The Ukrainian inferiority complex and the referendum

Photograph: Bart Maat/EPA

Photograph: Bart Maat/EPA 

Analysis & Opinion

Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov

People, stop cringing. We are changing our country for ourselves, not for the Gouda voter. And if we change, he himself will want to be in an alliance with us.

The reaction of Ukrainians to the Dutch referendum gives me the strong impression that many of my compatriots have transferred to Europe and the West the attitude that we previously had toward Russia.

We were always interested in how Russians would react to our actions, how they would view them, how they would discuss them on their TV shows. The master from Moscow was always a welcome guest on Ukrainian television, and when he became the anchor on a particular channel, he was welcomed with swoons of delight.

Because we can’t do anything as well, because we’re inferior, that’s why! This is the instinct of a serf, which we began to shed only after Maidan and the Russian attack on our country. And now we finally know the price of the Russian state and the Russian government. And we also know the price of Russian TV. And when we discover supporters of all this rubbish among us, we understand that these people are collaborators and slaves. And we are free.

But, it turns out, that free people also need a master. He could be Jean-Claude Juncker (president of the   European  Commission — Ed.). And if Juncker is not interested, then it could be the Gouda voter, who looked at us with disapproval. Because we carried out reforms poorly, because we have corruption, because our president has offshore accounts. Forgive us, master!

People, enough cringing. We are changing our country for ourselves, not for the Gouda voter. And if we change, he will want to be in an association with us. And we might not even be interested then.

Norway, Switzerland, Iceland are European countries as much as the Netherlands or Ukraine. But somehow they are in no hurry to join the EU. In two months Great Britain will decide whether to remain in the EU. Would it then stop being one of the landmarks of European civilization? What nonsense!

Our task — in case someone has failed to understand — is not to please the master, but to become a free human being, someone who matters.

Make your way to a monument of Taras Shevchenko — fortunately, they’re everywhere. The man who is a symbol of the Ukrainian national spirit did not attempt to please the tyrant Engelhardt — incidentally a Swiss, a real European (Taras Shevchenko was born a serf on the estate of Baron Vasili Engelhardt — Ed.). He became a scholar, an artist, a poet. He became somebody. And what his former master thought about it was the master’s problem. And those of you who are whining are somehow not real Ukrainians. Besides, this was something that Shevchenko noticed even then. And he urged us to stop groveling. I have no right to exhort. I am simply asking.

And finally. There are idiots everywhere and always. There are more of them in Europe, incidentally, than in Russia, simply because the EU population exceeds that of the Russian Federation several times over. And if we really want to join the European Union, we need to learn to respect all its residents — including the populists and the idiots. We need to learn to coexist with these people. But first we need to learn to respect ourselves.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Source: Espreso TV

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  • Dalton

    Excellent, Vitaliy! And true! Ukrainians pursue the future for your own goals and dreams, none of which is dependent on opinions of others. You are the masters of your own destiny. Just do your part and keep looking forward, keep progressing, and the good people in the world will offer their hand in friendship and cooperation for mutual prosperity.

    • Dalton

      It’s getting to the point where I actually feel sorry for you people. You’re so indoctrinated it’s as if you haven’t the ability to reason. You’re so full of hatred and passion to see Ukranian people suffer it’s truly sickening because really, what should it matter to you? It isn’t because you care so much for Ukrainians, so what is it?

      Just remember as you gloat over the opinion of a fraction of eligible Dutch voters, guess which country will eventually invest millions if not hundreds of millions of dollars in Ukraine, while the Ukrainian people will still pursue their future away from the malevolent Putinic Juche©? The real funny part (as in I want to laugh thinking about you Putineers jealousy) is that it will be Ukrainians and NOT Russians, NOT “Donetsk or Lugansk Traitors” and NOT thugs like you support, that will one day enjoy visa free travel to Europe and eventually the world, despite the war being waged against it by the “Lubyanka Republic.” And it will be the otherwise decent Russian people that get to be further pushed into the pile of scorn by the civilized world as more people begin cracking thru the Kremlin propaganda network and know the truth.

      Again, I really am beginning to pity you and your comrades because all of the Russian people I’ve met are truly good people, and but for the brain washing by thugs and hate-filled trolling by idiots like you, they are the ones that are ultimately suffering.

