Ukrainian Ethno-Fascism vs. Russian Multiculturalism

Ukrainian President Zelensky’s demand that those of his citizens who consider themselves Russian move to that eponymous neighboring country is self-defeating since it exposes his government’s ethno-fascist policies while making Moscow’s own case that the Eurasian Great Power is one of the world’s multicultural centers.

The West long sought to downplay Russia’s accusations that Ukraine’s post-Maidan government pursues an ethno-fascist policy despite there being plenty of evidence to this effect such as Kiev’s active support of neo-Nazi militants and its leadership’s visceral hatred for their country’s Russian minority. That weaponized information warfare narrative of gaslighting Russia’s accusations will be much more difficult to convincingly propagate after President Zelensky demanded that those of his citizens who consider themselves Russian move to the eponymous neighboring country because they’re no longer wanted in Ukraine. This was a purely self-defeating statement since it exposes his government’s ethno-fascist policies while making Moscow’s own case that the Eurasian Great Power is one of the world’s multicultural centers contrary to Western claims.

The Ukrainian leadership operates under the influence of “negative nationalism” vis-a-vis Russia whereby it embraces every perceived element of difference between these two fraternal people. Taken to its extreme, it falsely asserts that they’re actually completely different nationalities and that their commonalities are only due to so-called “Russian imperialism” and “cultural appropriation”. President Putin thoroughly debunked this historical revisionism in his well-researched article last month “On The Historical Unity Of Russians And Ukrainians”. Regrettably, his message of cultural unity, support for Ukrainian sovereignty, and suggestion that Kiev balance ties between East and West instead of fully submitting to the latter was misportrayed to the Western masses as another example of “Russian imperialism”that supposedly denies the existence of Ukraine.

President Zelensky’s ethno-fascist demand should therefore be seen as a radical overreaction to his Russian counterpart intended to distract from the factual evidence that President Putin presented in his article which discredited Ukraine’s policy of “negative nationalism”. Instead of acknowledging the historical truths contained therein, Kiev doubled down on the dark path that it’s been treading since the spree of urban terrorism popularly known as “EuroMaidan” succeeded in overthrowing its prior leadership and ushering in the rise of ideological radicals to power. These ethno-fascists want to establish a so-called “pure” Ukraine free from any foreign influences apart from Western ones. In particular, they want to snuff out any trace of the Russian people and their heritage from the lands that they dishonestly claim as “historically being Ukrainian”.

Those who are familiar with the objective history about Ukraine know that the majority of its present-day territory was acquired as a result of the Russian Empire’s and Soviet Union’s policies. Vast tracts of what’s nowadays Eastern and Southern Ukraine were historically populated by ethnic Russians and many of them remain so to this day. These people are ethnic Russian Ukrainian nationals who continue to practice their culture by speaking Russian, embracing relevant traditions, and commemorating certain holidays. They veritably exist and have a strong sense of identity that can’t be crushed by their current government’s ethno-facsist policies intended to turn them into Ukrainians or force those that don’t do so into fleeing to Russia. They have the international legal right to continue living on their ancestors’ land and identifying as Russians.

Ukraine’s present policies sharply contrast with Russia’s. Whereas the former unquestionably seeks to aggressively impose its ethno-fascist vision upon the country’s cosmopolitan society through a combination of political pressure and the state-backed neo-Nazi-driven ethnic cleansing campaign in Donbass, the latter proudly embraces its multicultural composition and truly respects the rights of its many diverse people to continue identifying however they so choose within responsible limits (such as abstaining from anything remotely resembling separatist tendencies) and practicing their culture without any limitations. This is evidenced by its administrative structure which bestows political autonomy upon many of these leading minority groups who continue to populate their historical lands.

This pragmatic policy respects their human rights and allows them to live in dignity within a united Russian Federation instead of predisposing them to supporting separatism as a reaction to those same rights being denied to them by the state. Those non-ethnic-Russian citizens of Russia are referred to as Rossiyskiy, which emphasizes their historical connection to Russia despite being a different ethnicity than the country’s titular one. Ukraine could have followed in Russia’s footsteps by coining a related term to refer to similar minorities within its borders who are now part of the Ukrainian state but don’t share the same ethnicity as its titular one. It could also have bestowed political autonomy upon Donbass per the Minsk Accords to counteract support for separatist tendencies there. By refusing to do so, Ukraine laid the seeds for its present multi-sided divisions.

Its leadership cannot accept the country’s cosmopolitan demographics since these objectively existing facts remind everyone that the majority of its present territory wasn’t historically populated by ethnic Ukrainians. That goes against their ethno-fascist ideology, which is why they’re so obsessed with snuffing out their “fellow” citizens’ identity differences by either aggressively replacing them with a Ukrainian one or forcing them to flee to Russia. The most pragmatic policy would have been to emulate the Russian model by striking a balance between national unity and respect for its many minorities’ human rights. Ukraine no longer tolerates its citizens’ naturally occurring identity differences, unlike Russia which proudly embraces them and even teaches its youth about the countless contributions that non-ethnic Russians played in their civilization’s history.

The contrast between Ukrainian ethno-fascism and Russian multiculturalism is clear, and the impression one is left with is that Russia actually embraces the Western notion of human rights much more than Ukraine does. Nevertheless, the West continues to dishonestly claim otherwise for strategic reasons related to supporting Ukraine’s externally encouraged transformation into a so-called “anti-Russian vanguard proxy state” on false pretexts. The emerging outcome is that the reputation of the Ukrainian leadership is irredeemably ruined in the eyes of all objective observers who truly appreciate the Western notion of human rights, the country’s preexisting identity divisions are worsening, and an even greater tragedy now looms in this Eastern European country unless multiculturalism succeeds in replacing ethno-fascism as its unofficial ideology.

By Andrew Korybko Via http://oneworld.press/?module=articles&action=view&id=2156