This Is Our War

NEW – June 21, 2022

An appeal to the youth

That’s what I have to write about before it’s too late.

The other day, I had the “pleasure” to watch a video of the Ukrainian journalist and snake-headed blogger Dmitry Gordon, who brought down a barrage of accusations against Russia, Putin and the Russian army. Gordon, who is haunted by the laurels of Ehrenburg, who called for the killing of all Germans, has already distinguished himself with a similar call against Russians. And now, in response to Andrey Karaulov’s reproach on this issue, he has erected a mountain of false excuses for why this should still be done.

Gordon first presented, of course, the destruction of cities that any war brings with it. Forgetting to mention that Ukraine demonstrates the only case, perhaps, in history, when the army cares not about protecting civilians from the accidents of war, but only about protecting itself, using civilians as a shield, deliberately exposing them to accidents. This is why, of course, the tragic destruction in Irpen, Borodyanka or Mariupol occurred, which Gordon refers to, blaming “fascist” Russia led by “the main fascist Putin” for everything. (Not to mention the fake story about the corpses of civilians allegedly tortured by our military found in Bucha, which no self-respecting journalists refer to today.)

Gordon is known throughout the journalistic community as a desperate liar and fake-producer, assertively, famously and without any hesitation promoting his propaganda nonsense, regardless of facts and logic. And this time he couldn’t resist a similar pseudo-argument, turning to Karaulov: “I think you know how hundreds, thousands of women were raped where a Russian soldier set foot. But not just women – men, little girls, and older women – do you know that?” No, of course, Karaulov doesn’t know about this, just as Gordon doesn’t really know either, for the simple reason that it didn’t happen and couldn’t have happened [Unless Gordon was referring to the Jewish pogroms in Fastiv and Kiev during the Civil War in 1919. But then he had no right to tie these facts to our days.]. The usual fake, even for the appearance of plausibility, is not confirmed by anything (in contrast to documented violence on the part of the nationalist battalions).

But Gordon’s brazen arrogance makes him lose his guard, and he begins to talk obvious nonsense, putting everything on its head: “I think you saw how Russian-speaking Mariupol was wiped off the face of the earth, you probably know that 90% of Mariupol is Russian by nationality, you know that they speak Russian there. Is it that Putin was looking for nationalists there, in Russian-speaking Mariupol, or he was looking for nationalists in Russian-speaking Kharkov, or he was looking for nationalists in Russian-speaking Odessa, which is being hit with bombs? I hope you’ve thought about it.”

I don’t know what Karaulov will say to this, but I really thought about it. And my answer to Gordon is this.

Indeed, for the time being, at least until the collapse of the USSR, there was no sign of any Ukrainian nationalists in Mariupol, Kharkov, Odessa, and other Russian-minded cities in Ukraine. But then they did come there, and the life of the Russians there turned into hell. And long before the start of the special military operation. According to statistics, the Russian population in Ukraine from 1989 to 2010 was reduced by more than half, the Russians in Ukraine simply halved in some 20 years! Didn’t Gordon know that? After 1991, the oppression of the Russian language, faith and culture began, ethnic cleansing, arrests, disappearances of people who were seen as sympathetic to Russia or Russian culture, pogroms against the very Russian population that Gordon allegedly cares about. This culminated in the burning alive of over 50 people in Odessa on May 2, 2014. And what is the cost of turning Russian Mariupol into the citadel of the main strike and punitive Ukrainian nazi battalion “Azov“? What about the political persecution and purging of the pro-Russian [as in the Russian nation – SZ] and pro-Russian [as in the country Russia – SZ] population in Kharkov?

Yes, we have been searching, searching and will continue to search, find and punish Russophobic Ukrainian nationalists who seized not only Mariupol, Kharkov and Odessa, but also the whole of Ukraine. And we will not stop until we denazify this country, just as they de-insect a room where bedbugs, lice and cockroaches have bred. This is an urgent need for us, and for Russians it is a matter of national survival.

But to ensure that our hand does not waver in carrying out this necessary defensive cleansing operation, it is necessary to win the propaganda war against the likes of Gordon, who broadcast to the whole world with the active support of the West.

Gordon boasts: “I am heard by tens of millions of people around the world.” And, worst of all, they hear it in Russia, including our Russian youth. The other day I became convinced of the unpleasant fact that among the thinking Russian students there are, it turns out, individuals who condemn our special operation, who do not understand why, for what and in the name of what we are fighting in Ukraine. Following Gordon, they are ready to admit that “the war waged by fascist Russia is a terrible one.. unjust.”

From May 23 to May 27, I attended the Internet conference of the Russian University (at the St. Philaret Institute) on the topic “Russia in the past, present and Future: the search for national identity”. Having been a member of the Russian Movement for more than 30 years, I couldn’t miss such an event. And at the round table “How to be Russian in the 21st century?” I heard 26-year-old D. V. Borunov, co-founder of the Russian Student Fraternity (Moscow), who complained: “We are now more divided as a society than at any time in recent decades. Some are already calling it a cold civil war in Russia. People who have been my friends for many years now hate me because I oppose the war. And there are a huge number of such examples, probably each of us. Relationships that were previously strong or friendly break down, and people who were previously close to each other become almost enemies.”

I was saddened by this admission. A young, educated, obviously intelligent man, the author of the book “Brotherhood for Life. The return of students to Russia”, who, for all that, does not understand at all, it turns out, the most important event of our time. After all, with his lack of understanding, he can easily infect other members of the same brotherhood… Russian, student! And this is fraught with serious social illness, injury and division.

