Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Kyiv Moving from De-Communization to De-Russification, ‘Odnarodyna’ Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 1 – In the USSR, Moscow Sovietized the Russian population but it simultaneous Sovietized and Russianized the non-Russian nations. And thus it should come as no surprise to anyone that moves among non-Russians to overcome the Soviet past should involve not only de-communization but also de-Russification.

            Indeed, in many cases, toponyms and other linguistic usages that some might view as communist-imposed, others will see as Russia-imposed, and at least some non-Russians in their fight against the communist inheritance will be compelled to fight against the Russian element of that inheritance.

            That has become perhaps especially likely as the Putin regime has cast itself as the embodiment and defender of a single stream of Russian history and view the Soviet period as “Russia under another name” rather than an ideological occupation which sought to destroy much that was Russian as well as even more that which was non-Russian. 

            The OdnaRodina portal which promotes Putin’s notion that Russians and Ukrainians are a single nation is particularly outraged by this shift, fearful that the more to de-Russification will do even more to separate the two Slavic nations than de-communization has (odnarodyna.org/article/derusifikaciya-vmesto-dekommunizacii-v-kieve-ne-mogut-ostanovitsya).

            In a new article, the site says that “extremist” Ukrainian nationalists are expanding the country’s anti-communist efforts to make them into anti-Russian ones, replacing toponyms not just with Soviet origins but also those with Russian ones. Such an approach is not only illegal but highly offensive, OdnaRodina says, and is being resisted by people in Ukraine.

            The portal suggests that Moscow should take a stronger line against this trend lest it prove irreversible and separate peoples who by history and by rights should be one. 


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