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Sunday
Jul102011

Thoughts On Introduction Of Russian Element To Little Tatary 

Pretty much everything that we now call South-Eastern Ukraine was once, and not so long ago, called Little Tatary, and belonged to the Crimean Khanate and Ottoman Empire...

The text below is about why South-Eastern Ukraine is so influenced by the Russian element today. Remind you that I only pass on some of my observations on the matter, the whole matter requires a much more thorough investigation (which I cannot undertake unfortunately) to arrive at definitive conclusions. I am sure that this is not the first such article I am writing. As I am going to argue, to blame the current situation squarely on Russification is in my opinion insufficient. I will also argue that introduction of the Russian element to this area was pretty much natural, and did not go that much against Ukrainian element in the region, the way it can be said of other parts of Ukraine. 

I will here present two maps (both courtesy of wikipedia as is some other basic information here) to which I am going to provide some commentary:

There is no direct continuity between the seventeenth century Cossack Hetmanate and the present Ukrainian state, but I would say that the Ukrainian element in contemporary Ukraine is a direct descendant of the culture of the Hetmanate. According to my reading, the language of the Hetmanate differed considerably from that of its northern cousin by seventeen century. Apparently, interpreters were present at the signing of the Pereyaslav Treaty in 1654. This treaty effectively established unity between the Hetmanate and Russian Tsardom. Another cradle of Ukrainehood were Galicia and Volhynia to the West. Although descended from Rus', due to their Western location, their history was tied with the states to the West of its borders. The state that formed there when Rus' fell to the Mongols was absorbed by Poland and Lithuania already by fourteenth century.

The above map is good in that it shows the borders of the present Ukrainian state. We notice that the South-Eastern part of contemporary Ukraine is called 'Wild Fields', I personally prefer to call them here 'Savage Fields' for stylistic reasons. The term was a colloquial name given to these territories by Cossacks. It was settled by Nomadic tribes, which had loose allegiance to the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire. The area around Odessa was the Ottoman province of Yedisan. These lands were fully annexed by the Russian Empire in late eighteenth century, Crimean Khanate in 1787, Yedisan in 1792. The nomads were expelled. The whole area was given a new name with a very colonial twist, the New Russia. Compare that with New England or New Spain.

  

The above map shows the distribution of the Russian language in Ukraine as of 2003. There are similarities between this map and the map further above. In fact, this map also bares similarities to the electoral maps which are displayed at almost every election since the independence of Ukraine. How did it come to this? Well, it is best to first answer how the Savage Fields became civilised? As was already hinted above, through colonisation of course. An article I found concerning this colonisation tells that 42,4 % of immigrants were of proto-Ukrainian extraction, Greater Russians (or who we now call simply Russians) made up 31,8%, the rest belongs to Belorussians, Poles, Moldavians, Germans, Greeks, Armenians and Jews. After the Crimean War a number of volunteers from the Balkans (Serbs, Bulgarians, Montenegrins) decided to settle in the area, these settlers have gradually assimilated into the Ukrainian/Russian element.

The author of the above-linked article, Igor' Gurov, further asserts that from the beginning of this colonisation, the dominant language was Russian albeit having some dialectical specificities. I personally find local Russian to be similar to that used in Kuban' and among Cossacks in North Caucasus. Gurov says that there developed a Russian sub-ethnic group, the Novorussians. Today, Ukrainian is used primarily in the rural areas, although often that Ukrainian is tainted with Russian, cities are predominantly Russian speaking. Pretty much all major local cities were established following Russian conquests in eighteenth century. And since these cities were established by the imperial metropolis, and their development was directed from that metropolis, the culture of these new cities reflected that of the metropolis. Below I provide the names of local cities and the dates they were established:

Kherson: established by Potemkin in 1778.

Odessa: established by a decree of Catherine the Great in 1794.

Donetsk: Established by a Welsh businessman John Hughes, who established a coal mining and steel making operation there 1869.

Nikolayev: Established by Mikhail Faleyev on the orders of Potemkin in 1790.

Lugansk: The origins of the city can be traced to 1795 when British industrialist Charles Gascoigne established a metal factory there.

