KyivPost

Myths from U.S.S.R. still have strong pull today

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Feb. 25, 2009, 6:39 p.m. | Op-ed — by Yuriy Lukanov
NATO is evil, Bandera worked for Nazis, and other myths that divide Ukraine A civil war has been going on in Ukraine for the last several years, albeit a virtual one. Fights are cruel, as if the citizens want to destroy each other – or at least each other’s brains. They feel that when they completely knock the contents of the enemy’s brain out, they will have peace and quiet. That they’ll be able to live happily ever after, eat bread and salo and sing joyful songs.

What am I talking about? Can you imagine citizens of a single country, even with radically different political views, fighting over raised utility rates? Citizens from different regions normally have a similar attitude to this type of problem: They do not accept an insolent price hike by greedy power brokers.

But sometimes there are things so illusionary and far from real life that our compatriots fight battles of words as if they are the sense of their existence in this world.

Last year, nearly all TV channels showed a report from the Crimea, in which age-old pensioner grannies enthusiastically stomped on flags. Their faces were lit up with joy as if they have just seized the German Reichstag in May 1945, and celebrating the greatest victory in their lives.

But in reality they were dancing on a NATO flag brought to the peninsula by those who – as they said – wanted to give true information about the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Gathered by Communist Leonid Hrach, the grannies started attacking information tents of NATO advocates, knocked them down to the ground and started their wild dances. They obviously felt triumphant.

It would seem that one can only shrug here and ask a rhetorical question: “What else can you expect from the Communists?” But the paradox is that today one of the most ardent opponents of NATO in Ukraine is the party that represents large capital, the Party of Regions. Paradoxically, party leader Victor Yanukovych a few years back developed a stage-by-stage plan of how to join the military alliance. The whole faction voted almost unanimously in support of this document.

But today it joins the Communists in chanting nonsense about the alliance. Have the Regions Party finally begun to see clearly and realized that NATO is a hostile and aggressive bloc?

It happened after the 2004 Orange Revolution, when President Leonid Kuchma, having ruled the country for two terms, had to free his chair. There were few ideological confrontations in his time because he had created an autocratic regime in Ukraine and held on tight to all power levers. If someone had become too enthusiastic about lighting the ideological fire, they would have been simply moved away from the power trough or – worse still – their business would be bankrupted.

But, just before leaving power, Kuchma lobbied for legal changes that did not allow his successor to have the high concentration of power that he enjoyed. In fact, these changes contributed greatly to creating the current power conflict. This, in turn, forced various business and political groups to start an open confrontation, including an ideological one.

Debate and disagreement – natural for democratic countries – have turned into farce in Ukraine. Opponents of President Victor Yushchenko didn’t start a real discussion about a real problem, but rather re-animated an old Soviet myth.

One of the greater myths is the image of NATO as a hostile bloc that dreams about putting a yoke on Ukraine. The Regions imitated the Communists just because the new president supported speedy integration with Europe and joining NATO. With the help of mass media, the problem of NATO became just about more important than issues to do with everyday life – increasing personal well-being, getting medical treatment or proper rest.

Another one of such myths is the one about the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, formed during World War II. It fought against Communist power until the 1950s, under the leadership of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.

It spoke for Ukraine’s independence. In the U.S.S.R., the propaganda was that the army fought on the side of the fascists and destroyed their own compatriots. Indirect proof of this myth was artificially supported by those who hate the insurgent army the most – the residents of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and the Crimea. The insurgent army did not fight in these areas at all, mostly confining its activities to western Ukraine.

There were even memorials erected in the Luhansk region and Crimea to those who had fallen victim to the insurgent army. Residents of those regions do not even know the proper name of the insurgent army’s leader. They call him Stepan Bendera (with an 'e,' rather than Bandera), confusing him with the hero of famous Soviet novels, Ostap Bender.

Yushchenko spoke for reconstruction of historic events that either had been twisted or hushed up by the Soviet propaganda machine. Instead, in compliance with the myths about the insurgent army, the president received the label of “fascist” – something that his opponents frequently talk about.

The language issue also belongs to this selection of myths. During Soviet times, opponents of the slow and subtle exclusion of the Ukrainian language in Ukraine were condemned as “Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists,” and could even end up in prison as enemies of the Soviet state.

The eastern parts of Ukraine were Russified much sooner than the rest of the territories, hence the myth about traditional Russian-speaking territories in eastern Ukraine.

The spin was that population there has always been Russian-speaking, and that’s why the Ukrainian language is alien there. As a result, more often than not those parts of Ukraine treat the forgotten ancestor language with hostility, as if it’s an ideological poison. Yushchenko, who supports the Ukrainian language, received more terrible labels for this stance, too.

A political party that exploits an old myth will, sooner or later, end up as an outsider of social progress. But it’s not the debate they started that is the real problem. The problem is that supporting ancient Soviet myths does not help society’s development.

Here’s an example: Yanukovych recently announced that, in his native Donbass, children are suffering and crying because they are forced to study in Ukrainian. Can you imagine a statement of this sort about French, English, Polish or other languages from politicians in these nations?

A war against your own language and lies about your own past are akin to the Communist propaganda about Pavlik Morozov, a boy who told Soviet authorities that his father was an enemy of Communist power. The father was jailed and Pavlik became an heroic legend of history textbooks and a role model for generations of Soviet kids.

