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Friday
Sep212012

RFE/RL Horde Raids A Russian Film

Thanks to Mike Averko for alerting me to this rant by RFE/RL...

When it comes to so called "historical" dramas, one cannot wish for them to be historically objective. If you were to take a couple of Hollywood produced historical films, and test their content for historical accuracy, or rather the degree of conformity to some established historical consensus, a lot of them would probably fail miserably. At RFE/RL they however have a job of smearing everything Russian, so they quoted the displeasure of two historians about a new Russian historical film. However, the lack of an absolute historical objectivity does no harm to a historical drama, whether Russian or American produced. A drama is a work of art which has the right to take a liberty with the narrative and esthetics to produce a more captivating and entertaining sight.

The main detractors are expected to be Russia's nearly 6 million Tatars, who are considered the country's modern-day descendants of nomads who joined Genghis Khan's army and eventually helped to create the Golden Horde.

They say the film -- which received financial backing from Orthodox Encyclopedia, a company that has backed numerous movies glorifying the Russian Orthodox Church and the lives of its saints -- falsely depicts the Golden Horde as an empire dominated by random violence, greed, and ignorance.

The film's director, Andrei Proshkin, has defended the film as a work of "historic fiction," saying it was never intended as a true-to-life depiction of the Golden Horde.  

The director is right, the picture is a drama, and while it might be based on some historical accounts, the producers cannot do a drama without adding fictitious material. 

As for the Horde being an empire dominated by violence and greed, the picture may not be that far from the truth. The article on RFE/RL does not provide much in terms of information on the plot, but thankfully there is a Wikipedia page which does. Some information might come in hand before I continue.

Mother of Khan Janibek, Taydula, suddenly becomes blind. The word has reached the Horde that in Moscow there lives a man who has the gift of miraculously healing people, Metropolitan Alexiy. The Horde sends for Alexiy, threatening the Muscovites with a raid in case he rejects.

To give you an illustration on the state of affairs in the Horde, Janibek came to power by killing his two brothers, and there is also a version which says that he himself was eventually killed by his own son. These people were no strangers to violence.

But I do not think there will be much displeasure of the Tatars towards the film, although I am sure that RFE/RL and their nationalistic Tatar brigade are salivating over such a prospect. Prepare for Azatlyk (see my recent post about them here) picketing the cinemas in the best case. 

Among those offended are the very researchers who were hired to help Proshkin and his screenwriter re-create the sights and sounds of life under the Mongol Empire.   

Vadim Rudakov, a researcher specializing in the Golden Horde, was the first consultant hired by the Orthodox Encyclopedia staff in June 2009.

He came away from the first meeting feeling enthusiastic that Russia would "finally" have an accurate depiction of life under its Mongol forbearers, who are widely credited with establishing regional government, a postal system, census-taking, and military organization.

But once the script was developed, Rudakov was crestfallen. Most of his suggestions about historical accuracy had been ignored, he told RFE/RL. And the depiction of the Mongols, he said, was deeply degrading.

"Some of them were given human qualities, but the overall impression is of brutal, bloodthirsty, evil-minded, greedy people. 

Regional government? Postal system? Military organisation? What? How? I am sure there is much more to these terms, but on their own they say nothing. One is forced to ask whether the Russians did not know about regional government, did not have means of communicating between themselves over long distances, did not gather data about their people, and did not have the knowledge of military organisation and tactics, prior to being ransacked by enlightened nomads from the steppe? Centuries of contacts with Byzantium did not yield any results in those areas?

Despite such controversy, "The Horde" has earned early accolades, with Proshkin taking the top directing award at this summer's Moscow Film Festival and one of his stars, Rosa Khairulina, taking the prize for best actress. 

Rosa Khairulina is a Tatar actress who apparently did not have a problem with her role as Taydula. Reviewers say she is really good in the film. I am sure that Taydula is depicted as no less brutal than her male relatives, but aren't brutality, violence, and greed also human qualities? By the way, the film also received an award from the Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema

Orthodox Moscow in the film according to the above-linked review looks formal and stereotypical, and in terms of the energy of the place cannot compete with the Horde.

And many movie fans are likely to be drawn in by the film's ambitious set design, which involved the reconstruction of the city of Sarai Batu, the capital of the Golden Horde, outside the Russian city of Astrakhan.