As you can see from this small sample of cities, their founding was rather late, especially when compared with cities in the central regions of Ukraine. If one looks at where all the fathers of Ukrainian nationalism (such as Taras Shevchenko, Panteleimon Kulish, Ivan Franko) were born and conducted their work, you see it is either in Central Ukraine, or Galicia. Although I am sure we may find examples of nationalists originating from New Russia, the place simply did not provide the environment for early nationalist work.

How did it then happen that New Russia is today part of Ukraine? We would have to consult the Communists who have included the place in the state they have created. I would not be surprised that the policy of Ukrainisation, which the Bolshevik regime started shortly after creating Ukraine, had the most vocal opponents in former New Russia. I would have to find out more about this unfortunately. The area was also heavily afflicted by the Holodomor, and given its diverse ethnic composition, the argument that Holodomor was an artificial famine designed to crush Ukrainian nationalist sentiments falls apart. I heard one famous historian (I will not name any names) make the claim at a lecture that the fist settlement to perish was a village of Albanians. Sounds awkward but if true, the ancestors of these Albanians probably came here with the aforementioned Serbians and Bulgarians.

In Stalin's industrialisation there was no longer any place for Ukrainisation in this area. The Soviet Union needed a an interchangeable workforce that could be taken from Ukraine and moved elsewhere. Likewise workers and specialists from elsewhere could be brought to this place without learning Ukrainian. Many people from other parts of Soviet Union settled in this way in South-Eastern Ukraine. However, speaking about the region formerly called New Russia, one is left wondering if reintroduction of some degree of Russification under Stalin was not simply a reversal of Ukrainisation, and whether the prior introduction of Ukrainisation to the place was not introducing and promoting Ukrainian element in a place that was not quite Ukrainian.

The obvious task for Ukrainian post-independence nation-builders is to make the Russian speakers of this region into proper Ukrainians. While teaching Russian speakers Ukrainian is an easy task, making them abandon Russian language for Ukrainian is another matter, and I am not sure this can be done in foreseeable future. We see many young people, born after independence (or being small children at the time) still use Russian more than Ukrainian in vernacular speech. According to a recent Itar-Tass report I have presented here, the number of Russian speakers is actually rising. I would be interested in where this rise has occurred exactly, but I suspect it would be in the region in question.

PS: In a recent article criticising 'Soviet like political culture' in Donetsk, published on openDemocracy, Alexey Matsuka might be on to something when he writes:

In pre-Soviet times, Donetsk region was popularly known as the Wild Land: sparsely inhabited, lacking infrastructure and without the rich history of neighbouring Kievan Rus’. The Soviet experience transformed the region completely, turning it into a frontrunner in every way: industrial output, population numbers and members of the Communist Party. The area was a godsend for Soviet propaganda – a place with no history, owing its very existence to the Communists who covered the land in factories and housing developments for the workers who arrived to staff them.  

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Reader Comments (34)

Leos - you are quite correct in surmising that you can find Ukrainian nationalists from this part of Ukraine (Dnipropetrovsk), well bordering right on it anyway. The real father of modern Ukrainian nationalism, Dimitiri Dontsov, wrote prolifically on the subject, and fuelled the minds of many a Ukrainian nationalist in Galicia (Stetsko, Bandera, Melnyk, etc). Doon't you think that if the 'surrounding countryside' of all of these cities is inhabited by Ukrainian speaking people, this might be a clearer indication of the actual national orientation of the people in these regions? The larger cities, as you point out, were inhabited by Russian and Russian speaking peoples, which was not at all that much different from the larger cities in the central, or Hemanate part of Ukraine, as you point out. I think that if you scratch the surface even further, you'll find that a majority (not all of course) of the people used to colonise these 'outer wild' areas were indeed Ukrainian.

@ Hack

I would not dwell on that statement that the country side is primarily Ukrainian speaking. What I meant was that Ukrainian is primarily spoken in the countryside. This leaves the possibility for lot of Russian speaking rural people. I say Russian speaking, because people defining themselves as Ukrainians are also Russian speaking. Likewise, the cities are the cultural centres not villages. And culture radiates from the cities into the countryside. The above map shows that Ukrainian is spoken by less than 30% of people in the area.

Dnepropetrovsk is in the primordial Ukrainian zone, and was established in 17th century by the Polish. Its geography is Central Ukraine, and its history differs significantly from that of the cities I mentioned. I understand my article could be a bit more developed.