This tale of a young Judas is long-forgotten, but other Soviet myths are alive and well. When is this all going to end? Moses led his people around the desert until the death of the last person born as a slave. Maybe he was right. Maybe Ukraine will have to wait for two more generations.

Yuriy Lukanov, a freelance journalist in Kyiv, is a Kyiv Post columnist.
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Anonymous Feb. 25, 2009, 8:11 p.m.    

"Moses led his people around the desert until the death of the last person born as a slave. Maybe he was right. Maybe Ukraine will have to wait for two more generations."

Said right into the point!

It's sad, but true. And, Ukraine will need to survive through that time...

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Anonymous Feb. 25, 2009, 8:48 p.m.    

More myths that go around at least in western Ukraine:

- Ukraine is the best country in the world

- Lviv is the most beautiful city in Europe

- Ukrainian is the third most beautiful language after Italian and French

- Kyiv is more beatiful than any other capital in the world

- Russians are degenerated and Jews exploit Ukrainians

- Foreigners have the pockets full of money

- Ukrainian women are the most beautiful in the Universe

and and and

Poor people. So sad.

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2009, 2:23 a.m.    

- URussia is the best country in the world

- Irkutsk is the most beautiful city in Asia

- Chechen is the third most beautiful language after Rusian and Ingush

- Moskva is more beatiful than any other capital in the world

- Russians are degenerated and Jews exploit Tatars

- Russian mobsters have the pockets full of money

- Bashkir then Russian women are the most beautiful in the Russian Federation

and and and

Poor Russian people. So sad.

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 10:08 p.m.    

good one

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Anonymous Feb. 25, 2009, 8:55 p.m.    

Moscow propaganda!

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2009, 1:14 a.m.    

could anyone... even for a second... want to go back in time and live it once again?...what's there for anyone to want?

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2009, 2:02 a.m.    

Well -- Moses was an Egyptian prince before he led the Israelites out of Pharaoh's bondage and into the wilderness - and never himself crossed into the promised land.

I suppose the Gazprom logo DOES bear some resemblance to a burning bush... and Donetsk smokestacks can (when they are operating) be reasonably compared to a pillar of cloud.

Yanukovych -- a Ukrainian Moses!?

It's possible -- the absence of manna and any sort of commandments adhered to by both the proud and the meek in the nation are likely Slavic innovations that improve upon the Biblical Exodus.

Shalom, Moshe!

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2009, 5:26 a.m.    

Yuriy Lukanov, your opinion lacks any historical perspective, what so ever. You are willing to mention Communists and Soviet Union, that was done away with 18 years ago. But you are dismissing the historical facts that Russia (and Ukraine as part of Russia) was brutally attacked by the most prominent NATO members -- Germany, Britain, France, within last 200 years. These were some of the most brutal invasions in human history, and most of the people now living in Ukraine and Russia were affected by it in one way or another, and yes, they don't want any entity controlled by these country building their military bases in their country or near abroad. I'm sure it is very hard for you to understand.

Banderovtsi are no better than Nazis. Your heroes commited well documented genoside on Polish population in Valunia, and that movement should have proper place in history books.

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2009, 12:14 p.m.    

Blah Blah Blah

FromUSAwithLove

you are here again with your crap how much do you get paid for your inromation input on these sites?

How old are you? were you alive when any of this happened and where do you really live not in the USA

Go and polish putins nob... and let the rest of us have a sensible discussion

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2009, 1:25 p.m.    

Slawa Ukraina!

Smert Vorogam!!

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2009, 10:09 p.m.    

:):):)

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 4:16 a.m.    

right on...you think I should get paid?

I don't. But if you want to pay me not to comment, we can discuss that.

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 4:17 a.m.    

I can give you an e-mail address where to send the money by paypal. How about that?

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 1:19 p.m.    

I wouldnt want to put more money into the russian propoganda machine... they steal enough as it is.

and whats wrong with the money you get paid now?... roubles got too low in value for you?.

I hear tzar putin is realy pleased with your efforts...you even gave him some ideas for his new history of the fatherland book which will be the official history book. :)

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2009, 5:33 a.m.    

Wait a minute, NATO IS evil !!!

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2009, 11:19 a.m.    

FromUSAwithLove you are forgetting the fact that Eastern and Central Ukraine was brutally conquered and enslaved by Russian Empire for 350 years. Ukrainian language were prohibited and Ukrainians were "younger brothers" with no or small rights. Ukrainian people received much more harm from Russia then from Germany, Britain and France together. Just recall - Golodomor. But in modern world we have to talk about future not past. And this future for Ukraine is European Union - free traveling without visa, free right of speech, modern economy and so on and on and on....

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 4:27 a.m.    

Well, if it wouldn't be for Russia, Ukraine would be a Polish speaking Catholic country. I'm sure that most Catholics and Polish speakers wouldn't mind that , but the reality of that time was that Cossacs and Orthodox Christians preferred to partner with Russia instead. Religion played a huge part in that.

Looking in to the future, what is this business in Ukraine to always count on somebody else to solve its problems. Russia, and now EU. I doubt that EU will solve any of Ukraine's problems. To get perspective on that look at Latvia, or other Baltic nations. Can you explain to me how EU benefitted those countries?

