Moscow, not Kyiv, behind ethnocide of ethnic Russians in Ukraine, Yakovenko says

Devastation in the Donbas - a product of Putin's military aggression into peaceful Ukraine. (Image: Slavyansk Delovoy)

Devastation in the Donbas - a product of Putin's military aggression into peaceful Ukraine. (Image: Slavyansk Delovoy) 

Analysis & Opinion

The Russian Duma has declared that Kyiv’s decision to make Ukrainian the language of instruction in Ukrainian schools is “’an act of ethnocide’ of the ethnic Russian people in Ukraine, thus denouncing in another what Moscow is itself doing in Russia and ignoring who is really responsible for the shift away from Russian ethnic identity in Ukraine.

In a Kasparov.ru commentary, Russian analyst Igor Yakovenko notes that “ethnocide is the policy of the intentional destruction of national identity and the self-consciousness of a people” that can be achieved either by genocide or by forced assimilation into another human community.

There is no genocide of ethnic Russians going on in Ukraine except in the fevered imaginations of some Russian commentators, Yakovenko says; but there is assimilation of ethnic Russians into the Ukrainian nation – but not as a result of Kyiv’s policies but rather because of the actions and statement of the Russian government.

In Soviet times, the share of ethnic Russians in the Ukrainian population rose from 9.23 percent in 1926 to 22.07 percent in 1989, the result of the mass murder of the Ukrainian peasantry by Stalin and the Moscow-organized in-migration of ethnic Russians and Moscow’s encouragement of Russian as opposed to Ukrainian identity.

The next Ukrainian census is scheduled for 2020 and it will show a precipitous decline in the share of ethnic Russians in the population, Yakovenko says. A recent survey found that only six percent of the citizens of Ukraine now say they are ethnic Russians. The figure in 2020 will likely be even lower.

Most ethnic Russians in Ukraine are characterized by “bi-ethnicity,” the Russian analyst says. That is, people who hold this identity view themselves as part of two peoples simultaneously – Russians and Ukrainians. But now if they have to choose, almost all of these people will choose to identify as Ukrainians.

According to Yakovenko, “the process of the sharp reduction of the share of people who consider themselves ethnic Russians is occurring in all post-Soviet republics except perhaps Belarus.” In Ukraine, he says, “this process is occurring in a more troubled and more intensive manner.”

Russia's military aggression in Donbas devastated Ukrainian territories under the Russian occupation and near the frontline (Image: Novosti Segodnia)

Russia’s military aggression in Donbas devastated Ukrainian territories under the Russian occupation and near the frontline (Image: Novosti Segodnia)

More troubled because of the ethnic closeness of the Ukrainian and Russian peoples, and more intensively “above all” because of the war that Russia has unleashed against Ukraine. But it is not connected only with the war, Yakovenko says. It also reflects the hatred of Ukraine spewed out by Russian media outlets which still reach many people in Ukraine.

As a result, “to be an ethnic Russian in Ukraine is becoming a problem,” the analyst says.

It is not just a problem of how others view ethnic Russians in Ukraine, he argues; it is also a problem of self-consciousness, of how ethnic Russians in Ukraine see themselves. They do not see themselves as Moscow TV commentators insist they should, and they are choosing to be Ukrainians even though under different circumstances they might have chosen otherwise.

“If it weren’t for the war, the political talk shows, and a number of other broadcasts of Russian television,” ethnic Russians in Ukraine wouldn’t be confronted with a choice. But when they hear what those who are invading their country say, they make the only reasonable choice and become Ukrainians.

Thus, Yakovenko says, “an ethnocide of the Russian people in Ukraine is really occurring. Russia by its military actions and its television broadcasts is intentionally carrying it out.” That Moscow should blame Kyiv for what the Russian authorities are doing is only yet another confirmation of that reality.

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Edited by: A. N.

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  • RedSquareMaidan

    The author is spot on. Here we go again with the Kremlin blaming others for what they have done. The resulting legislation (if administered) is a direct result of Moscow’s invasion, war and interference in Ukraine. But the “ethnocleansing” would have happened anyway.

