By Alexander Mercouris, Russia Insider, July 29, 2015
The Maidan Revolution is not ultimately about democracy or human rights or Ukraine’s European integration. Rather, as the article attached shows, it is the expression of some Ukrainians’ paranoid hatred of Russia,
Any attempt to understand the Ukrainian conflict and why it is so intractable must confront the ideology of the Maidan revolution. Once this attempt is made, it becomes very clear very quickly that the single overriding factor that is driving the conflict is not a Ukrainian desire to establish a liberal European democracy but the fear and hatred – to the point of pathological obsession – that a small minority of Ukrainians have for Russia and for Russians.
As an example of the fanatical nature of these views, we reproduce an article [weblink below] supposedly providing an outline of Russian history published by EuroMaidan Press – an agency that is by no means considered extreme in Ukraine but which, on the contrary, represents what could be called the Maidan mainstream.
To refute in detail the tissue of nonsense and paranoid fantasy that makes up this article would take too long. We would merely make three points:
1. The article is profoundly racist.
Putting aside the fact that the claim that Russians are not “real” Slavs has nothing to support it (for what it’s worth DNA testing suggests close genetic relationships between Russians, Byelorussians, Ukrainians and Poles suggesting membership of a single ancestral kin group), the article’s ugly characterisations of Finno-Ugrics and Mongol-Tatars, who the article claims are the “true” ancestors of modern Russians, are deeply distasteful and off-putting.
What is one to make for example of passages like this?
The Great Russian psychology absorbed many characteristics – the Tatar-Mongol instincts of a conqueror and despot, with the ultimate aim: world domination.
Thus by the XVI century was established the type of a conqueror who was horrible in his lack of education, rage and cruelty.
These people had no use for European culture and literacy. All such things like morality, honesty, shame, justice, human dignity and historical awareness were absolutely foreign to them.
A significant amount of Tatar-Mongols entered the makeup of Great Russians from the XIII to XVI centuries and they accounted for the genealogy of over 25% of Russian nobility.
Here are some Tatar names that brought fame to the Russian Empire: Arakcheev, Bunin, Derzhavin, Dostoyevsky, Kuprin, Plekhanov, Saltykov-Shchedrin, Turgenev, Sheremetiev, Chadaev and many others.
The suggestion that cultural giants like Bunin, Derzhavin, Dostoevsky, Saltykov-Shchedrin and Turgenev belonged to a people who “had no use for European culture and literacy. All such things like morality, honesty, shame, justice, human dignity and historical awareness were absolutely foreign to them” – would be offensive to most people. The comments anyway are deeply racist.
2. The article entirely fails to explain why, if the Russians had no connection to Kievan Rus, they would pretend that they did and would go so far as to pretend that Kievan Rus’s history was their own.
At the time when the article claims Russia’s leaders were inventing a history “stolen” from Kievan Rus, its glories lay far in the past. It is not obvious why the Russians – descendants supposedly of Finno-Ugrics and “conquering Tatars” – would base their history on Kievan Rus if they really had no connection to it.
3. The claim that Russia only came to be known as the “Russian empire” in the time of Peter the Great and that the Tsar of Russia (or of “Muscovy” as the article insists on calling it) was not referred to either in Russia or Europe as the “emperor of Russia” until Peter the Great’s time is simply wrong.
Europeans routinely called the country “Russia” and routinely referred to the Tsar of Russia as the “emperor of Russia” well before Peter the Great’s time. An example can even be found in Shakespeare: Hermione’s words in Act 3, Scene 2 of the Winter’s Tale (published 1623, first performed 1611):
The Emperor of Russia was my father:
O that he were alive, and here beholding
His daughter’s trial! that he did but see
The flatness of my misery, yet with eyes
Of pity, not revenge!
So long as these fanatical beliefs hold sway in Ukraine, peace between that country and Russia and within Ukraine itself is impossible. Meanwhile, what is the West doing supporting people who hold such racist views?
* * *
‘How Moscow hijacked the history of Kyivan Rus’. This article was published on ‘Euro Maidan Press’ in May 2014.