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 1:15 p.m.    

I can assure you that from membership in EU we - The Baltic states - benefited tremendiously. And we are so glad and proud to be once again in Europe - not in Russia!!!

If talking about Latvia you mean the crisis the country is dealing with, I suggest you to look at your own country - USA. After all, USA was the mother of the crisis. And small countries around a world are just a victims of your greedy bankers. Anyway, EU is backing Latvia in the time of the crisis. Without this backing Latvia was a bankrupt country long time ago. So, the benefit of EU is unarguable.

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 5:23 a.m.    

Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging your country for being a freeloader nation.

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Anonymous March 1, 2009, 10:09 a.m.    

You can sing this song all day long, but will hit a hard brick. Baltic nations all put together will never be as valuable as Ukraine, as your market is so tiny that nobody gives a shit whats going on over ther. And, yes thats why token maintanance money will always be allocated to you. Population in Ukraine is about 10 times that of Baltic states put together and it will be much more important in European affairs than your freeloader nations. Stop counting on EU and get your ass to do something productive for a change. At least in Latvia they are making a hell of a good liquour.

Here is a good rule of thumb for you: STPOP couting on your government to negotiate another hand out for you, and get to work. Do something productive that would benefit you and your country. Otherwise you are a feeloader that will never get anywhare.

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 5:16 a.m.    

Your points well taken.

EU is supplying Latvia with money and that is all. I don't see how this can be good for Latvia as a nation, as it is simply dependent on EU's hadouts. But, I guess if thats the way you like it, more power to you. This kind of nation is not for me.

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Anonymous March 1, 2009, 3:20 p.m.    

It seems, that you have no idea what you are talking about...

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2009, 12:19 p.m.    

No, Stepan Bandera was not Bener.

He was West Ukraine's Ben Laden, who started his career as a member of a secessionist terrorist cell, who initially succeeded in exploding the foreign minister of his country, Poland.

The second stage of his career as a terrorist was pronouncing a Nazi Ukraine in West Ukraine and helping German Nazi with betterenrollment of West Ukraine's youth into Hitler's army.

Then, in absentia, he was one of the leader of the movement, which, together with Germans, cleansed western Ukraine, western Belarus and eastern Poland off from Jews (helped in conducting Holocaus), in addition to killing from 80,000 to 120,000 Polish population in western Ukraine.

Welcome to reality, Yuri Lunakov!

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2009, 6:09 p.m.    

To Mr. Lunakov,

No doubt you get your information from old Soviet and/or Russian propaganda literature. I suggest you look at recent Ukrainian archival documents (written by communist and/or the cheka), recently made public, showing how red army and secrect police created hundreds of bands or units posing as OUN or Banderivtsi throughout Ukraine. These groups would murder innocent people for the purpose of trying to blame the OUN and discredit them in the towns and villages.

Bandera fought against all groups staking a claim to Ukraine including the Soviets, Nazis and Poland. He was, in fact, even arrested by the Germans before his escape.

As for the Jewish issue, you are completely wrong. If you like I can direct you to the German Security Police archives which clearly show that the Badera movement actually provided many Jews with forged documents and passports assisting them in escape.

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 4:37 a.m.    

mykry,

To be fair, I would love to see your sources on this. Both, the recent Ukrainian archival documents and German Security Police archives.

Look forward to it. Thanks.

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 5:06 a.m.    

Guess not.

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2009, 6:10 p.m.    

The Soviet Story is movie for everyone in Ukraine! The truth!

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2009, 6:33 p.m.    

Every week there are more and more of these opinion columns taking bits and pieces of history and rearranging them so it lines up with their nationalistic viewpoint. It gets tired and silly reading these. As an American we had other myths about the Soviet Union and propoganda that was told to us, and after the break up I realized alot of these were untrue. Now there's all this and it just makes the people look silly.

Part of Ukraine wants to think it is a European country but like it or not you are more Russian than European, stop trying to put the blame on Russia for all your problems and move on, you might actually get something accomplished.

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 3:35 a.m.    

Thank you Kyle.

It's true. When in a god's world has Ukraine ever played any kind of role in Europe?

Ukraine and Russia come from the same roots, and no politician can change that.

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2009, 9:27 p.m.    

Kyle, you obviously don't know what you are talking about.

Even former President Kuchma said, very famously, that "Ukraine is not Russia."

I invite to take a close look at what is happening under Pootler's "managed democracy," which is really a KGB kleptocracy, and compare that to the development of true democracy in Ukraine.

True, there are some ultra-competitive contests in Ukraine, and some flaws, but there is real freedom of speech, and the beginnings of real accountability of government, on a democratic basis, in Ukraine.

Unlike in Russia, where one is "free" to say what one likes, as long as it does not criticize Pootler or the government.

And there it is - the sovok code word - "nationalistic" viewpoint. I take it that the Irish, the Germans, the English, the French, the Bulgarians, Romanians, Poles, Czechs, etc., are also "nationalistic" according to you?

Russia is to blame for quite a few of Ukraine's problems, as is true in other post-sovok countries.

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Anonymous April 18, 2009, 10:32 p.m.    

What kind of problems? I really want to know.

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 10:18 a.m.    

