Why Do They Hate Us?

Sep 2nd, 2014 | By | Category: In Depth, Infowars, Politics, Russia, Ukraine

Ukrainians ask, “why do Russians hate us so much? What have we ever done to them?” I think it’s a complicated phenomenon. Back in the 1980’s, I was a graduate student in Moscow. I did not experience hostility or spite from my Russian colleagues. One of them kept telling me that his grandparents were from Ukraine; another kept telling how much he loved the Western Ukrainian city of L’viv with its very European coffee houses; yet another even went as far as to tell me, when we were riding a subway train late at night, after a very long experiment, that “in some 20 years, Ukraine will be independent, and that’s great.”

However, there were some minor signs that I, back then, did not understand to be anywhere near threatening – rather, comical. Once a colleague commented on a soccer game between the USSR and the Czechoslovakia varsity teams. He said to me, with a very cheerful voice, “WE have just won, 3:0!” But then he added this time in a sad voice, “but all three goals were scored by YOUR people, Khokhly.” Then, when I had already graduated and moved back to Kyiv, Lesya and I had visitors from Russia – one of them was our former colleague from the graduate program, and the other one somewhat older and already an established scientist. We showed them Kyiv. When we were walking on the St. Sophia Square, the older guy pointed to the St. Sophia Cathedral and said to his younger Moscow friend, “Look, P., this is the OLDEST *RUSSIAN* Cathedral.” It struck Lesya and me. The cathedral was built in the 11th century, when there was no such thing as “Russia.” And here this Russian man walks down the streets of the Ukrainian capital and tells his friend that some ancient building they see is “Russian,” like the Kremlin in Moscow (BTW, built by Italians!), or the Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Peterburg!

We understood that people like this guy simply refuse to admit that Ukraine is NOT Russia and that Ukraine is a direct descendant of the Kyivan Rus’, while what is now called “Russia” is something that formed much later, during the times when the Mongolian “Golden Horde” ruled over the so-called Zaleshans’ki Zemli, i.e. the lands that were way northeast of Rus’. Overall, with some exceptions, Russians tend to be sympathetic to Ukrainians ONLY if Ukrainians agree that they are “also Russians.” This is stupid: it’s like for a Welshman to agree that the Welsh are also English, or for a Dutch person to agree that the Dutch are also German…

And then, the Soviet propaganda, which pounded, for decades, on the heads of all of us “Soviet people” that the evil “Ukrainian Nationalists-Banderites” were Nazi collaborators, and they drowned little children in wells, and chopped their parents with axes and what not. When Ukraine became independent (in 1991), and especially when millions of Ukrainians began to appreciate their heroic past, their valiant leaders who fought for their survival and freedom, the Russians became worried and frightened. It turned out to be very easy to stir in them this fear that some evil Banderites are still out there to crucify or eat Russian babies and to forbid the use of the Russian language in Ukraine etc. That’s part of the picture, although, of course, it is far from full.

George V. Pinchuk

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