«RUSSKIYE IN UKRAINE: MYTH VERSUS REALITIES OR VICE VERSA Methodological remarks Discourse actuality. Today’s world is diversified so much that the ...»
RUSSKIYE IN UKRAINE: MYTH VERSUS REALITIES OR VICE
Discourse actuality. Today’s world is diversified so much that the ethnically
homogeneous countries almost do not exist. In territorial and geographical limits,
which form this or that country, there are dozens of ethnic communities. I classify
Ukraine as a country with multi-ethnic population composition, where the
representatives of about 130 ethnic groups (in the broader terminological interpretation – ethnic communities) live: the most numerous are Ukrainians and Russkiye. After Ukraine’s independence (1991) the problems of ethnic development have actualized much. The determinants in this process three factors are: a) the desire of ethnic Ukrainians to strengthen the bases of their Nation-State; b) changes challenged of Russkiye in Ukraine – from the imagine dominant majority (at least, so they felt themselves in the former Soviet Union, regardless of their number in this or that ethno-social organism – autonomous units) to the real ethnic minority; c) ethno- cultural renaissance among other ethnic groups, which was characterized by increasing of ethnic self-consciousness and activation of their life as component of the ethno-national structure of Ukrainian society. Actualization of the ethnic factor as such in the social development of the country caused the intensification of research and interpretative interest in the processes on which a significant impact have these factors. The range of such interest’s mobilizers is from scientists to amateurs, who like to initiate discussions per se.
Russkiye in Ukraine are not the exception in this discourse, moreover, they are the most important (perhaps after ethnic Ukrainians) subject of it. The ethnic issues researchers (Ukrainian, Russian, American, European, etc.), as well as politicians, public figures and journalists take an active part in the discourse. At this time the considerable array of sources, scientific literature, print and Internet publications, in which the main actor Russkiye in Ukraine is, are accumulated. With some part of them you can get acquainted in the list of cited and used literature, on which I base my analysis, and in the appendixes, that supply the exposition.
Terminology. There is no adequate term in English which reproduces the essence of the phenomenon in question. The term «Russkiye» is the proper to fulfill the mission. I differentiate between two terms «Russians» and «Russkiye». The first one means the people who are the citizens of Russia (Russian Federation) – state- Russian. In this case the state and ethnic belonging do not coincide, for example Tatars are citizens of Russia and ethnic Tatars; the second one means people of ethnic Russian origin living in Russia (Russian Federation) (citizens of Russia) and abroad.
There are now both categories in Ukraine: «Russians», peoplewho stay as usual temporary on the Ukraine’ territory (visitors, relatives of citizens of Ukraine, those who are on business or scientific trip, working in state or business companies from Russia); «Russkiye», citizens of Ukraine of ethnic Russian origin are living here permanent and are the stable component of ethno-national structure of Ukrainian population.
Technology of the analysis. My presentation deals with the analysis of the Russkiyesness phenomenon in the ethno-national space of Ukraine, with laying a special emphasis on its bearers (ethnofors) - these are Russkiye, citizens of Ukraine, practically excluding from the analytical field (the field of my analysis) its bearers of other ethnic origin. That’s why I propose the following methods and analysis’ consistency of the subject mentioned in the title: 1) the classification of myths that are circulating today, both in Russia and Ukraine; 2) determination of their mediators and their spreading spaces; 3) identification of their nature and content; 4) the technologies of mythicizing of myths concerning Russkiye in Ukraine and related to the latter phenomena, units, processes, discourses; 5) the analysis is based on various sources, especially on the scientific literature, official and public bodies documents, publications in print media and Internet resources, statements of authorities and their speakers concerning phenomenon in Ukraine. The suggested approach, in my opinion, is productive – at least to some extent it can provide a sufficient level of validity of research results.
The chosen analysis technology makes me to take another step in order to structurize more clearly not only the material’s presentation, but at the same time to stress in the discussion more markedly my opinion on this or that issue concerned with the subject of research. I mean the two-level analysis construction. The first level – the questions concerning the myths’ development and their functioning; the second – the techniques and technologies of their mythicizing. In this context it would be logical to say, what I am doing, about the inclusion in the discourse of the material and information that confirm the mythicizing of the phenomena associated with Russkiye, actually those, I think, that can deny this or that myth. Some of these materials will be discussed in the units, which cover certain aspects of the situation of Russkiye in Ukraine.
Main issues of the myth’s problems During the scientific, political and informational discourse several myths about socioeconomic, political and cultural situation of Rysskiye have been formed. Before the following the analysis, I propose to classify them and to operationalize the term «myth» in the context of this analysis. Interpretation of the myth in various reference issues is similar. Taking into account the etymology of the term (in Late Latin and Greek languages Mythos – a fairy tale, legend, story) and coming back to the theories of Carl Gustav Jung on myth as an attempt to find a real connection with nature, we can find several meanings of the term «myth» that links us with the ancient history of mankind (on the example of figures and events), with the origin of different phenomena. «MYTH – a fable or a legend embodying the convictions of a people as to their gods or other divine personage, their own origin and early history and the heroes connected with it, or the origin of the world; in a looser sense, any invented story (I add, any idea, or concept); something or someone having no existence in fact». For our case the most adequate definition, in my opinion, is the second part of the quoted definition, which is transformed into false propaganda statement.