Its always nice to see outsiders being the authorities on another country's history. Perhaps if they had personally experienced the country's history as many Ukrainians who lived through it did - their tales would be much different.

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 2:36 a.m.    

Very well said.

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2009, 8:33 p.m.    

I really wish Ukrainians would take a long hard look at their leaders and realize, as does the rest of the world, that they are corrupt and Incompetent. Membership in NATO is unimportant now. Ukrainians need to worry about how they can survive the current economic situation. Ukraine's wish to be a part of the EU is a wish that will never be fulfilled under your current leadership. Rampant corruption at every level of government will doom Ukraine. It will be a sad day when that happens. People of Ukraine get up and do something!!!!!!

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 2:35 a.m.    

The facts struck the raw ornage nerves and that's why the orange cleptocracy whines all the time. UON were serveing the nazi germany and are recognized war criminals. NATzO are bunch of western pissboys who are getting their arse flogged in Afghanistan exactly because the megalomaniac unholly allience got the wrong idea they can attack countries all over the glbe with impunity much what their honcho genocydal maiac US owners do.

In fact it is the bunch of orange morons who brought the Ukraine economy down to it's knees through incompetence and thievery. Good soon the destitute Ukraine peolpe will get rid of the orange gang of thieves in power so agent orange Yuscchenko and his CIA operative wife will get sent packing for the country they serve - the US

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 10:05 p.m.    

You keep regurgitaing the same rubbish. No substance, no facts, just paranoid bleating.

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 11:36 a.m.    

Ukraine as a truly independent nation is a relatively new concept and nation building is as such of great importance. The Ukrainian language (incl media, book, magazines etc etc) is of course a very important part in this.

BUT, Ukrainians ask yourselves this:

1) A significant number of Ukrainian citizens have Russian as first language. Is it correct to superimpose Ukranian on this portion of the population? This seems similar to the treatment Ukranian speakers have endured.

2) Ukraine is a part of Europe and should reasonably join the EU at some point in the future. Minority language rights are heavily protected under EU law. Will pressing this point help Ukraine's chances to join the EU?

3) The official state language in Ukraine is and should stay Ukrianian in my opinion. However, if I would like to start a TV-channel that broadcasts in Urdu why should the govt no allow this? Or is the problem only with media-formats in Russian?

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 3:19 p.m.    

Language does not make a nation or state. Nationalism is a a very blunt and dangerous tool. If your not with us your against us mentality.What is nationalistic to one is an offense to another/. Ukraine is a country of diverse nationalities and culture. There is no one National right or One Ukrainian Culture as such. Ukraine should celebrate and embrace its diversity and stop looking to divide its nation. Politicians that preach a Nationalist theme do so because they stand for noting constructive and only full of hate. They are the one to fear. They are the ones close to facism.

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 4:38 p.m.    

right right right

a country called "Ukraine" actually doesnt exist

this thing called "Ukraine" is something artificial

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 3:12 p.m.    

NATO is evil and Bandera did collaborate with the NAZI's, This is a fact. I have heard first hand reports of Ukrainians being lined up and shot by Bandera's men. He should have been charged with War crimes.

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 8:25 p.m.    

do you know the biggest two mistakes the mankind made?-Nuclear weapon and USSR

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Anonymous March 2, 2009, 6:31 a.m.    

It is no USSR anymore,and you are still 20 years behind.Wake up brother it is 2009.

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Anonymous March 2, 2009, 12:12 p.m.    

"It is no USSR anymore,and you are still 20 years behind.Wake up brother it is 2009."

It sure is 2009! Just saying that, even though the "Offical" USSR doesn't exsist anymore, Russia deffinately still conducts international affairs in a USSR way. A duck is a duck, even if you want to call it a cat.

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Anonymous March 3, 2009, 6:20 a.m.    

Nothing wrong with that. Do not kill yourself thinking about that..How do you want to call your newly democratic country. Americans play with you like cat with the mouse. They can not take care of they own people,and you think that they will bring wealth and prosperity to your country. You need them just because they want you to help USA create problems for Russians that all. They will put you in a garbage after they done with you. They do it with every country. Why do you think Americans liked Russia under Yeltsin,because they could easily humiliate Russia. Thanks god they can not do it anymore. Putin restore country, people started to live better. Of course not everybody. Go to USA and you will see how many poor people they have. It is not that great in America as everybody think.

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Anonymous April 18, 2009, 10:29 p.m.    

I think USA and Israel.

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2009, 10:37 p.m.    

Hurrah, yet another oarange invented soviet era myth got debunked.

500-pages document compiled on base of existent and newly open soviet archives PROVES that the HOLODOMOR myth is nothing but a product of sick orange CIA disciple Yushchenko mind, heh, heh, heh

What embarasment for the orange liars the HOLODOMOR lie become.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090225/ap_on_re_eu/eu_russia_great_famine_2

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 6:10 a.m.    

If roosha opened its archives, and people had the opportunity to examine the archives, then I might believe this kind of claptrap.

As it is, roosha has come up with the old "blame it on Stalin, there was no plan, sorry, all a big misunderstanding, blame the Holodomor on Georgia" crap.

The embarassment is roosha's.

See, people in the 21st century know the facts.

Despite rooshan lies.

