Ukrainians turning away from Russia not only politically but culturally

Ukrainian children demonstrating in support of Ukrainian language and culture

Ukrainian children demonstrating in support of Ukrainian language and culture 

Analysis & Opinion, Culture, Russia, Ukraine

To no one’s surprise, Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine has alienated Ukrainians politically from the former imperial center; but more important but less noticed, it is increasingly leading them to turn away from Russia culturally, a development with far-reaching consequences that it may be impossible to reverse.

In an essay for Radio Liberty, Elena Matusova says that researchers in a wide variety of areas have confirmed that “Ukraine is coming out from under the cultural influence of Russia” and thus is “becoming independent not only in a political and government sense but in a cultural one as well.”

The journalist rightly points out that Russia has been losing influence on the culture of Ukraine” since 1991 when Ukraine achieved its independence, but the process accelerated following the collapse of the pro-Moscow regime of Viktor Yanukovych and Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and its continuing war in the Donbas.

Viktor Mironenko, the director of the Center for Ukrainian Research at Moscow’ Institute of Europe agrees. He notes that “the reduction in the role of Russia has occurred at all levels: political, economic and cultural” and he explains this by pointing to the rise of “a new generation of Ukrainians who live in a different reality which is neither Soviet nor Russian.”

Moscow poetess Maria Galina notes that “in Ukraine, even poets who in the past wrote exclusively in Russian are today choosing to use the Ukrainian language” and that the war has led to a fundamental change in the Ukrainian book market with Russian language materials now occupying a significantly smaller place.

Moreover, she continues, “in Ukraine now is taking shape a new group of young authors” who are writing in Ukrainian and are much younger than their counterparts in Russia. They have “enormous influence” and this shift has reached the point where one can speak of it as being irreversible.

In her view, Galina says, “Russian culture will mean for Ukraine approximately as much as Polish culture does. That is, it will have a certain influence, there will be personal contacts, some books will appear but there will not be such a powerful turn toward Russia as there was before the Russian intervention.”

There is a downside to this, however, both Mironenko and Galina say. The reduction of Russian influence on Ukrainian culture will be paralleled by a reduction of Ukrainian influence on Russian culture. And Russian culture needs that influence now in particular because that country after the annexation of Crimea is undergoing a new period of “increasing political, economic and cultural isolation.”


Edited by: A. N.

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  • Dagwood Bumstead

    Even more ominous for the dwarf is that his last European ally Belarus has also started to worm its way out of Moscow’s clutches, though the process will be far more difficult due to Minsk’s almost total dependency on Moscow economically.
    Lukashenko now using Belarusian in his public speeches and Minsk recently trying to develop alternative supply routes for oil clearly indicate that Belarus is striving for more independence from Dwarfstan. Whether Luka will be successful remains to be seen however- Kyiv was much more independent even in 1991 than Minsk is now. There’s also the small matter of tens of thousands of Dwarfstanian soldiers pouring into Belarus for the forthcoming exercise and the dwarf may well decide to leave them there permanently even if Luka openly demands their withdrawal after the completion of the exercise.

    • veth

      Occupation by exercise, another variety of ‘hybrid war’…………

  • Ihor Dawydiak

    History will ultimately define Putin’s attempts to use coercion (trying to maintain a puppet administration via Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions) and then invasion (Crimea and then Eastern Donbas) against Ukraine in order to recreate a new Russian Empire as a colossal failure. Not only did Russia’s Grand Pederast totally miscalculate the reaction to his aggression by ethnic Ukrainians but he was also clueless to the fact that most ethnic Russians living in Ukraine were equally hostile to his completely unwarranted encroachment on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukrainian nation. In short, he accomplished the exact opposite result to his initial intentions. As such, Putin should be known as the first legitimate competitor to “Ivan Durak”, aka “Johnny the Idiot” who held the post as Chief Clown in the court of Tsar Peter the Great.

  • veth

    Moscow to reinforce border with Donbas to prevent flight of separatists to Russia
    Russia is reinforcing its border with the occupied part of Donbas to stop the flight of rebels from Donbas across the border, the chief of Ukraine’s Border Service Petro Tsyhykal said, speaking on Kanal 5 TV late Aug. 11.