So for such ill-fated “victims of Gordon” as Borunov, who do not understand what is happening, I decided to write an article that simply and easily explains to young people who, what and why we are forced to protect in Ukraine. And why this operation should not be condemned, not opposed, but fully supported.

Ethnocide of Russians in Ukraine began in the 1990s.

Ethnocide, unlike genocide, is not physical, but spiritual extermination of a people, suppression and deprivation of their ethnic identity. It is carried out, as a rule, through the artificial creation of conditions that contribute to the eradication of national culture, language, faith and artificial assimilation of any people. We, the Russians, encountered this in Ukraine almost immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Ukraine’s acquisition of “independence”.

In 1997-1999. I worked as head of the Department of Ukraine and Crimea, and then Deputy Director for Science of the Institute of CIS Countries and professionally monitored the situation. In particular, I prepared an article entitled “Obstacles to humanitarian development. Comparative analysis of the development of Russian culture in Ukraine and Ukrainian culture in Russia”. In particular, I had to mention:

“On 15.12.1997, the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine demanded, referring to the order of the Cabinet of Ministers of 27.11.97, the translation into Ukrainian of all universities, even in the fully Russian-speaking Crimea.

All entrance exams to Ukrainian universities are currently conducted in the Ukrainian language, which forces parents to send their children to Ukrainian schools, depriving them of the right to receive education in their native language. Only lyceums, gymnasiums, and courses taught in the Ukrainian language are opened at the state’s expense. Similar Russian establishments – only chargeable ones.

Russian literature is included in the general program of foreign literature along with and on a par with Pan-European, as well as American, Eastern and African literatures. Many works of Russian classics (for example, ‘Taras Bulba’ of Gogol) [“Taras Bulba” was eventually returned to the program, but … translated into Ukrainian, where Gogol’s expressions such as “Russian land”, “Russian faith”, “Russian partnership” turned into “Cossack land”, “Cossack faith” and “Cossack comradeship”, etc.] are excluded from the programs. At the Faculty of Philology of Simferopol University, out of 25 reduced teachers, 23 are Russian philologists.

There are still Russian-language schools in Ukraine and Crimea, but they are ‘Russian’ only in name: Russian history is not taught there, and Russian textbooks are not used. In the final 11th grade, the ratio of hours devoted to studying Russian and Ukrainian philology is 1:3. In general, even in Crimea, the number of hours devoted to Russian language and literature has decreased by 35% in recent years.

The number of Russian schools has also declined since 1991. According to reports of the Ministry of Statistics of Ukraine, by the 1996/97 academic year in Western Ukraine, where about 300,000 ‘passport’ Russians live (in fact, it’s more), in the Lvov region, instead of 24 Russian schools, only five remained, in Volyn and Ivano-Frankovsk – one each, and in Khmelnitsky, Ternopol and Rovno – none at all.

Even in Kiev, where 600,000 Russians live and 90% of the population speaks Russian, the number of Russian schools has decreased by more than 7 (!) times since 1991 (from 155 to 19). In 1997 alone, 45 Russian classrooms were closed. There is only one Russian school left in the entire Kiev region.

History is taught in Russian schools based on textbooks issued by the Soros Foundation, which portray Russia as the main historical opponent of Ukraine.

The Government of Ukraine submitted to the Verkhovna Rada on 01.07.97 the draft law ‘On the development and use of Languages in Ukraine’ officially developed by the State Committee for National Migration, according to which the scope of the Russian language is limited to the maximum. The Cabinet of Ministers issued a special resolution No. 998 of 08.09.97 in support of this draft law.

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In Lvov, an act of vandalism has just been committed against the Russian Cultural Center (a public organisation that is the headquarters of the Pushkin Russian Society): on the night of October 4, a molotov cocktail was thrown through the library window. Employees of the centre note the regular nature of anti-Russian antics of Ukrainian nationalists and complain about the connivance of the authorities.

The number of Russian-language theatres in Ukraine decreased by more than three times in 1991-1996: from 43 to 13.

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… Ukraine considers the protection of its information space as the most important task of the country’s security, which is reflected in the National Security Concept adopted in February 1997. The ‘Recommendations’ of the round table held on 22.11.96 at the initiative of President Kuchma on the topic ‘State language – information space of Ukraine’ indicate the need to ‘approve the full functioning of the state language and purposefully destroy the non-state one’. The latter refers to the Russian language, the use of which in the media ‘with its negative consequences poses no less a threat to the national security of Ukraine than the propaganda of violence, prostitution, as well as various forms of anti-Ukrainian propaganda.

This approach determined the creation and adoption of very strict laws ‘On Information’, ‘On Television and Radio Broadcasting’, ‘On Print Media’.

The repression against the Russian media in Ukraine is targeted and planned. In 1992, the broadcast of Radio-1 was discontinued. In 1994, the medium-wave broadcast of the Mayak program was discontinued, RTR was excluded from the zone of confident reception in 1994, and ORT in the Lvov region in September 1995. In October 1996, ORT stopped broadcasting live throughout Ukraine, and in November, Information Minister Kulik announced that the ORT channel would not be broadcast in Ukraine, since it is not a state-owned channel and is not within the competence of the agreement on cooperation in the field of information with Russia.