The sad fact is that roosha's are pathetically insane and morbidly dishonest, decrepit, and delusional when it comes to government.

There is no Christianity in roosha, except for Protestants and Catholics.

All the rest is just rooshan oily mother roosha orthodox wizards dressing up in Halloween costumes and waving their arms and blowing smoke.

And praying to Pootler.

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 12:29 a.m.    

Watch movie The Soviet Story!

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 12:32 a.m.    

Ukrainians and Russians are like brothers but the Soviet Union and Putin regime are our enemys!

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 4:38 p.m.    

We are brothers,you get it wright, and I respect your opinion,but do not get me wrong , Putin restore the Russia. If it is not him we could have life like Ukrainians have.We do not want that.

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 10:39 p.m.    

Why is Putin doing his best to put Ukraine down. If we are brothers we should get respect each other? Putin doesnt love Ukrainians or Russians in Ukraine, it is obvious! Why did he stop the gas suplies for Ukraine, is this a brother move?

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Anonymous March 1, 2009, 7:01 p.m.    

You want to be independent. First, you have to start to pay for what you buy. Second, Russians are not responsible for your mess. Third, America has to pay for your gas not Russia,because it is America who changed regime in your country.Ukraine has to stop look at Russia and start to do something on your own. Russia has been giving you cheep gas for good 20 years, but what Russia gets back from you? HUMILIATION What do Americans give for free to anybody. Nothing. There are 45% Russian people live in Ukraine. You are canceled Russian schools,universities. Canada has two official languages.Why you can't have it. It is not just Russian people,but also Ukrainians who run to Russia for work. We are brothers if third country is not intervene. Third country breaks us a part and you go for it. SAD.

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 1:53 a.m.    

Soviet myths are die-hards to orange pranoids indeed! Big proclaimers of democracy thinks they know best what language we MUST speak and whether to join NATO or not, who cares for referendum?

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 6:05 a.m.    

You've got it exactly backwards, little rooskie sovok.

The sovoks forced everyone to speak rashan - Central Asian, Estonia, Polish, you name it, masva and the rooskies shoved rashan down everyone's throats.

Now, democratic countries know that they need not kak-a in rooshan any more.

There are far more civilized languages.

As far as NATO is concerned, that is a big bug up roosha's and Pootler's butt, because roosha still wants to rule the world - or at least try to poke its fingers into everyone's eyes if it can't rule the world.

rooskies are like little kids - they will do anything to get attention, even if it's not constructive.

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 10:17 a.m.    

Most prominent members of NATO have invaded Russia within last 200 years. Most people of Ukraine and Russia were affected by these invasions as these were some of the bloodiest brootal invasions in history. Now, why would Russians or Ukrainians welcome an entity ran by these countries to establish military bases on their soil or near abroad. Author lacks any perspective or common sense.

Banderovtsi commited well documented genoside on Polish population and should have their rightful place in history books.

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 5:44 p.m.    

Soviet (Russian in reality) empire was named by the U.S. President Reagan "the empire of evil". No doubt, it was really so. Both Russian white and red empires were absolutely destructive as only Mongol-Tatar one was many centuries ago. They gave nothing to enslaved people. They only took, killed and lied. Soviet (and contemporary Russian) propaganda is based on lie only. Those who fought for independence of their Motherland are labelled as enemies of those enslaved by Russia nations (even not enemies of Russia!). In case of Ukraine these are Mazepa, Petliura, Bandera etc. They don't want to reveal their archives. They simply hide truth! Down with Russia. Freedom to nations! Freedom to a person! GLORY TO UKRAINE!

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 7:27 p.m.    

Bandera was a nazi bandit. Very proper name for the convicted war criminal. The neo-UON are the same kind of scumbags much what their traitor faters were - they sell Ukraine and their services for pocket change, because much llike their predecessors they are common criminals and thieves.

The current sorry state of Ukraine proves my point - it's down into the shitter hole because the orange cleptocracy "managment" completly screw the Ukraine people and stole and sell anything they can for their personal benefits to their US masters.

But that's now thousands of ukraine working people are ready the grab the pitchforks and dispose into the trashbin of the history the agent orange Yushchenko and his CIA operative wife . They will endup much like Nikola and Elena Chaushesku soon enough if they don't run and hide to thei home country US.

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 10:04 p.m.    

You really need to work on your sources and your English but firstly, please consult an anger-management specialist.

You must wake up screaming every night!

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Anonymous March 1, 2009, 9:35 p.m.    

The Russian propagandists that hang around this board are so pitiful that i don't know whether to laugh at them or pity them. It's like, can't these pan-Slavist morons come up with anything better than this? Come on guys, don't you have anything at all to say that actually makes any kind of legitimate point? Anything?

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 10:10 p.m.    

Stepan Bandera is a Ukrainian National Hero. There are now monuments

to his memory all over Ukraine. He was murdered by a soviet agent

in Munich, Germany after WW II. Bandera was not the first Ukrainian to

be murdered by Russians when in exile in Western Europe. Konovalets, Rebet and Petliura quickly come to mind. The Russians have always

hated Ukrainians and do to this day. The so called Russian speakers

in Eastern Ukraine are Russian parasites who were sent to populate

Eastern Ukraine after millions of native Ukrainians were murdered in a

mass Genocide by the Soviet Russian regime. Today the TRUTH is

coming out and it would be best for the Russians to just go back home

to Russia as the Eurpean colonists left Africa and elsewhere.

