Oles Olekseyevich Buzina – writer, publicist, historian
Short history of Ukraine
Kiev, December 22, 2014 – Oles Alekseyevich, lately there are such terms as Malorossiya and Novorossiya
which have come back in usage. When did they appear and what terriroties include? – If speaking about Malorossiya, the matter is more common for our people. Because… Malorossiya often mentioned in works of Gogol, Shevchenko. Paustovskiy has such episode when Nikolay II comes to the 1st Kiev gymnasium, and passing by pupils,
he comes up to Paustovskiy and asks who he is by nationality. He answers – Maloros. Kiev, at the same time as Bulgakov, before World War I Paustovskiy finished 1st Kiev gymnasium. So, it is more or less clear with Malorossiya. Malorossiya is traditionally
a left-bank Ukraine without Slobozhanschina. What is left-bank Ukraine? This is 10 cossack regiments,
which became so called Getmanschina (Zaporizhian Host). Because Slobodskaya Ukraine is the present Kharkov region. It was directly controlled by Moscow. These were lands of Moscow empire which were populated by cossacks who escaped from Poland. They escaped from the right-bank, and settled near Kharkov.
There was Krakov regiment, Akhtyrka, Ostrogorsk. These are all Slobodsiye regiments. They were administratively controlled by Moscow.
I.e. not by means of the Hetman of Malorossiya, but directly. And Kiev regiment, the capital city was not Kiev by the way, but Kozelets. Why was the capital not in Kiev, but Kozelets? By the way, all Rozumovskiys originate from Kozelets,
Hetman Rozumovskiy, his elder brother Aleskey, they are all from Kozelets. There was a road going across this city to Petersburg. Kiev was a frontier city. After Andrusovskiy truce in 1667, the border between Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth,
in simple words Poland, and Russia, Russian state, it was so called at the times of Aleksey Mikhailovich by the way, the word Russian was used at the time of Peter’s father, there are a number of documents. So, the border passed along the Dnepr. And only near Kiev it was like, sorry for my words, a pleasant pimple,
like a base, let’s say, neutrally to the side of Poland. And really, the border passes along the river Irpen. And they said that
they went to Poland, when they crossed the Irpen. They appeared in Poland. Until the partitioning of the Commonwealth at the time of Ekaterina II, can you imagine?
Such situation was until the end of 18th century. And as Kiev was a frontier city, it was dangerous to locate a regiment administration. That’s why the regiment administration was located in the left bank of the Dnepr in Kozelets. And by the way, Rozumovskiy, the secret of Rozumovskiys’ rise was that
they originated from the regiment city, in fact, where the regiment administration was. They were in the know. They understood how papers moved, finances, where to go to make a career. So, Malorossiya is Kiev regiment, Chernigov regiment, Poltava regiment,
Gadyach regiment excelled from Poltava regiment. It is more pleasant for me, because my ancestors are
from Akhtyrka hundreds of Gadyach regiment, in father’s line. They seemed to also emigrate after Berestechko from right-bank Ukraine,
because the surname Buzina is met in Uman regimetn in 17th century, in 1649. But Uman regiment broke into pieces after… during the Great Ruin, after the death of Bogdan Khmelnitskiy. And seems that my ancestors moved there. It was really migration, transfer.
They gathered their things. All right-bank Ukraine which didn’t want to stay under Poland, moved to the left bank.
The left bank was not populated, Malorossiya appeared this way. Why was it not populated? There were Tatars. They moved all the time, actively. And the first colonization, i.e. resettlement, started around 60 years before Bogdan Khmelnitskiy.
Its organizer was Prince Vishnevetskiy. Father and grandfather of the famous Iyeremeya Vishnevetskiy.