But Rudakov, who originally recommended the Astrakhan site, says the film designers took liberties with the architecture, clothing, and customs of the times, building a "stereotype" of an eastern city but ignoring long-established facts about the Horde. 

The intention of a film maker is to make an awesome, and entertaining scene, the intention of a historian is to come as close as possible to learning the truth about things such as architecture, clothing, and customs of the period that he is researching. Here, obviously, we see a conflict of interests. My suggestion is that historians should not expect historical accuracy from drama.

Rudakov and others say "Horde" is little more than an attempt to denigrate Russia's Mongol roots and herald the role of Christianity in throwing off the "Mongol yoke." In the film, the character of Metropolitan Aleksei is credited with protecting Moscow from a Tatar raid in the 14th century.

Not even the Tatars of today have any significant Mongol roots, they are descended from Turkic people who knew high culture long before the Mongol conquest. As for the role of Metropolitan Alexiy, his success in healing Taydula, according to tradition, won favour of the Horde for the young Muscovite state, this in turn led to Moscow becoming the dominant Russian principality, and in the end making the Horde itself its domain, but that had to wait for several centuries after the events on which the movie is based. 

The movie's release also comes at a time of heightened tensions between Moscow and its Tatar population, which has accused the Kremlin of seeking to restrict minority-language rights and even Muslim worship.

Tatar historian and novelist Wahit Imamov says "The Horde" and earlier movies like "Yaroslav the Wise" are part of the Kremlin's determination to use culture to promote Russia's image as a Slavic, Christian nation.

"Russians have always tried to picture themselves as the most 'civilized' nation," Imamov says. "Non-Russians can hardly accept films such as 'Yaroslav Mudriy' or any other similar ones. They show Tatars as a wild tribe constantly eating raw meat and moving from one place to another. What is really sad is that Tatars or the Tatarstan government are doing nothing [in terms of making their own movies]."

As far as I am remember, there was no mention of Tatars in "Yaroslav the Wise". Maybe I did not pay attention to the film as I did not enjoy it, please correct me if I'm wrong.

The initiative behind "The Horde" comes from the Church, it is about an Orthodox Saint. The closest one can get to seeing some support from the state is that it received sponsorship from Gazprom. But then again Gazprom also owns Ekho Moskvy, so in terms of propaganda, the company does not always act in government's interests.

The argument that the government wants to present an image of a country which is Orthodox and Slavic (it overwhelmingly is by the way) is not supportable.  

But who is making noise about this anyway? Few nationalistic Tatars who get their rants published published on the State Department funded RFE/RL

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Reader Comments (51)

Despite whatever historical flaws and liberties the film has like practically every other major historical film released in the cinema (Braveheart and virtually every WW2 film and TV series) from the trailer the film actually looks pretty good. I hope it has a UK or US release on DVD/Blue-Ray in the future like The Raid Redemption.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxB_Yqx_VIQ

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjack

@ jack

I am writing a follow-up to this post, there is more to where the RFE/RL article came from.

September 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

The trailer reminds me of another interesting film about the rise of the Horde put out several years ago 'Mongol: the Rise of Gengis Khan'. I was always hoping that a sequal to this film would occur (the ending of this film certainly left the door open)...

For an excellent modern expose of the Horde's influence on Russian history and culture, Charles Halpern's 'Russia and the Golden Horde: The Mongol Impact on Medieval Russian History' is hard to beat.

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

Quite the positive review of this film can be read within the maynstay Ukrainian press, sighting the film's adherence to historical authenticity in relation to costumes and effects, but discounting the over rapacious portrayal of the 'wild' mongol lifestyle. The reviewer also disocunts any criticism of the film bearing any overly unearned pro-Russian Orthodox Church propoganda motiffs. http://life.pravda.com.ua/culture/2012/09/21/112501/
Can't wait to see it!

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

Initially one of the working titles was "Saint Alexiy" but due to the film not focusing that much on him, the makers opted for "The Horde". By the way, Saint Alexiy was a Metropolitan of Kiev, albeit resident in Moscow, because cultural life of Rus' has by then moved northwards. ;-)

September 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

You're not telling me anyting new Leos. I'm well aware of the preponderance of clergymen who moved north and spread the faith there. Too bad that the northerners always (including now) looked with disdain on their southern cultural benefactors...:-)

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

And an example to that might be? :-))

September 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

A clear contemporary example would be your own silly attempts here to somehow try to malign the image of Shevchenko, only because he is such an important Ukrainian national figure!

