[Aaus-community-list] Valentina Tolkunova -- Mother Russia
solar75wind at gmail.com
Sat Mar 27 22:34:15 EDT 2010
I made two significant omissions -- shutdown of Kyiv Mohyla Academy
and exile of Taras Shevchenko. Of course, these are the most
remarkable cases of persecution and there were more. Russian Empire,
just like any other empire, needed stronger social cohesion to
continue to integrate, so it had to deal with cases of separatism.
Russians saw Pereyaslavl Treaty as a step in reunification of Rus.
Ukrainian language and culture at that time were seen as the results
of foreign oppression -- Lithuanized and Polonized mutations of the
same common Slavic heritage. Ukraine was predominantly rural and the
Emperor's vision of development was to develop Ukrainian cities as
great imperial centers, and develop imperial loyalty among Ukrainians.
That was the price of unification. The world was a much more barbaric,
cruel place then, with no little substance behind the term "cultural
policies". European states and Empires were continuously at war and
each needed to strengthen centrally to survive. Ukraine was just too
weak to be independent -- it would get occupied by another strong (and
probably more oppressive) foreign force if it didn't want to stay
within the Russian Empire.
Ukraine was very weak, because it was predominantly rural and had few
cultural establishments and institutions of its own. If Ukraine stayed
under Polish rule for the last 400 years, it would probably be
completely Polonized now, with little to no traces of anything
Ukrainian left. That was the history of the world, history of Europe.
Great powers have fought for spheres of influence and the weak ones
had to look for integration to survive. Many small ethnic groups in
Europe got completely erased, so Ukraine was fairly lucky to survive
as an ethnicity.
Russian Empire greatly sped up urbanization and development of
Ukraine, and was relatively (compared to Polish policies of full
assimilation) tolerant to Ukrainian language and culture except for
periods of the Empire's weakness, when it had to resort to drastic
measures. Austrian-Hungarian Empire was probably the most lenient
toward Ukrainians culture -- it was clear that because of the drastic
cultural differences assimilation would have to take time, and the
Ukrainian territories were increasingly run by Germanic governors and
there were policies of gradual Germanization.
On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 5:42 AM, Vadim <solar75wind at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Andrij Okara's "In Momoriam. Valentyna Tokunova. Rossia-mama" would be an
>> appropriate posting for an academic web site of Russian Studies. A more
>> appropriate article for posting on a Ukrainian academic web site, especially
>> in the present situation of concern over what evil the Ukrainophobic
>> Minister of Education Tabachnik will do, would be another of Okara's
>> articles: "I eto vse o nem... Tri voprosa Dmitriiu Tabachniku o GLAVNOM".
>> Okara questions Tabachnik's moral qualifications for the job. This is more
>> than what you have done on this web site. After trying to convince everybody
>> how beneficial it will be for Ukraine to get Yanukovich elected, you have
>> not had the courage to criticize his appointments, not one word about the
>> Ukrainophobe Tabachnik.
> There is a firestorm of criticism against Tabachnyk, and I agree with
> most of it, and I can't really add any new arguments to it -- thus my
> silence. I think Vakarchouk was a lousy minister of education as well
> -- he politicized education in Ukraine to the extreme, against many
> norms of human rights. Instead of focusing on providing access to
> Ukrainian education, he has marginalized large population groups in
> Ukraine, thus supercharging polarization in Ukrainian society. He
> definitely helped Yanukovych score much better in the election.
>> Ukrainians "hating Russia wholeheartedly" - Humbug!
>> Ukrainians hate, and have good reasons to do so, Russian IMPERIALISM AND
>> Russian colonialist POLICIES, of which Ukraine has been a victim for several
>> centuries. Ukrainians hate the BEHAVIOR of THOSE Russians (and their
>> descendants) who came and continue to come to Ukraine and behave like old
>> European colonialists used to go in Africa.