July 10, 2011 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Firstly, Dontsov was born in Melitopol, and not Dnepropetrovsk (my bad). It's very interesting to note that this fiery Ukrainian nationalist ideologue was instrumental in the political thought of the OUN, that originated in Galicia. Also, his vitriolic was very much aimed at the Russian culture and place within Ukrainian history. And this, coming from a 'little russian' from the south eastern part of Ukraine? Go figure?

Culture often does radiate from the cities to the countryside. However, in the case of Ukraine, culture in the form of nationalism often traveresed the opposite way. The cities, either through Russian or Polish imperialistic sway, most often did not promote the idea of a separate Ukrainian nationality. At worst, any open Ukrainian identification in terms of either language or politics, could severly limit a Ukrainians ability to take part in the economic life of the country. Ukrainians that flocked to cities throughout Ukraine, often had to suppress their own language and national feelings, and adopt that of their 'brothers' who were trying to create cohesion for their own state (read empire) enterprises.

@ Hack

Well, you are right on Dontsov, he was born in Melipol, so we have an example of a nationalist, albeit not an early one, but as you notice above I say that the place I am talking about was no good for nationalist work. Dontsov lived in Galicia where his Russophobic vitriolic drivel was much more accepted. ;-) Go figure. ;-)

I made a mistake in the above comment, Ukrainian is now used by less than 20% of the people in the region. As you notice above, I do not talk about Central Ukraine, Western Ukraine, or even mention Slobozhanshchina. Notice that the Russian language in those places is in minority, which means it is perhaps concentrated in those Russified cities you speak of. This is not the case in the region I talk about. However, Ukrainians moving outside their primordial lands, especially into areas newly conquered by Russian Empire, were accepting Russian quite willingly. This explains why Kuban' and North Caucasus Cossacks speak Russian. Also Cossacks did not think of them selves as nationally Ukrainian, in fact in their ranks there were many people not of some proto-Ukrainian extraction. Also notice that the cities I list above were established when Ukrainian nationalism was still in its infancy, and most common people had no idea about it.

July 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Any suggestion of Russian and Poland having a similar manner in Ukraine is incomplete without noting how Poland doesn't have a historical/cultural affinity to Rus, with the ancestors of modern day Ukrainians at large never as willing to consider themselves as similar in background to Poles as Russians.

July 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMisha

Leos - Dontsov also lived and studied in St. Petersberg. Recently, a 3 vollume compilation o his writings was translated and presented at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy, hosted by its president Serhii Kviit. I myself have never read anything by Dontsov, save the odd article here or there, but am impressed with what this article has to say about his intellectual abilities. http://www.day.kiev.ua/314388:

' Dontsov’s position is first of all a position of a European intellectual who understood Ukraine as a specific constituent of the European historical and spiritual space. I should say that Dontsov is a person who had a brilliant knowledge of ancient cultures, who read a lot, and was educated in St. Petersburg. That is why Dontsov’s views are always supported by numerous facts. He does not speak without grounds that Ukraine should separate from the Russian space. Dontsov analyzed Russian philosophical thought and thoroughly studied Russian literature to realize the difference between the European and Russian types of thinking. Second, Dontsov wrote that the gap between Shevchenko, Storozhenko, Kotliarevsky and Hrushevsky was much bigger than the connection between the previous centuries. Ukraine started with Shevchenko, but neglected him, did not learn the achievements of the baroque literature, did not comprehend Skovoroda who is a representative of European tendencies in social thought (specifically, the European Enlightenment). For Dontsov European and Ukrainian cultures exist in continuity, in indissoluble unity. He deeply analyzed Shevchenko in the article Pamiyati velykoho vyhnantsia (In Memory of the Great Exile), but in the very first sentence compared him to Dante. Shevchenko had to leave his land, and Dante was exiled from Florence as well, for what he suffered and these sufferings are reflected in The Divine Comedy. A comparison like this shows a high philological culture of the author. Dontsov is a person of immense intellect who read in European languages: English, German, Spanish, Polish, French, etc. He often uses fragments from original European works as epigraphs to his articles.'

From the sounds of things, Dontsov was no second rate thinker nor polemecist, and most certainly should be required reading for anyone who purports to have a serious interest in the Ukrainian nation building process.

