I understand well why people can be scared of
the definition that is being used by those who want to cast slurs upon
nationalism. This manipulation is deeply rooted in the European public
mentality. But for me—as a nationalist and a Ukrainian—these terms stand
separately from one another.
A great number of Ukrainian families lost
their loved ones due to Nazis and many of those lost were nationalists. This is
why the policy of confining nationalism to Pandora’s box needs to be rethought.
In the 21st century we should understand that nationalism can be not
only negative, but also positive—egalitarian, mindful of national rights and
concerns, and safeguarding the sovereign state.
The character of nationalist forces in
different countries is determined, among other things, by the unique histories
of nationhood. For the past several centuries, the Ukrainian people did not
have any expansionist campaigns where they would conquer other nations.
Instead, the Ukrainian narrative has been a history filled with foreign
occupation and the tragic extermination of Ukrainians.