    “It is an important signal to us that Russia has problems with the separatists,” he said. Читайте більше тут:

    The ‘seperatists’ with Russian passports are returning………………………(translation: the ex-convicts released from Russian prisons, to fight in Donbass)

  • veth

    Children in Donbas have limited access to education due to the security situation and damaged school buildings.
    This is reported by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

    “At least 700 schools have been damaged since the start of the conflict, including 55 schools directly impacted since the beginning of the year,” the UNHCR report says.

    In addition, at least 40 communities residing near the dividing line have limited access to medical services. Some 150 healthcare facilities have been damaged since the start of the conflict, and medical personnel have also left the area.

    As noted, displacement has affected vulnerable groups the most.

    “More than 50,000 people with disabilities were forced to flee their homes. Besides access to services, they often face additional difficulties and discrimination,” the report reads.

  • veth
    • Oknemfrod

      Everything they touch turns into ruins … even the ruins themselves.

      • Eddy Verhaeghe

        Apparently the post or posts of Screwdriver on this thread were scrapped by the webmaster/moderator.

        But some of your and of my posts were scrapped too.

        Simply want to repeat that your ode to your friend made my day. Next time you talk to him or see him, send him my regards and tell him that he did a hell of a job!

        • Oknemfrod

          Hm, that’s odd. I can’t imagine what in our posts would warrant such an action. And – thanks for the kind words again.

          • Eddy Verhaeghe

            Oknemfrod, remember your post about your friend that made you see the light about the Soviet system…

            The post of Screwdriver I don’t remember. Most probably wasn’t worth remembering. In fact most posts of the man have only 2 uses. They give you and others the possibility :

            – to debunk Kremlin nonsense;

            – to educate me and other visitors to this site on all things Ukrainian.

            Do keep up the good work!!!

          • Oknemfrod

            That’s what I’ve been trying to do, Eddy. Sincere thanks for your support!

          • Eddy Verhaeghe

            My pleasure 😉

  • Микола Данчук

    What Russian culture – its a fake state which degraded every ethnicity it invaded.

    The Soviet was an experiment that denied individual heritage and appropriated what it choose for itself.

    Moskvas only cultural influence was drunkenness and bigoted hatred. That in itself is enough to sever any relations with it and many of its young are choosing an alternative more befitting – a cultural revolution or escape. Time will tell but the work must go on, the old ways will go to nowhere.

  • Tony

    Culture is the MOST important factor of success.
    Work hard.
    Take responsibility.
    Have children and foster the next generation.
    Always work on raising your standards.
    These are the keys to success.

    • Микола Данчук

      Taking responsibility for raising the standards of the next generation isn’t in the Russian mind-set!

  • Brent

    The Russian Concept of “Malorussia” just keeps getting smaller and smaller….kind of like the demented dwarf Putin himself…..

  • Oknemfrod

    >The reduction of Russian influence on Ukrainian culture will be paralleled by a reduction of Ukrainian influence on Russian culture.<

    The Russians, being almost universally illiterate in Ukrainian, haven't absorbed any Ukrainian culture beyond a few folk dances, songs (whose lyrics they don't understand), films (which have to be subtitled for them to watch), and cliches related to food and folk clothing. For the same reason, an overwhelming majority of them have never read any Ukrainian literature, even classics like Kotliarevsky, Shevchenko, Franko, Ukrainka, et al. Their idea of what "Ukrainian" means in a broader sense boils down to a rather grotesque anecdotal image.

    It's both astonishing and revolting to glimpse into the content of their crania. And in this video (subtitled in English), the respondents are all young people. Listening to them makes my hair stand on end. Particularly disgusting is all that talk about the "brotherhood".

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      The young lady from Debaltseve should start thinking about who’s REALLY responsible for the destruction in her town. But she’s probably incapable of thought.
      The others are plainly deluded if they believe that things will ever get back to “normal”, which for them is “Me Moscow master, you Kyiv slave.”