Analyzing the sources and literature, the object of which Russkiye in Ukraine is, we found some of the most generalized and widespread allegations of mythological character, which misrepresent the real situation concerning the current state and development prospects of the phenomenon. Among them we can separate two groups: a) those which aim is to disguise behind the global problem the mythicizing approaches concerning the explication of Russkiye position in Ukraine, i. e. displace accents of the problem essence; b) those which are directly linked with the phenomenon of Russkiyesness in Ukraine, of course with the situation of its ethnophors.
Into first group I include: 1) the development trends in integrative processes in Ukraine crucially depend on the attitude of national minorities to the society consolidation processes and state building; 2) mythicized interpretations of Russkiyesness (ideology and activities orientated towards Russkiye in Ukraine) and pro-Rossiyskost’ (ideology and activities orientated towards Russia); 3) the antiRussian line is today the main in the official policy of Ukraine.
Into second group I include: 1) the myth «Russian-speaking population of Ukraine»; 2) Russkiye of “near abroad”, including Ukraine, are under the pressure of new state policy and efforts of national (in the myth’s interpretation nationalist – in negative sence) forces and movements and are «washed out» and even eliminated; 3) rapid deformation and extinction of Russkiyesness, such of its markers as language, spiritual culture, monuments of material culture.
Note, that we have determined three main sources of formation and propagation of these myths: a) The Ukrainian pro-Russian (please do not confuse with proRusskiye) oriented researchers of problems of Russkiye in Ukraine, in fact those, who live in Ukraine, and b) Russian researchers who study the problems of Ryskiyesness on the state territories, that belonged to the former Soviet Union, c) publicists of both countries – Ukraine and Russia. The politicians time to time are joining the myth constructing. About the reliability of the information concerning the status of Russkiye in Ukraine, with which the above myths are filled, and about the validity degree of the latter we’ll speak in the following sections of presentation, when we shall discuss this or that aspect of the ethnic community’s situation.
Regarding the intension to talk about mythicizing of the myths, I link this process with the attempts of myths’ legitimacy, i.e. the efforts of their mobilizers to provide them with official recognition as the factor of ethno-national development (through the advancement of the bills, the subject of which Russkiye in Ukraine is, as in the situation concerning languages – those are prepared more than ten; myths spreading in the public opinion, using media for this, as well as imitative “public.discussions”, scientific conferences, symposiums etc.). And in this context, I propose to understand mythicizing as not simply a transformation of this or that statement in the myth, or the interpretation of this or that care speaking about the concrete (specific) procedures of mythicizing of the myths themselves, so firstly I mean the desire of politicians to use these myths as a basis for legislative design of their political activities – the consolidation of the benefits of Russkiye in legal acts and the creation of the favorable atmosphere for entrepreneurship (promotion) of the Russkiye ethnicity (Ruskiyessness) in the ethno-national space of Ukraine to gain for it the dominant positions in the Ukrainian society. An example of such entrepreneurship is the activities around the bill on language of deputies of the Ukrainian Parliament S. Kivalov and V. Kolesnichenko, one of the main motives of which the desire to raise the status of Russian language in Ukrainian ethno-linguistic area is. These activities not only stimulate the discussion on the Russian language, but also provide an opportunity to focus the intention of the "defenders of the rights of Russkiye" on other issues of Russkiyesness in Ukraine, usually emphasizing their «disadvantage» state, and on this basis, to advance demands of more prestigious status for them. The logic of this strategy comes to light, if we remember that one of the deputies heads the Coordination Council of Russian Compatriots Organizations, through which the significant financial flows (both from Russia and Ukraine) pass, allegedly in support of Russkiyesness in Ukraine. And in this context, it is clear that the process of mythicizing of myths is linked primarily with two factors – activity of pro-Russian orientated politicians and the same way orientated researchers who ignore or do not value the importance of accounting a wide range of indices, linked with ethnic issues. They are looking for opportunities to prove the ideologems of the alleged underestimation and defiance of a value of Russkiyesness in ethno-national development of Ukraine.
Myths’ filling rhetoric Characteristic myths’ features of the first group of myths. The particular attention should be paid to the first myth, the content of which focuses on important, I would say extremely acute for an independent Ukraine moment – building and strengthening of independent state, the main structure creating component of which the Ukrainians (Ethno-Ukrainian nation) are. It seems that here we are talking not only about the importance of Russkiye, because they are not especially stressed in this context. However, bearing in mind that Russkiye form three quarters of national minorities, then, following the logic of the myths’ statement, the consolidation processes can be set depending on the Russkiye attitude to them.
Incidentally, the author clearly articulates on this correlation. Thus, upon the positive attitude of 22 percent of the population towards the state-building processes, representing another than Ukrainian, ethnic communities, to some extent the integrative development of the Ukrainian multi-ethnic society depends. And yet, as Ukrainians are the basic construct of the ethno-political organism (state), so upon their position the result of state-building processes in Ukraine crucially depends. All other claims (especially when they are outside their content leave such a significant factor as the interaction of certain components of the ethnic structure of Ukrainian society with Ukrainians) turn into myth – the desire to change (transform) real situation into a myth.
The second myth, which has many aspects (multidimensional myth) is linked with the interpretation of pro-Russkiyesness and «pro-Rossiyskiyesness - proRusskost’». Indeed, here we can speak not about the myth itself, but rather about the mythicizing of the mentioned two phenomena, that became the factors of the ethnonational development of Ukraine in connection with the presence in the Ukrainian society of the appreciable proportion of ethnic Russian origin population. It is forming such a tradition that pro-Rossiyskiyesness is being understood as an activity that should be focused on issues related to the development of Russkiye in Ukraine.