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Anonymous Feb. 28, 2009, 10:30 p.m.    

Very good comment Lukanov!

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Anonymous March 1, 2009, 1:36 p.m.    

Anyone who denies that the mother language of the vast majority of residents of the Donbass is Russian, is not a Ukrainian patriot, but rather simply an idiot. Yanukovich raises a perfectly legitimate point. Ukraine has to come to terms with the fact that it is a bilingual nation. The country might as well try to celebrate its bilingualism, because the issue of Russian vs Ukrainian is not going to go away.

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Anonymous March 3, 2009, 3:33 p.m.    

It seems to me that Yanukovych and Russians in Ukraine need to come to terms with the fact that they live in Ukraine - not Russia.

The country might as well celebrate the fact that it is UKRAINE, not Russia, because UKRAINE is not going to go away, notwithstanding all of the hypocritical, cynical propaganda put forth by Yanukovych and other political operatives fishing for votes.

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Anonymous March 2, 2009, 9:29 a.m.    

lets go an invade Russia!!.... make the Russian all speak English, and then after a while it can be their native tongue.... never will be??...see how stupid it sounds.

and do you think its any different for the fact Russia invaded Ukraine subjugates its people, forces them to learn and speak Russian, and over how many years does it become your native mother language...so how stupid does that sound....no different to above

Think before you write... where is the word English in Russian? no where... where is the word Russia in Ukraine...no where!!.

You have lost your national identity... it was taken from you

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Anonymous March 2, 2009, 2:40 p.m.    

Not necessarily. If you persecute and enslave a nation using violence, you can force them to abandon their native language in a relatively short amount of time. Look how quickly the Stalin regime was able to exterminate the Ukrainian language in eastern Ukraine in the 1930s. If Ukrainian authorities launched an all-out assault on the Russian language, backed by guns and tanks, they could force Russian speakers in the Donbass to convert to Ukrainian. But is that a desirable or realistic scenario? Of course not. So the country needs to come to terms with bi-lingualism. The speakers of each language have to have basic rights that are respected.

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Anonymous March 1, 2009, 9:50 p.m.    

Excellent point. Any attempts to prevent people from speaking their native toung at home and expect their children and their childrens children to speak their native language are doomed to failure.

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Anonymous March 3, 2009, 4:22 p.m.    

ALTHOUGH YOU ARE NOT FROM USA AND YOU ARE WITH HATE, YOU BRING UP AN INTERESTING POINT.

WHY HAVE THE RUSSIANS PREVENTED UKRAINIANS FROM SPEAKING UKRAINIAN IN UKRAINE FOR DECADES?

WHY HAVE THE RUSSIANS PREVENTED UKRAINIANS FROM HAVING UKRAINIAN TV IN UKRAINE FOR DECADES?

WHY HAVE THE RUSSIANS PREVENTED UKRAINIANS FROM PRINTING UKRAINIAN BOOKS BY UKRAINIAN POETS AND AUTHORS IN UKRAINE FOR DECADES?

WHY HAVE THE RUSSIANS PREVENTED UKRAINIANS FROM HAVING UKRAINIAN RADIO STATIONS IN UKRAINE FOR DECADES?

WHY HAVE THE RUSSIANS FORCED UKRAINIANS, LATVIANS, ESTONIANS, LITHUANIANS, ETC. TO SPEAK RUSSIAN FOR DECADES?

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Anonymous March 4, 2009, 5:25 a.m.    

The reason for this is because Ukraine was part of Russia for a long time. Thats all. Ukraine got protection from Russia against Poles, and you can ask Ekaterina the Great and other Tzars why Ukrainian language was banned.

Nevertheless, these attempts failed, which just proves my point. Ukrainians still speak Ukrainian. All attempts failed. And your current Nazi agenda will fail. Wheather you beleive me or not, I guarantee you that with the most definite certainty.

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Anonymous March 4, 2009, 8:10 p.m.    

You all in Ukraine need to start thinking about a nice, decent divorce. Apparently, some Ukrainians cannot accept that they live in multi-national, and multi-lingual country. That Ukraine is a country of all citizens, not just Ukrainian nationals. And it also seems obvious that some have still not accepted the official history of WWII, where some Ukrainian nationalists collaborated with Hitler, fought with Hitler's forces against the Soviet Union and its Western Allies. Most countries in Europe had such painfull history, but have learned to overcome them. Many in Ukraine are not even close to put this to rest. Some just go ballistic at the thought that Russian also may be an official language, and that in some parts of Ukraine this will be the language used in administration and schools. In Canada, this is not an allien concent, nor is it in many other countries in the world. If this cannot be soved, go for a divorce; split the country and live as happy neighbors.

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Yulia Blindyuk March 9, 2009, 7:07 p.m.    

please don't abuse caps lock

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Anonymous April 16, 2009, 5:38 p.m.    

maybe we should take anyone who speaks Russian in Ukraine and force them at gun point to speak Ukrainian....oh wow its such a bad thing should not be done...