@ Hack

I never called Dontsov a second rate scholar. His contributions to 'Svidomism' are definitely great. The reality is that his home was not a great place to practice his Svidomism. ;-)

July 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Leos - Your characterization of Dontsov's thought process 'russophobic vitriolic drivel' or 'svidomism' for some reason led me to believe that you consider him second rate??....Sounds to me like you're real familiar with his thought processes, and input to the Ukrainian national movement of the 20th century, being much more than just a dilletante on the subject? I would expect nothing less from somebody who so often spends his time writing articles and who professes such a keen interest about the 'Ukrainian nation building process'. :-)

@ Hack

I am not that familiar with his work, but you would probably agree that he had no love for the Russophiles. Svidomism is a new term I wish to popularise which means radical Ukrainian nationalism, and we would not dispute Dontsov's input into it, would we? Galicia provided a perfect spot for his Svidomistic activities.

Of course he might have some more noble works like studies on Shevchenko and his own contributions to Ukrainian language. ;-)

July 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Leos - good luck on your 'svidomite' project. From what I've been able to articulate, this term is used cavalierly as some type of slur? Really, I never pictured you as being caught up in this sort of mindless activity. By the way, Dontsov's influence far exceeded Galicia and covered most parts of Ukraine, even the Crimea. You seem to be equalling the Cyber Cossacks antics, by promoting this sort of a term, even ascribing Dontsov's legacy to it. I was beginning to think that you were trying to transcend these sorts of childish antics....

@ Hack

I acknowledge I was a bit over the top here, and that I wanted to employ my new found term so badly that I used it where it was not warranted. I have actually read a little from Dontsov from our last conversation, and find it rather interesting. ;-)

July 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Leos - if you're really as serious about the 'Ukrainian nation building process' in the 20th century as you claim, I can think of no one better to acquaint myself with than with Dontsov. The 3 volume edition of his works has been translated into english, and I too will be looking to obtain a copy.

Do Western Ukrainians get very offended when people from Eastern Ukraine say they are different people? Ukraine's education minister says they are different because of different history, religion, etc. How are Western Ukrainians denying separate identities of Eastern Ukrainians acting any different from Russians who deny separate Ukrainian identity?

July 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercartman

Cartman - If you're looking for a black and white answer to your question, perhaps Mike Averko can help you, with his 'Russia friendly' myopic views of Ukraine. I'm not aware of any club of eastern Ukrainians that goes around claiming that they're a different people than the Ukrainians in western Ukraine. Similarly, I'm not aware of a club of western Ukrainians that goes around expressing its dissatisfaction of eastern Ukrainians. As this article points out, there are regions of Ukraine that due to historical reasons has a larger Russian and russified Ukrainian element. This is a fact that most western Ukrainians understand and accept (my own family included). Of course, regional differences are evident, as in many countries throughout the world. The education minister, Tabachnyk, is a true blue nut case, who will certainly be sacked by Yanukovych as the 2015 elections come near. How about in your native Romania, aren't their any regional differences?

IFPA, but that is the idea proposed by Dmytro Tabachnyk, Ukraine's Minister of Education. West Ukrainians hate him for it. Nations are not static entities, which is proven because the conquest and division of Rus led to psychological divisions which became national divisions.

July 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercartman

In point of fact, there're Ukrainians who tend to agreee more with me than Hack, on a number of issues discussed at this blog.

As is true in the present, Mazepa, Petliura and Bandera lacked a good amount of popular support from the ancestors of today's Ukrainians.

From a west Ukrainans source, there was a Kyiv Post article seeking a west Ukrainian state, out of a disgusted realism that much of Ukraine doesn't share that author's preferences.

Unlike some Russophiles, I'm not so keen on seeing such an occurrence happen. This hypothetical western Ukrainian state might be more likely to join NATO, while seeking to promote regional problems. An independent west Ukrainian state inclusive of Trans-Carpathia and Bukovina, but noticeably influenced by Galician-Ukrainian nationalists might also provoke problems with the Rusyn and ethnic Moldovan/Romanian populations.

July 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMisha

Interesting list of famous people from Ukraine:

http://aminuk.org/index.php?idmenu=11&idsubmenu=29&language=en

What's popular with some isn't so popular with others.

For accuracy sake, the issue becomes which advocacy is the more accurate.

