Kyiv is claiming that the state borders with the Russian Federation have been fully closed. To hear this statement, it took three months of Russian aggression, annexation of Ukrainian territories, import of saboteurs and heavy weaponry. But Ukrainian citizens have to blame themselves for this, and not just the government.
We have to admit honestly: we had no border with the Russian Federation not just because the government never wanted it, but because society itself did not want to build normal civilised relations with one of the most dangerous countries of the modern world. For Ukraine the 23 years of independence are not only years of corruption, state decay and looting of resources. They are also years of peace. For Russia the 23 years of independence are not only years of corruption, state decay and looting of resources. They are also years of war. The Russian government started two bloody wars in the Northern Caucasus, which continue up until today, taking away more and more lives.
Russia is used to terrorism, kidnappings, papers checks, special security measures. The audacity of criminal groups in the province is so common that even law enforcement is afraid of the bandits – remember Kushchevskaya stanitsa. In Moscow and St. Petersburg the criminals are part of the government and law enforcement – just remind yourself of the campaigns to uncover “turned policemen.” In sum, Russian society is desperately sick, the price of a human life for the average Russian after Chechnya, Beslan and Dubrovka has decreased significantly. What should a country do, when it ends up as a neighbour of such a sick state, filled with terrorists and mercenaries, which respects professional killers? It distances itself. What did we think about the border with Russia? How can we mark it! Our brothers and sisters are there!
Now the same people cannot understand how “brothers and sisters” wish ill to the neighbouring country, how Russian family members that are used to live in blind subordination to their government, are ready to curse their Ukrainian relatives who dared “not be cattle,” how the Russian army is preparing for aggression against Ukraine. How are you better than Chechens, my dear ones? They at least were viewed as Russian citizens, and you are just “pro-American foreigners,” genetic garbage which stands in the way of Kremlin’s greatness. Did you really not see that a society that blessed its soldiers to go to war in its own country, which applauded aggression in Georgia, which did not demand the deposition of its government after the horrible tragedies in the theatrical centre on Dubrovka and in Beslan, will be impartial to the deaths of your loved ones? Chechen and Georgian blood is no different from Ukrainian blood – it is red, too.
The construction of the border with Russia should have begun on the same day when the aggressor showed its true face, when the press secretary of the Russian President first expressed territorial complaints to Ukraine – so on August 24, 1991. But we hesitated and hesitated – first “we cannot break dies,” then – “brotherly country,” then – “they will understand.” Never has the topic of the construction of this border, its demarkation and delimitation, its equipment, been leading in Ukrainian political and social life. And today we are paying for this infantilism and naiveté with the lives and health of our men, which are protecting Ukraine from new fascist aggression.
Our neighbours will understand nothing, at least not in the nearest future. And those who will, will be deemed “national traitors,” their country has vast experience, from Radishchev and Chaadayev to Sakharov and Liudmila Alexeyeva. And if really do believe in our neighbours’ capacity for understanding and humility – lets at least agree among ourselves: let them understand it across the equipped border, behind a safety wall, where their lack of understanding is no threat to the stability in our country, where “brotherhood” and “murder” are not synonyms.
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina