Pavel Kazarin: Ten responses to the “Novorossiya” supporters

Masked activists with a banner reading 'Donetsk Republic'

 

2014/07/28 • Analysis & Opinion

Do you know what children are taught immediately after they are able to stand on their own two feet? Cause-and-effect relationships. Fire burns, water is wet, if you his your fellow sandbox player in the head with a spade – they will get back at you. This is the basis of our socialization – the understand that any action causes a reaction. Impulse – response. And the most difficult thing in the world is communicating with people which lack this cause-and-effect connection.

May the gods of simple truths forgive me, but the social media timelines are once against forcing me to talk about the simplest of things.

First. Galician citizens are Russophobes, they betrayed the USSR back during the Great Patriotic War

I remind you that Western Ukraine was annexed by the USSR in 1939. This annexation launched the process of class cleanses on Galcian soil. As opposed to the rest of Ukraine, these lands did not have the 20-year-long head start to get used to new social realities. There was no time lag, during which a new generation, loyal to Moscow, would have grown, as was the case in other oblasts of the country. Only “one’s own” can betray, and for the citizens of Western Ukraine the Soviet Union was definitely not perceived as the “Motherland.” The motives of the people whose families had their property taken away 1,5 years before the war, who have been thrown out of their homes or sent to the kolkhoz, are unlikely to defend the state that did all of that. And therefore in many ways the USSR policies were the cause, and the actions of the Western-Ukrainian rebels – the effect. And not vice versa.

Second. Ukraine destroyed the USSR, “took away the Crimea” and now we are just reestablishing justice

Let’s concentrate and remember: the main ideologists of the fall of the USSR were not in Kyiv, but in Moscow. The first who declared their independence – before the State Committee on the State of Emergency, – were the Baltic states, Georgia, Moldova and Armenia. And the first Assembly of the members of the Parliament of the RSFSR passed the declaration of state sovereignty on June 12th 1990 – a month and then some before this was done by the High Council of the Ukrainian SSR (July 16). The causes was the squabble between Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev. The effect – a parade of sovereignty.

Third. Maidan staged a coup in Kyiv, and therefore Moscow is not bound with the responsibility to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity

Contracts regarding borders are signed by governments, but are made with the state. The change of government, a military coup, earthquakes, alien invasions and asteroid falls do not influence this issue in any way. If Moscow thinks that there was a coup in Kyiv, together with the rest of the guarantees of Ukrainian borders in the shape of Washington and London (say hi to the Budapest memorandum), it should insist on a transparent and open election of legitimate government. The obligations as to the borders are not changed as long as the state continues to exist as a subject of international law. And even a coup (if someone likes the term that much) does not annul a state.

Fourth. There was no annexation of Crimea, because Moscow acceded an already independent peninsula

Let’s be consecutive: on the night of February 27, the Crimean Parliament was occupied, as well as the Council of Ministers, and only then did the members appoint the referendum regarding the status of the peninsula. And the “declaration of independence of the ARC and Sevastopol” was passed by Crimean parliament members on March 11 – after the Russian army have spent two weeks loitering about the streets of Crimean towns. The dates are outside of politics: first a capture of government bodies and deployment of the army (or their exit from the Black Sea barracks, which changes nothing), and only then – a change of citizenship for the territory. In this situation speaking about the legal character of the declaration of independence (even if we disregard all the other nuances) is somewhat uncomfortable.

Fifth. Had the peninsula not changed its citizenship, it would have suffered the fate of Donbas

Crimea could not have become Donbas simply because without Crimea there would have been no Donbas. This is where all the people came from to the eastern regions, which Kurginian is now arguing with at press conference, accusing them of betraying the peninsula. It was Crimea that gave them hope that a similar scenario would play out in the East of Ukraine. If there had been no Crimea, there would have been no “DPR” or “LPR.”

Sixth. Volunteers from Russia came to protect the region from Kyiv aggression

The people that claim such things seem to not notice that Donbas has turned into a “hot spot” only after Russian weapons and volunteer “reconstructors” emerged there. And had Moscow, Yanukovych and the regional Tsars not decided to light the fuse, Donetsk and Luhansk would have lived their normal lives, getting used to new elites. Because, for the past 23 years the main demand of the regions has been stability (which was incidentally put on the political shields of all local politicians). In the end, we have the example of Dnipropetrovsk, which not long ago gave the sociologists 12% of separatist moods, and today has almost turned into the base of Ukrainian state construction, because the regional governments brought stability here – so valuable in contrast to the neighboring oblasts.

Seventh. If not for Russian intervention, Crimea and Donbas would have been taken over by nationalists

Well, repetition is the best teacher: at the presidential elections the main ideologists of ethnic Ukrainian nationalists, Yarosh and Tiahnybok, got approximately the statistical margin of error and even gave way to businessman Vadym Rabinovych. And Poroshenko does not fall under the category of ethnic nationalism in any way. He can only be prescribed political and civic nationalism, but this, I’m sorry, is a component of absolutely every country in the world. Including Russia.

Eighth. Kyiv does not want to hold dialogue with Donbas

I would consider this argument valid if they explained to me whom this dialogue should be held with. So far the situation in the region is reminiscent of the first Chechen war – several field commanders, each of which has no influence on the neighbors. Besides, the influential people in the “DPR,” Igor Strelkov and Alexandr Borodai, don’t have Ukrainian passports at all. How can we conduct talks about the future of the region Kyiv considers to be part of Ukraine, with armed foreigners?

Ninth. You are angry with Yanukovych and he never dispersed Maidan with tanks, by the way

I cannot seem to be able to recall the Maidan activists having grenade launchers, man-portable air-defense complexes, tanks and armored cars at their disposal. If someone had seen them, please do refresh my memory. The entire statistics of those who died in Kyiv proves that the most victims were among the protesters and not law enforcement (105 civilians and 20 servicemen).

Tenth. And so, what did you achieve with that Maidan of yours? You aimed at Yanukovych but shot the state

Well, this might be the difference between the two country. In the Russian tradition the state in itself is a goal and a value, and for Ukrainians it is a means of developing human capital. If the state machine only serves to punish and eat away, then it should not exist. If the state is only necessary for a collective “Yanukovych,” this means the state has to be reassembled. This is what Ukraine is doing now. And thanks to the position of the Kremlin this entire process now has the outlines of a national liberation movement.

And lastly

They say that had they not touched Yanukovych, everything would have remained the same. No, it would have not. Maidan would have happened during the re-elections of 2015. And Crimea would have happened the same way. Just like Donbas, by the way – it is unlikely that the people who put so much effort to turn the country into a joint-stock company would have backed down from power at the elections. Maidan couldn’t have not happened – Ukraine would have been eaten to the bone: the resource of maintaining the former paradigm had run dry. The collective “Yanukovych” only sped up the process, but it couldn’t have prevented it. Because history, as strange as it is to some people, develops not in the categories of wishes but in the categories of what is logical. And the sooner you see it by Ukraine’s example, the sooner you will start to notice what exactly is happening with Russia today.

Source: Snob
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina

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  • sandy miller

    To the Author. You forget that in the 30’s Stalin ethnically cleaned Ukrainians from Eastern and Southern Ukraine by Starvation. You forget when communism took over in the 20’s the so called Kulaks had everything taken away from them and turned out of their homes and sent to Gulags…After the cleansing of Ukrainians Stalin replaced them with Russians so they could be trusted to remain on the communist russian dside.

    • Cristian Muñoz

      Holodomor.