The Task of Kiev Through the Eyes of Ottawa

On November 24th, the former (until 2019) Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine, Roman Vashchuk, gave a lecture entitled “What was wrong with western support for reforms in Ukraine”.

Not only Russian or western, but even Ukrainian media reacted sluggishly to it. Concerning western and Russian journalists, this is understandable. In the west, it is not recommended to recognise that it is the EU and the US that exercise external control over Ukraine, which means that they are personally responsible for all the failures and catastrophes that the country has experienced and will still experience under their power, as well as for those that it will not survive.

For the Russian media, the topic of the external governance of Ukraine is also not of particular interest. Over the past 7 years, it has become an absolute banality, known to everyone. Moreover, the former Canadian Ambassador is not the first representative of the west who, after leaving office, criticises both the results of the Ukrainian Maidan and the system of colonial administration built by the west.

As for Ukrainian journalists, as part of the internecine fight between various oligarchic groups for power in Ukraine, the topic of external governance, the role of Soros, Ukrainian pro-western activists who live on grants and serve the western agenda to the detriment of their national one, is so frayed and beaten that to give the latest message a minimum of sensationalism, it is necessary that the president of the US or France or the German Chancellor say something non-standard. Or, the assessment of the situation in Ukraine should be fundamentally out of the ordinary (it does not matter, for better or for worse).

Meanwhile, the media ignored Roman Vashchuk’s lecture in vain. Against the background of the general banality, there are a couple of confessions that are worth a lot. In addition, we must understand that Vashchuk himself is a Canadian Ukrainian, i.e., a native of a family of Ukrainian immigrants. Meanwhile, Canadian Ukrainians are a very special human material that has a huge impact not only on the formation of the western (including American) policy towards Kiev, but also on the formation of national consciousness among Ukrainian aborigines, among those whom Canadian teachers in the late 1980s began to call “conscious (svidomimy) Ukrainians”, from which Ukrainian neo-Banderists later grew up.

Ukraine can declare its desire to join the EU and NATO, to accept “European values”, its surviving oligarchs can sincerely dream of acquiring the status of “real Europeans” in order to forget about their vegetating in their historical homeland like a terrible dream. Even individual Maidan activists and “heroes of the ATO” can, without lying, claim that they are against Bandera, and are fighting for a European democratic Ukraine. They “see it that way”.

Nevertheless, the ideology of the Ukrainian state all the time that it exists and will continue to exist has been determined by neo-Banderism. The “red director” Kuchma, the “European” from Khoruzhevka Yushchenko or the “strong business executive” Yanukovych may come to the fore. The President and/or Prime Minister can be anyone, not only Jews, but (it’s scary to think) even Russians. They may have the same Tatar as their friends and accomplices, and if there was an influential Chinese diaspora in Ukraine, so it could be Chinese too. But the meaning of existence and the direction of development of the country is determined by neo-Banderists.

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It is no coincidence that they hate (ex-minister of science and education in the government of Nikolay Azarov) Dmytro Tabachnyk, who would not stand out from other Ukrainian politicians (whom neo-Banderists calmly put up with) in anything (except intelligence and education), if when he was the Minister of Education (from March 2010 to February 2014), he would not have wrested control of education from them, thus destroying their ideological monopoly. This did not save Ukraine. Maybe it was not too late, but no man is an island, and the government of the regionals was not interested in ideology — they enthusiastically robbed the country and each other. And, although this did not prevent the neo-Banderist coup in the form of the Maidan of 2013/14, the collective Ukrainian Banderism still cannot forgive him for a successful attack on its ideological monopoly.

But the Ukrainian neo-Banderists were not, for the most part, brought up by the “released from the Stalinist camps remnants of UPA, the Galicia division and the Schutzmannschaft battalions”, as many people think. Dozens, maybe hundreds, adopted Banderism by inheritance. But if this was all, then Banderist rule could not be established not only in the whole of Ukraine, but even specifically in the Banderist reserve — Galicia. There were too few hereditary Banderists for this.

The main role in the establishment of Banderist rule in Ukraine was played by neo-Banderists. These are people who had nothing in common with Banderism until the late 1980s and early 1990s. Many are Russian or at least Soviet. Canadian propagandists instilled in them the neo-Banderist ideology. Moreover, many of the neo-Banderists still consider themselves to be liberals and democrats, opponents of OUN totalitarianism, mildly condemn Bandera and are ready to agree that the Ukrainian nationalists of the 1940s and 1950s “made some mistakes”. Nevertheless, they are the striking force of all the Maidans, they are the ones who ensured the seizure of power by radical nationalists. In the end, they are the very mass loyal to Ukrainian Nazism that is fighting in Donbass, advocates Ukrainisation, hates Russia and dreams of joining the crusade against Moscow as soon as it is declared by the US.

I repeat, these neo-Banderists were raised by Canadian Ukrainians, who are represented by Ambassador Roman Vashchuk. Canadian Ukrainians differ from American ones in that the diaspora in Canada was formed mainly before the First World War. But, having quite an economic character, it was formed from people from Austrian Galicia, who revered the “good Francis Joseph I” and did not like Russia, especially after the beginning of the First World War, considering it an enemy.

The Ukrainian diaspora in the US was formed mainly from fugitive collaborators of World War II who collaborated with the German occupation administrations, guarded concentration camps, served in the SS “Galicia” division and in the security units of the Sicherheitsdienst, i.e., committed numerous war crimes.

