The state of Ukraine was born only after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. No such state existed in history prior to 1991, since it was always a part of other state/empire — firstly of the Russian Empire, then of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and after that it existed in the capacity of a republic in the Soviet Union. On the other hand, Russians and Ukrainians are of the same race, the Slavic Race; their languages are also very much similar (we, the foreigners, who know Russian, understand Ukrainian, too, up to 80%, although cannot speak, read or write, — the author), as well as there is almost no differences among their culture, mentality, religious habits etc.
The word ‘Ukraine’ has evolved after having changed in spelling and pronunciation— the original word for it in Russian is ‘Ukraina’, means ‘border’. This word was used sometimes in the Middle Ages to mean the south-west part of Russia, but it was basically used to indicate the military personnel working in that region. The official name of that region was not even ‘Ukraina’, but ‘Malarussia’, means ‘Small Russia’.
The region was called ‘Malarussia’ due to the local spoken Russian, as it is different to some extent from the Russian, spoken in Moscow. But, interestingly, the literary Russian Language took its present shape in that region itself, mainly in Kiev, the present capital of Ukraine. The more important fact here is that the foundation of the Russian Empire was laid down in Kiev itself. In 988 A D the Russian King Vladimir Sviatoslavich founded the Russian Empire in Kiev by bringing the whole Slavic Race of Russian Land under the same Russian Orthodoxy and putting all the big and small kingdoms under one Emperor. From this point of view Kiev is not only the first capital of Russian Empire, but also the origin of Russian Civilization.
But Kiev lost its political importance as well as influence towards the end of XII Century, for Moscow became the new capital of the Russian Empire. At that time another empire, parallel to the Russian Empire centering Moscow was founded in Lithuania. Although the emperors of the Lithuanian Empire were basically Russians and Russian was the official language there, the general inclination of Lithuania is always towards the West. As a result Lithuania and Poland founded a federal state in 1569 A D, — the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Lvov, another important city of present Ukraine, along with Kiev, came under this Commonwealth. The inhabitants of Kiev and Lvov were, no doubt, Russians, and their branch of Christianity was Russian Orthodoxy, but the Poles, the Lithuanians as well as the Emperor were Catholics. As a result the Russians became the Second Class Citizens of the Commonwealth. The Russians were ordered to be converted into catholicity. They were ordered not to migrate to Russian Empire too.
The Commonwealth did not limit itself on issuing orders only; in 1596 A D the Russians were forcibly converted into catholicity and the priests of the Russian Orthodoxy were murdered. In repercussion to it, ‘Orthodox Brotherhood’ was formed among the Russians who escaped the conversion.
There were only three ways left before the Russians: either to convert themselves into catholicity, or to escape to the Russian Empire at the East, or to fight for their specific existence and rights in their own homeland. They chose the third one, and war was declared in 1648 A D under the leadership of Bogdan Khmelnitsky. After six years of terrible war, a Treaty was signed between the Commonwealth and the Russian Empire. Kiev was included into Russian Empire, but Lvov was left.
The Commonwealth became weak towards the end of XVIII Century, and in 1772 A D much of its land was divided among Prussian, Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires. Lvov was put under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. And Poland became almost non-existent in 1795 A D.
The Russians became the lone guilty persons in the eyes of the Poles for their ill fate. They put all their pain and anger, hatred and hostility on the Russians. The Poles, no doubt, imagined for re-establishing the once great Polish Empire, but as it was not possible, they planned for taking away the already included in Russian Empire area of Poland: since that area was not under Poland at that time, the same should not be under Russia too! The Poles started a campaign claiming that the inhabitants of the area included in Russia were not Russians, but Ukrainians! That means, the Ukrainians were a separate nation with their ‘own language and culture’, and that is why Russia had no rights over the occupied land: Russia had been occupying the land illegally!
In fact, it is the Poles who invented the artificial ideas of ‘Ukrainian Nation’, ‘Ukrainian Language and Culture’ etc. In 1795 A D the Polish intellectual Jan Potocki first named the Malarussian region as well as the spoken Russian of that area as ‘Ukraine’ and ‘Ukrainian Language’ respectively. In 1801 A D another Polish intellectual Tadeusz Czacki clearly mentioned in his book that the inhabitants of Malarussia were not Russians, but another nation. He forwarded a ‘theory’ claiming that the Malarussians migrated to that region from the areas of Volga, Ural etc. in VII century itself, but could not produce any proof or documentation in support of it.