July 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMisha

As I've already recently stated at another thread here, and so that Mike can sleep more soundly at night: 'it's been my observation that when the Regionaires were out of power they were the most successful in playing the separatist card, especially in the Donbas and in Crimea. The current hubub in Galicia, about separation is more the product of disenfranchised writers and a very few intellectuals, and has no real teeth to it. Similarly, in Zakarpattya, the separatist call has always been a chimera of a very small minority of misplaced 'rusyn' separatists that in no way reflects the mood of more than 1,000,000 Ukrainians that live there. Besides, my observers in Ukraine inform me that now since Yanukovych and his clan is in power (Donetsk) all talk of regionalism and separation is off the table.'

Separation is off the table everywhere in Ukraine, and most assuredly in Galicia. Cartman, northern Bukovina will remain a part of Ukraine, as will Zakarpattya. The Hungarian and Romanian pre-Trianon empire builders will have to learn to suck it up and get on with life.

@ Hack

Indeed, I would say that those Rusyns which make separatist claims are in minority, but I have to add, Rusyns who are moderate and do not bother with separatism are also there. The fact that the regional council time and time again acknowledges Rusyns as a separate nationality speaks for itself. The issue is much more complex and cannot be reduced to separatism alone.

Also note that the BYUT, or Our Ukraine affiliated people sometimes talk separatism now that they are out of power. This is not exclusive to PoR. However, all these parties have national ambitions while having regional support. While in opposition they act on the feelings of their constituencies, once in Kiev they act like national leaders. My explanation for this is that they have no other choice because neither will ever have legitimacy in at least half of the country. This situation keeps separatism capped, but is very tenuous nevertheless.

July 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

'Also note that the BYUT, or Our Ukraine affiliated people sometimes talk separatism now that they are out of power. This is not exclusive to PoR.' Believe it or not, the most open Ukrainian politician to the rusyn cause was no other than Yushchenko. Don't know why his support was never played out, even taking into account that his right hand man was former 'rusyn' Viktor Baloga (he's currently made it known publicly that he is indeed a Ukrainian). It seems that rusyn support, similarly to regional support, always seems to appear during the election process. Soon thereafter, it is swept under the rug.

On playing the so-called separatist card, Yushchenko's presidential advocacy on a number of key issues was more divisive than the route Yanukovych has pursued as president.

Details are provided at another recent thread at this blog.

July 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMisha

@ Hack

Well I know of Yushchenko's support of the Rusyns, he promised the Rusyns recognition and in this way secured support of Transcarpathians. There was even an article where the Rusyn 'Ayno!' was said to replace the Ukrainian 'Tak! - that is Yushcheko's slogan of sorts. Once Yushchenko made it into Kiev, he conveniently forgot about Rusyn issues. Reminds you a little of Yanukovych doesn't it? ;-)

July 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

In actuality, they're all very, very similar, all out to enrich themselves. Baloga is an interesting one too. He's still said to have his toe in the rusyn
well, even though during the last elections he publicly made it clear that he considers himself a Ukrainian. The local rusyn activists in Zakarpattya, however, took great offense at this revelation. He's the type that no doubt would be willing to reinvent himself again, if the need ever arose. :-)

I would like to add this though. I think that Yushchenko's support of the rusyns (as misguided as it was) was actually some sort of an internal decision premised on some sort of a 'liberal' political platform that he was promoting. I don't think that he really knew much about or really cared about the rusyn question, but actually for some sort of sense of 'promoting minority rights', he thought that this was the right thing to do. Anyone who seriously follows Zakarpatyan politics knows that the 'rusyn political machine' is very disorganized and frought with serious divisions. It has absolutely no bearing (except for possibly nergative) on how the 1,000,000 Ukrainians in the region will vote. Even when compared with the Hungarian minority that lives there (that have two established political parties) , the rusyns, for all of their bravado, have not been able to establish even one single political party in the region. This, in itself speaks volumes as to the real state of rusyn affairs in Zakarpattya.

"Anyone who seriously follows Zakarpatyan politics knows that the 'rusyn political machine' is very disorganized and frought with serious divisions."

****

With that premise accepted, perhaps he thought that such a situation offered a political opportunity for his benefit (Machiavellian) - as opposed to "some sort of a 'liberal' political platform" (idealistic).

July 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMisha

@ Hack

Wasn't Baloga accused of supporting Rusynism by the Tymoshenko camp? Also as politician with national ambitions, Rusynism is not something that helps is it? Local politicians in Transcarpathia appear much more comfortable with the Rusyn badge. The Rusyn movement and its divisions are one thing, the Rusyn sentiments are another. You seem to lump these two different things together which I do not find as being a correct analysis.

