First of all, the Ukrainian Maidan in 2014 tore down a monument to Lenin in Kyiv. A man who has done more for Ukraine than any other politician. Photo: AP/Eastern News
Where did the hatred towards Russia and the Russians in Ukraine originate and how was it nurtured? Did it originate from the elites of Little Russia or was it introduced from outside? The historian, writer and publicist Yegor Kholmogorov spoke about this on Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda.
NEVSKY AND GALITSKII
– When did the territory of the united Kievan Rus begin to be divided? Not over the principalities, but mentally?
– It is incorrect to say “Kievan Rus”. This is ancient Rus. In the 13th century, it was shaken by the Mongol invasion. This undermined the state and popular forces in the entire former Russian land from Novgorod and Pskov to Kyiv and the lower Dnieper, where there were Russian settlements, including merchant camps near present-day Kherson. All this vast territory was ruined and subjugated.
The Russians were forced to pay tribute not only in silver. They were forced to send large numbers of people to work for the Horde in their capital, Sarai, to fight for it. Then for another three centuries there was a cruel slave trade. Masses of people from these territories were expelled through the Crimea.
– But how were the Russian principalities divided into the future Russia and what is now called Ukraine?
– Alexander Nevsky was able to save the North-Eastern Russian principalities. Yes, as a tributary of the Horde, but as an integral geopolitical subject, where power was successively transferred within the princely family. And in southwestern Rus, Prince Daniel of Galicia preferred to be friends with the West, receive the royal crown from the Pope, sign a union with Catholics. And his dynasty, unlike Alexander Nevsky, ended in less than 100 years. And the lands of his principality, Galicia, were part of Poland and Lithuania.
– That is, Poland and Lithuania also began to “Ukrainize” South-West Russia?
– They followed a policy of separating these lands from Russia, their Catholicization and de-Russification, although the people of those lands resisted. In addition, the formation of an apical, purely ideological myth about a certain separation of this part of Rus, which became the outskirts, like Ukraine, was underway.
Egor Kholmogorov: “The whole national idea of” Ukrainian “is the unwillingness to be Russian.”
Photo: Anatoly ZHDANOV
– And in Russia there were attempts at “Ukrainian” fashion?
– tried the historian Kostomarov, who was in the same club with Taras Shevchenko and the author of the Ukrainian alphabet Panteleimon Kulish. The government categorically did not welcome them. Even the democrat Belinsky cursed Shevchenko with the most abusive words: well, what kind of government would allow to preach the rejection of a large part of the country?
– But somewhere the Ukrainians were given carte blanche?
– In the Austrian Empire! During the divisions of Poland, Catherine II made a mistake – she ceded Galicia to Vienna together with Lvov. Austria was a patchwork multinational empire. And the Austrians had to justify the fact that this territory is part of Austria, and not Russia or Poland.
– Did Russian Orthodox live there?
– Yes. And here the myth ideally came to the Austrians that there is a certain separate people, neither Russians nor Poles. Who lives in the Galicia region and may be a reliable subject of the Austrian Empire. Also, since a significant part of southern Rus is pretty much the same people, it means Austria can claim territory as far as Kyiv. For the sake of substantiating this, Austria even invited the Russian historian Mikhail Grushevsky to Lviv, where he began to compose a separate history of Ukraine. and language
– From the little Russian dialect?
– Outside the. Newspapers were published in this language, inventing a certain number of new words for each issue. The selection process was easy. Dictionaries of neighboring Slavic languages were taken, and a word was chosen that would be as different as possible from Russian.
KHMELNYTSKY AND UKRAINE
– And who were the Cossacks of Bogdan Khmelnitsky who entered Russia?
– They had different ideas about discipline than the Russian army, but they had a common faith and a common language with us. The Khmelnytsky language is not similar to the modern Ukrainian language invented by Grushevsky, to a greater extent than it is not similar to modern Russian.
– Were those Cossacks closer to Moscow than to Warsaw or Vienna?
– Definitely! And Moscow has long supported this liberation movement of the Orthodox. And then after Pereyaslav Rada * another 13 years had to fight for these Cossacks with Poland. Also, there was a Cossack revolt over a battle with the Poles. The Cossacks after Khmelnytsky tried to become a local aristocracy that would exploit the peasants of Little Russia instead of the Russian state.
– But wasn’t it a confrontation between the two peoples?
– There are not two nations, there are not two cultures, much less two religions. It was a confrontation between two forms of life. It was successfully resolved. The Cossack elite eventually became part of the nobility of the Russian Empire. The secret husband of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, the older brother of the Zaporizhzhya hetman, elevated to the dignity of count, Alexei Razumovsky, brought the entire clan from him behind him. His brother Kirill became president of the Academy of Sciences. He had a large number of illegitimate children. These children became one of the most noble clans in Russia in the 19th century. His descendant was Alexei Tolstoy. And Sofya Perovskaya, the regicide of Alexander II, was also a descendant of the Razumovskys. It was a huge elite nest that never thought to part with Russia and the Russian people.