    • Ihor Dawydiak

      Agreed. Putin and his so called experts were out of touch with reality when they first tried to bully Ukraine into submission. Then when they failed in that attempt, the Kremlin made a second and an even graver critical error by launching two separate military invasions of Ukraine. So what did all of this accomplish? The answers have been more than obvious, including; 1) Not only did Putin seriously miscalculate his support among the vast majority of citizens of Ukraine and especially those who identified themselves as ethnic Russians. His actions were also instrumental in galvanizing a nation wide patriotic fervor to an extent which Ukraine had never seen in its entire history. 2) While many Crimean Tatars may have been somewhat ambivalent in their views towards their place in Ukraine, this ambivalence has been replaced for the most part with strong support for the Ukrainian State. 3) Most Ukrainian citizens have become much more supportive of integration with the European Family of Nations versus any type of union with Russia. 4) The Kremlin totally miscalculated the reaction of the international community (including the UN) and especially that of the Western powers as a result of the Russian military invasions of Ukraine. To be more specific, the West offered both financial and economic support to Ukraine while at the same time hitting Russia with very serious economic and financial sanctions. 5) Finally, and perhaps the most significant result of Putin’s transgressions against Ukraine came with the fact that in all likelihood, Russia had just lost Ukraine for an eternity. A great job, Vovochka. Your stupidity will never be forgotten, albeit for totally different reasons, between the people of Ukraine and the people of Russia.

      • zorbatheturk

        RuSSian imperialism must be smashed once and for all.

  • Screwdriver

    Problem is that Stalin made a big mistake taking Galicia from Poland. Russian Ukraine would not have any problems if Galicia would remain under Pols.
    Unfortunately for Ukrainians Kiev is influenced now by Galician raguls. https://arguendi.livejournal.com/2355738.html

    • Murf

      Think how far Galacia could have progressed without the thinking backward east dragging along behind them like an anchor.

      • Rafael Hernandez

        Then give Galicia back to its rightfull owner Hungary

        • Ihor Dawydiak

          Too funny. Then by natural extension you are also advocating that your alleged homeland of Venezuela should be returned to Spain, that the USA should be returned to the UK and that Russia should be returned to Mongolia.

        • Brent

          So based on your STUPID Russo Nazzi logic, does Norway belong to Sweden or Denmark?

          And Russia will give up Konigsberg, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, the Kuril Islands, Siberia and all of its “stolen” territories?

          You’re such a moron….

        • Murf

          Give Taragnog City back to Ukraine.
          And Konigsburg back to Germany.
          Vladivostok back to China.
          The Karelia back to the Finns.
          Sakhlin Islands back to Japan.
          And that’s not even scratching the surface.
          Additionally since you are so concerned about historical rights:
          Poland needs to return to Germany that Stalin gave them. Since Germany at some point controlled Krakow so the Germans get that back.
          Germany needs to give back Holstein to Denmark but it is ok because Norway used to be apart of Denmark so…The Danes wont have to worry about their oil supplies anymore.
          And over here in the States the US will return the land to the Native Americans. We will return to our home lands. So get ready for about 150 million European descended American to descend on you like a biblical plague.
          Those can afford it will be buying everything in sight. Those that can’t will be stealing it.
          So get ready to share your football stadiums with REAL football players.
          We be converting your squiggly race tracks into ovals for NASSCAR.
          Get ready for Baseball diamonds to sprout up like wheat fields in spring.
          And miles and miles of subdivisions. Also get using to the old English measurement system too, fucc Metric,)
          Yeah Baby Yeah!
          Except My old Kentucky Home that is.
          We bought our land fair and square. Heh heh.

          • zorbatheturk

            Some former Polish territory now lies in RuSSia. It used to be farmed, but is now pretty much wasteland I believe. Meanwhile Stalin gave East Prussia to Poland and took Kaliningrad for himself. The best thing to happen would be for 65% of eastern RuSSia to break away and become the independent Republic of Siberia.

          • RedSquareMaidan

            lol, nice post. Glad I live within the Louisiana Purchase…!

    • zorbatheturk

      Stalin’s father made a big mistake. He forgot to wear a condom.

    • Brent

      Hey “SCREWBALL”, you’d better take a break from inhaling toilet cleaner fumes because it’s affecting your thought processing….Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Dnipro, Zaporozhe, Sumy, Mariupol, Poltava, Cherkassy….NONE IN GALICIA…. ALL SUPPORT UKRAINE…..

      You Russo Nazzis can scream about “Galicia” and “Bandera” all you want, but you just can’t see the truth of how your beloved Putin has pushed Ukraine further away from your beloved Russo Nazzi terrorist state.

      It wasn’t “Galicians” who blew up “Givi”, “Motorola”, Mozgovai and all your other Russo Nazzi terrorist heroes…..

      • Screwdriver

        You funny :-) Most of “nebesna sotnya” – Galicians, not Kiev locals!
        People in Central and Eastern Ukraine spitting on ATO “heroes”, youtube is full of those videos.
        But be surprised….Even in Western Ukraine there are “separatist” spots .
        https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1055241317820156&set=ecnf.100000028935536&type=3&theater

        • Eddy Verhaeghe

          Screwdriver, you have a problem with the definition of the word ‘most’. Some simple research teaches us that as usual you are spouting nonsense and lies.