July 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Leos - as I indicated to above, I'm afraid that the rusyn card is negligible at best in swaying the voting public in any way at all. This is why I think that Yushchenko's motivations were more 'liberal' than 'machiavellian'.

Also, as I indicated above, Baloga's sentiments as regard the rusyn question are suspect. Of course, trying to propel himself onto the national Ukrainian scene, Baloga would try to distance himself from any sort of associations with colloquial rusyn sentimentalities, whether they be cultural or political. For all of his faults, he has been a successful, intelligent politician.

Whoever first coined the phrase: 'culture is politics, and politics is culture' It wasn't me, now was it??. Just google in the two word pairing in any combination and see how many hits you find...:-)

On a number of issues, Yushchenko appealed to hard core Ukrainian nationalist views, thereby suggesting a more Machiavellian as opposed to "liberal" basis for his seeking to reach out to the Rusyn community.

July 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMisha

Leos - but think about it, if what you say is true, then why would Yushchenko ostensibly promote rusynism (an anathema to many consiously Ukrainian voters) a the expense of possibly allienating the Ukrainian populace in Zakarpattya? To possibly gain an extra 10,000 votes? (actually, my undeerstanding is that 99% of rusyns didn't and don't appreciate Yushchenko's stance at the time). Doesn't sound to Machiavellian to me? No, I think this was an attempt of his to somehow play the 'liberal democrat' willing to embrace all minorities. In either case, I think that you'll agree that this move of his seems strangely out of character, for one who as you state ususally tried to appeal to a more 'hard core Ukrainian nationalist' sentamentality?

@ Hack

I think I told you that dwelling on that dodgy number of 10,000 skews your analysis. :-)) There is evidence that he did play on the Rusyn sentiments, I do not think he took that number as you do. ;-) That he then supported the Svidomism is another thing. He found no support in Transcarpathia in recent elections, but did gather some in Galicia.

In recent elections I noticed that Mukachevo which as a PoR mayor voted for Yanukovych, whereas Uzhgorod that has Tymoshenko supporting Ratushnyak as mayor voted for Tymoshenko.

July 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Well, even if the number of 10,000 is off as much as 100% or even 200%, we're talking about 20,000 - 30,0000 'rusyns'. And there is no indication that these 'rusyns' all vote as one block? On the contrary, as I've already pointed out, th rusyns in zakarpattya are so impotent that they're totally incapable of forming even one political party to champion their 'needs 'and 'cause'. Of course, they do have their own underground, shadow governement, run by Sydor's right hand man, and self appointed 'First Premier' Petr Getsko. The latest news regarding him, is that he was recently seen streaking accross a street in Mukachevo http://ua-reporter.com/content/105407. I doubt if its true though, why would a 'self appointed First Premier' stoop to such lowly, strange behavior? :-)

@ Hack

Your adding up percentages by the hundreds does not get you anywhere does it? ;-) I already told you that Rusynism is not just about the Soim, and Sydor, and Getsko, and the shadow government, did I? I also told you that the Rusyn movement and its divisions have little to do with pro-Rusyn sentiments, did I? 100 years ago, Russian Imperial authorities could have laughed at Ukrainian movement the way you do, and look at Ukrainians now. As Mike pointed out numerous times, the figures in Ukrainian movement were not always separatists. ;-)

From your link it is not apparent that the naked man is Getsko, damn if he was just running around naked, they could have made better pictures of him. ;-)

July 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

@ Hack

I mean this picture outing Father Sydor as a Satanist priest is more incriminating. ;-)

http://ua-reporter.com/sites/default/files/3678/2011/07/09/sidor.jpg

July 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

I've already seen this picture, there are many others ususally of either him or Getsko. Failed to notice any incirminating telltale 'satanist' horns?
The black robes could just be ones used by an orthodox priest during lent or during a funeral??

I don't know if you knew it or not, but the picture of the Sydor's church, shows a 'broken' or 'missing' cross on the cupola. This actually occured about three years ago after a rainstorm, and was the cause of much disturbance in Uzhgorod. Many an article was penned pointing this out. Apparently, in Orthodox local mythology, a cross falling off of a church is a sure sign that God is angry with the parish priest.
Seems to me that he's weathered the storm??....:-)

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