That unproven ‘theory’ might have been left unnoticed and forgotten in the course of time, but some incidents happened in Russian Empire at that time, rather, helped it to grow. The Russian Emperor (Tsar) Alexander I considered the Polish Nobles more educated and efficient than their Russian counterparts. As a result the Poles captured all the important posts in the Empire: they were the heads of Education System and Academy of Science. They took the whole Education System of Malarussia into their hands and included such things in the syllabus: Malarussia was always with the West (means Europe, and, that is why, it is civilized); the inhabitants were not Russians, but another nation; the Russians were Asians (means barbarians) and aggressors. They included even such unbelievable things: Russia and Ukraine were engaged in war for 5 to 6 times, whereas such wars never occurred and there was even no scope for that!
But the effort of the Polish Nobles produced its fruits: lies written in books sometimes are considered to be the truth. Malarussian inhabitant Nikolay Kostomarov formed an organization among the intellectuals and teachers of Kiev. The organization announced that Ukraine is neither Russia nor Malarussia, but a separate country, and there lived a separate nation, — the Ukrainian Nation. The dialect of Malarussia was declared as full-flagged language, and a new script by mixing the Russian and Roman was created in hurry. Even a new dictionary was written by collecting the words of the Malarussian dialect: the ‘Dictionary of Ukrainian Language’!
The Russian dominated area along with Lvov, once taken from Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and put under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was called Galicia. The Malarussian intellectuals were engaged spreading ‘Ukrainian Language’ by publishing books and news papers in ‘Ukrainian’. Publishing was done not in Malarussia, but in Galicia.
The Galician Russians were called ‘Rusins’ or ‘Rutens’, and they were already converted into catholicity. Since the Russians under the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth were considered to be the Second Class Citizens and were being suppressed by the Poles, the Galician Russians, especially the Nobles, dedicated themselves to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They even fought with arms in hands on behalf of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor during the Polish and Hungarian Revolts in 1809 and 1848 A D respectively. The Emperor gave them to wear a stripe having yellow and blue colors put in parallel manner. Interestingly, the present National Flag of Ukraine has also yellow and blue colors put in parallel manner!
Although the dedication of the Rutens towards the Austro-Hungarian Empire was demonstrated, the Emperor did not took them into full confidence, for having the same language and culture, they could have any time shifted their dedication towards the Russian Empire. To establish control over them, the Emperor formulated some conditions for them in 1848 A D: if the Rutens wished to get help and support from the Emperor, they must consider themselves not Russians, but a separate and full-flagged nation, and they must avoid citizenship of the Russian Empire. As told earlier, books and news papers were being published in ‘Ukrainian’ in Galicia. Now a new name for this ‘separate and full-flagged nation’ became essential, and the Emperor approved the word ‘Ukrainian’ for them.
Divisions, of course, occurred among the ‘Rutens’ in this issue: some never wanted to give up the Russian Root, but others wanted to become ‘Ukrainians’. On the other hand, it also came to light that ‘Ukrainian’ is not a full-flagged language, but a mixture of the words and expressions of Russian as well as Polish Languages and Malarussian-Galician Dialect.
The expanding process of the ‘Ukrainian Language’ became painful for the general Rutens too, for they could not understand, why the Russian words were cleverly being replaced by the local words. In the end they came to conclusion that the process of “Ukrainization’ was nothing but a lie, forgery and unfaithfulness towards the origin.
Austro-Hungarian Empire, on the other hand, forcibly forwarded the process of formation of the ‘New Nation’. Writers and journalists, who did not want to use the ‘New Language’ were labeled as ‘Spies of Moscow’. Course materials were printed in ‘Ukrainian’, and unhappy with it teachers, had been sacked. ‘Ukrainization’ was in full swing. In 1892 A D the ‘Ukrainian Nationalist’ Joseph Manshilovsky wrote in his book: ‘… Ukrainism means forgetting the past, feeling shame for the Russian Root and History… The specific Russian characteristics should be thrown away, and all efforts should be made for spreading ‘Ukrainism’…
The Austro-Hungarian Empire got the chance to destroy the opponents of “Ukrainism’ during World War I. In 1914, there were 2000 prisoners of war from the Russian Empire in the jails of Galicia. Along with these prisoners of war, lots of teachers, doctors, even farmers of Galicia, who opposed ‘Ukrainism’, were murdered. 300 priests of the Russian Orthodoxy were murdered only on the basis of doubt that they could have maintained secret sympathy towards the Orthodoxy! Many innocent persons, who spoke in Russian, or had Russian Names, or kept in their houses books and news papers written in Russian, were captured, labeling them as ‘Spies of Moscow’, and then murdered. These incidents are still remaining as Big Black Spots in Austrian History.
