Update: Yes, those stupid laws are still stupid

Unfortunately I haven’t had much time to post here due to work(what little I can get) and preparations for my trip to Ukraine. Since I don’t want to leave you empty handed while I work, here’s another brilliant article taking down the recently passed laws in Ukraine regarding Communist symbols and “independence fighters.” I’m hoping that Poroshenko’s hesitation in signing the laws indicates that he’s contemplating a veto. These laws will not win Ukraine’s war; they will not unify the country.

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12 thoughts on “Update: Yes, those stupid laws are still stupid

  1. Asehpe

    Прекрасная статья! Огромное спасибо.

    There has to be a way of being totally against Russia’s anti-Ukrainian war AND avoiding the ‘need’ to whitewash every bad thing in the history of Ukraine. Let us hope that Poroshenko will see the light and refuse to sign these laws.

    I can, however, understand the anger Ukrainians must feel against Russia right now — enough anger that something used by the Russian media must be debunked, even if it happens to, ahn, be true. How would you suggest that hot-blooded Ukrainians who want to resist the Russian onslaught spend their energy, especially if they want to find something in Ukraine’s past to base the idea that they, too, can be proud of their history? (I noticed that Ukraine also wants to have her own “Victory Day” party, thereby making the claim that it wasn’t simply ‘Russia’ who defeated the Nazis, we did, too. In percentage terms, you could even argue the Ukrainians suffered more than the Russians. Is this one way? Could Ukrainians at least partially steal the ‘we won WWII!’ thunder from Russia’s hands?)

    Reply
    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      The Bandera cult popularity right now seems to be one of those heuristics I wrote about. Lately I’ve been detecting this sort of “voodoo politics” idea, whereby some Ukrainians have told me that anyone who’s against Russia at least tolerates Bandera/OUN, and that way they can separate the pro-Russia people from the pro-Ukrainian people. I personally think this is a horrible idea and its premise simply isn’t true.

      I know who would really LOVE this idea though- the Russian GRU and SVR. It will make things a lot easier for their agents.

      Anyway, I think part of the problem is that many of these people, when you criticize Bandera or the OUN, assume that you’re on the Russian side, following the heuristic. They are unaware that the history of the OUN/UPA wasn’t simply written by the Soviets, nor is it only studied by Ukrainian or emigre scholars. What’s happening is that they’re focusing so hard on Russia(which is in part understandable), that they’re not seeing the big picture, and understanding how killing the Bandera cult is actually something that differentiates them from Russia- a country where any critical look at history is seen as treason and viciously attacked.

      I also support your idea about Ukraine outdoing Russia with its Victory Day celebration. Russia has fully betrayed the value for which WWII was fought. Ukraine is at least trying, in its own way. Even those who tolerate the Bandera cult do so largely because of a very sophisticated, persistent effort to recast that movement as a liberal democratic tolerant movement, but I digress.

      Ukraine should team up with Belarus on this issue. One in four Belorussians died during the war. Ukraine also suffered not simply in human terms but also in the sense that everything they bled and sweat and died to build was destroyed by the Germans. They need to throw that in Russia’s face when the Muscovites talk that nonsense about “feeding” those republics. The Ukrainian SSR was built by Ukrainians and fed Moscow and the rest of the USSR, not the other way around.

      Reply
      1. Void

        >>They need to throw that in Russia’s face when the Muscovites talk that nonsense about >>“feeding” those republics. The Ukrainian SSR was built by Ukrainians and fed Moscow and >>the rest of the USSR, not the other way around.
        Oh, I do believe you’re familiar with the now-popular Russian narrative that it was actually Russia who built, modernized and cared for Ukraine and now apparently the Ukrainians are simply being ungrateful by rejecting Russia’s advances and not giving up Donbass like they gave up the Crimean peninsula. The idea many Russians share that the modernization of Ukraine carried out by the reds at a terrible, terrible price to Ukrianians, both cultural and demographic, was the only way to propell the country into the modern state and that the Ukrianians should be eternally grateful to the Russians is simply preposterous, seeing that Finland for example, which has histrically been a part of the Russian Empire, did just fine without gulags, holodomor, stamping out the reach peasantry and destroying the agriculture in the process and so on.
        In any case, as a reply to your original post, you might find this info interesting – Some sources do indicate that mr. Poroshenko is not a fan of these new laws:
        http://apostrophe.com.ua/news/politics/2015-04-23/poroshenko-prishel-v-yarost-iz-za-antikommunisticheskih-zakonov—istochnik/22236

      2. Jim Kovpak Post author

        I’ve been familiar with that for some time. It was only when this Ukraine thing started that I noticed a pattern- They did this any time there was any kind of spat between them and some former Soviet Republic. They even do it with immigrants from Central Asia(“You didn’t want us there, but now you come here!”).

        It’s sickening because it’s not like these nationalities, for the most part, want to see Russia grovel and cry rivers over these issues, taking all the responsibility on themselves. I think most people would just be happy if Russia would recognize what happened but more importantly- RESPECT their independence. I think a lot of the nationalism and victimhood you see in the former Soviet/East Bloc world is largely just a reaction to Russia’s chauvinism and dismissal of these countries.

      3. Void

        Yes, dismissal of those countries, precisely! The one who live outside the CIS and who is unfamiliar with the modern Russian narrative can’t even fathom the depths the Russians will go to deny the existance of it’s neighbours, going as far as stating that there are no Ukrainians or Belorussians and that their respective languages have been made up by the West in order to devide the single unified Russian people according with the “devide and conquer” doctrine. And the worst thing is that the locals who listen to Russian news buy into it – see a Belorussian answer to a question “What’s a difference between the Russians and Belorussians” with “There’s no difference, those are the one nation and moreover, the Belurussian language is made up”: https://youtu.be/gOUAQW4cOUg?t=1m10s

      1. Jim Kovpak Post author

        Give it a little time for their search function to become operational. It looks like they’ve already begun merging the old site with the new, as the original address now leads to the new site.

        Also I’m happy with most of those comments, though some people look like they didn’t get it. Some seemed to miss the fact that the vatnik comes from Russia. Others didn’t catch that I wasn’t trying to say this is the magic trick to understanding Russia. It’s just a particular crucial personality type that one needs to understand in order to figure out why, for example, large numbers of Russia’s population reacts in certain ways. Lastly there were some comparisons to Tea Partiers. To an extent there’s a lot in common, but there are also key differences. I should probably write something short about that.

    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      I’d support “amending,” so long as amending means “throwing in the trash and punishing the people who initiated this.”

      Reply

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