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ePoshta | 15Nov2011 | Sviatoslav Karavansky

Ethnocide in Ukraine
Ethnocide -- is a variation of genocide: a deprivation of a nation’s identity.

After accession to power in Ukraine a coalition, led by the Party of Regions and its Fuhrer Yanukovych, the ethnocide of the Ukrainian people began in a nation just freed from  Russian occupation. The first manifestation of the ethnocide is the demand of the Party of Regions to grant official status to the Russian language.

The Russian language was spread in Ukraine by means of prohibition and humiliation of the native language of Ukrainians throughout centuries. This is undeniable proof of the undemocratic and embattled nature of the language situation in Ukraine. It is not a fault of the Russian language, which is one of the most developed world languages, but the fault of the unlawful practice of the imperial authorities. Giving the Russian language an official status in Ukraine now, would be the rebirth of the imperial language situation in Ukraine from the times of its colonial slavery. Therefore, the demand of the ruling coalition is frankly anti-state and anti-Ukrainian. This demand contradicts the principles of freedom and democracy because the realization of this demand requires the falsification of the people’s will which would be expressed during the elections.

Having in mind to accomplish by said demand the ethnocide of the Ukrainian nation, the ruling coalition attacks Ukrainian education. President Yanukovych appointed the frank Ukrainophobe as the Minister of Education and Science. This Minister revives the imperial ethnocide of Ukrainians: decreases the sphere of use of Ukrainian language in schools, stirs up national hatred, frankly expresses anti-Ukrainian, pro-imperial ideas, copies the Bolsheviks’ practice, where the schools distorted the truth about Moscow crimes in Ukraine, and in particular, denying the artificial nature of the Holodomor (Great Famine of 1932-33).

Elected by means of a falsified election, local authorities direct their “educational” activity to close Ukrainian schools under various pretexts. Two Ukrainian schools in the Luhansk region were closed despite the parents’ protests, who want to teach their children in their native language.

There is a systematic campaign of the local authorities directed toward the liquidation of the Ukrainian media. The only Ukrainian newspaper in the Odessa region “Chorrnomors’ki novyny” is permanently attacked by various administrative structures who long to close it down. Here is an excerpt from a letter, addressed to me from one of the newspaper’s editor:

“…the situation became more complicated. The newspaper’s kiosks refused to sell us. The only way to receive our newspaper is to subscribe to it (but there are a lot of problems also: the newspaper is delivered with delay or the post offices deliberately deceive the subscribers, saying that our paper is closed down). There is no just recourse  for all of these excesses, because all spheres of our society are ruled by people of one party, of one manner of thinking. People, especially in villages, are terrified by dismissal from their job, if they will subscribe to “Chorrnomors’ki novyny.” The teachers, the doctors and all of those, who are dependent on the authorities in power, are afraid to show any sign of loyalty to our newspaper. All of this looks like barbarism, but that is what we have. The attempts to take away our premises continue… Read here about these attempts:
http://vo.od.ua/rubrics/problemy-i-konflikty/19170.php and also here: http://vo.od.ua/rubrics/problemy-i-konflikty/19254.php
So, there are no positive changes in our life, just the opposite.”

The local administration, elected by means of falsifications and also appointed by Yanukovych, tries, where possible, to treat the Ukrainian language with contempt. The Odessa’s city counsel passed a law that the petition and appeals to the city mayor should be written in the Russian language only. Such a “law” is legalized, while the Ukrainian language is the only official language in Ukraine. It is not difficult to foresee what these Russian super-chauvinists would invent, should the Russian language be granted official status.

The Ukrainian schools -- both Ukrainian speaking and Russian speaking -- need contacts with caring community educational organizations, the sort that were banned in the USSR and revived in the independent Ukraine, in particular, for the patriotic upbringing of the Ukrainian youth. Here is what a member of the city of Mariupol’s “Prosvita” Irene Molchanova wrote to me (“Prosvita” -- a Ukrainian Organization for the promotion of education and culture among the Ukrainian people.):

“You know, what times we have. The head of education administration…banned the members of “Prosvita” from visiing schools. What a nice way of administrating!