> Instead of hatred Ukrainians should be calm and rational. Because of
> the nationalist hate mongering, often based to a large degree on
> fickle factual evidence, Ukraine keeps to be sharply divided and weak.
> These are the silly approaches of the past. It is time to be honest,
> calm, rational and persist by debates.
>> The "good things that came from Russia over the centuries" - Humbug!
>> What good things did Ukraine get from Russia? Suppression of the budding
>> Ukrainian state (the Hetmanate); enslavement (kripachchyna) of the Ukrainian
>> Cossack population; the Valuev and the Ems Ukaze; crushing Ukrainian
>> independence after WWI; famines of the 1920s and the 1930s; deportation of
>> West Ukrainian population, after WWII... An Azarov, who came to Ukraine from
>> Russia twenty-odd years ago, occupied high posts in the Ukrainian government
>> and never bothered to learn the state language!
> In its long history, Ukraine has rarely been uniformly united under
> its national colors. Ukraine has been surrounded by empires since its
> first attempts to create a nation state. For some reason, Khmelnytsky
> preferred to make a pact with Russians, not Poles. Why? Because Poles
> have been a common enemy for a long time. Ukraine has always been the
> weakest of the three, and it was thus forced to try to balance the
> other two. If Ukraine really wanted, it would be able to go back to
> Polish protectorate. It didn't. One big reason was because of the
> common historical roots, since the Kievan Rus. Kyiv has been the
> birthplace of the Russian Orthodox Christian Church. Ukrainian and
> Russian languages have common roots in the Old Slavic language.
> Poland tried as much as it could to make Ukraine Catholic and erase
> the Ukrainian national identity, integrate Ukrainians into Poland by
> changing the fabric of Ukraine. Don't you think such efforts were
> considered by Ukrainians as conquest? Cossacks were *fiercely
> Orthodox* and they considered Poles their primary enemies all the way.
> Under Pereyaslavl Treaty, Ukraine finally got its first
> semi-autonomous state and its national identity started to take shape.
> Russia helped Ukrainians avoid much of further occupation by Poles and
> Muslims, and that is often forgotten of course. Peter I was another
> chapter. His goal was to access Black Sea. All he cared about was
> political and military control of Ukraine to be able to expand his
> Empire, he didn't care about erasing Ukrainian national identity. With
> Peter's and Catherine's conquests, Ukrainians got access to a lot of
> new territory, formerly the Scythian lands. Thus, arguably it was due
> to Russia's involvement that Ukrainians were able to stretch
> themselves over the vast spaces that Ukraine now occupies, including
> Galychyna, Bukovyna, and the Crimea. Thanks to Russian protection,
> Ukraine enjoyed long periods of peace and stable development.
> I am just trying to be fair and factually precise. I am open to any
> specific, precise criticism of the facts above.
> Enslavement happened everywhere in Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian
> Duchy as well. Ukraine didn't really have a choice there. Enslavement
> in Ukraine happened for the most part in favor of the local Ukrainian
> nobility, not really in favor of Russian occupants.
> Considering Ukraine was a part of the Russian Empire, Ukraine enjoyed
> a good degree of cultural autonomy until the Valuev's decree of 1863.
> The Ems Ukaz was another consequence of economic mismanagement of
> Russia and significant weakening of the Empire. Another consequence
> was the abolition of serfdom. Ukrainian national sentiments were on
> the rise.
> Until the Ems Ukaz, Ukraine was culturally relatively autonomous and
> had its own cultural space within the Russian Empire as exemplified by
> Hogol, Shevchenko, and others. Repin's painting was a part of the
> Imperial collection in St.Petersburg.
> Bolsheviks wouldn't crush Ukrainian independence without a broad
> support among the Ukrainian population. It was a civil war between two
> social classes.
>> The opposite of hate is love. The recent discussion in the Ukrainian and
>> Russian mass media of Ukrainians' love Russia and why Russians' love Ukraine
>> showned that more Ukrainians were well disposed towards Russia than Russians
>> towards Ukraine.