      • Dalton

        Good lord dude, you really have some issues. “Traitors” would be the former Ukrainians that now have Ukrainian blood on their hands and Russian Rubles in their pockets. You aren’t mourning anything for Ukraine because your constant rants show you have nothing but disdain for its people and the nation. And the thing that “fueled” the death of thousands of Ukrainians AND Russians, and displacement of over a million, began when Girkin and the Lubyanka crew took over local government buildings by force, kidnapped and threatened Ukrainian citizens throughout Donbass, and declared the land “Russian land” for their boss in Moscow. Somehow you miss the fact that the killers in Donbass fighting against Ukraine aren’t Ukrainian, but self-identified “Russians”. How about you just go away and take your putineers with you until after Ukraine has “made peace” with RF and watch as Ukrainians grow beyond the “Russian world” offered by Putin and his thugocracy? In other words, go away you miserable twit.

        • Alex George

          You really do sound desperate.

          Yanukovych was a corrupt traitor. He was not violently removed. Rather, he ordered the arrest, torture and killing of peaceful protesters. In this, he was aided by his fellow corrupt oligarchs in the Kremlin. As a result he turned peaceful protest into open revolt, and then fled like the snivelling coward he was.

          And all of this was supported by Putin, one of the most inept leaders Russia has ever had. Prior to 2014, most Ukrainians thought highly of Russia and expected to do business with it, work there, visit it etc . Now almost all Ukrainians have a very low opinion of Russia indeed. That is due to the greed and stupidity of Putin and his cronies.

          • Alex George

            “Don’t ask me why the Ukrainian ELECTORATE voted for Yanukovych.” – Because you don’t know? Okay, I won’t ask you.

            But no, rulers are not immune to getting overthrown if they turn traitor. Gedditt???

            The same thing would happen to a western leader who accepted huge bribes from the Kremlin to betray his country, and then orders the illegal imprisonment, torture and killing of peaceful protesters.

            And no, nobody cares in the least about the Dutch referendum.

          • slavko

            The West just did not give argument to the election of Yanukovitch. As it was done according to the rules. But Russia heavily promoted his election and Putin fully endorsed Yanukovitch’s election and then signed and sealed and approved Yanukovitch’s election. So don’t try to confuse things here. Yanukovitch was very much pro-Russian. His support was from Donbas, but ultimately even his party that represented Donbas denounced Yanukovitch as a corrupt liar and a thieving cheat. He even denigrated Ukraine’s defense and military which enabled Russia to penetrate into Crimea and Donbas. And then afterwards, he fled to his Russian master. Got it?!!

  • No_War_In_Ukraine

    Very well said, Vitaliy! Thank you!

  • Vol Ya

    Very good article and so true. Ukraine was not asking any favors from the Dutch. It is unfortunate that some far right Dutch politicians turned this referendum over the Ukraine – EU agreement into an anti government and anti EU vote. Ukraine doesn’t need anything from the Netherlands. Ukrainians are standing up for their country in a battle against russia and its corrupt soviet system. It will be the Dutch who some day will be asking the Ukrainians for help. In the meantime boycott the Netherlands. They are no friend of Ukraine.

    • Dalton

      The Netherlands will end up investing millions or potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in Ukraine, don’t be reactionary to the opinion of a fraction of the electorate. Ukraine should focus on Ukraine and let the hatred and retribution be the enemies to fight, not the course of action.

    • slavko

      Ukraine should just focus on Ukraine and not worry about EU. When Ukraine cleans up its problems and limits the corruption, then the people of Ukraine will have their own self esteem at no one else’s cost but through their own effort. But I would certainly not go so far as boycotting the Netherlands for speaking their mind. For the time being they have been swayed by that ultra nationalist Geert Wilders who is basically a Putin ally as they both unite to divide the EU. The Dutch are not stupid and they have to go through their own realizations.

  • marek

    This inferiority complex seems to be something planted by the “russkiy mir”. In Poland you can encounter a similar attitude, especially in the regions that were under Russian rule in XIX century, like Warsaw.
    Unfortunately, EU has been going through diffucult times recently, and the result of Dutch referendum is not that much about Ukraine, but more a side-effect of the confilcts inside EU.

  • Alex George

    Well said, Vitaly. The Dutch and their referendum are irrelevant.

    There is only one issue that matters – enacting the reforms necessary to get rid of the old bureaucracy and corruption. That is hard to do, because so many still profit by it, but if it is done then everything else will fall into place.

  • Alex George

    Try ointment.

    • slavko

      lol!!! 😀
      do you have a recommendation as to brand for him?