And the father and grandfather were Christian. I.e. they were closely connected with their people. And they opened colonization of the present Poltava region. The capital was in Lubny,
there was a prince castle. Certainly, it was destroyed during the rebel of Bogdan Khmelnitskiy. These regiments: Chernigov, Starodub, made up Malorossiya. Zaporozhian Sich was separate from it. It was in different jurisdiction:
either in double Polish-Russian, or in Turkish, for example. Or it took Swedish orientation during Mazepa in 1708. Everything was there. This is Malorossiya, in present left-bank Ukraine. And by the way, when in the end of 18th century, at the time of Ekaterina II Kiev region on the right-bank,
Cherkassy region, Podolsk province according to revolution scheme, Volyn, Holmsk were annexed, when all these were annexed to the Russian empire due to three separations
of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, this was started to call Ukraine. And when in 1812 Aleksandr I formed militiamen because of Napoleon invasion,
cossack Malorossiyan regiments were formed on the left-bank, and cossack Ukrainian regiments on the right-bank. This is the situation if we speak about it for the beginning of 19th century. If we talk about the situation for the end of 16th century, a short and narrow line of the border was called Ukraine,
approximately, near famous Subotovo, Cherkassy at the times of Bogdan Khmelnitskiy. In this area, on maps of the end of 16th century – beginning of 17th century… – i.e. far from Kiev? – Yes… seriously far. I would say 200 km, if not mistaken. Maps were certainly West-European, because our ancestors started
to make maps significantly later, in 18th century, they made their own maps. But these were Russian maps, i.e. these are map-makers
who were taught by West-European specialists. After Peter I, from the time of Peter I and later, they started to make Russian maps. And before they used European maps. Everybody knows well the Boplan map, and before Boplan there was also the history of map making. And on the maps before Boplan, there was an inscription in little little words
in this area of Cherkassy-Kanev – Ukraine. In the area where the Ros mouths into the Dnepr, approximately there. Where Kagarlyk is, to the south from Kiev, without doubts. And if names like Novgorod-Severskiy princedom,
they wrote like this. It was written in big letters. Or Podolye, it was written in big letters. But Ukraine was in tiny letters.
Because the term was not widely spread. Like the term France. Initially il de France, the island of France.
It has nothing to do with the present huge territory in 12th century, for example. So, it was like a French pigeon which was not eaten in a restaraunt yet,
did dirt near Paris. This was the France of 12th century. And Ukraine, tiny tiny, frontier. Boderland in English, the land at the border. And Walter explains the origin of Ukraine this way, the word Ukraine. Boplan explains this way, everybody, all Italian travellers, everybody knew
that it was Oukraine, Ukraina, it was pronounced, written in different ways. Sometimes through ‘O’, simetimes through ‘U” in the beginning, sometimes through ‘Ou’. The language was a little bit different. Imagine, it was not Ukrainian yet. I.e. there are no texts witten in Ukrainian. Not any. No matter how many times you are shown the Peresopnytsia Gospels,
it could be called proto-Ukrainian language, but not Ukrainian in any way. And what is the most interesting, bi-linguility was common for this territory of Ukraine, Malaya Rus.
Even three-linguility. If we take Bogdan Khmelnitskiy, he spoke Polish, Rusyn, it was so called, Rusyn language. And Tatar languange, and Tatar was perceived like a dialect of Turkish. Now, as linguists say, these are a little different things, but a little. And it was a norm in this land, in this point where various influences crossrods,
to know several languages, as it is now. Why this way? People came from everywhere. Terminology of cossacks has Tatar origins, the very word ‘cossack’, ‘kosh’, ‘kuren’,’kylym’ – carpet in Russian. Word ‘sharovary’, everydoby knows, for example. Weapon of cossacks also is borrowed. The word ‘samopal” is Ukrainian,
known to every teenager who grew up in a public yard. In 70-80s of 20th century we made by ourselves ‘samopals’. And for example, Zaporoshye cossacks and ones under Berestechko used
‘samopals’ made in Moscow. They didn’t have their own weapon factories. Like now Ukriane doesn’t have its own factory which produces automatic guns.
Ukraine doesn’t produce automatic guns, machine guns. All the same, they bought in Moscow gun barrels and blocks, put clubs, gunstocks, and used.
Such guns were used in the battle against Polish army near Berestechko. Or long guns, eastern, they are with long barrels, not big caliber. Or sabres, there is no cossack sabre. They search it for a long time. And why there is no? It is neither bad, nor good.