LENIN AND UKRAINE
– Why was it so important to Lenin that Ukraine was within such swollen borders? Why did he need a national republic?
– In your opinion, Russia’s relations with Ukraine were on the same level as relations with Finland or Poland. This was partly due to emigration from her. Before the revolution, Lenin had the support of the Austrian secret services. When he was arrested in the first days of World War I as a Russian citizen on the territory of Austria-Hungary, he was promptly released and given the opportunity to move to Switzerland. He also had close ties to the Ukrainian Social Democrats.
– But did you know the facts that were against Ukrainization?
– There is a letter from Lenin to Inessa Armand, written before the February Revolution, about a conversation with a Russian prisoner who fled to Switzerland. He was in a special camp, such Austrians created for those who, as they believed, could be Ukrainians. Ukrainian agitators went there and carried out brainwashing. And this prisoner told Lenin that of the tens of thousands of Russian prisoners of war, less than 10% could be Ukrainized. And Lenin wrote to Armand that they really did not want.
– So why did Ilyich appreciate the idea of u200bu200bUkrainianism already within the framework of the USSR?
– In general, immediately after the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, he recognized the Ukrainian People’s Republic as a separatist, headed by Grushevsky. There were ridiculous decrees, let’s say, on the transfer of the “heritage of the Ukrainian people”, some lumps, banners from Russian museums to Kyiv as some symbols of Ukrainian glory. Throughout the Civil War, Lenin suppressed any anti-Ukrainian tendencies among the Bolsheviks. The most famous was his clash with the Republic of Donetsk-Krivoy Rog.
– With Comrade Artem?
– Yes, at the beginning of 1918 there was such a republic in the Donbass, where the leader was Artem Sergeev **. There the Russian workers were against being absorbed by this rural Ukraine, against all forms of Ukrainization. Then they defended the idea of creating a separate Donbass proletarian army, to which Lenin shouted at Voroshilov, who was a citizen of Lugansk, and supported this idea that there should be no Donbass armies, but there would be a Ukrainian SSR and nothing else. . Ukrainianize and not discuss.
– That is, Lenin was a conscious “Ukrainian”, trying to dissolve the villagers-“Westerners” in the proletarian mass of Russian Donbass?
– This thesis is wrong – that Donbass was allegedly included in Ukraine in order to dilute the irresponsible Ukrainian peasants with conscious Donbass proletarians. The documents do not confirm it. Donbass was poured into the Ukrainian SSR not because they wanted to “dilute”, but because they wanted to push everything that Ukrainian nationalists claimed in this republic. That is, the vast Russian regions were forced to be Ukrainian by force.
BAKHMUT OR ARTEMOVSK
– Now in the Donbass there are battles not only for Bakhmut, who is 450 years old, but also for his name – Artemovsk. In honor of that very comrade Artem.
– In general, this is the Bakhmut (border) guard, founded in the steppe under Ivan the Terrible.
My personal opinion is that preference should be given to names used in the Russian Empire. If then the city was Bakhmut, then it should be Bakhmut in the Russian Federation. But if someone likes Comrade Artem, who did not want to be part of Ukraine, you can erect a monument to him, name the street.
– And for example, Dnepropetrovsk?
– Dnepropetrovsk is Yekaterinoslav. And I don’t understand why we should give it a name in honor of a minor Bolshevik or agree with the ridiculous Dnieper. The city of Kropyvnytsky was Kirovograd in Soviet times. But it has an original name: Elisavetgrad. We are proud of the liberation of Soledar, but no one says that it should return the Soviet name of Karlo-Libknekhtovsk.
POLAND NEEDS ALL INDEPENDENTS
– Is the current Ukrainian elite ready to become a protectorate of not only the United States, but also Poland in order to defeat Russia?
– Even harder. The national idea of the Ukrainians is to be occupied by Germany. This is an idea from 1917-1918. But as an initial condition, Poland will also do.
– And Lviv will become a Polish city?
– Experts in Poland say that Warsaw does not need Lviv. Poland needs all of Ukraine. Reject Russia from the Ukraine and then dominate it ourselves. Perhaps not united in a single state, but to dominate them completely.
– What will Ukraine become then?
– And there is no independent Ukrainian idea. The only basis of “Ukrainianism” is the unwillingness to be Russian. This is the desire to integrate into the prestigious Western civilization, even as a corpse, even as a scarecrow, even as a toilet washer, even as a mercenary shooting at the Russians.
– How should the current confrontation end?
– The reunification of Ukraine with Russia and the constant therapeutic treatment of those who are infected with the virus of political “Ukrainianism”. This will not require as much time and effort as it now seems. And any other option will be fraught with new problems.