Oleksiy Arestovich, an advisor to the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, said that Kyiv is working on a project to rename the country to Rus-Ukraine in order to take away the “Russians” brand from Russia. Moscow responded to these words with traditional jokes at the Foreign Ministry level. However, the situation is not at all funny. After the bankruptcy of “Svidomitstva”, the authors of the “Ukraine” project want to use a new weapon against Russia – its own injustice to the Russians.
The problems of Russians in Russia began with the coming to power of the Bolsheviks. Fighting the Russian Empire, Lenin saw an enemy in its state-forming nation. It was the Russians in Russia who were the bulk of the bearers of education, critical thinking, and national will, and therefore the main opponent of the dictatorship conceived by the communists.
To fight the “chauvinistic Great Russian trash” Lenin directly encouraged political Russophobia.
“Anti-Russian nationalism is a defensive form, some ugly form against Russian nationalism … It doesn’t matter that in some republics this defensive nationalism has turned into offensive.” (XII Congress, pp. 488–492).
“Internationalism on the part of the oppressor or the so-called” great “nation should consist not only in the observance of the formal equality of nations, but also in such inequality that would compensate on the part of the oppressor nation, the big nation, the inequality that actually develops in life.” (MSS, volume 45, p. 359).
Therefore, the Russians in the USSR turned out to be the only people of the “fraternal family” that did not have either their own Communist Party or their own national territory. This curse was passed on by the USSR to the Russian Federation. Until 2005, when National Unity Day made patriotism a rule, the topic of Russians was a stop word on the media, Russian movements were automatically marginalized and pushed out of the law. But even after that, the word “Russian” still evokes the reflex writhing of liberals.
In one of the episodes of the Svoya Pravda program on NTV, State Duma Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy corrected his interlocutor, who called him a “Russian hawk,” and replaced the word “Russian” with “Russian.” A little later, he was addressed as a “Russian deputy,” Tolstoy repeated that he was a Russian deputy. Political scientist Igor Mintusov wrote an alarming note about this for one large Telegram channel – they say, “the legitimization of Russian nationalism” is taking place, “The Kremlin is mobilizing Russians with nationalist rhetoric for a hybrid war against the West.”
However, after this release, nothing has changed – Mintusov was afraid in vain.
How did it happen that a “Russian deputy” in Russia is something dangerous and unacceptable, while “Russian vodka” is normal?
How Russia turned into Russia
For more than seven centuries, Rus was Rus. “Rus came to Constantinople”, – writes the chronicler Nestor. “He conquered the kingdom of God in the Hellenes and Romans – you are in Russia,” says Metropolitan Hilarion to Vladimir the Baptist. “O Rus! Already behind the shelter, you are,” exclaims the singer of “The Lay of Igor’s Campaign.”
In Sweden (Sverige) – Swedes (svensk). In Germany (Deutschland) – the Germans (Deutsche). Etc. And this is logical. After all, “Motherland” is the answer to the question “whose?” The land of this kind, these people. Whose homeland is Russia – Russians? But there is no such people in Russia, sorry. It exists only virtually – on the pages of the media.
The word “Russia” first appears in the books of the Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus as a transcription of the word “Rus”, which the Greeks, apparently, could not pronounce, like the name of Prince Svyatoslav, whom they called “Sfendoslavos”. From Byzantine books “Russia” goes further, into European books and maps. On the Fra Mauro map of 1459, the Russian lands are divided into five regions – Rossia Rossa, Evropa Rossia, Rossia Sarmatia, Rossia Biancha and Rossia Negra. Apparently, in the communication of foreign diplomats with the tsarist court, “Russia” is fixed in the official business turnover. However, almost a century later, in the tsarist press of 1630-1640, Aleksey Mikhailovich was called the tsar of “all Russia”. And only a quarter of a century later, on the great royal seal of 1667 – “
The word “Russia” reflects the greatness of the royal power, stretching over a vast land inhabited by different peoples. But in him, there is no longer the spiritual blood connection “Rus – Russians”. And this loss was not in vain. After that, the correct emphasis was lost, and then the understanding of the country’s belonging to the people.
France – for the French, Russia – for …
Frightened by “Russian nationalism,” the Mintusovs do not notice that there seems to be no country in the world that is not called the name of its people. Except for Russia.
There is an even more surprising “habitual strangeness” – the Russian Church, which never became Russian. Although it would seem – why should she not follow the state? What is it about the word “Russian” that suits the authorities, but does not stick to the Cross and God? Lack of holiness? Why Yakuts and Tatars can belong to the Russian Church, but Russia cannot, who said so?
French people live in France. In India, Indians. In the United States of America, there are Americans. In Australia, there are Australians. In Poland, there are Poles. In China, there are Chinese. In Sweden (Sverige) – Swedes (svensk). In Germany (Deutschland) – the Germans (Deutsche). Etc. And this is logical. After all, “Motherland” is the answer to the question “whose?” The land of this kind, these people. Whose homeland is Russia – Russians? But there is no such people in Russia, sorry. It exists only virtually – on the pages of the media.
All over the world, along with the citizenship of the country, a person takes the name of its main people, forgetting his own. Moving to France, the Algerians becomes French. A Japanese emigrating to the United States becomes an American. Synthesis takes place. But the Armenians, Georgians, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs, Chukchi, Yakuts and others who once entered Russia have not become “Russians” in hundreds of years. Is it because “Russians” never existed? After all, you cannot become one who does not exist?