> Yes, this is the result of Putin's anti-Orange propaganda.
>> Russian love of Ukraine is conditional: they love Ukraine
>> as part of their "Rus'"; they love Ukrainians as part of the Russkii narod
>> (made up of Great, Litte and White Russians);
> Not really. I have lot of friends and acquaintances in Russia, and in
> great contrast with you, I have lived in Russia for 7 years, between
> 1981 and 1987. The common Russian population in Soviet Union always
> perceived Ukrainians as a brother nation. In Soviet Union, there was
> Ukrainian SSR, and it was not a part of RSFSR. On Soviet money, the
> name of the currency -- you will be shocked -- was published in 15
> languages. In 1980s Ukraine, Ukrainian language was not the primary
> language of instruction at most schools, but it was studied to a
> significant degree in the great majority of schools, and quite a few
> schools were fully Ukrainian. Knowledge of Russian language has helped
> Ukrainians a lot to expand their knowledge and be mobile in the Soviet
> Union, so it was an important asset for Ukraine within the Soviet
> Union that helped Ukraine to be one of the wealthiest regions of the
> Soviet Union.
> The Russia you are talking about is Kremlin Russia, the Russian elite.
>> they love Ukrainians as part
>> of the "canonical" Russian (Russkaia) Orthodox Church. But at the same time
>> they hate the notion that Ukraine is a separate nation; they condemn
>> Ukraine's "pretention" to have its own independent Orthodox Church with its
>> own Patriarch (as is the practice in all other Orthodox countries).
> Again, these are Kremlin's policies. Specifically, Putin's policies as
> Putin is a Stalinist. Kremlin holds Russia itself in very tight
> control. What you are talking about are not the views of 99% of
> Russians, and thus you are grossly mistaken.
>> Only a
>> real mother can claim love by the very fact that she gave life and nurtured
>> her offspring. Russia did not give Ukraine life and never sustained it - she
> Yes, it did. Without Russia, Ukraine would probably have lost its
> Orthodox Christian roots and maybe even Ukrainian national identity.
> Poles have been much heavier at suppressing Ukrainians, pretty much
> all the time.
>> is no mother to Ukraine. Ukrainians' love for Russia has to be earned. There
>> was not much in the past relations between Russia and the Ukrainians to
>> warrant Ukrainians' love for Russia, and Russian present aggressive attitude
>> towards Ukraine does not bode well for the future. This is something you
>> could address, Vadim, but you would have to do this on a Russian blog.
> So what are the real risks of a Russian aggression? What do you think
> will happen if, say, US decides to fully cede Ukraine to the Russian
> sphere of influence?
>> "Amputating everything related to Russia from the Ukrainian cultural space
>> created a vacuum of cultural meaning that Ukrainian culture on its own is
>> not yet ready to address." - Humbug!
>> What Ukraine need is not closer cultural ties with Russia - these ties are
>> in fact a cultural noose around Ukraine's neck
> Why? Ukraine has had much of joint history with Russia. Using this
> logic, why European culture (not politics!!) is not a noose around
> Ukraine's neck? As one specific example, you can consider significant
> dominance of American music and American lifestyle in Ukraine. I am
> just curious to see how you draw logical distinctions. Why Tolstoy and
> Dostoyevsky are a noose on Ukraine?
>> - but breaking loose from its
>> dependence on Russia and greater integration into the European and world
>> culture. And this Ukraine must do on its own, and not via Russia, the way
>> former colonies of Africa were forced to do.
> Ukraine has never had anything close to Apartheid, except for
> 1863-1917 (not universal enforcement) and 1931-1953.
>> In this connection it is interesting to note Volodymyr Lytvyn's interview in
>> Irish Times, "Ukraine vows not to repeat Ireland's language 'mistake'":
>> Lytvyn recognized that "if the Russian language would be recognised as a
>> second state language in Ukraine, in such circumstances the Ukrainian
>> language will be moved to the periphery."