          Nobody ever said or wrote that most of the ‘nebesna sotnya’ were from Kyiv. Nobody denied that a lot came from Western Ukraine.
          But that most were Galicians is not true, I repeat not true.

          A reading suggestion to enlighten you : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_killed_during_Euromaidan

          As for people of Central Ukraine spitting on ATO heroes, my recent visits to Kyiv taught me something totally different.

          • Screwdriver

            Very good that you mentioned WIKI link. I counted those who lived in Kiev and Kiev region – 13 people killed.
            From Western Ukraine – 58 killed.
            And this happened IN KIEV!!!!!!!!!!!!!
            What does it tell us ? That MOST! motivated people were not from Kiev, but from Galicia/Western Ukraine. Unless those who were shooting at the crowds were cherry picking Western Ukrainians, how is that for some KGB conspiracy ?

    • Vlad Pufagtinenko

      Ah. Another pole craving for Lviv. Just like “Lakeshit”, his lover.
      Not happening boys. You’re going to have to lose a lot of Poles for that to ever happen.

  • Rafael Hernandez

    Seems like Yakovenko forgot the Odessa fire. That was a prime example of the genocidic acts that is going on with Ethnic Russians in Ukraine

    • Fortranz

      The only problem with that Odessa fire was you weren’t one of those that was burnt

      • Rafael Hernandez

        This comment is being directly reported to the police. You’ll probably end up like a fertilizer, much like your khokhols in Debaltseve

        • Fortranz

          Yeah right I’ll let you know when the FSB track me down….lol

  • Rafael Hernandez

    Attention, these are the “so called” heroes of Ukraine https://m.liveleak.com/view?i=147_1506545462

    • Fortranz

      And here is Russia’s glorious war history:

      From 1945 to the mid-1950s, Moscow engaged in operations against the Forest Brothers on the territory of the USSR that Stalin had absorbed as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Then, it did the following:

      In 1946, Soviet forces provided military assistance to the Chinese Communists in Manchuria.
      In 1950, Soviet air forces participated in the Korean War.
      In 1956, Soviet forces invaded Hungary.
      In 1960, 1964, and 1969, Soviet forces were active in Laos.
      In 1962, Soviet forces were involved in Algeria.
      In 1962 and 1967, Soviet forces were involved in Yemen.
      In 1965, Soviet forces were involved in Vietnam.
      In 1967-1974, Soviet forces supported Egypt in the Arab-Israeli wars.
      In 1967, Soviet forces were in Syria.
      In 1967, 1975, and 1984, Soviet forces were involved in Mozambique.
      In 1968, Soviet forces invaded Czechoslovakia.
      In 1969, Soviet forces clashed with the Chinese army on Damansky Island.
      In 1970, Soviet forces were involved in Cambodia.
      In 1974, Soviet forces were involved in Bangladesh.
      In 1975-1979, Soviet forces were involved in Angola.
      In 1977, Soviet forces were involved in Ethiopia.
      In 1978, Soviet forces were involved in Nicaragua.
      In 1979, Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan and remained there for ten years.
      In 1982, Soviet forces were involved in Syria and Lebanon.
      In 1987, Soviet forces were involved in Chad.
      In 1988, Soviet forces were involved in Karabakh.
      In 1989, Soviet forces killed 19 and wounded 291 Georgians in Tbilisi.
      In 1991, Soviet forces were involved in South Ossetia.
      In 1991, Soviet forces killed 15 Lithuanians in Vilnius and attacked demonstrators in other Lithuanian cities.
      In 1991, Soviet forces killed seven Latvians.
      In 1991, Soviet forces killed three in Moscow.
      In 1991, irregular Russian forces dispatched by Moscow participated in the war in Yugoslavia.
      In 1992, Russian forces were involved in Abkhazia.
      In 1992, Russian forces were involved in Tajikistan.
      In 1992, Russian forces were involved in Moldova’s Trandniestria.
      In 1993, Russian forces killed approximately 150 people in Moscow alone.
      In 1994, Russian forces began the first Chechen war.
      In 1999, Russian forces began the second Chechen war.
      In 2008, Russian forces invaded Georgia.
      In 2014, Russian forces invaded and annexed Crimea and occupied part of the Donbas.
      In 2015, Russian forces became involved in Syria.
      And this listing does not include the 1962 Caribbean crisis or Moscow’s peacekeeping operations under UN auspices in Sierra Leon, Sudan, Burundi, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liberia, Chad and Angola.

      Oh yes and mow you will tell me that it was all the US’s fault right Rafael Hernandez [useful-idiot].