With the exception of the newspapers Trud, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Izvestiya and Argumenty i Fakty, which were registered long ago, it is not easy for Russian newspapers to register in Ukraine. Applications for registration of two dozen Russian newspapers and magazines have been waiting for years to be considered by the Ministry of Information. As a result, they do not have a ‘national’ mode of printing, subscription and distribution that gives significant benefits. It has repeatedly happened that the Ukrainian customs did not allow the circulation of Nezavisimaya Gazeta and other newspapers to pass through.

However, in Ukraine there are newspapers published in Russian or Russian-Ukrainian. But most of them have an anti-Russian [as in the Russian nation – SZ], anti-Russian [as in the country Russia – SZ] orientation.”

From the above facts, it is clear that the beginning of the ethnocide of Russians was laid already in the 1990s. But these were, as is said, just flowers. Since then, the process has only been escalating and has led to fatal consequences.

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Ethnocide of Russians as an element of the legal system of Ukraine

In many respects, the ethnocide of Russians by state bodies and public organisations of Ukraine was based on a solid legal framework, which was summed up under the policy of national superiority of Ukrainians, starting in 1991. I will refer to the note “About the defeat of the rights of Russians in Ukraine”, prepared by an initiative group of Russian social activists with the participation of the Institute of CIS Countries and intended for a report to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the eve of the “Russian Spring”.

In particular, it was pointed out that although in 1995 Ukraine signed the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, however, instead of ratifying and implementing this Charter, which guarantees the rights of the Russian-speaking population, a number of legal acts were adopted in Ukraine that affect the right of Russian and Russian-speaking residents to communicate with state bodies in the Russian language. in their native language and aimed at forcing the permanent imposition of the Ukrainian language in all spheres of life.

Thus, the decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine of December 14, 1999 and the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 1004 of June 21, 2000 excluded the use of any language other than Ukrainian by the authorities and local self-government, even in places where national minorities are in the majority, for example, in Crimea. After that, the public use of the Russian language everywhere in Ukraine is only permissive and is submitted for consideration by the administration. That is why inscriptions and other public information in Russian are being dismantled in the regions where the Russian population traditionally lives. Access of Russian public organisations to mass media, especially state-owned ones, is impossible in almost all regions of Ukraine. Of the five national television channels in Ukraine, only one TV channel, Inter, which is owned by private and public entities, broadcasts a small part of its products in Russian. State radio operates only in Ukrainian. There are no all-Ukrainian state newspapers in Russian, with the exception of the Russian-language duplicates of the parliament and government bodies “Golos Ukrainy” and “Uryadoviy Kur’er”.

At the same time, the state system of executive power in Ukraine additionally implements a discriminatory policy of restricting the rights of individuals based on national, linguistic and regional characteristics through bylaws. In 1991, on the basis of the Law on Languages, a corresponding resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was issued regarding the program for the development of the Ukrainian language and other national languages for the period up to 2000. At the same time, the Ministry of Education, in a comprehensive plan adopted to implement the resolution, immediately significantly changed the provision on who determines the language of instruction in schools: “In accordance with the national composition and needs of the population, complete the formation of a network of general education schools, pre-school and extracurricular institutions.” In other words, there was a criterion that did not depend on the will of parents — the national composition of the population, which de facto imposed restrictions on the rights of individuals based on nationality. Following this, the order of the Ministry of Education No. 123 of 07.09.1992 provided for “finding funds from local resources for moral and material incentives for educational workers who switch to teaching in the state language.” At the same time, it was not taken into account that Article 8 of the Law on Languages says: “Any privileges or restrictions on the rights of a person based on language characteristics, language discrimination are unacceptable.”

The requirements of the Law on Languages were ignored in the future. Thus, letter No. 1/9-11 dated 28.01.93 signed by former First Deputy Minister of Education A. Pogrebny granted schools the right to study any other foreign language instead of Russian. Thus, Russian has actually acquired the status of a foreign language in Ukrainian schools, while the Law requires (Article 27): “The study of Ukrainian and Russian languages in all general education schools is mandatory.”

Further. Article 30 of the Law on Languages explicitly allows the results of scientific research to be drawn up “in Ukrainian or Russian”. However, in practice, any Russian-speaking candidate for a PhD or doctoral degree should spend a lot of effort, time and money to translate their dissertation into Ukrainian – because this is the requirement of the Higher Attestation Commission.

The Law on Languages provides, for example, for the rights of citizens:

  • citizens of Ukraine can apply to state bodies, institutions and organisations in “Russian or a language acceptable to the parties”, no one has the right to refuse to accept a citizen’s application written in Russian, and the citizen himself has the right to demand that the state body provide him with an answer “translated into Russian” (Article 5);
  • officials of state bodies must be proficient in Ukrainian and Russian (Article 6);
  • acts of higher state and administrative bodies of Ukraine should be published in Ukrainian and Russian (Article 10);
  • postal and telegraph correspondence within the borders of Ukraine, both from citizens and from state organisations, is accepted in Ukrainian or Russian (Article 34).

However, in fact, throughout the territory of Ukraine, the language rights of Russians and Russian-speakers have been violated and discriminated against for decades by administrations at all levels. The constitutional rights to preserve one’s own identity and development are limited.

