“Facts”: Not long ago you asked forgiveness of Ukrainians: “We tried to stop the war. We had a few. We are to blame”.
Andrei Zubov: I have several times asked for forgiveness, talked about our fault from the very beginning, when he came to you for the first time in may 2014. But for some reason this appeal is noticed.
— Sorry, but you what?
— You know, there are different levels of associations. For example, if my son committed some improper act in relation to a third person, I have to ask this man for forgiveness and even something financially compensate, since required. It’s the duty of a decent man. If we extend this position, it will become clear that each of us associating himself with his people. I very keenly feel their unity with the Russian people, Russia. So I wrote March 1, 2014, when Putin was going to Annex the Crimea, that “we are on the brink of war with our closest, rodstvennikam the people of Ukraine, a sharp deterioration of relations with Europe and America, on the threshold of a cold and possibly hot war with them.”
I believed that as a Russian person does not have the right to remain silent and have to say that it’s wrong to the Ukraine and around the world knew that there is another one in Russian. By the way, December 17, PARNAS, on my initiative, adopted a Declaration: we the Russian political party, but we absolutely do not agree with Putin’s policy in Syria and mourn and suffer, on behalf of the Russia atrocities committed there.
I feel guilty. When you come to Kiev and see the mutilated by war young people, when the Ukrainian women talk about dead sons, husbands, suitors, very hard for me. Ashamed, hurt, I do not want to live! These people speak the Russian language. These are my close friends, they’re not from the other end of the world… Me and the Arabs are now ashamed. But with Ukraine — some kind of special flour and shame.
I am a thousand times sorry for my people. Do it again and again. Try to understand that the Russians are brainwashed, duped, deceived. Every nation can be fooled. As the Germans deceived the Jews and a fool, and then they were hard to recognize that this is a mistake. Yes, actually, and Ukrainians, to be honest will look into your past, realize that they cheated, and duped, and they did misbehave. But it is in no small degree does not excuse me. Exactly I am sorry for your people. Can forgive me as a representative of the people, and not just the Professor Zubov, or will not, it is a matter of conscience of every Ukrainian.
— Frequently communicate with the Russians. Fortunately, adequate. They may not articulate their thoughts as you, but I think the same.
I am confident that our small steps — yours, mine, your loved ones, friends, and my friends and family — will change the situation. And if we’re heart will love and firm belief in what Good (with a capital) will ultimately triumph over evil, then, feeling the employees are Good, we will live a useful life.
— Is there any hope that Putin will come to his senses or that he was forced to settle down?
— No. I have realized that it will be struggling, by hook and more by crook, to preserve their power, and to do this would be to commit one crime after another. Yesterday, the Ukraine, in Syria today, and tomorrow somewhere else. Unfortunately.
You know, he’s not the first. Napoleon in order to establish themselves in power, commits one crime after another, from the expedition to Egypt and the murder of the Duke of Enghien, to attempt the capture of Russia, Austria, Prussia. In the end, all ended with the exile on St. Helena. Hitler shot himself, while drinking poison in an underground bunker of the Reich Chancellery. In no way do not want Mr Putin a horrible death. On the contrary, I humanly wish he had time for reflection, to repentance, to change their lives. But as a politician he certainly did not take place, made a huge number of evil deeds. And the sooner it will cease to control Russia, the better for Russia and for Ukraine.
— For the long history of relations between Russia and Ukraine, anything can happen, and now came to a bloody war. What, in your opinion, was the background to the current conflict?
— You know, scientists — the great masters to give a thousand different profound explanation for what happened. This is our bread, that we live. However, I will try to explain what I think actually.
As is known, relations between close relatives, even in everyday terms is always difficult, always painful. Family because we don’t choose, they’re given to us. Nothing can be done. We must live with them your whole life and pass these relationships on to our children. Here we have to be especially careful.
Are relations of the Ukrainian and Russian peoples. Completely erroneous, but, nevertheless, very common in the nineteenth century was a point of view that talks about the specifics of the Ukrainian people, about the special Ukrainian people — fiction Galician nationalists. They say it is specially made Austria to dismember Russia. So thought far-right in the old pre-revolutionary Russia. The same Markov-“second” (in the state Duma deputies-namesakes were “numbered”. — approx. ed.) Dr. Dubrovin (one of the leaders “Union of Russian people”. — approx. ed.) Purishkevich (a monarchist, for some time lived in Kiev. — approx. ed.).
