Article by: Maryna Danyliuk-Yarmolayeva
After thirty years of procrastination, not many of our forty million Ukrainians are aware of who they are and why they exist… and where our nation is heading under the blue-and-yellow flag.
But, although President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated the question, he did not know the answer. Because his answer to all the questions – “какаяразніца!” (what difference does it make!) – is not about national success and achievement, but about a new enslavement, where Ukrainians constitute some sort of consumable material for new social experiments that always end in the same way – mass burial grounds surrounded by weeping lilies.
Volodymyr Zelensky has been in charge of 95 Kvartal – a TV series promoting the cult of lawlessness and suppression of any kind of identity – for so long on the Russian market that he is still under the impression that the Ukrainian government does not need to display any signs of nationhood to survive, and can sit back and rejoice in the peacekeeping powers of such clowns as Syvokho and Yermak*.
(*Serhiy Syvokho – Ukrainian showman, producer of Kvartal 95. He is currently advisor to the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council for Donbas Reintegration and Reconstruction. He recently announced the launch of the National Platform for Reconciliation and Unity, which aims to “build bridges” between the free and occupied territories of Ukraine.
Andriy Yermak – Ukrainian film producer, lawyer and current Head of the Presidential Office, appointed by Zelenskyy in February 2020. He has been member of the National Security and Defense Council since February 12, 2020. Between 2006 and 2014, he worked as lawyer to the Party of Regions MP Elbrus Tedeyev-Ed)
At this point, every concession made by Zelenskyy is a nail driven into the table of reforms that have been approved over the past few years with such sweat and tears in opposition to the “sovoks”, who lift their heads in sync and sniff at everything and anything that shows Ukraine is different from Russia.
For example, let’s look at the language law. In the early days of the new presidency, Zelenskyy’s closest friends, such as Borys Shefir (producer and chief editor of 95 Kvartal Studio-Ed), declared loudly that language quotas were complete nonsense, and that repealing the language law would be “the first step to ending the war”. The second “pearl of wisdom” was pronounced by 25-year-old Servant of the People MP Oleksiy Ustenko, who stated that Russia invaded Crimea in 2014 because of the language law (please note that the language law was approved in the spring of 2019!)
In neither the first nor second case did Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemn the words of his friends and colleagues, so this became a signal for other “Little Russian valets” in the Servant of the People party to start clamouring for the abolition of the language law. Earlier, it was the russophile Servant of the People MP Maksym Buzhansky; today, it’s the chairman of the Committee on Humanitarian and Information Issues, media manager and Servant of the People MP Oleksandr Tkachenko, who says that this law “has created many risks and threats for Ukrainian society and for the new deputies”. When all is said and done, it is difficult to understand who is to blame for the young MPs born in independent Ukraine not to have mastered at least the colloquial “Tinder” level of Ukrainian.
But, here’s an important caveat.
Due to similar statements and actions, the Language Maidan began in 2012, mass protests against the adoption of the Law on the Principles of State Language Policy, which provided for official bilingualism in regions where the number of national minorities exceeded 10%. Thus, the Russian language was granted regional status in twelve regions of Ukraine. However, these actions did not save Yanukovych or his suite the following year.
If neutralizing linguistic identity means implementing the 12-step peace plan proposed at the Munich Security Council, where Ukraine was told to abandon its history, identity, and anything that annoys the Russian Federation, it is fair to say that Ukrainians are indeed “Little Russians” and much better off being “raped rather than Ukrainized”. But, what will they offer next to please Russia?
Not so long ago, Serhiy Syvokho, Zelenskyy’s version of chief peacekeeper, announced the National Platform for Reconciliation and Unity, which aims to “build bridges” between the free and occupied territories of Ukraine. Because of violent Russian attacks in Zolote-4, it was postponed for a while, but pro-Russian elements and bloggers are already actively telling us how cruel and nasty Ukraine was and how Ukrainians must learn to placate the ORDLO.
