Ukrainians vs. Little Russians

Well it just so happens that on a day when I have numerous ideas for articles, I also have other obligations and little time in which to fulfill them. That being said, I do have something for the time being, which I think is extremely important.

This is an open letter to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, asking him not to approve those idiotic, anti-free speech laws which were recently passed by the Ukrainian Rada. The letter is signed by numerous Ukrainian and international academics. Once again, the list contains many of the same people who signed a petition in support of Maidan which, while acknowledging the problematic influence of the far right,condemned attempts to portray the whole movement as being wholly controlled by fascists or right-wing extremists. In other words, good lucky claiming these people are shills for the Kremlin.

Given his status as an oligarch, and some of his more boneheaded actions which at times are eerily similar to those of Vladimir Putin, I never had any love for Poroshenko. I support the citizens of Ukraine, Ukrainian independence, and Ukraine’s territorial integrity, in spite of any conflicts I might have with certain people or factions in Ukraine, or the Ukrainian government. Having said that, if Poroshenko strikes these laws down, he would be making a bold step in favor free-speech and progressive politics. More than this, he would be drawing a clear line of separation between two nations, Ukraine on one hand, and Putin’s Russia on the other.

With the stroke of a pen, Poroshenko can prove that Ukraine is truly moving forward, or he can fulfill the fondest wishes of the Kremlin rulers and their propagandists, not to mention their military strategists. Let’s hope Petro makes the right choice.

6 thoughts on “Ukrainians vs. Little Russians

  1. Paul Canning (@pauloCanning)

    No Snyder? Owh I’m shocked!

    I may be missing something but I haven’t seen any criticism, coded or otherwise, of this law bill from ‘the West’ apart from this letter. Seems a bit odd. Are there any vaguely similar laws in Eastern Europe? So it’s OK with EU norms?

    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      Other EU former East Bloc countries have similar laws, but Ukraine’s goes a bit further in a number of places. The worst part is the other law that criminalizes anything seen as defamatory about the OUN/UPA. This is legislating a revisionist political narrative, and it exceeds the Russian government in idiocy, because at least Russia never passed a similar law that was proposed in the past.

      The thing that infuriates me about this, is that all these “defenders of independence fighters” only seem to care about protecting their manufactured heroes. If a law like this can be approved, why not the same in Slovakia for the Hlinka Guard? Why not for the Hungarian Arrow Cross party? Why not for the Croatian Ustashe? All these movements were dedicated to independence in some form(less so with Arrow Cross, as Hungary of course was independent at the time). Apologists for these movements also claim they were framed by Communist propaganda, and that it was other people(usually the Germans) who were really responsible for the slaughter and repressions that happened under those regimes.

      But no, Ukraine’s leaders aren’t going to stick up for Croatia’s “independence fighters.” Those guys were guilty as sin. Ditto Hlinka Guard, ditto dozens of other collaborationist movements. But the OUN/UPA? As long as you ignore the mountains of evidence, you can, and if they pass the law, MUST, buy into the idea that this organization was all about liberal democratic values and independence. Incidentally it happened to be the only movement of its kind at that time, in that particular area of the world. How bout that?!

    2. Jim Kovpak Post author

      Snyder probably didn’t sign because he believes that free speech has limits, particularly when it contradicts the narratives of certain national groups whose asses he’s perpetually kissing.

      Also, based on his own words he seems to be fine with constructing a political narrative. He says it “makes sense.”

      1. Paul Canning (@pauloCanning)

        RE Snyder (and the rest). Ask him. Seriously, Jim. Press the effing point. UR right.

        UR a socialist? Do something. Organise. That’s the sort of thing we do, am I right?

        A suggestion.

        The defence of Charlie Hebdo is about enlightenment principles. This is a Big Thing Right Now (Google QUB Charlie Hebdo). Free speech and all that. This bill nullifies free speech.

        Lotsa lotsa westerner people are busy defending Charlie (I know some!). Why aren’t they railing at Poroshenko about this bill?

        Write something connecting the two. I promise I will plug it. Scouts honour.

        [Jim. I removed snark, several times, but seriously. Bro. Girlfriend. You already have a platform created by your own efforts because you can effin write and know your stuff. This bill is a bad thing. If you are serious then use what you have. I agree! Lots of others will. Follow through.]

  2. Pingback: Free Speech? Oh yeah, that thing. | Russia Without BS

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