  • Dalton

    Yeah we all know that the tanks and artillery, rockets and weapons that the Russians in Donbass have, haven’t fired a single shot nor killed anyone. Idiot.
    A journalist in Russia that published a report critical of the Putinic Juche© was arrested for “extremist activity” just recently. Let’s see, Nemtsov got it worse I suppose, but yeah, this is the kind of values that moronic slave minded imbeciles prefer. That would be you.

    • Dalton

      ROFLMAO.. you accuse Ukrainians of being Stalinists! Rich! I think it’s Lubyanka central and its minions in Donbass who are villifying Ukraine for trying to dismantle this horrific leader’s monuments of its enslaving past. Go talk to the Russians in Donetsk and Lugansk and ask how they feel about Stalin. You’ll be interviewing them under a communist symbol of the old Soviet Union. Durak.

      • slavko

        There are some commentators that have an honesty and then there are others such as this one above that is only looking to capture your energy. Let that trash go without a comment.

    • Dalton

      And Ukraine has a right to defend itself from Russian tanks, artillery and grad missiles sent by Russia to attack and destroy its people and land. Of course, your logic implies that if Russia has a group within its borders that claims independence from Russia, and takes up arms against Russian government, you’ll have to support them the same way you do those in Donbass, right?
      Can’t wait to see that one.

    • Alex George

      The Donbass people have a right to defend themselves against the tanks, artillery and grad missiles sent by the Kremlin to subdue them by force. Did you really think that it would be walk in the park just because the rather pathetic Russian army gave their full support?

      The Nazi invaders got a similar shock during 1941-45. The Kremlin funded history has let you and the Russian army down!

      • Alex George

        The Donbass people have defended themselves against the goons of the corrupt rulers in the Kremlin. That is why Russia only holds a sliver of eastern Ukraine – the Russian-speaking people of Ukraine rejected Putin’s “protection”.

        Russia maintains a huge force in and around Donbass. Sooner or later Ukraine will take it back. For the moment, let the Russian economy keep collapsing under them, while Ukraine is being re-established.

    • Alex George

      Separatists and terrorists are locked up by Maidan Ukraine because they deserve it. Journalists are murdered by the fascists of the Kremlin and separitists, for the most part.

      “Thank God we stopped doing that to Sinn Fein/IRA after the Good Friday agreement.”

      We didn’t, that’s where your analogy fails. The fighting stopped because Sinn Fein and the IRA gave up the fight. That was the only way it was ever going to end, because the people of both Britain and the Republic of Ireland were going to keep resisting the IRA till it stopped.

      The same applies to Ukraine which is not going to give in to the fascists in the Kremlin, nor Putin’s fascist supporters in the west. Geddit???

      • Alex George

        I haven’t forgotten about anything, but clearly you have.

        The fighting stopped because Sinn Fein and the IRA gave up the fight. That was the only way it was ever going to end, because the people of both Britain and the Republic of Ireland were going to keep resisting the IRA till it stopped.

        “So, how come Sinn Fein/IRA got into NI government? Did they use tanks and artillery…”

        No, they got in because they STOPPED shooting. That’s a lesson Russia should have learned. Instead, by trying to impose its will on the people of Ukraine by force, the Kremlin destroyed the relationship between the Ukrainian and Russian people. Putin is an incompetent idiot of the first order.

  • Titterling Langs

    If a Ukrainian travels around the EU, he/she hears all sorts of comments about Ukraine. Starting with ” Where the h-ll is that?”, “Does it still exist?” and ending with “So, you are Russian”, and ” To me, it’s Russia”. Such comments are even heard from East Euros.
    To many Europeans, it’s a non-country and/or just a part of Russia. Such is the bitter truth that Ukraine must face.
    It it doesn’t save itself and learn to be a real nation, Russia will just swallow it and no one will care. No one will even notice.

    • slavko

      I don’t like it, but you said it right. Ukraine has to make a difference by herself and for herself.

  • Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

    “The oppressed will always believe the worst about themselves.”
    Frantz Fanon

    • slavko

      good quote to keep in mind when we feel oppressed!

  • Alex George

    You will have to ask Putin why he treated the people of the Donbass as “untermenschen”, using tanks, artillery and grad missiles to force them to his way.

    But regardless, he failed. The people of Donbass refused to bow to his tyranny or accept his “protection”. And the Ukrainian Army and volunteers defended them. Putin’s army was shot to pieces in Donbass and he had to give up and seek a cease-fire.

    And you are correct – Putin does indeed reflect values from 1933-45 – those held by Hitler and by his good friend and helper Stalin.