The note addressed to the Council of Europe states that all the years since 1991 Ukrainian public organisations of ultra-nationalistic orientation have set guidelines for legislators. Thus, the notorious society “Prosvita” (headed by P. Movchan) issued recommendations in which the use of the Russian language is equated with propaganda of violence and depravity. This provokes further Russophobic measures against Russian speakers, which can be characterised as chauvinism. For example, attempts are constantly being made to remove legal entries in Russian from the Ukrainian passport.

It was precisely the draft law prepared by the Council for Language Policy under the President of Ukraine and submitted to the Supreme Council by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in 1997 that became chauvinistic. If it became a law, then the system of education and preschool education in a non-state language would be completely destroyed (Article 17), Russian-speaking personnel from management positions at enterprises and institutions were ousted during certification (Article 8), it would be prohibited to use a non-state language in the activities of government bodies, local self-government, associations of citizens, institutions, organisations and enterprises, regardless of ownership.

In 1997, this draft law did not pass, it only outlined the dominant trend, but its time will come in 2014. Until then, other laws of Ukraine that contain Russophobic tendencies were adopted or were under consideration: “On Publishing”, “On Book Distribution in Ukraine”, “On State Support for Mass Media”, “On the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine”, and a new Regulation “On the Passport of a Citizen of Ukraine”…

We must know and remember that the Russophobic policy of ethnocide actually concerned not only Russian people, but much broader masses in Ukraine. According to the 1989 census, the total number of Ukrainian residents who consider Russian as their native language was 16,899,000 people, which was 32.8 % of the population (and 41% of this number are ethnic Ukrainians). The same percentage was confirmed by a study commissioned by the Institute of CIS Countries in 2009. At the same time, according to sociological studies conducted by the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, over 61% of the population constantly used Russian in everyday communication. At the same time, only 2-3% of Ukrainian Russians consider Ukrainian to be their native language. In the summer of 2009, 59% of the population supported the state status of the Russian language. And even today in Ukraine, according to search queries, 76% of Google users and 83% of Gallup poll participants prefer Russian to Ukrainian. Thus, it is not difficult to imagine the scale of psychological pressure and violation of the rights of Russian-speaking parents and their children.

Ethnocide of Russians in the last 20 years

Everything that I noted in my research back in 1999 only gained strength in the future, and the policy of ethnocide against Russians grew and intensified.

The Ukrainian authorities, spurred on by the nationalist organisations that make up their main social base, did not stand on ceremony with the Russian population, as well as with anyone who was somehow oriented towards Russian culture, in connection with Russia. All this considerable contingent, largely related to the Russian ethnic group or connected with it by historical circumstances, Kiev tried, simply put, to snap over the knee, forcing its own rules of the game.

This was especially evident in regions with a high percentage of Russian and Russian-speaking population – in Crimea, in Donbass.

For example, despite the fact that Crimea was an autonomous Republic, where the Russian community accounted for 70%, and the number of people who consider Russian as their native language – 93% of the total population, there was a deliberate displacement of Russians from the political, ideological and cultural leadership. This was done in a crude and demonstrative manner, contrary to international law. The abolition of the office of the President of the Republic of Crimea, the reassignment of the Crimean Government to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and the granting of special powers to the Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in Crimea were contrary to Ukraine’s obligations under OSCE instruments. At the same time, at all levels of government, Russians were replaced by representatives of Ukrainian and Tatar nationality.

The annulment of the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea and the imposition of a new Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea resulted in the abolition of constitutional guarantees in the field of culture and the use of the native language for the Russian population. Moreover, the Russian population of Crimea legally found itself in the position of a national minority.

The government of Ukraine has taken a course to limit the cultural and informational ties of Russians with their historical Motherland – Russia. The broadcast of Russian radio programs via wire broadcasting was completely stopped, and the broadcasting of Russian radio stations’ programs was almost completely stopped. Most of the time on Crimean radio was devoted to broadcasts in Ukrainian and Tatar; radio and television discriminated against the Russian editorial staff, although other national editorial offices were established and operate. The broadcast of Russian television programs was almost stopped. Artificial obstacles were placed in front of the creation of the Russian folklore-ethnographic ensemble, while Tatar and Ukrainian collectives received a “green light” and budget support.

The Ministry of Education of Crimea has consistently pursued a policy of excluding or reducing the teaching of Russian language and literature, subjects related to Russian history and culture in the plans of educational institutions. Accordingly, teacher wage rates were reduced.

I would like to emphasise that all this was done despite the fact that according to an extensive study conducted by the Center for Ethnosocial Studies in Simferopol in 2008, the Russian-cultural factor is traditionally dominant in Crimea, and therefore, any attempts to Ukrainise the Crimean region will have to “meet with deep socio-psychological rejection and alienate Crimea from Ukraine – mentally, psychologically cultural, political, and social dimensions”. However, the purpose – to snap Russian and Russian-speaking Crimeans “over the knee”, Ukrainising them forcibly, continued to operate.

Particular outrage was provoked by the educational policy in Ukraine, which is aimed exclusively at forming Ukrainian identity at the expense of opposition to Russian identity. As the note “On the defeat of the rights of Russians in Ukraine”, prepared for the EU, emphasises, “on the part of Ukraine, there is a purposeful indoctrination of school students to change their views, behaviour, and worldview, with the aim of educating a negative attitude towards Russians and their Motherland – Russia. The course of Russian history in general education schools has been significantly reduced, while the course of Ukrainian history has also been increased. The history of Russia is presented in a biased manner, and the idea of the eternal antagonism between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples is constantly being held.”

