How Forced Ukrainization in Reality Led to More Separatism

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The authorities of the cities of Donbass under the control of Kiev continue to complain about the difficult conditions of work connected to the fact that the population in the territories entrusted to them are “latent separatists”.

So on Tuesday, February 28th, the mayor of Krasnogorovka, located 30 kilometers from Donetsk, Oleg Livanchuk, stated that the vast majority of inhabitants of the settlement support the DPR militia, and blames the Kiev authorities for the beginning of the armed conflict, and the Ukrainian Armed Forces of shelling the city.

In an interview to the website he complained that he is compelled to live directly in the building of a two-storeyed administration. And with a weapon.

“I have a collective – 80% of them are masked separatists. But I work with them, I have no choice. I slowly reconstruct them into the Ukrainian way. I push them into flashmobs: ‘I love Ukraine’, ‘Ukraine is in my heart’, I give them posters. And I spread the photoreports on Facebook. And let them after to report in front of separatists why they love Ukraine. They won’t succeed to be on both sides at the same time,” the representative of the Kiev regime bragged.

It should be noted that it is not only the occupational authorities of Donbass that regularly complain about “latent separatism”, but also the mayors and governors of the cities of the Southeast of Ukraine, which are far from the zone of military operations.

Thus, on Monday, February 17th, the governor of the Nikolaev area Aleksey Savchenko accused the inhabitants of the region of treating the Ukrainian Armed Forces who were killed in Donbass with neglect. He declared this at a private meeting of Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada from the “Bloc of Petro Poroshenko”.

“Today I head one of the most important and problematic regions of our state. 65% of inhabitants are latent separatists, and most of the population speak in Russian! Even Kherson is more pro-Ukrainian,” said Savchenko.

He added that he is obliged to drive people by force to funerals of the Ukrainian Armed Forces who were killed in Donbass. “In order to bury a soldier, I am obliged to personally resolve organizational issues and to attract people. Because only 30 people come to say goodbye,” he complained.

“From the first minutes of war it was clear that the Kiev regime, relying on an ideology of Galician ‘enlightenment’, wages war against Donbass and against Donetsk citizens,” reminds the native of Donbass, the director of the Centre for Eurasian Studies Vladimir Kornilov.

“Remember how many times various ‘patriots’ in Kiev stated about the gallows for Donbass, about the expulsion of Donetsk citizens, and about leaving the area after “liberation” in ruins. They don’t hide their hatred of us, Donetsk citizens. It would be strange if we answered them with love. Each Ukrainian bomb in Donbass only strengthens its alienation from Ukraine.”

“SP”: Did they really expect another attitude?

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“They always use themselves as a point of reference. Remember how Galicia met with flowers and bread firstly Soviet soldiers in 1939, and then Nazis in 1941, and then again Soviet soldiers in 1944. Also, it voted for Kuchma, who they called its ‘enemy’. All ideology of Ukrainian nationalism is based, on the one hand, on hatred, and on the another — on serving the next ‘occupier’. That’s why they don’t understand why Donbass doesn’t want to behave in the same way, and doesn’t rush to meet its ‘masters’ with flowers”.

“SP”: If Ukrainian officials see everything with their own eyes and understand everything, isn’t it simpler to leave Donbass be? Or does Kiev really believe what Ukrainian propaganda broadcasts, that people with pro-Ukrainian sentiment live there, that “separatists” are in the minority, and that they dictate their will by force of arms etc.

“Remember what Kravchuk stated other day. He directly said that Russia has to bring Donetsk citizens to itself, and that they (Ukraine) are interested only in territory and lands. All the logic of the actions of the Ukrainian regime lies in this. And that’s why it has no pity to flatten the million-populated Donetsk with bombs — be it victims, destruction, but they need to keep their piece of plundered, ruined land for themselves. ‘What I won’t eat fully, I will at least bite’ says it all.”

“SP”: Well, let suppose that everything is clear with the population of Donbass. But how about Nikolaev or Kherson? After all, there is no war there? From where is all this “latent separatism”?

“Remember for who and for what both the Nikolaev and Kherson regions voted when there still were elections. Despite how Kiev can shout about the ‘death of the project of Novorossiya’, look at all these results — and you will see a clear boundary between mentally different historical regions — Novorossiya, Malorossiya and Galicia. This mental difference didn’t disappear anywhere with this war. And attempts of ideological, linguistic, forced unification once again won’t give anything — it’s not for the first time in history that they tried.”

