine in general. The most important thing is that Ukraine is a multi-million populated Russophobic formation bordering the Russian Federation.
Moreover, the flows of European financial aid to Ukraine become more and more exhausted, that’s why Poroshenko & Co needs to please Europe less and less.
As for the internal factors of the ongoing fascistisation, the main thing here is the personal enrichment of the leaders of Ukraine.
In the event of a renewal of military operations in Donbass or an uprising of the nationalist battalions, the leaders and the most prominent representatives of all branches of Ukrainian power will always have the time to fly with their families to the West to their capital and prepared real estate. But the longer they will preserve peace inside Ukraine, the more acquired assets they will be able to transfer there.
That’s why Poroshenko together with Groisman (behind who stands the army) and Yatsenyuk together with Avakov and Parubiy (who maintain – at the expense of the State – the nationalist battalions contained in the structure of the forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs) are obliged to demonstrate their ‘ideological Nazism’.
Although perhaps only Parubiy is the real fascist among them, who stood at the origins of ‘Svoboda’, and the Social-National assembly, which in fact became the striking fist of Maidan.”
But why does this ideology find a resonance in the masses? Why does the Ukraine of Kovpak cede place to the Ukraine of Bandera? What role is played here by school education, the media, the State (represented by the Institute of National Memory, for example)?
“Human nature is spoiled – already from the time of the first temptation to Adam and Eve ‘you will be like gods’. That’s why huge masses succumb so easily to manipulation.
Remember the appeals of the ‘foremen of Perestroika’: get rid of these huge open spaces; from the burdensome ‘friendship of the people’; all these imperial ambitions in the form of defending the poor and needy countries; your agrarian Russianness, finally; and you will become a compact self-sufficient nation, like all European people-Gods.
And it is the same in Ukraine: ‘distance yourself from Russia!’ will automatically bring you into the European paradise.
But for this ‘course’ to become possible, there was a need at first to prove that ‘Ukraine is not Russia’. For this there was need to dehumanise Russians, assigned to them all horrible ‘Asian’ qualities, and to call them Mordor. And, on the contrary, to turn Malorossiyans into Ukrainians, having assigned to them all the ‘enlightened European qualities’ (which, actually, the Europeans don’t especially possess). And this is already Nazism. From here comes at first acceptance, and then the glorification of Hitler’s collaborators and, as a result, the vilification of Kovpak, Vatutin, Zhukov.
It’s not for nothing that the humanitarian bloc of the government was handed over by the author of the aforementioned slogan ‘Ukraine is not Russia’ to his political competitors from the neo-Nazi RUKH (People’s Movement of Ukraine) and to the parties that sprouted from it.
It is also from here that both school programs and the ‘Institute of National Memory’, the legislative initiatives for the total Ukrainization and ‘decommunization’ – under which all common Russian toponymy of the pre-Soviet time fall, and the propaganda of russophobia and Nazism pouring out from practically all nation-wide media come.”
What can be done in the present conditions to counter the ongoing process of rewriting history?
“In the present conditions – nothing. Because fascism crept out of the ‘humanitarian bloc’ long ago, having filled all branches of governance, including power structures, and having become, thus, a State policy. That’s why any attempt to resist against the fascistisation of Ukraine is absolutely fairly perceived as anti-State activity.
However, a State that is based exclusively on a negative is unviable. That’s why it is possible, while waiting for its end, to withstand the rewriting of the truth in the cell of future society – in the family. Raising children in the spirit of the truth. Also in the information space that is still uncontrolled by the ‘Ministry of the truth’ [Ministry of Social Policy – ed] (on the same Internet) and in those media outlets where some thought is still possible.”
What consequences does this ideological “re-sewing” have for society, especially for the youth?
“When you are told since childhood that you are the genetic representative of a unique nation that wasn’t realized only because of the intrigues of neighbors, you will grow up with the self-identification of a super-person. But if you didn’t become at least batman – or at least hetman, then you start blaming for this not yourself, of course, but the people around you.
Soon we will have the chance to receive a nation of total misanthropes, where treachery and denunciation (the qualities that are, in fact, inherent to modern icons of Ukrainism – from Mazepa to the auxiliary policemen of the last century) will be the highest blessing.”
How is it possible to stop it if, for example, the journalists Dmitry Vasilets and Evgeny Timonin received 9 years of imprisonment for, in fact, attempting to stop the incitement of hostility? After all, let’s recall your trial for the alleged transportation of forbidden books through Ukrainian customs.
“Vasilets is a very talented young man who was recommended to me by Vladimir Skachko before Maidan. In prison Dmitry wrote a historical novel, which is nowadays expecting to be published. It is clear that such people are especially dangerous for the regime.
Before their jailing, Vasilets and Timonin managed to found the Goebbels’s award for Ukrainian journalists. I think that it is they who denounced them.
My case also fully corresponds with the context of our conversation. I was detained for transporting books that point out the dangers of fascism, and I was accused of violating public morals. Thereby having recognized that misanthropic morals already become public for Ukraine.”
How did all of this end?
“It didn’t end. But it doesn’t continue either, because, to my understanding, the chief of customs who acted as the claimant, and who formalised my detention was caught a couple of months later taking a large bribe and is now convicted.
That’s why the Solomensky court pretends that the case on me continues, sending backdated summons. I.e. in November I can receive a summons to court … for October. So my lawyer Yury Skalitsky and I are thinking about filing a lawsuit against bodies. In the end, it is at least to try to return the books, in order to continue to decompose these morals.”
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