Not so long ago, the new Ukrainian government also shut down Ukraine’s only English-language television channel, UATV; its frequencies were first occupied by RT, then 112 Ukraine. The Presidential Office stated that it would launch a Russian-language TV channel this year specifically for audiences living in the “temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine”, where, in my opinion, they will probably use the same pro-Russian propagandists that now work at 112 Ukraine.
It is strange, but Volodymyr Zelenskyy managed to build a huge entertainment empire on television, but he does not quite understand how to create the right content for ORDLO and that the destruction of this unique channel – UATV – makes things even worse for him and his entourage.
Every scandal makes President Zelenskyy look weaker. 73% of Ukrainians wanted a strong and determined leader, not a weathervane that cannot withstand the first gust of wind.
Of course, not all of the 73% are “Little Russian valets”, not all are small-minded and stupid enough to embrace the Russian-backed militants in the Donbas. That is why not all are satisfied with such reconciliation mediators as pro-Russian propagandist Anatoliy Shariy, pro-Russian propagandist and supporter of ORDLO terrorists Tetiana Montyan, Yanukovych’s former Minister of Justice Olena Lukash and ex-head of Yanukovych’s administration Andriy Portnov, whose services are being actively used by government officials in charge of peace and dialogue with the Donbas.
The real questions for Ukraine are: How to proceed next with the war? Should we continue fighting or should we surrender and return to Russia’s sphere of influence?
Zelenskyy’s recent assurance in Munich that Ukraine was ready to patrol the border with pro-Russian militants was nothing less than flirting with the “Russian world”. First of all, will Ukraine be allowed to bring in armed persons after the violent fighting in Zolote-4, where our Armed Forces stood their ground against the Russians?
Secondly, in order to patrol something together, we should talk with the ORDLO leaders, thus recognizing their status. Zelenskyy says that he will not speak with “head of the so-called DNR” Denis Pushilin. So, we can assume that there is only one solution left – Putin will propose some sort of compromise on gas supply, Crimea or language, tell Ukraine to remove NATO and the EU from the Constitution, etc., so that in the end, it will look like Ukraine controls the border. That is why Zelenskyy, in his speech to the Europeans, demonstrated that he was not opposed to yielding to the “Russian peace plan” in order to prove to himself, and the world, that he is indeed trying very hard, even though he is completely incompetent in his role as president and in dealing with the challenges facing his government.
Zelenskyy does not have much time to define who he really is – the President of Ukraine or an interim manager of Ukraine’s preparation for integrating the Russian Federation as a federal district.
A president can be forgiven for making mistakes, but a manager will be left with nothing. Russia has its own comedians, stand-up shows and TV series producers. Once a year, Putin allows loyal Yanukovych to hold a press conference, something akin to a freak show. I do not want to see Zelenskyy playing this role. But, Ukrainians also need an answer to their question of self-identity – “Who are we?” Are we a nation with clear goals and objectives, or a non-defined blue-and-yellow mass walking in circles in the endless desert.
The first thirty years have been lost; the next thirty just may not happen because of our reluctance to think clearly and work efficiently.
On February 25, a draft bill on the “protection of the Russian language” was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. It was authored by Servant of the People MP Maksym Buzhansky and Opposition Platform-For Life MP Oleh Voloshyn.
They state that parliamentary regulations have imposed Ukrainian as the working language in the Verkhovna Rada.
“Therefore, parliamentary regulations do not implement the constitutional guarantees and norms for the free development, use and protection of Russian, and other languages of national minorities in Ukraine.” as stated in the explanatory note.
Buzhansky and Voloshyn claim that “Russian-speaking citizens, including members of parliament, pay the same taxes and have the same rights as Ukrainian-speaking citizens”.
The MPs say that presentations in the Verkhovna Rada should also be allowed in Russian.
NB: Servant of the People MP Maksym Buzhansky recently refused to stand and pay tribute to the Heavenly Hundred – the fallen heroes of the Maidan – during a moment of silence and commemoration in the Verkhovna Rada. Buzhansky also wants to repeal the language law.