Ukraine and the "language question"

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by Stanislav, Sep 1, 2023.

  1. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    This bit of news, I think, illustrates Russian-Ukrainian relations on a fundamental level:

    Children attacked in Germany for speaking Ukrainian: 10-year-old boy thrown off bridge

    The results of the police investigation indicate that several Ukrainian children were standing near a bridge when an unknown man began to complain that the children spoke Ukrainian.

    He ordered them to speak Russian and said that Ukraine had started the war. What language the man spoke is not specified.

    The prosecutor's office indicates that the man allegedly pulled a girl by the hair, grabbed a 10-year-old boy, and threw him over the railing into the canal.
    The prosecutor general considers the attack politically motivated, the newspaper Die Welt writes. It also notes that the attacker spoke Russian."
  2. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    What does it mean? This average Russian simply translates the official dogma: Ukrainians should not exist as a separate community. This was russian Imperial policy for 400 years, formulated out loud by Tsarina Catherine II "The Great" (born a German princess btw). Soviet policy was a bit subtler. After murdering top Ukrainian intellectuals and starving millions of farmers in the 30ies, they pivoted to placing Ukrainian culture and, above all, language as an inferior good. Avenues for advancement were wide open for ambitious Ukrainians on one unspoken condition: become Russian for all intents and purposes. Even in culture, a Ukrainian could be portrayed as either obsolete, or a comic relief, or a traitor, or fully Russified. People deviating from this were a problem to be dealt with. Mostly they were bought out, but no measure was out of bounds. Prominent examples of what could happen to seemingly completely loyal but "too Ukrainian" artists include film director Leonid Bykov (bullying campaign, suspicious car crash) and young hit songwriter Vasyl Ivasiuk (implausible "suicide"; his protégé, pop superstar Sophia Rotaru, was given a more palatable repertoire and was re-billed as "Moldovan" rather than Ukrainian).
    With Ukrainian independence, russia lost complete dominance needed to continue this work. So when putin turned full Fascist, all he could do is an outright war. Oh, and he allowed his people to say quiet part aloud. Hence, incidents like the one in the news article.
    Rachel83az likes this.
  3. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    As for fears that Ukrainians will start mass murdering Russophones: this is a very banal Fascist propaganda trope. Umberto Eco's "Ur-Fascism", feature #8: "The enemy is both strong and weak. “By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.” The KGB was very good at this kind of stuff.
    Rachel83az likes this.
  4. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    Horrific, but I'm honestly not surprised. This kind of thing has been happening across Europe. I think this might be the first attack on children I've heard about, though. It's usually a Russian adult attacking a Ukrainian adult. Once or twice, it's been a Russian attacking another Russian for supposedly being Ukrainian.
  5. Xspect

    Xspect Member non grata

    I wholeheartedly back Ukraine in their current conflict and believe that violence against children, or any form of discriminatory violence like throwing someone off a bridge, is unequivocally wrong, I think it's important to discuss another angle. Based on what I've gathered, there seems to be a fairly prevalent issue of racism against individuals of color in Ukraine, even in its major cities. This seems to be in contrast to Germany, where attitudes appear to be more progressive in this regard.

    Note - putting on flame-resistant suit
  6. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Not to my knowledge, nor experience. Not to any higher degree than in rest of Eastern Europe, anyway. With the amount of dirt russo-fsscists try to smear Ukraine with, directly and through influence agents, I am inclined to heavily question your sources.

    P. S. Google Zhan Belenyuk, Olympic wrestler and Member of Parliament.
    Jonathan Whatley likes this.
  7. Xspect

    Xspect Member non grata

    Personal experience growing up in NYC. Being well-traveled and Backpacking in Europe during my gap year,
  8. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Horrible attack, what a hateful faschist person did this?
    So much hate in the world.
    Russians failed miserably and archive the opposite results, Russian language is a language of occupiers and enemies of today's Ukranian people.
    I'm a product of Soviet and pre-soviet policies.
    Ukranian language was something I learned in school, the main language was Russian.
    There is a Ukranian TV Chanel "Freedom" that I watch, it's in Russian language and blocked in Russia obviously.
    Stanislav likes this.
  9. Xspect

    Xspect Member non grata

  10. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    I think I understand. I thought you were talking about organized and semi-organized racist violence. That wasn't really an issue, in part because there are relatively few people of color. Before the war, these foreign students had not much to fear. Racist attitudes and overall background bigotry and ignorance? Yeah, I heard that; and yeah, I would bet Germany would be somewhat better on that front. I think we should work on knowledge and empathy, especially given our history of being oppressed (but then again, a lot of Ukrainians don't really know our own real history). It probably won't be a popular opinion, but it would do us good to be called out for that cr@p. Hopefully, Ukraine would work on that as part of our journey to EU.

    Having said that, for proper perspective, look at what we're fighting. Russia actively tries to establish itself as leader of the world's Far Right and white supremacy. They have the exact same kind of kitchen table racism, turned to 11, and combined with literal Nazi ideology - and practice. Let's not forget that.
    Xspect likes this.
  11. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    I think a better term for us would be Russified rather than Russophone. Younger generations are trying to get rid of that, mostly.
  12. Xspect

    Xspect Member non grata

    I'm genuinely grateful for your recognition of the issue at hand. You're absolutely right; many people don't realize the deep-rooted history and indomitable spirit of the Cossacks when they think of Ukraine. The traditional dance I think is called the Hopak, and the iconic braided hairstyle, known as Oseledets, are often overlooked or incorrectly associated with the Soviet Union. My apologies if I've gotten any information incorrect. If just look at Ukrainian history they had to fight basically everyone from the huns to mongol, Russian and everyone in between. Regardless if they lost or won they seem to live by the motto - "you've got to bring a** to kick some some a**"
    Stanislav likes this.

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