  • zorbatheturk

    RuSSians are human scum. The RuSSian trolls prove it.

    • Fortranz

      Da, someone should drop a MOAB on that St. Petersburg troll farm.

  • Rob Hansen

    Ukraine is now forced to FIGHT AND IS WORKING HARED to fix a historical injustice to its linguistic and culture heritage and at the same time fight the sovieticus mentality of corruption left over by the Russian controlled USSR and if that was not enough, it is also being forced to defend the land from Moskali Russian evil underhand war / attack and annexation of the Ukrainian nations lands..

    The Russian government has in history and are still today underhandedly and covertly promoting the spread of the Russian language and Russian dominance over Ukraine.

    Russia even promotes this idea of a justifiable and rightful dominance over Ukraine not just to its own Russians and the world in general but among the native Ukrainian population as well…

    They do this by actively refusing to acknowledge the historical facts and the existence of the Ukrainian language and take every opportunity to belittle Ukrainian history by calling it a myth; this way Moscow is indirectly saying that Ukrainian history never existed and Ukrainian people are just nothing more than confused little Russians..

    If we look back in time this is nothing new, the Russian Minister of Internal Affairs Pyotr Valuev in 1863 issued a secret decree that banned the publication of religious texts and educational texts written in the Ukrainian language The Emperor Alexander II expanded this ban by issuing the Ems Ukaz in 1876 (which lapsed in 1905). The Ukaz banned all Ukrainian language books and song lyrics, as well as the importation of such works. Furthermore, Ukrainian-language public performances, plays, and lectures were forbidden

    During the Soviet times, the attitude to Ukrainian language and culture went through periods of suppression (during the period of Stalinism) While officially there was no state language in the Soviet Union until 1989, Russian in practice had an implicitly privileged position as the only language widely spoken across the country From around the 1960s nearly all dissertations were required to be written in Russian That caused most scientific works to be written exclusively in Russian. Studying Russian in all schools was not optional, but the requirement..

    SO MR PUTIN DONT COME SCREENING about Russian Russian language rights in UKRAINE after forcefully running a linguistic genocide on the Ukrainian language for years.

    Kremlin is able and willing to use Russians living abroad—even those who would not seem natural allies of his regime—as part of its so-called hybrid war in Ukraine and use hundreds of thousands, if not millions of them, as Putin’s proxies.”

    Russian controlled soviet union former satellite states like Poland, Romania, and Czech the Baltic sates, Slovakia ect ect ect …couldn’t wait to join NATO and the EU to get as fare away from Russian hegemony control as fast as the possibly can at the time .

    “Putin bases his policies on Lenin’s principle: probe with bayonets; if you encounter mush, proceed; if you encounter steel, withdraw,” the aide said. “With Obama, Putin has encountered mush for nearly seven years, never steel, and that’s why he continues to challenge the United States time after time.”

    If the Russians weren’t such malignant, belligerent a**holes, they wouldn’t have to worry about EU NATO and former satellite states like Poland, Romania, and Czech the Baltic sates, Slovakia ect ect ect running too the front door of EU and NATO .

    Her is a thought if every one thinks you are a bunch of malignant, belligerent a**holes and you think you are the the greatest thing since sliced bread and you are the only one that thinks that maybe you need a reality check and just maybe just maybe you are a bunch of malignant, belligerent a**holes and not the greatest thing since sliced bread

    The Ukrainians are living all over Ukraine the myth of just Russian live in east Ukraine is a myth and that’s all it is…. To day only 17,3% of ethnic Russian live in Ukraine they only are 17,3% of the nation BUT ARE SHOUTING like they was 96%

    In the 2001 Ukrainian census, only 17,3% of people identified themselves as ethnic Russians. 17.3% of all the population of Ukraine

    Also out of that 17,3% 70% of then live in Crimea and acording too Putin and you that is now part of Russia that gives us only 5% living in what now is Ukraine with out Crimea … their are now only left 1416705 ethnic Russians and in the land the total population in Ukraine is estimated to be 44,840,743 in 2014

    Ukraine Demographics

    Ukrainians make up almost 77.8% of the total population, while Russians take the second spot with almost 17% of the population. Other minorities include Bella Russians 0.6%, Bulgarians 0.4%, Hungarians 0.3%, Crimean Tatars 0.5%, while Romanians and Poles both are 0.3% and Jewish residents make up 0.2% of the total population. Other minorities present are 1.8%.

    The major language is Ukrainian, spoken by 67% of the population, while the second most common language is Russian, spoken by 24% of the total population. The remaining 9% is comprised of various other languages.

    http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/ukraine-population/

    • Fortranz

      Excellent post.