By the way, very characteristically, in large Ukrainian cities of Kiev, Poltava, Ekaterinoslav, Kharkov, where lived many of the Russian population, the main conflict arose between intelligent intelligent Ukrainian and Russian. And he was more acute than, say, in rural areas, dominated by Ukrainians and Russians enjoyed listening to Ukrainian folk songs and were touched by all the people.
That is why representatives of Russian right largely have the Ukrainian territorial and sometimes ethnic origin. As we know from the old jokes, the most ardent anti — Semites-the Jews…
However, before the revolution was dominated by another point of view: the Ukrainians, of course, the East Slavic people — other than the great Russians. To whom this opinion is more like it who less is a matter of taste, but the question was in this particular orientation of the Ukrainian people.
As you remember, in the old Russian Duma Ukrainians were divided into Bogdanovka and mazepians. Bohdanivtsi considered Ukrainians a special people with a special culture, but were convinced that Russia and Ukraine should be close, though not to merge relations. It can be a Federation, autonomy, etc. And mazepians had nothing to do with Russia. They relied, rather, on the West. While Russia, Great Russia, were their main enemy.
With these trends, Ukraine and Russia entered a dreadful period of the revolution and the Communist dictatorship. Then grief got absolutely everything — and more than it can endure any people. It’s impossible to tell someone less, someone more.
Indeed, the Bolsheviks announced the creation of Ukraine, but Autonomous Ukraine in a federated Russia — it was the principle of Denikin. But the Bolsheviks never held the independence of Ukraine. First, it was necessary to satisfy the terms of the agreement with Poland from 1921 (establishment of borders between the RSFSR, the Byelorussian and the Ukrainian SSR — on the one hand, and Poland on the other. — approx. ed.). Secondly, it was necessary to subordinate Ukraine to the Kremlin, but Russian (I stress it, then the Russians weren’t that many in the Kremlin), and at the same time to say: “Look, a number of countries became members of the international, we are international community.” It is not accidental that created the state that do not have the title any connotation with Russia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which included the Russian Federation and the Soviet Ukraine.
I must say, many fell for it. Even a very worthy Professor Hrushevsky. He returned to Kyiv and became President of the Ukrainian Soviet Academy of Sciences. Dr. Vynnychenko (Ukrainian politician, revolutionary, writer, artist. — approx. ed.) do not wilt, but remained in the West and said that everything that happens in the Union is a farce.
That is already in the first years of Soviet nation-building, some had accepted and believed: let Soviet inferiority, but still Ukraine. Others did not believe, and said that this is pure Bolshevik farce: the Russian Federation — no not Russia, not Ukraine.
The Bolsheviks aimed to create a national education, but without any national content. Guided by the principle: national in form and socialist in content. Ukraine was in the form of Ukraine, and, in fact, part of the Comintern, part of the Soviet state. As well as stress. No difference was not.
So deeply mistaken Ukrainian nationalists, claiming that in the USSR Russians conquered or conquered Ukraine. Within the leadership of the Communist party was equally represented Russian and Ukrainians (plus a lot of other peoples), but the main thing — all these people had no national feelings. Their parents belonged to a certain nationality, and they were internationalists, not fond of neither your, nor any other people. They could be obsessed with anything: someone’s idea, someone’s lust for power, someone with enrichment and so on. It was an international gathering of villains, so to speak.
The most important thing for them was that none of the parts of the former Russian Empire became the Soviet Union there are no national feelings, no feelings against the Soviet. Therefore, when such feelings were manifested in the form of, say, the desire to restore private property relations on the land, this is the era of the NEP, they were cruelly suppressed. And where the land was more fertile, and the peasants firmly stood on his feet (not only Ukraine, but also South Chernozem region of Russia — the don, Kuban, Northern Caucasus), brand specially arranged famine. To destroy as many people as the will to resist. And who will stay, who will die, does not matter. The main thing is to break the will to resist the Bolsheviks, and any desire to live independently. Since Ukraine was in the sense of agriculture richer and far in whole South of Russia, then, of course, the main blow was directed at her. However, as you know, very affected not only the farmers of the South, but the pastoralists of Kazakhstan.