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

Russians do not care about Shevchenko, the biggest proponents of demythologising the figure of Shevchenko all live in Ukraine. By the way, have you read this one?

http://ukrstor.com/ukrstor/taras-koun.html

September 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

And what, you don't think that there are plenty of Russain fifth collumn sympathysers on Moscow's payroll still trying to disparage anything that smacks of Ukrainian patriotism? You don't believe that Russia has a very well financed propoganda machine at work day and night trying to mitigate Ukraine's separatist tendencies, and keep it squarely under its own influence??........

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

And evidence for this might be? You think Moscow cares about those that demythologise the figure of Shevchenko?

September 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

All the proof that you need to find is waiting for you squarely in a mirror Leos! :-)

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

Officials in Moscow don't even know about me as far as I'm aware. Nor do they care about the many writers and bloggers in Ukraine...

September 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Here's a more scholarly look at how the russian fifth collumn operates in Ukraine:

' In Ukraine, the Mafia and State have a separate but equal bond of mutuality: the Mafia is an instrument of the State as the State is the instrument of the Mafia. Russian “soft power” aggression against Ukraine includes: cultural (ethnic, linguistic, religious); territorial and collective memory. The key actors of the Post-Soviet Political-Criminal Nexus in Crimea include:  Russian Community of Choice and Sevastopol-Crimea-Russia group (which includes over 100 NGOs under them); Moscow State University, the FSB (successor to the KGB), the GRU (Russian military intelligence), other foreign intelligence services, former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, Russian State Duma deputy Konstantin Zatulin, and the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC).

To address how Ukrainian and Russian perceptions are modified by the Russian “fifth column” operating within Ukraine, Dr. Roslycky offered a number of examples at the end of her presentation: use of NGOs to promote anti-Western/anti-NATO and anti-democratic sentiment; casting Crimean territoriality into doubt; use of language/education as a political instrument – book and school burning; publishing of “free” anti-State newspapers; (forced) dispersal of passports; renaming of streets, towns and cultural centres; hanging Russian Flags, plaques and writing Nazi graffiti on Ukrainian buildings; separatist calls from Russian politicians; use of religion as political instrument – promotion of ROC and Tatar tensions; and modification of shared common memory' http://www.infoukes.com/newpathway/8-2012-Page-6-1.html

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

Doesn't say much and is focused specifically on the issue of Crimean separatism...

September 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

'Doesn't say much'

Life must be easy for those who go through it with eyes closed....:-) :-)

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

It really doesn't say much to be an eyeopener...

September 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

@ Hack

It seems Russians are far better at delivering information:

http://www.iarex.ru/articles/29246.html

It is only good USAID was recently kicked out of Russia...

September 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Well, if you need more try reading the whole paper: http://www.harvard-bssp.org/static/files/327/Organized_Crime_in_Black_Sea.pdf

Also, the piece mentions a book coming out: 'Dr. Lada Roslycky’s book The Soft Side of Dark Power will be published later this year, and a Russian version of the book is currently being translated'

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

A very poor paper, an outline of international cooperation and no more. ;-)

September 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

For some reason, I couldn't get the pdf to open up. Looks like I'll have to wait for the book to come out. In the meantime, I'll defer to your opinion of the paper....:-)

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@Historical Hack

Western NGO's, media, writers and "historians" promote ethnic separatism either fully as a state or communities within Russia amongst any ethnic group in Russia and the near abroad as long as they are anti-Russian.
Good case in point is The Jamestown Foundation supporting and lobbying for Chechen groups in the US and hard line Circassians among the Circassian diaspora.

As for the Crimea and Crimean Tatars that has been in British regional geo-politics since the Crimean war as a means to expel the Russian Naval fleet from the Black Sea.

I have posted before the 1998 DIA US intelligence report that Khattab was training or attempting to train Crimean Tatars and Muslims in Russia so when there is a major economic crisis they can capitalise on it activating his sleeper cells initiating a civil war in Russia.