Hey I got news for you!!! this is exactly what happened only the other way around to force the people there to speak only russian...and you ask why is there conflict between these two countries...blood calls out from the past and it will not be forgotten

go and count your roubles

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Anonymous March 3, 2009, 12:33 p.m.    

I happen to know some of the men who were in that army, many are still alive and well thank you very much.

And the last thing they were was Nazi...they volenteered to train to be a fighting unit for the defense of Ukraine and that meant fighting anyone who was a threat.

they joined and formed a fighting unit under german command because who else would have given them military training...not stalin and co.

So for the people on this section who are so forward in their views..where you alive then? what would you have done to protect you families homes and country...enemies came from the soviets as well as the Nazi's

And dont tell me "my grandfather was there he told me all about it"

Its a known fact that there were soviet units in those areas who deliberately killed and blamed it on these Ukrainian units...areas they had never even been operational in.

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Anonymous March 3, 2009, 7:40 p.m.    

there are more myths in the former Soviet Republics which had been invented and supported by the communist regime for example that Crimea had been Russian soil. Now this subject is being heavily exploited. Crimea peninsula never historically belonged to Russian or Slavic nations. Even the Kievan Rus did not have Crimea in its boundaries neither access to the Black Sea. Crimea is colonized/occupied soil. To be short: all these contraversies described in the forum messages do not bring an end to discussions. all the ex soviet republics were recognized in its ex soviet administrative borders by the international communities and they must be accepted (first of all by Russia) as integral countries and subjects. otherwise tomorrow Poland would demand its ex eastern borderlines before 1939, China would reclaim Russian Far East etc etc etc............

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Anonymous April 18, 2009, 12:40 p.m.    

Sorry to inform you Vlad, but parts of Crimea were a part of Kyivan Rus,

and was known as Tmutorokan' Rus, it controlled both sides of the

Kerch Strait. And Volodymyr the Great, BTW was baptised and healed

from an eye disease at the time of his baptism in Crimea.

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Anonymous April 21, 2009, 10:52 p.m.    

Yea, all of the former soviet republics boarders were recognized using pre-Molotov-Rebintrop map. Ukraine was an exception, as Crimea was given to Ukraine in 1954.

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Anonymous March 3, 2009, 7:58 p.m.    

"Even the Kievan Rus did not have Crimea in its boundaries neither access to the Black Sea. "

Vlad, you surely sound like an ignorant Russian. As a matter of FACT, Tmutorokan' Rus

controlled the access to the Sea of Azov on both sides of the strait, in Crimea and in

what is today Russia.

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Anonymous March 3, 2009, 8:07 p.m.    

FromUSAwithLove said, " Excellent point. Any attempts to prevent people from speaking their

native toung at home and expect their children and their childrens children to speak their

native language are doomed to failure."

NO ONE prevents anyone in Ukraine from speaking English, French, Chinese, Russian or

any other language at home or in their private affairs in Ukraine. What is expected, as in the

US and in most other civilized countries, is that in public life the official or national language of

the country is to be used in all government or public business as well as in schools, etc.. Try

going to a bank in France and expect them to speak Russian to you. LOL buddy! It is the

Ukrainian Governments responsibility to restore the Ukrainian language to its rightful place

in Ukrainian public life. If someone does not like it, there is nothing hindering them from

emmigrating back to where they or their family came from.

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Anonymous March 4, 2009, 5:19 a.m.    

I agree. With that siad I beleive that banks should be private enterprises and deside for themselves in which language they want to conduct business.

As far as schools are concerned, I think that since government is enjoying tax revenues from all citizens -- Ukrainian speaking and Russian speaking, money should be alocated to regions for education and they can decide in which language classes should be conducted. Or there should be alternative financing of private schools and they can conduct business in the way they want.

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Anonymous March 4, 2009, 7:56 p.m.    

In Canada officials speak English and French in their public appearances. Nobody is asking the French speaking to go back where they came from. In Switzeland, a multi-lingual, multi-national arrangements were achieved long time ago. So is in a great many other countries in Europe. In US, many government offices in areas of high percentage of Spanish speaking population provide services in English and Spanish. Moreover, some jobs in government for that reason require applicants to be bi-lingual. However, in Baltic states and other East European countries nationalist sentiments are often coddled. In fact, for as long as these sentiments are against anything Russian, it is OK. If this is how the enlightened West thinks the East Europeans are stupid, then more power to them. The article is as biased as it can humanly be. Anything against NATO is described as "nonsense". So much for analysis! So much for openness! We get it: NATO has no alternative. Heil!

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Anonymous March 9, 2009, 12:21 p.m.    

double standards mate...

who forced the people who live in Ukraine and other countries held captive in the ussr to speak Russian so that they could not speak their mother tongue....its people like you who think everything should be your way or not at all.....go and count your roubles mate and stop spreading your misinformation....Russian is not the mother tonuge of Ukraine or any other country outside of Russia

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Anonymous April 14, 2009, 6:15 p.m.    

So as USA,not a Worldwide police right. That right Canada has two languages and as civilized country enjoy it even benefit from it. What,s happened with Ukraine instead of thinking they have just hate in they beautiful heads.I can not belief it,it is still not enough USA influence in your country?You do not have job,money,stability,prosperity,future.....a lot to say HA,and you still look at west. 45% Russian live in Ukraine,at least think about them.They are people too.