This is a fact. Friends, let’s take things liek they are. Like the word ‘unter-officer’, or the word ‘sergant”. Unter-officer is of German origin,
in Russian pre-revolution army, and sergant is of French origin. What can you do about it? First sergant were from there, instructors, who taught Russian army
the combat tactics as per West-European standards. And here cossacks sabres are either Persian, seldom, or Turkish. Or Polish,
because Poland had weapon production and they created their typpe of sabre. Its own, Polish type, with a closed guard ring, it was closing little by little, and then it was closed. This is what Ukraine was, Malorossiya was. And what concerns… you said about Novorossiya. How does this term appear? I was interviewd recently for a literature newspaper from Moscow,
asked: What is your opinion: project Novorossiya is a project of KGB? I said: No, this is a project of Ekaterina II and Potyemkin. Because when Crimean Khanate was won at the time of Ekaterina II, not only Crimean peninsula was won. I mean, Rumyantsev, Suvorov, Potyemkin, who was also a brave person, good organizer, acting general. To feel cold near Ochakov together with soldiers like Potyemkin did, there are memoirs
that he stayed in a good tent, a good tent at frost, there were no electric heaters. He lived in luxury, in a tent, really it sounds somehow, in luxury in a tent, maybe, his tent was spacious,
and of more quality material, but he took Ochakov together with army. At the Ochakov times and conquest of the Crtimea… So, when as a result of two Russian-Turkish wars
at the time of Ekaterina II Crimean Khanate was taken, you can use various words, taken, or conquered, or one can say returned, why? because Russian princedom… at Taman… with Kerch, by the way, with one of the cities,
it was with Vladimir the Holy, Yaroslav the Wise. On the territory of the Crimea, our ancestors, the Slavs, from thje epoch of Kiev Rus,
were earlier than Tatars. This is a historical fact. Tatars came significantly later. For example, Tmutarakan princedom which was
both on the territory of Taman peninsula, and Crimean peninsula, Kerch, Korchev. There is a mentioning known to any historian or philologist, about a stone
which was left by Prince Gleb, the Prince of Tmutarakan, with the inscription: “Prince Gleb measured the sea by the ice”. Kerch strait got frozen in winter in the first begininng or in the middle of 11th century. And they walked, measured the width of this strait, there were curious, there was nothing to do
in winter in 11th century, there was no TV, there was no propaganda and counter-propoganda. It could be called in different ways, will anyone feel aggrieved at me or not, but the fortune likes the strong. And the force decides everything in world politics. As Churchill said: When peoples… Strong peoples don’t want to be fair.
And when they want to be fair, theys usually cease to be strong. So, in the end of 18th century not Crimea was conquered,
but also that territory which was considered as Crimean Khanate. I.e. this is the present Odessa, Kherson, Nikolaev, a part of Donetsk regions, Kuban, there, further to the Don. And they thought how to call it. Russian empire thought how to call it. And Russian empire was in the trend of world politics. It was not some lagging state, i.e. what French had,
appeareed with a short delay… Yes, Russian empire didn’t creat shirt frill. And didn’t create paste, but very quickly they started to wear shirt frills and eat a paste. And layered pastry from France started to eat. Englishmen had such expression as New England. This is in colonies on the territory of USA. There was an expression the New World. Generally towards that world which Columb discovered in America. Naturally, there was an idea: Let’s call the same way – New Russia. Novorossiya.
Because it was the unified Russian empire. And a province was created, Novorossiyan. It was called the very way – Novorossiya province. The capital city was in Simferopol. There was a soldier joke in the beginning of 20th century. It was not gentlemanlike, but you will understand, I will omit where necessary. Usually, old soldiers teased young ones, asked them: What city are you from? They replied: From Simferopol. Asked: What province? Novorossiyan. And what is the capital city of Novorossiyan province? Simferopol. And an unter-officer ussually replied to the young: It could not be like this. Look, in Petersburg province the capital is Petersburg. In Kiev province – Kiev.