I am the only one in whole city who visits schools and I am welcomed, because I have been doing this almost 10 years.”

Instead of “Prosvita”, the new power is inclined to trust the supervision for the upbringing of the young generation to the clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). This Church, changing its name to Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), organizes children’s camps, where the children are brought up with a hatred of the Ukrainian language and of Ukrainian independence. The guarding of these camps and also the ROC’s Patriarch Cyril’s appearance in public is entrusted to the Russian Cossacks, who are in every possible way supported by the power. Only the representatives of Russian Cossacks are members of the Coordinating Counsel for the development of Cossacks, where the representatives of only one Church -- the ROC -- are invited also.

The exclusive status of this Russian Church in Ukraine among other Ukrainian Churches was manifested during the inauguration of the President Yanukovych, who took an oath on the gospel before the Patriarch of the ROC. The President also didn’t meet with Patriarchs of other Ukrainian Churches and didn’t visit these Churches during the Christmas and Easter, unlike all the previous presidents of Ukraine. Yanukovych visited the churches of the ROC only. Such a demonstrative ignoring of the Ukrainian Churches proves that all anti-Ukrainian actions of the ROC in Ukraine are approved by Yanukovych and his government. Even more, the government supports the ROC in its struggle with the other Ukrainian Churches. It is clear from the conversation of a docent of the East-Ukrainian University Irene Mahrycky with a guard of  Patriarch Cyril:

 “Waiting for a bus…I started a conversation with a festively dressed and decorated [Russian] Cossack…He told me that the region’s administration invited him to be a guard of Patriarch Cyril. His armband said: ”The Union of Cossack’s armed forces of Russia and abroad. Cossacks of Slobozhanshchyna” (as we see the Union of Cossacks of Russia took under its protection the Ukrainian Slobozhanshchyna!).

To my question, what are the main duties of the Cossacks of Slobozhanshchyna, my interlocutor answered: to recapture the Orthodox churches from Ukrainian Patriarch Filaret [of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Kyiv Patriarchate]. He told me also, about the bad Bandera-men with their Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UIA), NATO… and that our road -- is only with Russia…, because we have common history. At the end he added: “It looks that one cannot do this without the spilling of blood.” 

The removal of Ukrainian patriotic organizations and Ukrainian Churches from the upbringing of the young generation is an action, directed at the ethnocide of Ukrainians, toward the Russification of the Ukrainian youth. In the Party program of Yanukovych, there is not one word about the ethnocide of Ukraine. But the practical actions, which he fulfilled, conclusively prove, that the goal of Yanukovych and his Party is to Russify Ukraine with the help of  “blood” -- i.e. the bloody seizure of Ukrainian Churches with the help of government-fed Russian Cossacks and introducing in Ukraine “the only right faith” of the patriarch Cyril. That means bringing back into Ukraine the relations that existed here during centuries of tsarist-Stalinist occupation.

Not the last role in this primitive plan, contrived outside of Ukraine, belongs to the heroes of the Ukrainian Liberation Movement and their disgracing, they who were in fact the real cause of the disintegration of the USSR. The European leaders, who don’t oppose this Moscow slander, are blind instruments in the hands of organizers and perpetrators of the ethnocide of Ukraine. The European leaders should understand that for Moscow all freedom fighters are “bandits”.

Until now, the world defenders of justice didn’t give consideration to a form of genocide -- to ethnocide.

It is time now to change this passivity and give consideration to the ethnocide, in particular, to the ethnocide in Ukraine.

Will the civilized world tolerate the manifestation of the primitive savagery, practiced by  president Yanukovych and his Party of Regions in Ukraine and according to the directives from abroad?

Sviatoslav Karavansky is a Ukrainian linguist, poet, journalist, author of samizdat, who spent 31 years in captivity as a dissident of the Soviet regime.