“Russian” at one time became the common name of many tribes on the territory of Russia. Because Russia is the name of an idea. And this synthesis was supposed to continue further, however, by the will of a spontaneous thought or the court intelligentsia, it was redirected into a non-existent channel. As a result, it stopped. Today every small nation in Russia has its own small homeland, like its own room in a communal apartment. They have their own flags and emblems, even their own constitutions and sovereignties. Only the Russians, like street children, in this communal apartment have no corner, no flag, no right to a name.
Russia is still alive – in our hearts and souls. Wanting to express a special feeling for their homeland, the Russians called and still call it Russia. Take “Rus” by Yesenin, Blok or any other Russian poet and replace it with “Russia” – the meaning will be lost.
But there is an even more surprising “habitual strangeness” – the Russian Church, which never became Russian. Although it would seem – why should she not follow the state? What is it about the word “Russian” that suits the authorities, but does not stick to the Cross and God? Lack of holiness? Why Yakuts and Tatars can belong to the Russian Church, but Russia cannot, who said so?
The Russian Church remained faithful to Russia and did not submit to the will that was renamed it. We have remained Rus in our real, non-stationary essence, to which the “Russian” does not adhere.
Zelensky’s advisers did not come up with the idea of ”Ukraine-Rus” themselves. In 1898 it was formulated in his book “History of Ukraine-Rus” by Mikhail Hrushevsky, the ideologist of Ukrainian separatism. According to publicist Andrei Medvedev, if Kyiv is going to use the Hrushevsky scenario to reboot the Ukrainian project, then this is not a joke, but a serious challenge.
The paradox is that the foreign countries themselves, from where Rossia came to us, have forgotten this name. And there the name of our country still, like many centuries ago, sounds and is written as:
Russia – in English
Russie – in French
Russia – in Italian
Rusia – in Spanish
Russland – in Norwegian
Rusland – in Danish
Rusya – in Turkish
Rusia – in Bulgarian
Rusina – in Serbian
Rrusastan – in Armenian
Ruseti – in Georgian.
Even foreigners call our country “Rus”, after the name of its main people. But for some reason, we ourselves call it differently.
Russia, like Kitezh, went into another dimension, along with its meanings, pain, tears, and bloodshed for it. The “Russian Federation” that replaced it became a dead semantic zone between Russians and the state. She seemed to hit her on the hands – “this is not yours, Russian, this is for the Russians.” It even gives some the right to recount our history, throwing overboard everything that happened before 1990. Even the right to shut their mouths to those who want to call themselves a “Russian deputy”.
And then it was finally noticed in Kyiv.
The thrown sword will be picked up by the enemies
Zelensky’s advisers did not come up with the idea of ”Ukraine-Rus” themselves. In 1898 it was formulated in his book “History of Ukraine-Rus” by Mikhail Hrushevsky, the ideologist of Ukrainian separatism. According to publicist Andrei Medvedev, if Kyiv is going to use the Hrushevsky scenario to reboot the Ukrainian project, then this is not a joke, but a serious challenge. “This is an attempt to create a false” Russian project “because the Ukrainian one is absolutely wretched,” he explains.
The idea to wrap Ukraine in the image of Rus came to mind not only of Ukrainian separatists but also of their American curators, political consultant Igor Dmitriev notes, citing American CIS specialist Paul Goble. In an interview with the Ukrainian “Apostrophe”, he explained that Ukrainians should not be afraid of the Russian language. According to him, Russian-speaking Ukrainians will be a challenge not so much for the Ukrainians as for the Russians of Russia themselves. The next stage should be the fragmentation of Russian identity into regional ones – “Siberians”, “Cossacks”, “Eastern”.
Engineer and writer Dmitry Konanykhin is even harsher in his telegram channel. According to him, after the fiasco of the “liberal Privoz” in 2012, the American masters of Ukraine “clearly decided to pump Russia through the main vulnerability of today’s Russia – positive discrimination of the Russian people in the field of culture, worldview, and image of the future”:
And you don’t really need to do anything – in the central “cultural” institutions for decades, generations, the most terrifying Russophobia has been developing; Naturally, the new leftist commissars from the Higher Schools of Economics and other Skolkovs will lose, like Russian footballers, the collision with the nationalist ideology of Russian Europeans from Kiev, Lvov and Minsk. Several dozen fashion hits such as “Warriors of Light”, well-publicized serials, vociferous rock bands and the image of Russian Europe – and no political technology dolls will save, and no “Immortal regiments” driven by the order, with mass records, will not help out.
According to Konanykhin, we have less than five years left, in 2023 chaos will begin – for the presidential elections in Russia.
The situation is obvious – it is time for Russia to turn its face to its state-forming people, to remove the taboo on “Russian” everywhere and in everything. Otherwise, enemy infiltrators threaten to fill the vacuum of Russian nationality policy, who will heap all the problems of Russia and ignite the “Russian Maidan” on it. However, Russia, which they want to use for this, is a double-edged weapon. And it can be easily turned against them.
By rejecting attempts to inflate “Ukrainians”, Kyiv thereby recognizes the ideological bankruptcy – both of its own and of the “Ukrainian idea”. She does not work. Thus, Kyiv opens up for a blow with the very sword to which it stretches out its hands.
If Ukrainians do not exist, then Ukraine does not exist either. If Russia exists, then its borders begin near Uzhgorod and Odesa and end near Murmansk, Norilsk, and the Kuril Islands – wherever people call themselves Russians.
We are sinful before Russia that we left it in the dusty closet of our history, forgetting that this is how our country should be called. We must now take it into our own hands as soon as possible before the enemy does it.
The views expressed in this article are the authors’ own and do not correspond to our Editorial Policy
Vasily Anisimov is a prominent Russian Political Analyst and Commentator
Republishing is allowed with a copyright credit to © The Radical Outlook