Here is a vivid example: a history textbook for the fifth grade counted… four Russo-Ukrainian wars! Its cover colourfully depicted Ukrainian Cossacks on horseback chopping down Moscow archers with sabres – an object educational lesson. And everyone, even Russian-born children studying in Ukrainian schools, were forced to study history from such textbooks, imbued with anger towards their mother country.

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What can we say about those Ukrainian regions where the percentage of native Russians was relatively low? For example, in Ivano-Frankovsk, Poltava and other regions, state bodies, responding to requests from citizens, pointed out the inadmissibility of appeals in Russian, refused for this reason to consider appeals, register civil acts, issue certificates, etc.

An even tougher policy of discrimination against the Russian-speaking population was conducted by the Lvov Regional Administration. On 20 June 2000, the Lvov Regional Council adopted Decision No. 311, which prohibited the use of any language other than the State language in the documentation of not only public but also private institutions, as well as in teaching in all educational institutions of the region, except for schools of national minorities. A discriminatory fee of 50% of the price of printed materials in non-Ukrainian language was introduced, which made it difficult for Russians to access a book in their native language. Concerts and performances in Russian were banned. With the support of the city authorities, national squads called “Ukrainisation Brigades” were created, which, performing the functions of the language police, terrorised cafes, restaurants and other public places if Russian music was played there. And so on and so forth…

A new, even higher wave of violent Ukrainisation and, consequently, ethnocide of Russians arose as a result of the notorious Maidan and the so-called “revolution of dignity“.

On February 23, 2014, immediately after the coup d’etat in the country, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted to repeal the law “On the Basics of the State Language Policy”, which had been in force since 2012 and gave Russians at least some language rights, granting Russian and national minority languages the status of regional languages in those areas where they are native at least for 10% of the population. The repeal of this law caused protests in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, etc. Eastern European countries that have their own national diasporas in Ukraine. But most importantly, it was this outrageous, demonstrative and provocative action of the Ukrainian political class that caused a large response – the “Russian Spring” of 2014, including the uprising in Crimea and Donbass.

Ukrainian lawmakers had to go back, but only temporarily, to prepare a draft law “On the basics of state language policy”, submitted to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in 2016. In a revised form, it was registered in the Verkhovna Rada on June 9, 2017 as draft law No. 5670-d “On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language”, and in 2019 it was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada and signed by Petro Poroshenko on the eve of leaving the post of president. This law put a bold end to the question of the language rights of Russians. The deputies who voted for it had the audacity to claim that with its help, total Ukrainisation would unite Ukraine. In fact, I think it was the other way around.

The most important thing in the law: from now on, the only state official language in the country is Ukrainian, and attempts to introduce multilingualism in Ukraine are considered as actions aimed at forcibly changing or overthrowing (!) the constitutional order. Language dictatorship – what else can one call this approach of the legislator?

I will note in parentheses that in anticipation of this general law on the Ukrainisation of the entire language sphere, the Verkhovna Rada managed to adopt other laws restricting the rights of Russian speakers. Firstly, amendments to the law “On Television and Radio Broadcasting” (2016 and 2017), as a result of which the share of broadcasting in the Ukrainian language on national and regional television and radio should be at least 75% per week, and the share of news programs in the Ukrainian language should also be increased to 75%. National TV channels are required to broadcast films and programs of foreign production only in the state language (with the exception of those created before August 1, 1991, which must be accompanied by Ukrainian subtitles). Secondly, a new version of the Law “On Education” (2017), which provides for a phased prohibition of the use of the Russian language and languages of other national groups of Ukraine in the educational system. Education in secondary schools and higher educational institutions is now supposed to be conducted exclusively in the Ukrainian language. Since September 2020, schools that do not teach in Ukrainian have completely ceased to exist.

But I will return to law No. 5670-d “On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language” and list below all the discriminatory restrictions contained in it. Thus, from now on, such spheres of activity are completely Ukrainised:

  • Advertising (except for media published in official languages of the European Union);
  • Science (from now on, scientific publications are published in Ukrainian, English and the official languages of the European Union. Theses, monographs, and abstracts must be submitted in Ukrainian or English from now on. Public defence of dissertations is allowed in Ukrainian and English. The same languages are used in public scientific events, except for those related to linguistics in other languages.;
  • Medicine: all documentation – diagnoses, prescriptions, references, appointments, medical records of patients, etc. – is performed exclusively in Ukrainian;
  • All technical and project documentation in all business processes where one of the parties – enterprises and institutions of state and municipal ownership – must also be in Ukrainian;
  • Transport sphere – all names of airports, ports, stations, stops can be written only according to the rules of the Ukrainian language or duplicated in Latin in accordance with the sounds in Ukrainian;
  • On September 1, 2021, all Russian-language schools in Ukraine switched to Ukrainian at the same time;
  • From January 16, 2021, the entire service sector was forced to completely switch to the Ukrainian language. Also, it became necessary to translate online stores, online catalogs and websites related to consumer services into Ukrainian.;
  • From July 16, 2021, all cultural events must be held exclusively in the state language, and theatrical performances in other languages must be accompanied by subtitles in Ukrainian;
  • Also, starting from this date, the language of public events (symposia, round tables, etc.) can only be Ukrainian or English;
  • All films should now be made in Ukrainian (including individual lines in other languages, if there are subtitles, no more than 10% of the total volume is allowed);
  • The Ukrainian language has become the main language of printing and publishing in Ukraine: the circulation of books in other languages cannot exceed the circulation in Ukrainian, and at distribution points of book products at least 50% must be publications in Ukrainian. Print media that are published in Russian and other languages are required to issue an additional edition of their issues in Ukrainian in the same volume (an exception is made for print media in English, Crimean Tatar and the languages of the European Union).;
  • From July 16, 2022, all online media registered in Ukraine will be fully Ukrainised;
  • Starting from July 16, 2024, the quota for the Ukrainian language for TV and radio organisations will increase. Instead of the current 75%, the quota for the Ukrainian language for national media should be 90%, and for local media – instead of 60%, the quota is increased to 80%.

