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Old December 6th, 2012, 03:13 AM   #161
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Actually, I've noticed I made language slip yesterday and I apologize: I questioned the notion of "Russia stemming from Kievan Rus" - I used the wrong expression and you quite rightly criticized it. What I had in mind is the notion of "Russia being the legitimate successor/continuator of Kievan Rus" + the accompanying myth of the Kremlin's right to "gather all Rusian lands into one fold".

I didn't question Russia's "deriving" from the Old Rus (Kievan Rus) - it did, just like Ukraine and Belarus did.

What I (and others) do question is denying Ukrainians and Belarusians the right to separate language, nationhood and statehood - which is what Tzarist/Soviet historiography and propaganda have persistently been doing.

Vide Kornijchuk's opera Bohdan Chmielnicki - in the final scene the guy swoons about Ukraine finally returning into the arms of Mother Russia. This (as I hope you know) is unmitigated codswallop - the Cossak hetman Chmielnicki spilled a sea of Polish and Ukrainian blood for free Ukraine - an independent Ukrainian state. Not to be ruled by the Kremlin.

Ever since Jaroslav the Wise died (11th century) the paths of Ruthenians and Russians diverged, by 14/15th century Ruthenian languages (Ukrainian and Belarusian) spoken in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish Kingdom were already quite distinct from Russian. Ukraine and Belarus developed in completely different conditions than the Duchy of Moscow - for 400 years they were part of the Polish/Lithuanian Commonwealth, and for 600 years - within the orbit of Polish culture. Not what you'll learn from Russian sources.
You know that it's utterly mendacious. Nicolai Gogol wrote a plethora of delightful novels about Ukraine and he pointed out that the Ukrainians had never thought of themselves as being distinct from the Russians. In the novel "Taras Bulba" he lays out that the Cossacks of the XVI century shouted "We are Russians" not Ukrainians, not Ruthenians and they longed for being reunited with the Russian state.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 04:22 AM   #162

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You know that it's utterly mendacious. Nicolai Gogol wrote a plethora of delightful novels about Ukraine and he pointed out that the Ukrainians had never thought of themselves as being distinct from the Russians. In the novel "Taras Bulba" he lays out that the Cossacks of the XVI century shouted "We are Russians" not Ukrainians, not Ruthenians and they longed for being reunited with the Russian state.
Oh, boy, yes. Taras Bulba is a prime example of what I had in mind. Imperialist propaganda (don't get mad, but that's what it is). Delightful as Gogol might be (I laughed my head of at "Ożenek" - son't know the Russian title, means "marriage") don't learn history from him. And from Taras Bulba most of all.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 04:27 AM   #163
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Oh, boy, yes. Taras Bulba is a prime example of what I had in mind. Imperialist propaganda (don't get mad, but that's what it is). Delightful as Gogol might be (I laughed my head of at "Ożenek" - son't know the Russian title, means "marriage") don't learn history from him. And from Taras Bulba most of all.
He is the most famous Ukrainian writer. You just detest him as much as other Ukrainians and Russians.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 04:41 AM   #164

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Originally Posted by Pavel View Post
You know that it's utterly mendacious. Nicolai Gogol wrote a plethora of delightful novels about Ukraine and he pointed out that the Ukrainians had never thought of themselves as being distinct from the Russians. In the novel "Taras Bulba" he lays out that the Cossacks of the XVI century shouted "We are Russians" not Ukrainians, not Ruthenians and they longed for being reunited with the Russian state.
Which version of the novel? My understanding is it was suggested by the Tsarist government that the first version was too "Ukranian" and did not have enough villainy attached to the Poles. I have read the "rewrite" but not that first version. I wonder if the Tsarist opposition to the pan-slavic movement was in play, here?
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Old December 6th, 2012, 04:55 AM   #165

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Originally Posted by antonina View Post
Oh, boy, yes. Taras Bulba is a prime example of what I had in mind. Imperialist propaganda (don't get mad, but that's what it is). Delightful as Gogol might be (I laughed my head of at "Ożenek" - son't know the Russian title, means "marriage") don't learn history from him. And from Taras Bulba most of all.
What of the fact that most Ukrainians themselves do not consider Ukraine a geopolitical and cultural entity distinct from Russia, such as myself? I guess we must be "brainwashed" by Russian and Soviet propaganda. Of course, the genius Polish nation knows all, including more about Ukraine than Ukrainians themselves.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 05:01 AM   #166
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Which version of the novel? My understanding is it was suggested by the Tsarist government that the first version was too "Ukranian" and did not have enough villainy attached to the Poles. I have read the "rewrite" but not that first version. I wonder if the Tsarist opposition to the pan-slavic movement was in play, here?
It's a dangerous myth. Gogol is an artist. So, he was unhappy with literalistic quality of the First version and decided to rewrite the novel. There is no evidence that somebody forced him to do it whatsoever. Besides if he were able to change his work under somebody's pressure then he wouldn't have been such great writer. Also Taras Bulba is consistent with the Gogol's oeuvre. Gogol was intransigent in his opinion that Russia and Ukraine had to be inseparable.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 05:04 AM   #167

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Ukrainian independence referendum, 1991

For 28,804,071 - 92.3%
Against 2,417,554 - 7.7%
Invalid/blank votes - 670,117

Those 7.7% really looks like an overwhelming majority.
I also voted For, and so did most of my friends and relatives. The situation in the USSR had reached catastrophe, and everyone wanted to leave the union and get rid of Gorbachev's incompetent rule. Things turned out much worse in the end. We should have known better, and we do now- polls show most Ukrainians regret the collapse of the USSR.

71% voted Yes for the preservation of the Union before:

Soviet Union referendum, 1991 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old December 6th, 2012, 05:11 AM   #168
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What of the fact that most Ukrainians themselves do not consider Ukraine a geopolitical and cultural entity distinct from Russia, such as myself? I guess we must be "brainwashed" by Russian and Soviet propaganda. Of course, the genius Polish nation knows all, including more about Ukraine than Ukrainians themselves.
Is it a tidings for you? Jingoist Poles (I intended to write "The Poles" but recalled Dorothea) know quite well what the Ukrainians and the Chechens have to do. In their minds, you have either to join in Bander's bunches of brigands and kill the Jews and traitors-Ukrainians(those who want to reunite with Russia) or to blow up buses and inhabitant edifices and attack schools and cinemas in Russia.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 05:15 AM   #169
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Most of the southern slav admire and praise the glory of imperial Russia /not to be confused with Soviet union/, mainly due to Russo-turkish wars. Majority of us are russophiles. Russia and Bulgaria have a long history together which goes far beyond economic and cultural ties. Russian Emperor Alexander II liberated Bulgaria and he is still seen by many as one of the country founding fathers.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 06:05 AM   #170

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He is the most famous Ukrainian writer. You just detest him as much as other Ukrainians and Russians.
I've got a well-used edition of "Martwe Dusze" on my shelf, but Taras Bulba is trash. Sorry.
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