As for organised crime in the Black Sea it is notoriously Jewish like all the major organised crime clans in Russia with the exception of Chechens and reported connections to former KGB/GRU intelligence officials of various ethnicities.

http://www.network54.com/Forum/155335/thread/1018288558/last-1029543413/Russian%2C+Ukrainian+Crime+Groups+Set+to+Corner+Global+Drug+Market

September 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjack

'Western NGO's, media, writers and "historians" promote ethnic separatism either fully as a state or communities within Russia amongst any ethnic group in Russia and the near abroad as long as they are anti-Russian. '

So if it weren't for these western NGO's, all of the different national and ethnic groups within and close to Russia would all be happily and pliantly more open to the heavy hand of Moscow, and its centuries old policies of divide and counquer? How many different ethnic groups are wtihin Russia itself? How many ex-satellite countries does Russia still wish to control??

'As for organised crime in the Black Sea it is notoriously Jewish like all the major organised crime clans in Russia with the exception of Chechens and reported connections to former KGB/GRU intelligence officials of various ethnicities.'

Jack - last I heard it was Putin himself who was the head of all of the activities of former KGB operations in Russia and the 'near abroad' and 'far abroad'. I'll let you make your own conclusions........

September 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

One could ask whether without Moscow's support there would be no Russophiles in Ukraine? Which is exactly what you claim above.

September 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Leos - would it really be all that difficult or inprobable to use the information given in the above quotation relating to the Crimea, and extrapolate it to the rest of Ukraine??.........

September 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

The information above is nothing specific, and extrapolate you can, but that does not constitute solid evidence. In fact, it is no evidence at all. Not to mention that Crimean separatism was already there before interested individuals from Russia decided to get involved.

September 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

I didn't realize that we were in a court of law here, needing to supply 'solid evidence'...:-)

You don't honestly believe that Moscow doesn't have many subversives planted all throughout Ukraine whose sole purpose is to promote Putin's 'Ruskij Mir' or 'Eurasian' policies, now do you Leos?? :-)

September 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

If these projects exist, they tap into an already existing widespread sentiment. They would not be able to do their work if people did not feel affinity towards Russian World. Although, if you want to speak about them, you still need to give concrete evidence.

September 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Like your 'concrete evidence' regarding how the Austrians & Poles concocted the Ukrainian language and then somehow managed to hoist it on the indigenous Russian speaking inhabitents of Central and Eastern Ukraine?? :-) :-) :-)

September 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

Well, the fact that Russophiles still live in Ukraine, and that even in Western Ukraine, Russian language is still spoken, proves me right. Have you ever heard about Talerhof and Terezin? Or Soviet Ukrainisation? Kiev had a Russian majority in 1917. That's just a tip of the iceberg. You are not able to prove me wrong on this, so it means I am right when I say Ukrainians are an artificial creation promoted by Poles, Austrians, and Bolsheviks.

I have more concrete evidence for these claims than you for the claims you make above. ;-)

September 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

'I have more concrete evidence for these claims than you for the claims you make above. ;-)'

Funny, I've not seen one bit of evidence from you proving your foolish assertions regarding:

' how the Austrians & Poles concocted the Ukrainian language and then somehow managed to hoist it on the indigenous Russian speaking inhabitents of Central and Eastern Ukraine?? :-) :-) :-)

September 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

And if you think that your shortlist of 'concrete evience' above somehow disproves the reality of the Ukrainian nationality, you're really way, way off your rocker man!!! Dude - you seriously need to get off of that bong! :-) :-) :-)

September 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

I never said Austrians and Poles concocted Ukrainian language, so I do not have to prove that. I said that Austrians and Poles promoted Ukrainian. I also said that the resulting product, the Ukrainian literary language has a high Polish element which goes beyond what is found in the village patois on which it is based.

Now please prove me wrong. Did the Polish nobles, and Austrians not promote Ukraininsm? Did they not put Russophiles to camps? Is there not a high Polish influence in Ukrainian?

Prove me wrong, but I doubt you can, because you have not demonstrated that ability. And before you do, I consider such discussion to be over!

September 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Who, when and where did these Austrians and Poles take the 'local patois' of cenral and eastern Ukraine and force the inhabitents to use this 'foreign' language anyway??......Could you just provide a little bit more detail to your fabulous tale here please??......

September 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

I have provided you with a lot of information, remarks of activists, Bolshevik officials, etc. I do not feel the need to prove any more.