That is, the Bolsheviks (it is an international gathering of villains) for his power did not spare anything or anyone. This “tradition” preserved in the postwar period. Yes, Ukraine has remained national in form, but any desire to strengthen their national identity suppressed exactly the same as in Russia. And in Russia, even tougher. The ideological binding is pushed for Russian identity.
It was in fact let the poor, often quite primitive Soviet poets and writers, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Armenian, Georgian. They worked in their language and it was underlined. Russian and Soviet writers were not! Russian — those who lived before the revolution, and in emigration (the same scene), and the Soviet Simonov, Fadeev and so on.
Never thought about it.
— You know, it moved even me. I was very angry when Wikipedia wrote “Soviet scientist”. I never have been. I was anti-Soviet scientists.
Did not exist because of the Russian Communist party. Ukraine seems to be ruled, albeit completely a puppet, Communist party of Ukraine by the Central Committee. But the Communist party of the Russian Federation was not only the Communist party. This, too, should not be forgotten.
In this sense, Russia and Russian-ness feared even more. We have tried to destroy in whole national, and in Ukraine — almost completely.
And we must remember that people like the same Putin, that Mr. Kravchuk (not by chance the first President of independent Ukraine became Secretary of the Central Committee on ideology), although located on different sides of the barricades were formed in this paradigm, national in form and Communist (or, say, Imperial) content.
What happened now? We could gradually and naturally, izzhivaya Soviet vile ideology, to make our country a truly national content and to build close and fraternal relations of peoples, which to some extent are mixed (in the border area do not understand, where the Ukrainians, where the Russian). It was under Yeltsin, even with a huge number of disadvantages.
But had not achieved the correct form of secession from the Communist past. Decommunization, which was conducted in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, has not happened either you or from us. All captured by the oligarchs, the people remained poor. This is a huge mistake. Such errors largely determine the failure today in the Ukraine, and Russia.
However, ethnic conflict, thank God, did not happen. But at some point, namely when you started the Revolution of dignity, when Ukraine was in some degree aware of itself as a national state (because a new generation that was not taught different Soviet stupidity, was formed already in an independent country), Putin has used the classic technique of any dictator. Philosopher Plato in his work “the State” says that the dictator must constantly wage war, because otherwise people do not understand why, in fact, they ruled single-handedly.
When Putin decided to Annex Crimea, start a war in the Donbas, he was not thinking so much about that without the Crimea will not survive the day, and the “new Russia” and he needed it. Much more important to him was a conflict that would justify his dictatorial authoritarian position and would retain its power for many years.
Ukraine, its people, the Russian-Ukrainian relations were hostage to the desires of an aging dictator to remain in power. It’s a real tragedy. That is, for the sake of their personal ambitions and fears of a close circle of his friends, who were afraid of losing power and money, he went to war with the next of kin. It is a terrible thing. And the goal is reached: Russia has gained incredible popularity.
Imperial idea, which is painful, but slowly still left, suddenly was back in the foreground. People have forgotten that it is necessary to arrange their lives, the lives of their children, to raise living standards, strengthen or create a system of democratic freedoms, self-government. It was quite possible to do after the collapse of the Soviet state. But they were inspired by a crazy idea of Imperial revenge, which is absolutely nothing given, and only took away the lives of our sons, the happiness of our families, break our dignity, our conscience. On the other hand, what great sacrifices incurred.
That’s how I described our relations in the past and present.
— What, in your opinion, the prospects for these relations? We can be fraternal peoples? Now about this talk in Russia and in the so-called “republics”. My point — in the foreseeable future it is possible.
— I think that everything depends on the will and the hearts of our politicians. Not peoples. Unfortunately, the peoples manipulated.
My task as a politician — to help people to become independently minded. I have dedicated my life to the fact that taught students to think, to be individuals.
You know, our politicians should try to take an honest look in the face of this conflict and fix it together. One side will not be able to fix it without the other. Even with the most welcoming attitude, which is not available.
