Friday, October 17, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Russia Should Be Called Muscovy, Some Ukrainians Say

Paul Goble


            Staunton, October 17 – Given that Vladimir Putin can barely acknowledge Ukraine as a country and has twisted language about Russia’s role there beyond recognition, some Ukrainians think that it would be well for Ukrainians and others as well to use a different name for the Russian Federation than the one Putin does.


            That name, one candidate in President Petro Poroshenko’s electoral list, says is “Muscovy,” a change which people abroad have every right to make because it is often the case that foreigners call a country one thing while its residents call it another. For example, Germans call their country Deutschland, while foreigners call it Germany (


            Not surprisingly, this suggestion has outraged some in “Novorossiya,” as Moscow continues to refer to southeastern Ukraine, and in the future, it will undoubtedly outrage many others in Russia itself who are certain to describe this as an affront to their dignity and the latest action by Ukrainians demonstrating why they should not get the respect of others.


            But behind this anger lies a real fear: many of the peoples within the boundaries of what is now the Russian Federation, ethnic Russian and non-Russian alike, view their country as one that has been occupied by Moscow and is being run for its benefit rather than for theirs, and this Ukrainian proposal might lead others to reach the same conclusion.




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