> I agree with that. On the other hand, Russian and Ukrainian are two
> quite close languages, with vocabulary being almost 50% similar. These
> two languages have the same root. It is not like it is a totally
> foreign language like English to Gaelic.
> By the way, Yanukovych and the Party of Regions also support this
> view. They do not consider themselves Russians, in contrast to CPU who
> pander to pan-Slavist ideology for political purposes.
>> And he went on to admit: "A
>> certain psychological barrier exists when the Russian language is considered
>> to be the most prestigious one." Well, this "psychological barrier" exists
>> not only with regards to the languages; it applies to the whole cultural
>> sphere in Ukraine. The situation was deplored by Lina Kostenko at her recent
>> anniversary meeting with the Ukrainian public in Kyiv. It's effects are is
>> evident in your comments, Vadim.
> It is sad but true that Ukraine has produced few Ukrainian cultural
> thinkers (not just artists!!!) of global caliber (Gogol is one of few
> exceptions). That is an objective reality. Lina Kostenko should
> deplore her own inability to create an art of global caliber. Yes, she
> is a strong Ukrainian poetess, but why is her poetry not translated to
> other languages and is not popular among the students in Western
> Europe and United States, for example?
> Ukrainian language in today's Ukraine is prestigious and fashionable.
> Kuchma enjoyed it and strengthened support for Ukrainian, even though
> he speaks Ukrainian with a heavy accent.
>> Your one-sided condemnation of "Ukrainian hatred of Russia" lacks
>> credibility because it is deficient in integrity. The dictionary defines
>> integrity as "adherence to moral principles; honesty". But an argument is
>> honest only when it is integer - whole, complete.
> Ukraine has a much greater degree of hatred toward Russia than vice
> versa. While "moskali" is a widely used derogatory term, the word
> "hokhly" is known to very, very few Russians and among the majority of
> those who know it, the word has rather folklore, not derogatory
> Sorry, your integrity is not convincing at all as you can see from my
> comments above. I think you are heavily biased and not objective at
> all. You try to be honest, but it looks like you are misinformed on
> many issues.
>> On 10-03-24 16:42, "Vadim" <solar75wind at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I misspoke... Okara wrote not just well, but beautifully about
>>> Tolkunova and her world.
>>> His title "Mother Russia" was fair and precise considering the
>>> concepts he talked about, but of course taken out of context it is a
>>> "red cloth" :-))))))
>>> By hating Russia wholeheartedly, Ukrainians discard too many good
>>> things that came from Russia over the centuries of the intertwined
>>> histories. This attitude breeds much more ignorance than helps any
>>> enlightenment in Ukraine. The country has degraded sharply in how much
>>> it reads and thinks. Amputating everything related to Russia from the
>>> Ukrainian cultural space created a vacuum of cultural meaning that
>>> Ukrainian culture on its own is not yet ready to address.
>>> It is very dangerous when politics drives culture and education in
>>> Ukraine... Ukraine will become truly independent only when it embraces
>>> human wisdom and art of all origins, not just the ones that are
>>> politically correct and expedient -- on both sides of the political
>> Your preceding posting:
>> Yes, Okara wrote about the other Russia, honest and loving, one that
>> needs not to be hated. Russia of Sakharov, Shukshin, and Tolkunova.
>> Hate is poisoning way too many souls, and not to a small extent in
>>> On Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 4:08 PM, Serbyn Roman <serbyn.roman at videotron.ca>
>>>> We already know Vadim's criteria for good posts. As for Okara, he could have
>>>> chosen a more appropriate one for the occasion:
>>>> On 10-03-24 13:19, "Vadim" <solar75wind at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> Good post.
>>>>> aaus-community-list mailing list
>>>>> aaus-community-list at ukrainianstudies.org
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