As an example that this is possible, I will say that even great atrocities committed against the Jews the German people, did not prevent the Jews to go back to Germany, and Angela Merkel to address the Knesset — the Israeli Parliament. In our case, the crime is not as large as the Holocaust, though terrible. So I think we should do all we require now the Minsk agreement. To begin with they need to execute fully.
The issue of Crimea should be solved to satisfied Ukraine, Russia, the Crimean population and the international community. We don’t have any one of these four elements to drop, it will be in any case wrong. Yes, Russia may compromise its interests, though she does, too, but the population of Crimea can not sacrifice the interests of the people living on this earth.
The real “design” of how to do it, requires serious consideration. Of course, this needs to be addressed not at the moment.
We can’t say that annexation, effected in March 2014, legal. Under international law, Crimea is part of Ukraine. So says the entire world community, except for a few States — satellites of Russia. It is an absolute fact. But the same is certainly true that the situation in the Crimea cannot be returned to status quo ante bellum is the situation before the war. It is necessary to resolve this issue more subtly. For this, there are diplomats.
However, I think if issues are resolved and the Donbass, and the Crimea, and our economic relations taking into account interests of Russia, Ukraine, the population in the occupied Donetsk, Lugansk, Crimea, then we again may occur a positive dialogue.
Look at Croatia and Serbia. Once they were announced not even two brotherly peoples, and almost one people, separated by denominations — Catholics and Orthodox, font language — Latin and Cyrillic. Then they were fierce enemies, spilled a lot of blood, especially during the Second world war and after the collapse of Yugoslavia. I have been to Croatia and Serbia. There are, of course, crazy nationalists there. In the same Dubrovnik the walls of half the houses riddled by Serbian shells. But people and politicians are by coming closer — they live in one European Union. Croatia has already entered into it, Serbia aspires to join. It is necessary to find a common language. Interestingly, this desire is not only politicians, but people, they are tired of the conflict.
That is the way it is. And on it goes. I am sure that Russia and Ukraine, bringing the mutual sacrifice, too, will go a common way. Unless, of course, politics will not play charades with their people.
We talking new year’s eve. What would you like to wish to our readers?
2014 was terrible. It was marked and seize territory and huge losses, and the battle of Ilovaysk in other regions of Donbass. 2015 began with Debaltsevo. Thank God, then signed the Minsk agreement, which, unfortunately, are not fulfilled. In 2016, it was relatively quiet, but the wounds are not healed. However, people in Russia and Ukraine largely began to look for himself in the organization of private life.
Many Russians were disappointed in this mad intoxication of imperialism and deep down began to realize that they made a mistake. Many. This is clearly shown by opinion polls, although directly about it people have not yet spoken. It seems to me that, although nothing is decided yet, the intensity of hatred to Russia, to Russian people — not for power, not the regime! — weakened and diminished the Ukrainians. And that’s good.
I wish for 2017 has not only allowed our people to find ways to restore these genuine relationships and to solve real political problems that stand between us. Moreover, I wish both our people found the strength to go the path of liberation from this centuries old Communist nightmare. In fact, the tragedy of our war, our conflict is the consequences of the Soviet statehood, what happened in 1917 everywhere — both in Moscow and in Kiev and in St. Petersburg, and Kharkov, and in Crimea. We need to summarize a line under this period of a century and move on.
We are not the first exit from the Soviet past. You are trying to go, we’re not even trying — the government wants more of us to push. The neighboring States of Central Europe was easier. It is necessary to study this experience, to help each other to get out of this Communist yesterday, in which we also, unfortunately, have been together in a normal human European future, while remaining friends. Other way, apparently not. I’ll do anything and as a scientist and as a politician to in the coming year, we made a decisive step in this direction.
Andrei Zubov is doctor of historical Sciences, former Professor of MGIMO, who was fired from a prestigious Russian University in March 2014 for sharp criticism of the Anschluss of Crimea, which he called a senseless gamble. Recently Teeth was elected Deputy Chairman of the Party of people’s freedom (PARNAS), which is headed by Putin opponent and former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov. Andrew writes of the Teeth of the resonance of the article, he’s a columnist of the Russian newspaper “Novaya Gazeta”.