Watching the Sochi Olympic Games and viewing the unrest in Ukraine these past two weeks has inspired me to kickstart this forum once again. I greatly appreciate that persons are still looking in and that there is actually a couple new followers. It's a one-man show and I encourage those looking in to drop comments.
1916 copy, courtesy of the National Library of Australia.
Once again Ukraine finds itself on the battlefront, although this one seems to be more over identity, which nearly erupted into a civil war this month. Fortunately, cooler heads have prevailed, but now there is talk of secession in the East, notably in Crimea. Boundaries have always been subject to change, and Ukraine has probably suffered more than any other European country due to wars and annexation.
For many Russians, Ukraine is part of Russia. They don't see it as a distinct nation. The Pan-slavs like Dostoevsky saw all of the Slavic people as part of Mother Russia. A feeling that most Russian writers shared, particularly Gogol, whose xenophobic views were on full display in Taras Bulba. Even today, one hears Gorbacev and other leaders evoking a Greater Russia that would include Ukraine.
Understandably, many Ukrainians don't feel the same way. Oleksandr Prylypko has written this engaging commentary on the nationalist fervor of the Russian intelligentsia, particularly in regard to events taking place in Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the main square of Kiev. For Ukranians it is a matter of national identity, not this continual living under the Russian shadow. But, imperial notions are hard to shake. It is easier to reflect these attitudes onto the European Union than it is to see those same traits in yourself, as many in the Russian intelligentsia have long been doing.