“SP”: What, in your opinion, has to happen so that “latent separatism” stops being the latent?

“We saw thousand-long queues for the ballots during the referendum on independence of the DPR, say, in Mariupol. We understand  very well how residents of this city or the same Avdeevka, where now there are strengthened operations of Ukrainian fighters, perceive it. There perception of this is even impossible to call “latent”. They wait for ‘theirs’, and many don’t hide it.”

The coordinator of the Odessa city organization of the association forbidden in Ukraine “Borotba”, the former serviceman of the NAF Igor Voronov is sure that it is exactly the sounded methods of re-education that led to the growth of negative attitudes to the Ukrainian authorities and to a desire to live in an habitual manner.

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“Speaking about the successes of the issue of “re-educating separatists”, it is possible to say with confidence that they won’t achieve progress for many reasons. Firstly, they spread Ukrainian culture via force, by means of arrests and artillery shelling. Secondly, the mass impoverishment of the people is directly connected with the 25th anniversary of the independence of Ukraine. People see that the new Ukrainian power doesn’t solve social problems, but gave Ukraine to oligarchs for plunder. It is Taruta, Kolomoysky, and Palitsa and other parasites profiting on simple people who became the first governors.

Otherwise the situation in the young People’s Republics is completely different, where despite mass destruction and murders of civilians, despite the economic blockade arranged by the Ukrainian power, the tendency to improve the life of simple people is observed. Thus, utilities in the Republics cost the citizens many times less. The prices of many foodstuffs is lower than in the neighboring regions of Ukraine. Today there is the issue of nationalization of a number of enterprises, which is antagonism towards the policy of the Ukrainian authorities, who are carrying out the selling off of state ownership. And it is very natural that people don’t perceive the ideas of the authorities, who pursue genocide.”

“SP”: What can these measures lead to? What will be the result of this forced Ukrainization?

“Violence won’t help Kiev. The problem of the Ukrainian government is precisely in the fact that it doesn’t want to understand it and to accept it. The further continuation of influence-by-force will sooner or later lead the country to an even bigger crash. For example, we can remember that in Donbass initially the people demanded only federalization, while more serious measures, such as separation and the creation of the Republics arose precisely during the use of methods of forced influence. Against the background of today’s economic instability citizens feel increasing disappointment in the present power, and the desire of radial changes increases by itself.”

“SP”: Why are “ukrainizators” surprised by this? Did they really expect another attitude? Or, by complaining, they try to extract for themselves some preferences – financing for the “fight against separatism”, and so on?

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“I think that in reality they expected such moods and tendencies for separation of this or that subject. However they continued to close their eyes to it. Because to plunder the country is more convenient in an unstable state, which is what we observe today.

However maybe they expected the support of the local population in some regions, thus disregarding the specifics of each region and the demands of locals.”

“SP”: The governor of the Nikolaev region considers that the reason for “latent separatism” is the disintegration of large collective farms and industrial enterprises. To what extent is this correct? Will further disintegration of the economy of Ukraine provoke the development of “economic” and “social” separatism? Will it then stop being “latent”?

“Yes, certainly the economic situation in the country induces people to look for other ways of development, including outside of Ukraine. The aim of the Maidan government is not to improve the economic state of the country, which the welfare of citizens directly depends on, but on nationalist reforms. It isn’t surprising that citizens feel increasing disappointment in the present power, and that there is a desire to replace such a way of development with another one – their own. Such moods can unambiguously develop into something more serious with the corresponding conditions.”

“SP”: In the 2014 the head of the then “information resistance” Tymchuk published a “separatism rating” where he assigned to Donbass the highest score — 10 points, to the Odessa and Kharkov regions — 7 points, Dnepropetrovsk — 6, Zaporozhye and Kherson — 4 points, Nikolaev — 3. Now Savchenko says that threat of separatism in the Nikolaev region is already higher than in Kherson. How, in your opinion, would the rating look today? What changed?

“I think that the main reason for changes in this rating is caused by the intimidation of the people and the use of already terrorist, and not just forced measures of influence, on the discordant masses. Thus, it’s no secret for anybody that regarding the massacre on May 2nd in Odessa the authorities tried to protect themselves against expressions of separatism in the southern regions in general, and in Odessa in particular. However, having felt such pressure on themselves for three years, more and more citizens come back to search for alternative ways of development for concrete regions.

In the first place, the attitude of the masses changed, or it would be more precise to say is changing, both in relation to the authorities and to such questions as separation, which is usually called separatism.”

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