The more painful fact here is that the so called Ukrainian Nationalists, too, took part in those inhuman activities: they themselves hanged and shot their own friends, brothers, even relatives! Thus Ukrainian Nationalism was born even before the Ukrainian Nation was founded!
The real purpose of those incidents happened in Austria can be understood from the statement of the then Foreign Minister Leopold Berchtold. In November, 1914, he announced: ‘… our real aim in this war is to make Russia weak for a long period, if not for forever. If we win, we will create Sovereign Ukraine by separating Malarussia from Russia… ‘
With the aim of creating Sovereign Ukraine, Austria arranged for writing the 10-parts ‘History of Ukraine and Ukrainian Nation’ by Mikhail Grushevsky, who escaped to Galicia from the Russian Empire. Grushevsky mentioned in this ‘History’ that there were three Russias: the first was established in Kiev, the second one in Moscow, and third one in Lithuania; the inhabitants of the Kievian Russia were the ‘Ukrainians’. The Ruten students of Galicia studied this ‘History’, and started believing that whatever was written in it was truth: they started thinking that they were not Russians, but a separate nation, and instead of Russia, their inclination started growing towards the West. And Grushevsky was not only ‘honored’ with a huge amount of money but also was presented a big house in Kiev for writing this ‘History’. Interestingly, in 1991, the Education Department of the Ukrainian Government recognized the ‘History’ of Grushevsky!
It should be mentioned here that Ukrainian Nationalism and German Fascism went hand in hand from the beginning. Malarussian inhabitant and Ukrainian Nationalist Nikolai Mikhnovsky forwarded such slogans: ‘Ukraine — for Ukrainians only’, ‘Russians of Malarussia and Lithuania, Poles, Hungarians, Romanians and Jews — our enemies’! Dmitry Dontsov, another Ukrainian Nationalist, who was arrested three times for anti-tsarist activities in Russia and escaped to Galicia to avoid the fourth arrest, headed the ‘Ukraine Liberation Movement’ under the personal supervision of the Austrian Emperor. He, too, wrote in 1926: ‘… till the highest ambition for creating own country does not appear, till the theorems are not converted into axioms and dogmas, till the shyness is not converted into brutality, — there will not be any Ukraine!… The main principle of Ukrainian Nationalism is: Ukraine is Europe (means civilized), Russia is Asia (means barbarian), and that is why friendship between them is impossible… ‘.
It needs mention that fascism is being seen in all the so called anti-Russian activities taking place in present-day Ukraine. 50% of the population of the Donetsk District, which is situated in the eastern part of Ukraine, are Russians, and that is why the district is now no more ‘Ukrainian’ for the Ukrainian people. And they are even ready to destroy the district completely! In repercussion to it, the Russians of the district are being compelled to fight with the Ukrainian Armed Force for their own survival. Ironically, the same thing happened in 1648 A D in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. And America, along with the West, are spreading propaganda in the whole world that Russia is exerting aggression in Ukraine by helping the ‘rebels’ with arms and ammunitions!
Thus the Austrian Empire extended full-flagged help and support for building so called Ukrainian Nationalism. The indifferent attitude of the Russian Empire towards the Rutens might have also occurred help: the Galician Russians got neither financial help nor political support from Russia.
Nevertheless, ‘Ukrainian Nationalism’ was still in foreign land, but after formation of the Soviet Union, Ukrainism started getting official help and support within the Union. Galicia, however, was still a foreign land, but Ukrainian Soviet Socialistic Republic was founded in the rest of Malarussia on the basis of already established ‘Ukrainism’.
In 1921 Stalin, the then Minister for the jobs related to Nations, announced: ‘… if there are still some Russian elements in the cities of the Ukrainian Republic, then they will be definitely replaced step by step with Ukrainian elements… ‘. And in 1923, the Communist Party of the Ukrainian Republic announced the start of Ukrainization: production system, education system, printing media, theatre etc. have been ukrainized. By 1929, Ukrainian Language had been made medium of instruction in more than 80% of the Primary Schools, almost 55% of the Middle Schools and 10% of the Institutes and Universities. And by 1930, 90% of the News Papers and 80% of the Journals of the Ukrainian Republic started publishing in Ukrainian Language, whereas the Malarussian citizens did not hear about ‘Ukraine’ and ‘Ukrainian Language’ even 15 years prior to it!