The Ukrainian emigration to Canada has also been injected with similar personnel, but, compared to the Ukrainian diaspora in the US, it is much more flexible, its hatred of Russia is deeper and more diverse, and historically dates back to pre-revolutionary times, which allows Canadian propagandists to avoid issues of cooperation with the Nazis, relying on the works of authors who by the time of the appearance of Nazism have already died and were not noticed in cooperation with it. In general, for the average Soviet and post-Soviet person, Canadian propagandists were more unbiased and handshakeable than killers who fled to the US.

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It should also be borne in mind that the Canadian Ukrainian diaspora, unlike the American one, has a serious impact on the outcome of Canadian electoral campaigns. They can’t guarantee a victory for their candidate or party, but their votes determine which of the real candidates will win. Therefore, the entire Canadian political community takes them into account. Therefore, Canada was the first country to recognise Ukrainian independence on December 2nd 1991 (the day after the all-Ukrainian referendum on independence and almost a month before the formal liquidation of the USSR).

Thus, the US provided the process of the banderisation of Ukraine with finances and political curators, and ideologically it was nurtured by Canadian Ukrainians. That is precisely why the view of the Canadian Ambassador, who comes from a family of Ukrainian immigrants, concerning the challenges facing the Ukrainian state and society is extremely important. For the ideas of Canadian emigration are still fuelled not only by the Ukrainian neo-Banderism, but also by other western governments working with Ukraine.

Therefore, let’s forget about the interesting, but not new details of Ukraine’s external governance (including with the help of a group of US, Canadian and EU ambassadors) that Roman Vashchuk colourfully paints. You can also skip his descriptions of contact with local Ukrainian “talents”“young reformers” who made a lasting impression on the Ambassador. It’s all irrelevant.

The most important remark of the Ambassador is that Ukraine, in his opinion, “waged two wars”: one with Russia and one with corruption. Vashchuk reproaches the west and Ukrainian grant-eating reformers for considering both of these wars equally important and even giving exaggerated importance to the fight against corruption. According to the Canadian Ambassador, corruption can be survived (like saying – we’ve all been there, they would have won over it sooner or later). In his opinion, one of the key mistakes of the west and local grant-eating “reformers” is that all possible resources were not focused on the war against Russia.

And the Ambassador himself did everything possible to convince the collective west to accept his point of view. Vashchuk recalls that he agreed with the Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland (also a Canadian Ukrainian with Galician roots) and together they tried to put pressure on Merkel, the EU leadership, and the IMF, ensuring that loans and financial assistance to Ukraine were provided without any conditions and were not tied to the success of reforming Ukrainian statehood.

The Ambassador should be given credit. He is one of the few western diplomats (if not the only one) who almost immediately realised that the experiment to “reform” Ukraine failed before it started. Further, although the Ambassador talks about his many years of reflection, he actually quickly and cynically determined what Ukraine can be useful for. It must be adapted to something, since it was captured.

And then Roman Vashchuk tries long and hard to explain to his western colleagues that the benefits of Ukraine can be obtained only by sending it to a suicidal war with Russia. The Ambassador does not explain why he considered it so important to continue lending to and supporting a financially useless country. But from his passages about the “main war of Ukraine”, it is clear that, being a smart person and, apparently, having got to know the Ukrainian elite well, Roman Vashchuk realised that massive financial injections in the absence of specific political and economic requirements will be perceived by Ukrainians as carte blanche. They will decide that the west will support them in everything, and they will reach the level of confrontation with Moscow after which Russia simply could not once again “not come to war”.

The consequences are clear: Ukraine would be swatted like a pesky fly, but the diplomatic, economic and political consequences for Russia would be severe. Thus, the west would get rid of Ukraine like a suitcase without a handle, and the part of the western political elite that wanted to isolate Russia as much as possible, cut all trade, economic and most political ties with it, would get an argument in support of its position.

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Is this position of the Canadian Ambassador coincidental? No. Canadian Ukrainians, being descendants of immigrants from Austrian Galicia, have long created their own Ukraine in Canada. They are only interested in the “land of their ancestors” from the point of view of creating problems for the traditionally (from the Austrian past) hated Russia. The current aboriginal population of Ukraine bears little resemblance to Canadian Ukrainians, or even to the Ukraine that their parents and grandparents remembered. Even Banderists and neo-Banderists for Canadian Ukrainians are only partially their own, but in general they are nothing more than expendable material – an instrument of historical revenge on Russia.

So the former Ambassador’s unspoken message is simple and clear: the west’s main mistake is that it did not support the Canadian plan to poison a Ukrainian pig and feed it to a Russian Bear. You see, the latter, if it did not die, then it at least got sick.

Let me remind you that Canadian Ukrainians are the main experts of the west concerning Ukraine and ideologists who determine its goals and priorities in this work. And the Canadian Ambassador’s plan to strongly finance a little pig, if only it thinks it’s a wild boar and throws itself at a bear, would have worked. If misfortune hadn’t happened. The world plunged into a global systemic crisis. The west ran out of extra money. The European and even American friends of the Canadians decided that it was too wasteful to feed the bear (albeit in a poisonous form) what you can eat yourself.

The greed of the resource-hungry west is understandable. But strategically, in terms of the long-term interests of traditional western politics, Roman Vashchuk was right. So until Ukraine definitively disappears, until the west is forced to admit its world-historical defeat and temporarily (because nothing is certain in politics) come to terms with the east — until then, we will always face the threat of resuming and implementing the “Vashchuk plan”. Especially that the neo-Banderist Ukraine at any moment will consider becoming a sacrificial pig to be an honour.

Rostislav Ishchenko

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