What does the adoption of such a law tell us? First of all, about the fact that Kiev has long been consistently and purposefully waging a real war with Russian culture, the Russian language, and in general the Russian spiritual heritage and influence. It is trying to eradicate this all over Ukraine, from Galician Lvov to Russian Odessa. That is, it conducts the most outspoken policy of ethnocide of the Russian population. I am not a person of the church and cannot go into the separate problem of the harassment of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) parishioners in Ukraine, mass persecution of Orthodox Russian people for religious reasons, but any priest of the ROC could tell a lot about this. The offensive against the Russian language, culture and faith is being carried out frontally, comprehensively, thoughtfully and purposefully.

Kiev was not sobered or deterred even by the obvious fact that it was the previous explosion of anti-Russian rage in the wake of Euromaidan in 2014 that pushed Crimea and Donbass to secede from the Russophobic Banderist state. Having applied the most severe police and other measures to the entire pro-Russian [as in the Russian nation – SZ] and pro-Russian [as in the country of Russia – SZ] population of Ukraine after 2014, “purging” this contingent and imprisoning it within the borders controlled by Kiev, “like in hell’s stronghold”, the Ukrainian authorities led a policy of increased de-Russification and Banderisation of all of Ukraine. In effect, it declared war on its own Russians as its collective enemy.

The above-mentioned law on language has already been dubbed the “law on Ukrainisation”. A group of citizens who filed a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to protect the rights of the Russian minority tried to object to it. But the court’s retaliatory ruling stunned: “Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine do not represent an integral social unit as a group that has the right to legal protection as an ethnic or linguistic unit, but they are a political construct.” It is characteristic that this decision of the Constitutional Court deals with “Russian speakers”, and the question of “Russians” is simply cut off, as if there is no Russian diaspora in Ukraine, no ethnic group inhabiting the territories of historical residence, or even such a national minority, at worst. It seems that the very word “русский” [“Russian” in the Russian language – SZ] has long been under an unspoken ban, because instead of it in Ukraine it is customary to say and write “росіянин” [“Russian” in the Ukrainian language – SZ]. Now, with the light hand of the Constitutional Court, Russians will be considered a “political construct” altogether.

However, the Ukrainian justice system has advanced even further in its legalised Russophobia. On July 1, 2021, President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky signed the law “On Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine”. This law develops article 11 of the current Constitution of Ukraine, which states: “The state promotes the consolidation and development of the Ukrainian nation, its historical consciousness, traditions and culture, as well as the development of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of all indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine.” Here is the new law that specifies who is the indigenous people of Ukraine. Of course, Russians are not such, unlike the Crimean Tatars (about 260,000 people), Karaites (about 500 people) and Krymchaks (about 400 people). Despite the fact that these “indigenous” people all live in Crimea, which is no longer under the jurisdiction of Ukraine. However, unlike Russians, the law gives them the right to use and study their native language in educational institutions on an equal basis with Ukrainian. They have the right to broadcast television, conduct any media and teach in their native language, strengthen their own political institutions, etc. Russians have no such rights.

Strictly speaking, since the difference between small indigenous peoples and national minorities consists in the fact that the latter have their own state entities outside the borders of Ukraine, Russians are not included in the number of indigenous peoples quite ethnologically correctly and legally. But here’s the thing: Russians are also not included in national minorities (in this case, international law would force them to take into account their rights, including linguistic ones). Go back to Article 11 of the Ukrainian Constitution, and you will understand that Russians, who are neither part of the “Ukrainian nation”, nor part of the “indigenous peoples” and “national minorities” of Ukraine, were generally outside the legal field of this country! Legally, they aren’t present, they don’t exist! They are alive, they are in life, but according to the law – they are not! They are a “political construct”, which for this reason can be ignored altogether.

So the Ukrainian-Banderists don’t consider them. If even the great writer Nikolay Gogol is now considered a national traitor in Ukraine and translated into Ukrainian, then in Zhytomyr, for example, they demand to demolish the famous monument to Pushkin, which was installed back in 1899 to mark the centenary of Aleksandr Sergeyevich’s birth. In general, this year alone, more than ten Pushkin busts, monuments and memorial plaques have already been dismantled in Ukraine: in the Transcarpathian, Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk, Chernigov, Kirovograd and Nikolaev regions. Not to mention the Russian commanders who liberated Ukraine from the German invaders, which, apparently, Banderist Kiev deplores. By the way, Russian Language Day is celebrated all over the world and in Russia on June 6, Pushkin’s birthday. But not in Ukraine, where this holiday is banned.