Some so called Ukrainian Nationalists of Galicia, too, came to Ukraine after formation of the Republic. The local people were fed with doubt and disregard towards them. They said: ‘We feel ourselves Russians and we hate the Ukrainians in the same way as we hate the German fascists. So we request the Russian Federation to attach us to it’.
The Galician Ukrainian Nationalists, nevertheless, had still been trying to found ‘Sovereign Ukraine’. In 1929, the Organization of the Ukrainian Nationalists announced the establishment of ‘Sovereign Ukraine’ on the basis of ‘One Nation and One Party’. Towards the end of 30s, they became closer to the German Fascists, and took part in the Training Programs of Gestapo and German Spies on conducting terrorist activities. They thought that after occupying it, the Fascists would hand over the Ukrainian Republic to them and they would be able to found the ‘Sovereign Ukraine’. The Fascists, however, did not have such intention, rather they planned for converting the whole Soviet Union, along with the Ukrainian Republic, into Colony. The Ukrainian Nationalists, collaborating with the Fascists, nevertheless, kept signature of inhumanity and brutality in the history: in the beginning of World War II, they exterminated Russians, Poles, Jews and Armenians in Lvov. On 22 March, 1943, they burnt down a village called ‘Khatyn’ in Belarus. They demonstrated their inhumanity and brutality in their highest grade in Volynia of Poland: 70,000 Poles, including children, old persons and women, had been exterminated. Nevertheless, thousands of citizens from the Ukrainian Republic had been fighting with the Fascists and getting wounded and killed at that time, for it was the Soviet Union which recognized Ukrainism officially for the first time in history.
Had the Soviet Union not extended help and support, the Ukrainian Culture would have become extinct. The Union could provide the sense of security and stability to all; this very sense no more exists after its dissolution. That is why the sense of insecurity and instability is now dominating all the earlier republics, including Ukraine. America, along with the West, tried to create the sense of insecurity and instability in the Soviet Union during Cold War times. Their aim in it was clear: to separate Ukraine from the Union, for, along with cheap labor force and fertile land, Ukraine has vast reserve of natural resources, — these are essential for development of America and the West. The specific geographic position of Ukraine is also important here, for the whole world can be kept under control from this position. That is why financial as well as political help and support had been being extended to the Ukrainian Nationalist Organizations based in America, Europe and Canada. At the same time, they had been spreading propaganda that the Soviet Union was exerting ‘aggression’ in Ukraine. At present, too, they are spreading the same propaganda, but have replaced ‘Soviet Union’ with ‘Russia’!
Ukraine is an artificial state having no root of its own, for the root of its language and culture as well as civilization and history is left in Russia, and that is why, for its own survival, there is only one way left before the country — enmity with Russia! As a result, along with America and the West, Ukraine, too, is compelled to keep the propaganda of ‘Russian Aggression’ and ‘Russian Fear’ running. Such propaganda was in action at the time of recent inclusion of Crimea into Russia too, although Crimea was never a part of Malarussia: in 1954 only, on the basis of some political calculations, Nikita Khrushchev, the then Chairman of Soviet Union, attached the commercially and strategically important Sevastopol and Crimea to the Ukrainian Republic.
Development of self by exploiting, oppressing as well as depriving others, — these are the main aim and purpose of America and the West. They are now behaving in such a manner, as if they are very much concerned about the present situation in Ukraine, which has been ‘created by Russia’. They are again and again repeating the words ‘Democracy’ and ‘Development’ in context to Ukraine, but, in actual, they are not at all concerned whether there is democracy or development in Ukraine. They want to do business in Ukraine, not for the benefit of the country, but for their own, and doing business is easier if there is democracy in the country. Democracy will also help them in utilizing the vast natural resources, fertile land as well as the cheap labor force of Ukraine for their own benefit and development.
The sooner Ukraine will understand these things, and instead of America and the West, the sooner it will come closer to Russia, with which the country shares common linguistic, cultural and religious root as well as blood relation, the sooner the country will achieve security and stability, and the sooner it will become able to maintain its own existence.