May 09, 2022
2 mins read
In this 9th of May, the day Russia was planning to add victory over Ukraine to their usual celebrations of Victory Day over Nazi Germany, we remember everyone that Russia will never be victorious in this Ukrainian soil. And I'm not saying this because I'm a proud and passionate Ukrainian ready to fight whatever it takes.
Russia's defeat was sealed three days before the invasion, when that disgraceful dictator made a speech denying the very reality of Ukraine, claiming that my nation and my culture are only a result of a personal decision of Lenin. He was announcing that today's sovereign and independent Ukraine is an inalienable part of Russia's spiritual space, and by doing so, he was preparing his own internal public opinion for what was to come.
He was logically committing a tremendous strategic mistake and guaranteeing his position in the world's hall of fame of the great lunatics, but he was doing more than that: He severed all the remaining ties which linked Ukrainians to Russia and to Russians in general.
Despite centuries of complicated relationship, with episodes of cultural supression, famines and all sorts of hardships that comes from the times of the Russian Empire, Ukrainians are resilient people and we carry on life avoiding excessive resentments or antagonisms, specially when there's no option to argue. So we managed to incorporate the Russian language on our lives, learned how to appreciate culture generated in Moscow, Leningrad and so on.
Even having voted for our independence in 1991, we still felt quite linked to Russia and it was not a problem. A sizeable fraction of Ukrainians have relatives in Russian Federation or were born in Russian soil, not to mention that everyone born before 1991, including myself, were so in the vast territory of the Soviet Union.
"May our friendship blossom": Russian-Ukrainian friendship postcard, USSR, 1960
That being said, it's important to remember that, until very recently, Ukrainians had, in most cases, close and friendly relations with Russia and Russians. Despite the legitimate desire for being part of European Union and NATO, it's a verifiable truth that the average Ukrainian would not meet a big burden in the adaptation to a life in any Russian city.
Putin came to destroy all this described relation between nations. Between peoples with a history of blood, conquest and tears, but peoples that somehow managed to build a relationship in modern times.
Putin, in less than 10 years, conducted a growing repugnance from everything deemed to be Russian or from Russian or Soviet heritage. At this stage of history, there's no way out from hostility and rancor. Older generations, born and raised in the Soviet regime, are particularly sufferring in these years of national reinvention. Newer generations are already completely averse from anything related to Moscow.
And this is a story of two nations that could be not only relatives, but the best friends. Now, an opportunity lost for a thousand years.