They say that we don’t allow Ukrainians to develop their culture and language in Russia either, we don’t open Ukrainian schools and faculties, Uniate churches, etc. But it’s necessary to understand: it’s one thing not to open, not to support something that never was (who in Russia needed Ukrainian-language schools and universities? Rare attempts to recruit at least one class of children who wanted to study in Ukrainian all failed, because parents did not want to give their children an education in a language that had no prospects in a Russian-speaking country) – and completely another matter to take away and destroy the institutions that have existed for centuries in Ukraine, where the Russians have always been an indigenous people living on their historical lands, on which their own blood and sweat poured …

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Russians have run out of patience

What are the results of all this harsh and hysterical Russophobic policy aimed at the forced de-Russification of Ukraine?

Some Russians in Ukraine – unfortunately, quite a few – were forced to abandon their Russian identity and national identity. Turn them from ethnic Russians into political Ukrainians, into a hybrid: “Russian Ukrainians”. Which was largely successful. Some of these voluntarily reborn representatives of the so-called “Vyrus” [a person of Russian origin who lost their Russian identity and joined the non-Russian one – SZ] are now in the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and even as part of the nationalist battalions fighting against their people – a phenomenon as tragic as it is shameful.

According to Rostislav Ishchenko, a leading expert on the Russian-Ukrainian problem, in his article on de-Russification, today “several dozen, perhaps even a couple of hundred thousand more Ukrainian citizens consciously preserve everyday Russianness – trying, contrary to state policy, to teach their children the Russian language, install in them a love of Russian literature, introduce them to real Russian history”. The number, of course, is quite insignificant compared to those who voluntarily or forcibly de-russified since 1991.

Ishchenko accurately and uncompromisingly examines the anamnesis and diagnoses the disease, which was aggravated today during the military special operation:

“For almost 30 years, generations have grown up who no longer learned Russian at school, who sincerely believe that they are descendants of the ancient Ukros, who gave humanity the plow, fire and wheel. They can still speak passable Russian, although the accent that used to be characteristic of people from the village who lived in the city for less than three years is now already heard among the ‘native Kievans’ and is getting stronger every year. But they are definitely not just not Russian, but never were…

In general, the Ukrainians back in the 90s were Russian people who decided that the ‘end of history’ had come, the West had won forever, and that declaring themselves Ukrainians would make it easier for them to integrate into the camp of winners than if they remained Russians. No, they didn’t think, ‘let me betray my Russianness’, they really suddenly ‘felt’ like Ukrainians. As psychologists say, the defence mechanisms of consciousness are activated.”

The result is clearly presented to us by statistics. If according to the last Soviet census of 1989, 22% of the population of Ukraine called themselves Russians (in fact, there were even more of them, but many identified themselves as “Soviet” and did not attach any importance to their true ethnicity, while others defined themselves as Ukrainians by their territory of residence), then in 2010 this number decreased by exactly half, down to 11%. The question is: did the Russians die out of a good life, or fled, or converted to Ukrainians for fear of Judaism? Interestingly, according to a sociological survey conducted by the Sofiya Center for Social Research, about 20% of the population still consider themselves Russians, but they no longer officially admit this. Their ethnic self-consciousness is still glimmering inside, but outside it is stopped, suppressed. At the same time, young people, especially in the capital and in the countryside, prefer to consider themselves Ukrainians rather than Russians: the policy of ethnocide has done its job..

But this is only one side of the coin. Another, to the credit of millions of Ukrainian Russians, is the phenomenon of the “Russian Spring” that took place in 2014. The deep essence of it is that the Russians in Crimea and Donbass, who endured discrimination, forced Ukrainisation and ethnocide for 23 years, but did not accept it, simply lost patience. And they, taking advantage of a favourable combination of circumstances, as well as thanks to the personal courage and foresight of a number of heroic figures who have already become historical figures, decided to withdraw from the Maidan-Banderist Ukraine, which they could no longer perceive as their mother country even under the threat of reprisal.

Now imagine this situation. A wife, tormented for years by an abusive husband who secretly hates her, says to him one day, after another rude and impudent prank, “You are a moral freak! I don’t want to live with you anymore!” and that she’s going to file for divorce in a civilised way. And the husband in response takes an axe and begins to kill her. Here is an accurate picture of what happened to Donbass and would certainly have happened to Crimea, if Russia had not extended its aegis over it in time.

The rest is known in detail. The peaceful, bloodless reunification of Crimea with Russia, which made its “punishment” impossible, led the Ukrofascist Banderists who ruled the ball in Ukraine into a state of frenzied anger and thirst for revenge, with which they descended on Donbass. (Let me remind you, if anyone has forgotten, that Donbass is about half of the Region of the Don Army, cut off from us by the German bayonet in 1918 by the Brest Peace, and still stuck in Ukraine, contrary to history and reason.) And for eight years now, since 2014, Ukraine has been taking revenge on the Russian Donbass for not wanting to live in a fascist, Banderist state, trying to bring the Donetsk people to their knees and force them to love and respect the Kiev Russophobic government. It kills by the thousands, including civilians. it takes revenge, among other things, for Crimea, which is inaccessible to revenge.

Today we can see for ourselves what came out of this irrational aspiration. Before February 24, 2022, approximately 125,000 military personnel were concentrated on the border of the L/DPR, armed with modern equipment and ready to fall on Donbass to crush it. There is a Russian proverb: “We went for wool, and returned shorn.” It seems that this is precisely about the Kiev regime.

