“The Slavs from the beginning thought of themselves as part of the West and preserved their Western essence,” Shiropayev continues. “Ukrainians in particular throughout their history and especially today think that way;” and the Croatian footballer by acting as he did while knowing the risks showed that he felt this way too.
His words thus were “a conscious gesture of solidarity of the solidarity of Slavs who have made a Western choice.”
The reaction of the Russian lumpen was immediate and negative. For its members, sunk in their “Eurasian-Horde” world, he argues, the Croatians have become “something like Ukrainians, that is ‘traitors,’ ‘fascists,’ and ‘Westerners,’” a group that also now includes the Bulgarians, the Serbs and indeed “the entire Slavic world.”
According to Shiropayev, “the Russians haven’t noticed that they remain alone, Slavs who have forgotten their European base and angrily retreated into their Asiatic bears’ cave,” traitors to the true nature of Slavdom even while claiming to be “the elder brother” of all the Slavs.
Instead, and increasingly in recent years, the Russian people as a result of the actions of its leaders have cut themselves off from that tradition even when they try to keep others in Moscow’s understanding of the Slavic world often by force as against the Czechs in 1968 and the Ukrainians now.
Russia’s retreat “from the spirt of the Slavic world began a very long time ago,” Shiropayev says. “From the first, [the Muscovites] christened the free Novgoroders and Pskovians as traitors and Westerners; today, they call the Ukrainians and the Croatians the same thing.”
In the understanding of the Muscovites, “all are traitors and only we are correct.” In fact, the reverse is true: by rejecting Slavic Westernism, “all this Eurasian-Horde-Empire view is the real betrayal,” while the Slavic world – the Poles, Czechs, Bulgarians, Montenegrins, Croatians and Ukrainians have somehow remained true to their original Western nature.
One can only thank the Croatian footballer for making this clear to a larger audience then perhaps ever before.