Forgive us, Ukrainians, for sending our sons and brothers to be wounded and killed in the war every day, and this interferes with your business plans. Sorry for having such a neighbour, who seized parts of our country, shot down your plane and took the lives of so many innocent civilians.
Sorry, because you have to launder your blood-spattered money and embrace the Kremlin monster. Sorry, because you’re just plain sick and tired of voicing your concerns and hiding your head in the sand when our fundamental human rights are blatantly violated.
We apologize for the fact that we, like all people on this planet, deserve to enjoy a decent life, a clean environment, decent pay, education, information and our own language in our country.
Sorry for not being a minority, because then you would shout loudly to the whole world that our rights are being violated, and maybe even come over to help us. So please, let us be and stop trying to prevent us from defending our rights in our own country.
Sorry for not being clever enough to convey the truth about the history of Ukraine, about our heroes, about our ancient culture, because we’re not yet ready to adopt the tongue of political correctness and absolute tolerance.
Sorry for our loud patriotism; we didn’t know that it was a crime and a sign of extreme nationalism to love our own country – Ukraine. So sorry for our history, written by foreigners, and falsified by the lackeys of the Muscovite Empire.
Forgive us for our weak government, which is far from ready to defend our national interests. Sorry, we don’t yet deserve to be called Europeans, even after the Holodomor, which you didn’t see or survive, the years of persecution and repression instigated by Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev, the genocide of the Ukrainian language. But, you’re more than willing to believe that we’re the biggest and loudest anti-Semites, homophobes, racists and fascists in the world!
We apologize for the fact that we keep rejecting some kind of neo-Marxism after almost a century of communist ideology and millions of Ukrainians destroyed by the communist regime. We’re slowly starting to realize that the Europe we dreamt of and fought for doesn’t exist… it’s just another bureaucratic, corrupt and hypocritical entity.
Sorry for not fighting corruption more diligently and forcefully, but the money stolen by our corrupt oligarchs is working profitably for your economy, because it’s invested in your banks, real estate and offshore havens.
Sorry for not always following your orders or advice, for being disobedient and sometimes even arrogant when we see that some of your guidelines are totally absurd and ridiculous.
Finally, we’re sorry for striving to achieve victory, not peace at all costs, because we are a nation of warriors, not slaves, and we no longer want to be a buffer zone or a colony for anyone.
Sorry for tiring you with our claims and demands, for bothering you every day, and for not letting you enjoy a comfortable and trouble-free life.
Halyna Pahutyak is a contemporary Ukrainian writer and blogger, Laureate of the Taras Shevchenko Prize in Literature in 2010. She was born in Zalokot, Lviv Oblast on July 26, 1958. She lives and creates in Lviv.