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Anonymous April 14, 2009, 6:25 p.m.    

So mush hate here,nobody forced you do not speak your mother language you did not want to speak.If you got what you want living in Ukraine why you are so angry.You have to be happy,why do you hate Russian now?Hate USA and EU they have to give you money,gobs,goods etc.not Russians.

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Anonymous March 4, 2009, 9:23 a.m.    

just a small remark to Crimea. maybe Crimea somehow was controlled for some time by the Kievan Rus...maybe. What I want to stress is that the present boundaries shall be respected. The intrigues by the Russian government aiming to destabilize the Ukraine or even let it disintegrate (attacks on the gas front and backing such doubtful elements as Yanukovitch for achieving its goals) is a dangerous game for such a country as Russian Federation itself. Russia has never existed as a state in its present boundaries. on the territory of the Russian Federation there are many republics and ethnic groups having little in common historically with Russians. The Russian efforts shall be directed to consolidate their own state and prevent possible disintegration which is not desired by the overwelming world community.

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Anonymous April 14, 2009, 5:56 p.m.    

It is not exactly the truth. All small republics and ethnic groups do not want to have a mess, because the smaller you are the less power you have. It is much better to be big one country not tiny one that anybody can dictate and swallow you. They do not want to be independent but some other country such as USA want them to be.All USA states can be independent too right. Look at Georgia now or Ukraine if they will be friends with Russia they could get much more if they against it. What USA gave them war and distractions what Russians could give them money, job and gas. USA and Ukrainian government that Americans put NOT ELECTED did a lousy gob, they do not think about people they do not care,what they do they lay.

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Anonymous April 18, 2009, 7:51 p.m.    

DEAR FROMUSAWITHLOVE,

You are not an American, and you are with hate, and you are an evil provocateur that is fishing from more "useful idiots"! Any russian is free to go back to russia, but thy prefer to stay in Ukraine because they know that there is much more freedom and democracy in Ukraine. Go back to the kremlin and stand on your corner soap box and you will receive much applause.

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Anonymous April 18, 2009, 10:20 p.m.    

Hey lover boy or who ever you are. People can not go to

Russia because they have houses in Ukraine. They have place to live. I am sure you have enough freedom and democracy in Ukraine much more than in Russia. You must be proud about it. Me too! Probably,what why people going out of Ukraine and settled in other countries.

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Anonymous April 20, 2009, 9:12 p.m.    

These Russians can just sell their houses and move back to Russia.

Putin is calling to them. He wants Russians to come back to Mother.

Het do domu Moskali! Chort vas chykaye!

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Anonymous April 21, 2009, 3:07 a.m.    

Sorry I did not learn Ukrainian language yet. Could you please translate it for me? This is the beauty of the freedom and democracy, you should know better, as we all know, you are more fortune than Russian people,you have freedom of speech.Conclusion is that people can speak out even if you do not like it. So, suck it in and at least be nice and respect people with different opinion. I did not tell anything nasty and I want you respect me also. Prices of the houses in Russia much more expensive than in Ukraine so Russsians do not have much choice even if they want to. California was Mexican, Americans took it and never gave it back to Mexico. You got it back why don,t you want to enjoy it and make your life better.Mexican don,t have good life and they didn,t get their land back,you got your land back.Enjoy.Take care and make it better under your government.

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Anonymous April 21, 2009, 3:15 a.m.    

Unfortunately, Ukrainian nationalists prove themselves to be political impotent over and over again. Really incapable bunch with strong lack of common sence, lack of deplomacy, and ability to have a dialogue. The only thing they can do is post these morronic comments and possibly get in to fights on the street. Even nationalists in the Baltics are much more civil. Its pathetic guys.

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Anonymous April 21, 2009, 3:39 a.m.    

You are absolutely right.

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Anonymous April 21, 2009, 8:12 p.m.    

Ukrainian nationalists buried the Former Soviet Union. You call that impotent?

Ukrainian nationalists have regained their own state and currency. You call that impotent?

Ukrainian nationalists have regained their national history and debunked 70 years

of Russian imperialist propaganda. You call that impotent?

Ukrainian nationalists have regained their national churches including the Ukrainian

Greek Catholic Church after years of Soviet Russian denial that it existed. You call that

impotent?

Ukrainian nationalists have exposed the Russian brutality and hatred of Ukraine and

Ukrainians which culminated in a Genocide Famine that was denied by Russia for

more than half a century. You call that impotent?

Seems to me that the only thing impotent is you and your feeble intellect!

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Anonymous April 21, 2009, 10:35 p.m.    

Of course Ukrainian nationalists are impotent. As soon as you guys gained political capital, you managed to screw things up so badly that you lost it all. Just like Communists after the Red revolution, after they came to power, they had no idea what to do with it, so people like Stalin capitalized on it. Same thing happening in Georgia.

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Anonymous April 21, 2009, 10:45 p.m.    

And by the way, history shows that Ukrainian nationalists never where able to hold on to power for too long. Mazepa was a typpical example of behaviour of Ukrainian nationalist in power.

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Anonymous April 22, 2009, 1:16 p.m.    

where do you live??

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Anonymous April 22, 2009, 7:02 p.m.    

Planet Earth, LOL...

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