September 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Leos - so are you saying that these 'Austrians & Poles' somehow metamorphosed themselves into 'Boshevik officials' and then spread this foreign, concocted Ukrainian language to the unwitting Russian speakers of Central and Eastern Ukraine?....You have only hinted at these wicked deeds so far, and have not provided any of the interesting details.........:-) :-) :-)

September 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaughing Hack

@ Hack

The Austrian policy in Galicia one thing, but the Soviets used 50,000 strong army of Galician enlighteners for their Ukrainisation project, Hrushevsky mentions them. He himself has made way from Galicia, as did many others. And I do not need any more confirmation of Ukrainian language being alien than the fact that most people still speak Russian. ;-)

September 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

@ Hack

Also, refer back to my statement about the national composition of Kiev in 1917. You honestly think the villages could understand the artificially created Ukrainian language? No, they spoke Surzhyk like they do still, so called Ukrainian language was not even taught in schools. Pretty much that's what the Bolshevik Ukrainisators were talking about.

September 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

There's no doubt that the Central & Eastern Ukraine had experienced heavy influences of russification for centuries, especially in the larger towns and cities. This is so basic that one can read about it within any book of Ukrainian history. Surzhyk is nothing more that russified Ukrainian due to these trends. It's too bad that the commies abandoned their 50,000 strong galician army of Ukrainianizers in the 1930's when they abandoned kurinzatsiya in favor of a more traditional policy of russification. Starting in the 1930's and reaching its apoge in the 1970's under Brezhnev, russification was the glue used to weld together the Soviet Union. You are familiar with Brezhnev's insistance on using Russian as the languge o the new 'Soviet Man' now haven't you Leos?. The language of sovok culture?? :-) :-)

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaughing Hack

@ Hack

Your theory about hundreds of years of Russification is convenient, but it presupposes that there was some pure Ukrainian language prior to that. There was only local patois which was spoken by the underclass, and which was completely unfit for any high culture. Second problem is that the people did not view themselves as different from the Russians, so they accepted Russian language as theirs willingly. Confirmation to this is the Russophile movement in Austrian Galicia where one cannot talk about Russian state having an influence. To counter this policy the Austrians have promoted the development of Ukrainian which was based on the Polonised Galcian patois with new words mostly appropriated from Polish and partially from Czech. This is why Ukrainian is so easy for me to understand. This is why I claim that Ukrainian is artificial and alien to many parts of Ukraine.

Nevertheless, the Bolsheviks decided that Russian is a language of oppressors and Ukrainian will liberate the underclass, so they instituted a policy of Ukrainisation. They soon found out that the population sees this as foreign, and the only way they could promote Ukrainian was through repression. Of course this was halted, but never stopped completely. If it wasn't for Bolsheviks,there would be no Ukraine today, face the fact, the only language of sovok here is Ukrainian. If the Bolsheviks used the power of their repressive apparatus to repress Ukrainian, it would onlybe spoken in Canada.

September 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

@ Hack

http://youtu.be/19HlvwqOfLk :-))

September 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

@Historical Hack

“So if it weren't for these western NGO's, all of the different national and ethnic groups within and close to Russia would all be happily and pliantly more open to the heavy hand of Moscow, and its centuries old policies of divide and counquer? How many different ethnic groups are wtihin Russia itself? How many ex-satellite countries does Russia still wish to control??”

In regions of Russia at least there would not be a level of open warfare and overt hostility if it were not for foreign elements that have historically used various ethnic groups and nationalities to undermine and subvert Russia.

In historical regions of geopolitical fault lines there will always be animosity/conflict just look at the former Yugoslavia.

In Russia I think there are about 150 different ethnic groups.

“Jack - last I heard it was Putin himself who was the head of all of the activities of former KGB operations in Russia and the 'near abroad' and 'far abroad'. I'll let you make your own conclusions........”

Where did you hear that from Edward Lucas or was it those late 80’ early 90’s conspiracy theories?

Given that former intelligence/security/military personal are running operations against Russia like aiding Chechen militants I seriously doubt Putin is running a network of former KGB/GRU personal.

“Belarus, a former Soviet republic that ended up with a large stockpile of conventional Soviet weapons and is today one of the worlds top arms exporters, Moldovia, and the Ukraine have all shipped arms to Chechnya.

On 11 January 2002, Janes Intelligence Digest reported that Victor Sheyman, the former head of the Belarusian Security Council, coordinated the arms shipments through former members of the Belarussian Almaz antiterrorist squad who had become merceneries in Chechnya. They served as intermediaries for the delivery of these weapons.”

