Kazakhs come to the aid of a Ukrainian Russians in Almaaty tried to beat up

The old Soviet poster proclaims: "Long live the brotherly union and great friendship of the peoples of the USSR!" Apparently, large military planes filling the sky are a prerequisite for the said "friendship." The other prerequisite must be having Ukraine in the union, as a woman figure representing Ukrainian people is positioned next to the largest, Russian, figure. The flags say: "Salutations to the great Stalin!"

The old Soviet poster proclaims: "Long live the brotherly union and great friendship of the peoples of the USSR!" Apparently, large military planes filling the sky are a prerequisite for the said "friendship." The other prerequisite must be having Ukraine in the union, as a woman figure representing Ukrainian people is positioned next to the largest, Russian, figure. The flags say: "Salutations to the great Stalin!"  

2015/08/09 • Analysis & Opinion, Politics

In Soviet times, it was sometimes said that the best illustration of the meaning of “friendship of the peoples” was when a Russian, a Ukrainian, and an Armenian would get together to beat up a Central Asian, an anecdote that reflected the feeling Moscow would always be able to identify a target and get representatives of other nations to rally around.

But that story also reflected a deeper if invariably unspoken fear among the Soviet leadership that their worst fears could be realized and that all the victims of the empire might rally around to attack their “elder brothers,” the Russians, something that by itself could destroy the Soviet system.

Now, almost a quarter of a century after the end of the USSR, a real event in Almaaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan, clearly appears to be an echo of that possibility and is likely to spark similar fears. There, on Friday, four Russians decided to beat up a Ukrainian but were prevented from doing so by a group of Kazakhs.

This case, one that has implications far beyond those for its immediate participants, was first reported by Leonid Shvets on his Facebook page and has now been reposted on Onpress.info.

The Ukrainian writer recounts what happened: Four Russians from Novosibirsk approached his son. When they found out that he was from Ukraine, the quartet “began an unequal battle with Ukrainian fascism” by attacking the young man, someone they apparently thought they could beat with impunity.

The old Soviet propaganda poster says: "Our union is indestructible!" The central figure in the poster depicts a Russian worker holding a book named "Marxism Leninism."

The old Soviet propaganda poster says: “Our union is indestructible!” The central figure in the poster depicts a Russian worker holding a book named “Marxism-Leninism.”

It was the misfortune of the Russians and the good fortune of the Ukrainian that “a group of lads from Shymkent” [a city in Kazakhstan – Ed.] intervened and got involved “in a battle of the peoples against Russian fascism without the slightest chance for the latter” to be victorious. Indeed, Shvets says, the end came when the Kazakhstan police “scraped the remains of the Russian world off the asphalt and took them away for further questioning.”

The young Ukrainian was only slightly injured, and his father said he was “proud of his son and the wonderful Kazakh lads who after a victorious struggle of the peoples” took the boy to where he wanted to go.

Such ugly attacks on Ukrainians are unfortunately an increasingly common feature of Vladimir Putin’s “Russian world.” When they happen in the Russian Federation, the attackers usually get the best of it and the Ukrainians are the ones who suffer. Indeed, the attackers are sometimes even celebrated for their viciousness.

And there have been periodic reports of ethnic Russians attacking individual Ukrainians outside of Russia as well. But what occurred in Almaaty Friday night suggests that this together with Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine may be producing a new kind of “friendship of the peoples,” one that the Russian government in Moscow always has had good reason to fear.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Dalton

    Yet another example of what Putin has done in creating an atmosphere in Russia which breeds hatred of Ukrainians based on his lies and propaganda. Russian people are better than this, and hopefully the indignation of the Russian people toward a tyranny in Moscow will prevent them from sliding into the history books as a barbaric people blinded to truth by their own willingness to hate a people simply so their leader can justify his desire for power and fortune.

    • BCHistorian

      I’m not so sure this will happen, but I sincerely hope for the best. In Canada, I’m aware of some meetings of Russians and their misguided followers mounting protests against “fascism, the junta in Kyiv”, and the like, often with some visciousness. Sad that such behaviour can be exported.

  • gmab

    I don’t think isolated Russian thuggery gets far in countries outside of the Federation. Rule of Law takes care of that. But, in Ukraine, take Odessa for example, Kharkiv & Donbass where Russian gangs instigated clashes. One day even Putin will be respectful of the Law but until then, he sets a horrible example for the youth in Russia.