IMPRESSIONS FROM UKRAINE’S INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

On the eve of Ukraine’s Independence Day, numerous publications came to light about how the lives of Ukraine and individual Ukrainians changed after the collapse of the USSR and with the acquisition or restoration of independence. The authors mainly compared the cost of living and prices for real estate, household goods and, of course, food. Some authors, however, still compared freedom – movement, speech, and others.

To my remark that there is a fascination with secondary successes, and more important issues are not even discussed, the author of one article, a journalist, agreed with me, but remained with his opinion: this is how we get small steps and then get to fundamental things.

Of course, they write about the fight against the oligarchy and corruption, about civil society and so on. At the same time, they do not want to notice that society has degraded and that it is precisely this society is responsible for what has happened and is happening in Ukraine and with Ukraine.

And here is Independence Day. Beautiful military parade on Khreshchatyk. Against the background of this parade, the presentation of state awards on a dividing lane of an empty street looks miserable: standing on one side of a dividing lane, the president pokes something into the hands of people who approach from the other side, take a box and disappear from a deserted street. No solemnity of the merits moment of recognition, nocturnal ritual of the act of rewarding. Routine…

We listen to the speech of the President Zelenskyy and watch a video of a first-grader wandering through the pages of Ukrainian history, and then run to her father, a soldier who is about to march at the head of a military parade. Some kind of schooling …

President’s speech definitely is about Ukrainian leadership doing its best to regain Ukrainian history by reminding Ukrainian people that their history is much deeper than thirty years of independence, and this is a good sign.

What is not good, it’s selectiveness: paying attention at secondary historical facts and events and completely ignoring not just more — very important stuff. In the history overview Mazepa, Petlyura and Bandera were not mentioned despite their significance in Ukrainian history. You may dislike them and not accept them, but these three politicians gave birth to rare phenomenas: generations of Mazepyntsi (Mazepians), Petlyurivtsi (Petlyurians) and Banderivtsi (Banderians).

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his remarks speaking about Ukraine’s demographic provided “full list” of nationalities living in the country but at the same time he didn’t bother to mention… Ukrainians — 85% of population making Ukraine a mono-ethnic country.

No doubt that there are Ukrainocentric citizens and true patriots among ethnic minorities in Ukraine. It’s hard to say how big anti-Ukrainian part of minorities population. But it’s clear that the most aggressive segments of ethnic minorities (especially Russian minority) form so called “fifth column” causing major internal problems in Ukraine.

The Ukraine’s president doesn’t think about this when calling for all-Ukrainian unity of “multi ethnic Ukrainian nation”.

What’s in this? A Soviet style internationalism? The desire to elevate minorities and humiliate the majority in a mono-ethnic (by definition) country?

What completely missing from celebration, it’s Ukrainian diaspora. No single word was said by V. Zelenskyy about diaspora’s role in gaining or regaining Ukraine’s independence. Previous presidents used to give orders and medals to loyal activists. This one didn’t give a medal even to his own adviser on diaspora affairs. This is a sign that the current Ukraine’s leadership tries to cut diaspora off Ukrainian nation and state building.

This means that Ukrainian diaspora organizations have to review their approach in regard to Ukrainian nation and state building participation. It’s very important to form an Ukrainian Worldwide Movement that ought to become a driving force in Ukraine’s systemic changes. Ukrainian diaspora is the one and only power that can bring national consciousness and civic responsibility of Ukrainian society to the level at which this society will be able to build a successful and prosperous Ukraine.

Flirting with those in power in Ukraine, collecting orders and medals, etc. has not brought, does not bring and will not bring any benefit to Ukraine and the Ukrainian cause. Let our reward be systemic changes in Ukraine and its transformation into a powerful player in world politics.

August 24th, 2021.

Published by Dr Volodymyr Ivanenko | Д-р Володимир Іваненко

Entrepreneur, Professor & Scholar | Підприємець, професор, учений

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