Why the Verkhovna Rada Criticised the Slogan “Glory to Ukraine!”

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



The Verkhovna Rada scarified the sloganGlory to Ukraine!, which the president Petro Poroshenko suggested to introduce as the greeting of the Ukrainian army. Ukraine’s parliament also doubted the patriotism of the current authorities. Experts note that the dispute surrounding the slogan testifies to a split in society. Meanwhile, in a conversation with RT the vice-chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Aleksey Chepa connected the statement made by Ukrainian politicians to the forthcoming electoral campaign in Kiev.

“The country needs changes, and this is absolutely clear to every citizen of Ukraine. That’s why all the criticism is connected not to some slogan, but to the fact that everyone will now try to say that the country needs changes, and that it is necessary to change something both in the economic and in the political sphere. This is electoral rhetoric, which happens in every country,” he noted.

The deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Vadim Rabinovich stated that the Kiev authorities should refuse to use the greeting “Glory to Ukraine!”. In his opinion, using the slogan is expedient in “a strong, courageous, and prospering Ukraine”. At the same time, the deputy dropped a hint of doubt about the patriotism of the current Ukrainian authorities.

“But when it is initiated and implemented by those who have reduced our country to something completely different, I have doubts,” said Rabinovich.

The Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko ordered to substitute in the army’s regulations the Soviet greeting “Hello, comrades!” to the slogans “Glory to Ukraine!” and “Glory to heroes!”. It is planned to use the greeting during the parade in honor of Ukraine’s Independence Day on August 24th.

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The phrase “Glory to Ukraine – Glory to Heroes!” was used by Ukrainian nationalists. In particular, such a greeting was adopted by members of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists and its military wing, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, during World War II and after it.

“It will split Ukraine even more”

The member of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Sergey Tsekov is sure that changes in the army’s regulations will split Ukrainian society even more.

“Ukraine has been divided for a long time, even since the moment independence was founded. None of Ukraine’s leaders tried to overcome this split. All of them generally followed the tastes of the nationalist segment of Ukraine, which had led to deplorable results.

Of course, there are no grounds to say ‘Glory!’ to the whole of modern Ukraine: there wasn’t any glory. For the part of Ukraine that preserves traditions and respects the history of both their ancestors and fathers and grandfathers, the greeting of Ukrainian nationalists is completely unacceptable. Including this greeting in the army will split Ukraine even more,” stressed the senator.

According to him, Ukraine won’t become a prospering state under the current authorities.

Ukrainian politicians make loud statements in anticipation of elections in Ukraine, seeking to distance themselves from the position of the president of the country Petro Poroshenko. Such an opinion was expressed by the deputy Director of the Institute of the CIS countries, the political scientist Vladimir Zharikhin.

“Rabinovich makes such statements to distance himself from the current Ukrainian authorities: he wants to act like an oppositional figure. Thus his words and actions are rather inconsistent. This slogan has two parts that make it a neo-Nazi greeting. ‘Glory to Ukraine!’ — it is difficult to argue, but ‘Glory to heroes!’ — by heroes they mean Banderists. Rabinovich once talked about a possible alliance with Mr Nalyvaichenko, who is known as the person who fostered ‘Right Sector‘ whilst being the head of the SBU. Rabinovich’s actions aim to make him one of leaders of the opposition in the upcoming elections, but they are not successful,” noted Zharikhin.

Earlier the source of RT in the UAF reported that a number of military personnel in Ukraine spoke out against the new greeting “Glory to Ukraine!”. “Many soldiers, especially from the East and South Ukraine, stated that they are against such a greeting. This is connected to the political background of the greeting, and the relatives of many soldiers don’t approve of it,” he noted. RT’s source in the Samopomich party also claimed that the introduction of nationalist slogans can create problems in the Ukrainian army: “Soldiers will reject controversial slogans and will simply leave. The number of persons interested in continuing the war in the East of the country and to die for obscure ideals becomes less and less every day”.

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