This is our affair and our war

We should not think that everything that happens in Ukraine does not concern us here in Russia. Just the opposite: it’s very concerning. These processes objectively pose a very great threat to the Russian people and to the Russian state. The frontal opposition of the Ukrainian idea to everything Russian, everything connected with Russia and the Russian people – is a historical challenge of the century. It has not only a cultural and political, but also a military projection, it is dangerous for our lives. The answer to this challenge can be either surrender or Victory. There isn’t a third option.

Not everyone here understands this. And I realised this back in the mid-1990s, when I prophesied about the fatal inevitability of the Russian-Ukrainian war. They didn’t believe me, but I was right. Therefore, I have the right to judge the problem and suggest its solution.

By saving Russians in Ukraine, both manifest and hidden, from de-Russification, or rather, from ethnocide, by offering them a program of re-Russification, we, the Russians of Russia, are saving ourselves as a nation. Today – from ethnocide, and tomorrow, if the given course of events is not stopped by all, including military, measures, then from a war of extermination.

When we see on the screen footage of thousands of demonstrations, marches, street clashes, storming and other “Maidans” – we understand that these are not “individual performances of fascist thugs”, calling for “Russians – to the gallows”. It is necessary to look at the truth in the eyes: this is a nation.

These people sincerely hate Russians and Russia with internal hatred. Alas, this is also true. And in this, the people and government of Ukraine are united.

What is the source of this hatred? It is existential: in the need of Ukrainians to understand and feel like real Ukrainians. After all, it is impossible to build a Ukrainian national identity while remaining within the framework of the concept of all-Russian unity and brotherhood. On the contrary: only by starting from everything Russian, totally opposing oneself to it, can one successfully create one’s own identity. This means that we have our own national state and our own national authority.

In the process of nation-building, the main historical enemy must be identified, and the “friend-foe” opposition must be built. The Russians were simply doomed to this role, because otherwise the separateness of Malorossiyans could not be justified. And it doesn’t matter where the truth is and where the myth is. The main thing is the result. That is why rabid Russophobia turned out to be a necessary systemic element of the national Ukrainian identity and formed the basis of the Ukrainian national state.

And that is why the denazification of Ukraine, its re-Russification is an urgent urgent task that Russia must complete. If it wants to live through the ages.

In 2014, after the reunification with Crimea, but even before the clashes in Donbass, I wrote, anticipating the war: “If Banderists win the war, if Ukraine is preserved as a single whole, then it will be destined to go through a total sweep of any manifestations of Russianness. Through mass lustrations (the government’s lustration committee was already created by Maidan), purges, imprisonments, squeezing out of the country, and in general a full-scale Russian ethnocide. As a result, in ten years’ time, not just an unfriendly state will be established on the entire territory of Ukraine from Lvov to Odessa, but an extremely anti-Russian [as in the Russian nation – SZ], anti-Russian [as in the country of Russia – SZ] state that is hostile to us in all areas of domestic and foreign policy. It will become the main lever of Western pressure on Russia… It should be clearly understood: such a state has already emerged in full growth in principle, it is purposefully supported by the West, and it will be established in any case, it will not ‘dissolve’ and will not change its basis: the anti-Russian essence. The question is only about its size and power. About borders, in a word. It is in our interests, of course, to keep these dimensions and powers to a minimum. Such that Ukraine could not even dream of fighting with us.”

The course of events once again confirmed my words. Everything predicted came true, and not even in ten, but in eight years.

There is only one way to solve the problem: by dividing Ukraine into at least three parts. The first part is a reservation in Galicia for Banderists, the most ardent nationalists (let the vipers live in their own viper house and solve territorial problems with Poland, Hungary and Romania there). The second part is a buffer state: central Ukraine, historical territories from the time of Bogdan Khmelnitsky with its capital in Kiev and under our full military and administrative control (preferably in the form of a protectorate). At the same time, an analog of the Berlin Wall separating Galicia should be built along the border of the Zhytomyr, Khmelnitsky and Vinnytsia regions. Finally, the third part, roughly speaking, consisting of the Left Bank and Novorossiya, should become part of Russia. Otherwise, if these lands are left to their own self-governance, they will start their own process of ethnogenesis. There will be a new elite that wants full power, which means that nation-building of a new, “Novorossiyan” nation will definitely begin, and the establishment of its identity will require rejection from both Ukraine and Russia. And everything will again go according to the Ukrainian or Kazakh scenario.

There is nothing more erroneous, harmful and dangerous than the delusion that Ukraine should be absorbed entirely into Russia in order to digest it, re-educate it and make it an organic part again, as it once was. It is impossible to try to rivet all the safety valves on the boiling boiler of the Ukrainian ethnogenesis, the train has left. There is no doubt that in this case it will either be necessary to use a total cleansing of Ukraine from Ukrainians, that is, genocide. This is hardly acceptable. Or everything will come to the result that we have already passed: an amnesty for Banderists, followed by a national revolution and the restoration of the status quo for 2013, at best. And at worst – to a new war of extermination. For which we have neither the means nor the extra living people who will need to be thrown into this furnace.

It should be clearly understood that the implementation of the optimal scenario requires only one, but absolutely necessary condition: our Victory in the current Russian-Ukrainian war. Nothing else.

I would like all Russian youth to be imbued with an understanding of the essence of the matter outlined above. To do this, not much is needed: to assimilate this essence and think about it.


Aleksandr Sevastyanov

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