“Vlad, the Destroyer. Why Ukraine does not want to be Russian” – Michel Juffe and Vincent Simon 3 questions

Philosopher Michel Juffe and historian Vincent Simon “Vlad, le destructeur. Why does Ukraine not want to be Russian? » Published by L’élan des mots.

In Russia-Ukraine relations, Putin blames Lenin but cites Stalin…

In his July 12, 2021 speech “On the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians,” Putin claims that Lenin created a “time bomb” by creating equal Soviet republics.

On June 9, 1917, at the First Congress of Soviets, Lenin declared: “Let Russia be a federation of free republics!” […] Let every people, first of all, all the peoples you revolutionized in Russia, be free. He was still writing in June 1917 Pravda “Join the Ukrainians and you will pave the way for mutual trust and brotherhood between two equal nations. »

For Putin, this is a denial of the uniqueness of the great Russian people, “the triad of great Russians, little Russians and Belarusians. This results in a “nationalist” Ukraine at the expense of historical Russia: “One thing is clear: Russia has been effectively robbed. A part of Ukrainians suddenly, in 1991, found themselves “separated from their historical homeland and abroad. »

Lenin, of course, supported the independence of Ukraine, but on the condition that it became and remained the Soviet Union. As early as 1920, he declared non-Russian peoples who wanted to break away from the Soviets guilty of counter-revolution. In this regard, Stalin is his worthy successor…

Stalin wants to unite the peoples under the leadership of the Party, which is the representative of the proletariat. He opposes nationalisms, which practice a “system” of incitement of nations against each other, characterized by massacres and massacres. The success of such a policy “is the most serious obstacle to the work of uniting the workers of all the nationalities that make up the state. Regional autonomy can only be imagined “as a whole, within the Party. (“National question and social democracy”, 1913).

In August 1932, Stalin wrote to Lazare Kaganovich (a member of the Politburo) that he intended to turn Ukraine into a “true fortress of the USSR, a truly exemplary republic. We should not look at the cost for this. »

“Costs”: great hunger, purges of enemies of the country, including members of the NKVD, were considered too weak. With these purges, the idea that “the enemy is everywhere” is strengthened.

Like Putin…who dismissed these episodes as errors of judgment with no criminal intent!

However, Putin alludes to Stalin mainly to emphasize his (and the Russian people’s) role in the Great Patriotic War. In his long speech on July 12, 2021, he does not mention Stalin even once.

How Putin Rewrites Ukraine’s History and Choices During World War II

On March 3, 2022, Putin declared before the Security Council of the Russian Federation: “I am convinced that Russians and Ukrainians are one people, even though some in Ukraine have been terrorized and many have been deceived by Nazi nationalist propaganda. Finally, some, of course, deliberately followed the path of the Banderists and other henchmen of the Nazis who fought alongside Hitler in the Great Patriotic War. »

In this brake pie, Putin presents the majority of Ukrainians as banders. But since 1991, it is a small minority that has been underrepresented in parliament. in 2019 SvobodaThe successor to the OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) party won one seat (out of 450) in the 2020 local elections, and then 2% of the seats.

But it is true that Bandera, one of the OUN leaders, fought against the USSR since 1930, allied with the Nazis in 1941-1944 (especially by providing the Ukrainian SS units responsible for the massacre of Galician Jews) and was left out (OUN 1941 tried to create a Ukrainian state in June) and was later restored by the Nazis. After the war ended, he continued to harass the Soviets. According to them, in 1946, the armed wing of the UN (UPA) lost 120,000 people, and 250,000 people were deported. This means that after 1945, OUN no longer poses a threat to Russia.

But Putin also ignores the massacres committed by the Soviets against Ukrainians: for example, the tens of thousands of victims buried in the Bykivnya forest near Kyiv. He does not say that 1.7 million Ukrainians died in the service of the Soviet army, including during the defense of Kyiv, Odessa and the Dnieper. He takes only those Ukrainians who are hostile to the Russians and the USSR. They do not say anything about the forced sovietization of consciousness, for example, at the University of Lviv, where students were closely monitored and directed against their will since 1939 (a famous nationalist).

Putin does not invent an alternative truth. But he “forgets” and interprets the historical facts in one direction: those of the Ukrainian leaders, who are all enemies of the Russian people, and all of the Russian leaders are supporters of the Ukrainian people – because these two peoples are one people, two peoples. nations that should only be one. Unlike the majority of Ukrainians who wanted to become an independent state since 1648.

How was the end of the USSR mismanaged by Moscow and Kyiv in their mutual relations?

Some states – the “near abroad” according to the Russians – established new relations with each other, while others joined other associations (for example, the Baltic states, which were admitted to the EU in 2003). Ukraine is caught between the two, constantly oscillating between the desire to cut ties and strengthen them, or both, depending on the region. For example, what can be read from the results of the presidential elections: in 1994, Kravchuk (the current president, anti-Russia) won up to 94% in the West, and Kuchma (pro-Russia) won 89% in Crimea. . Kuchma has been president for 10 years: he is versatile.

However, Russia and Ukraine joined the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) constitution in December 1991, the Belarusian trio forming what Russians consider “Great Russia” (of the Tsars!). Seven more states join in a few weeks. This community was hesitant from the beginning: the Russians wanted to reform a federal state with a common defense system, while Ukraine (then 3e world nuclear power) wants to maintain economic and political ties, but in no way rejects the overall command of the armies in 1993. Already in 1992, Ukraine refuses to sign the collective security agreement between CIS members. We can talk about the Black Sea fleet for a long time.

Since early 1992, Ukrainian leaders have denounced to anyone who will listen that Russia does not need this tutelage, and is ready to give Russia the maneuvers to re-annex Ukraine even without its nuclear arsenal. Russia is responsible for these criticisms: Moscow mayor threatens to revise borders (to protect Russians in Ukraine); The Foreign Minister confirms that Russia is the sole successor of the USSR (the UN gives it by appointing Russia as a permanent member of the Security Council as a replacement for the USSR).

In short, Russians believe that Ukraine will be the emissary of the West, and Ukrainians believe that Imperial Russia will be resurrected. And both are right…partly. This can be seen in close-up with a crucial question: nuclear weapons.

Ukraine in 1991, 3e The nuclear power of the planet has 1700 nuclear warheads on its soil. Five years later, he no longer has one. In the meantime – and after repeating that it wanted guarantees to give up its nuclear weapons – Ukraine signed the deal. Memorandum The denuclearization of Budapest (December 5, 1994). The signatory parties, including Russia, undertake not to attack the territorial integrity of Ukraine and not to exert economic pressure. The United States and Great Britain act as guarantors.

And yet Russia violated this agreement in 2014 and 2022 under the guise of its centuries-old “right” to own Ukraine…

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