By Stanislav Rechinsky
For many Russians, for whatever reason, it is difficult to understand one very simple thing: Ukraine is not Russia, and Ukrainians are not Russians.
The Russians will go out of their way to try to prove to us that we are some kind of “lost and spoiled Russians,” who need a mandatory re-education or “correction,” and then the return “home.” However, time works, exactly, against this stereotype. For all these 20-plus years of independence, both our countries were like ships that sailed away from each other farther and farther. Of course, no one can change the geography, no one can change the fact that we are neighbors.
Yet, as history unwinds in time, it becomes apparent that there is a chasm between us. Because we did not “pacify” Chechnya. Because we never had the unexplained explosions of residential high-rises in our cities. And so on. The “Prison of the Peoples” has died. And, every year, its rubble sinks deeper and deeper into the earth. In a wink of an eye, our Ukrainian history will be made by those who did not grow up in prison a.k.a the Sovok (USSR), but in independent Ukraine. Moreover, they are already doing a lot. They are giving their lives for Ukraine in the war zone, at the line of fire. Soon, they will be the leaders of our state. And how can one even hope to overcome this natural course of history?
Putin does not understand that by means of his war he still cannot return us to the USSR. He cannot make us into “the correct Russians.” And that’s for one simple reason: the generation that is active right now has never even been “Russian.” And they will never be “Russian.”
And the results of Putin’s activities are the exact opposite of what he planned. He actually accelerated the natural process of the severing of the imperial bonds that had been, essentially, prison bonds. And he succeeded in the destruction of the idiotic terms, “fraternity” and “Slavic unity.” Neither “fraternity” nor “Slavic unity” actually exist! All people are in the fraternal relationship, especially when they do not kill each other. And as for the “Slavic unity,” I, a Slav, do not feel at all that Russians are closer to me than Anglo-Saxons or Germans! “A common religious faith?” Well, no, it is absolutely not “common,” and besides, the role of religion in the building of states and in the self-identification of nations never, actually, played such an important role. [Germany, the Netherlands, the UK are very much divided religiously but, nonetheless, have been bona fide states for centuries. translator’s note].
The meat you have grinded cannot be made whole meat again. This is why Putin is destined to lose, and we to win. Putin is trying to put a dam on the river of time. And the bigger effort, the shorter the time when the river will break the dam. In this situation, it is simply stupid to “re-educate the “khokhly” (a derogatory name of Ukrainians) by a direct invasion, or an economical strangulation, or an urban terror. The resistance will be orders of magnitude stronger. And that’s because the history and time are fighting on our side. What is fighting on Putin’s side? The empty dreams, the senility of an adept of the Sovok, the nostalgia of a prison guard. All these things considered, we, Ukrainians, can be secure about our future. We just have it, while Putin’s Russia does not. We have our future, which is ours, which is Ukrainian, and which is the future of freedom.Translated by George Pinchuk