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjack

'Your theory about hundreds of years of Russification is convenient, but it presupposes that there was some pure Ukrainian language prior to that.'

Do you have any doubt at all that a steadfast policy of russification was institutionalized during czarist times? That the 'local patois' as you call it, was ultimately even banned from publication??

' people did not view themselves as different from the Russians, so they accepted Russian language as theirs willingly.'

pur russophile bunk! No people give up their 'local patois' for the 'local patois' of another;s willingly or without coersion of some sort

'To counter this policy the Austrians have promoted the development of Ukrainian which was based on the Polonised Galcian patois with new words mostly appropriated from Polish and partially from Czech.'

And now you've even tweaked your theory and added 'Czech into the mix??....having appropirated some Polish words into the lexicon was not all that unusual. All languaes include loan words from others....The austrains were not hostile to the Ukrainophiles in Galicia, for it offered a counterbalance to the Polish element there, and also offered a modicum of to any Russophile sentiments there. Smart poolitics if you ask me.

'Nevertheless, the Bolsheviks decided that Russian is a language of oppressors and Ukrainian will liberate the underclass, so they instituted a policy of Ukrainisation.'

Well, at least the commies got one thing right!

'They soon found out that the population sees this as foreign, and the only way they could promote Ukrainian was through repression.'

'repression' was it now...this seems like another new twist in your strange and incredible tale...by all means continue!:-)

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaughing Hack

@ Hack

So why did Orlyk write his constitution in Russian? Was he coerced? I think not.

I can think of at least two words that have obvious Czech origins. But my point was not that, Western Slavic languages and their technical terms are simply alien to Central and Eastern Ukraine. The cities there, and the cultured people there were and are Russian speaking, and the peasants did not use these words. Even today Ukrainian press sales in Kiev are at 10%, the reason is that people do not want to read a language that is alien to them.

The Bolsheviks could only force people to accept Ukrainian, and as you can see they were not successful. Everyone I know will tell you that people in Ukraine overwhelmingly speak Russian, and throw Ukrainian out of the window at any possible instance, see Gallup poll, or that video I link above. I do not need any more confirmation to my words.

Ukrainian language is only imposed on people through the repressive apparatus of the state, it was like that during Soviet times, and continues today in a mild form. And people still speak Russian...

September 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

'Even today Ukrainian press sales in Kiev are at 10%, the reason is that people do not want to read a language that is alien to them.'

So where's the popular uproar in the Kyiv area to the fact that the inclusion of Russian as a regional language has been squarely taken off the agenda?? Russian language rights must be in 31st place in the Kyiv area?? :-)

'The Bolsheviks could only force people to accept Ukrainian, and as you can see they were not successful'

On the contrary, in the piece that you recently included here:

' 86% of Ukraininans have a command of the Ukrainian language, and that the most used language in Ukrainian households is Ukrainian, 42.8%.'

And you call this unsuccessful??

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

http://youtu.be/19HlvwqOfLk
Вот так вот б...ть, ридна мова, а это вам друзья не указы подписывать, подписали б..ть с...ки...

Maybe because Ukrainian language was never ridna mova?
http://youtu.be/P7pKMmmSHSY

September 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

@ Hack

These Ukrainian studies that you quote have nothing on the Gallup poll, or internet searches, which show that the majority prefers Russian.

September 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

'These Ukrainian studies that you quote have nothing on the Gallup poll, or internet searches, which show that the majority prefers Russian.'

The statistics that I quote above are taken from the article 'Roman Travin: About The Actual Role Of Russian Language In Contemporary Ukraine '
that you recently previewed here....a young guy like you Leos, already with a serious memory impairment?? :-) :-)

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

@ Hack

The Gallup poll, and internet searches also come from that article. That article also states that people who identify as Ukrainians often claim their native language is Ukrainian, although they don't use it. Even many ardent defenders of Ukrainian don't use it, or they speak it badly.

September 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Leos, when you finally get your diploma in Historical studies form the Myronov School of anti-Ukrainian propoganda, you'll be a natural to write scripts for the type of pure propoganda BS put out by the Kharkov school of Russophilism, as evidence in the two You-Tube clips...I was really impressed!!! The serious tone of the commentator adds a lot of credence to all of the BS ! (reminds one of the commentators that would come on the tube and announce the passing of Brezhnev or Krushchev :-) :-) :-)

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHistorical Hack

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