      • Oknemfrod


      • slavko

        Do recall the manipulation of the Russian media when they posted with exuberance the downing of a Ukrainian military jet by a BUK fired by Russian proxies shortly after the MH17 occurrence. And then after realizing that instead a civilian airliner was shot down by the Russian proxies the story got pulled and twisted and the Russian media backtracked on their statements. These people are not getting all the information and it is heavily skewed.

    • slavko

      Most of them seem to be honest enough with their commentary. Of course no question was asked of them regarding their feelings surrounding Russian invasion of Ukraine. Maybe they are not fully aware of the circumstance of Russian complicity surrounding the war. It seems to me that some are heavily influenced by the Kremlin propaganda. Do note also that a few of them mentioned one cannot trust mass media as that is only what the politicians want people to hear.

      • Oknemfrod

        Yes, but also note that all of them meant the Ukrainian media allegedly screwing the brains of the Ukrainians and making the latter lose their formerly brotherly feelings towards the Russian “brothers”. They don’t even begin to question the poison the Russian media has filled their crania with and in fact speak exclusively from that perspective. In this sense – yes, they speak honestly enough.

        • slavko

          It’s the same I think in the West or even in China that the people truly want to believe that the government which they have is trustworthy. No one wants to believe that the government which they live under is a narcissistic a$$hole and bullying the neighbor around especially in this day and age of accepting the righteousness of ones religion . Putin has made great effort to depict himself as a “churchgoer” along with his comradeship with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church who just happens to sport expensive watches.

          • Ihor Dawydiak

            There are many prominent individuals in a variety of societies who attend (some regularly) a wide assortment of churches, mosques, synagogues, temples or what have you but it does not mean that they are religious. In fact, many of these “heretics” or “apostates” only attend religious services to try and demonstrate that they are pious and support the common good whereas in reality they could be thieves, rapists, murderers and so on. A classic example could be seen with members of the Italian Mafia whose leaders usually attend church on a regular basis but what they do in real life is anything but Christian. As for Putin and his band of hyenas, they are just as bad if not worse than any Mafia group anywhere in the world.

          • Микола Данчук

            Wait, slavko, righteousness of ones religion?
            Comradeship with the Russian Orthodox Church?
            Your trying to pull a fast one, right?

          • slavko

            Aahhh… was I not being sarcastic enough?? 😉

          • Микола Данчук

            Actually it sounded what one could expect, presented for the Western air-heads, from the Kremlin.

            First I chuckled but wanted to make sure, good one!

            I have seen ROP’s with Nashi and Nazi groups in full regalia.

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          The dwarf and his crooked chums are deluded, so perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising:

          Lozhvrov clearly STILL doesn’t understand that Kyiv WON’T be “put into its place”, despite trying for over 3 years and failing.

    • veth

      Sounds there is no internet in Russia……………………..

    • Микола Данчук

      I would question the honesty of some of the responses.
      Others, I found some hesitancy or uncertainty, as to how they should respond.

      Then one could ask, why are these questions being asked and for what purpose?
      Russian Insider, how independent is this and how much was staged?

      In the past, I found Russians have a hard time giving straight answers let alone being recorded!

      • gmab

        I agree. No mention of Junta or US interference. They all, even those with families in Ukraine, lacked emotion & seemed to view the events in Ukraine as very remote and totally detached from their everyday lives. This is unusual with numerous sanctions & the resulting isolation most likely to seriously affect their future more than any other age group. It’s a propaganda piece.

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          I suspect it all will only REALLY hit them when a brother, cousin or close friend returns home as a cripple following a “holiday” in the Donbas. As for the isolation affecting their futures, they no doubt believe the dwarf’s propaganda that “isolation is good for us”.

  • Dirk Smith
  • zorbatheturk

    RuSSian culture is sucking a vodka bottle dry while punching Roman salutes and shouting ” Heil Putin! “

    • ALL RISE

      Anybody see PutinHitler writing anymore 😉 lol

      • zorbatheturk

        Too busy polishing his swastika.

  • Vol Ya

    Putin’s stupidity and his invasion of Ukraine has turned
    people’s opinion against Russia. Finally people see the truth, that Russia is
    and will always be a brutal oppressor of Ukraine and its people.
    Putin proved once again that Russia only wants to kill and destroy Ukraine and
    its people.