In Cerhnigov province – Chernigov. And in Novorossiyan province – Simferopol. You f*cked up your capital. This is a famous soldier joke, before revolution. Few remembers that during Pavel I the present Dnepropetrovsk was renamed from Ekaterinoslavl into Novorossiysk. And several years when Pavel reigned, who didn’t like everything concerned
with his mother and Potyemkin, Ekaterinoslavl was called Novorossiysk. Not new Novorossiysk, on the territroy of russian Federation. But Dnepropetrovsk was the city of Novorossiysk. This was also concerned with the same reason. Novorossiysk province was big. It consisted of the present Odessa region. And the university in Odessa was called Novorossiysk university. The very university
which bears the name of Mechnikov, it was called Novorossiysk university. I studied 1 year there. Not in Novorossiysk certainly, but in this renamed university of Mechnikov.
I entered in 1986, and by the way I learnt only there this story about its name, Novorossiysk. But in Soviet gathering points of waste paper, there were such… People of old generation,
I want to say older and middle, remember that you can bring 20kg of waster paper, get a coupon and get a deficit book for this coupon. Deficit books were Dumas, Angelique… And also a book
of person originated from Kharkov Grigoriy Danilevskiy which had the name “White in Novorossiya”. And I have it, of Soviet production. Like everybody, I gathered 20 kg of water paper and got this book.
I learnt for the first time that there was such word as Novorossiya. The book can be easily found at any open book market, it costs maybe 10 UAH maximum. To read about adventures of the escaped, how peasants ran to the territory of now Kherson, Odessa regions. How they escaped from the bond dependence, how active young people
of nobility and mechants went there, and started there a new life. This was Novorossiya according to the pre-revolution classification, including Crimean peninsula and Don region. The region of Don army. If you open any text book in geography of Russian empire, issued under Father the Tsar,
for example, Lesgaft, there was such a text book, its author was professor Lesgaft, in single word. German, more likely, it was written in his text book that Novorossiya consisted
of Novorossiyan province, he listed all, Ekaterinoslavl province, and Don region. This all was included in the notion Novorossiya. And this textbook wrote that this territroy was inhabited by a mixed population
of Malorossiyans, Velikorossiyans, Bulgarians, Greeks an so on. Because it was really a multi-national population. And there were many Bulgarian villages,
because Bulgarians ran from Turkey on the territory of Russian empire. There were many Serbians, Greeks naturally. The most interesting is that reading a newspaper of the beginning of 19th century,
it was called Odessa messenger, this is one of the most ancient newspapers issued in Ukraine. It was published in two languages, Russian and French. Odessa citizens were oriented at Europe, cosmopolits. I found a mention, beginnig of 19th century, some Swissh colony resettled due to a low level of life in Switzerland,
on the territory of Novorossiya, somewhere near Odessa. A colony of Swiss appeared, like a colony of Germans. In the beginning of 20th century, what is the most interesting,
during the Civil War, there was a political orientation of this territory. There was no another nation identity, Novorossiyan.
But it is interesting that in Odessa there was Odessa Republic in 1918. It was organized by bolsheviks. And there was a war between UPR – Ukrainian People’s Republic –
which was often called ‘petlyurovtsy’ in Soviet times, and the garrison of bolsheviks. And one of the most vivid persons in Novorossiya is the phenomenon of Nestor Makhno. A person who ought to feel himself as Ukrainian. He spoke two languanges – Russian and Ukrainain, equally well. But if you read his memoirs, he resents that he was made to speak Ukrainian.
He doesn’t like it. He was internationalist by his point of view. He was anarchist. Petlyura couldn’t find a common language with him.
Thye tried to make a union, but there was nothing in the result. And Makhno willingly made unions with Reds, Moscow bolsheviks, and he had also problems with it.
He had his own interests, there was his own psychology. I was by the way… I intentionally went to Gulay Pole 2002, to understand
the phenomenon of Nestor Makhno, what it was, where he grew up. This city, Gulay Pole, verything is at 90 degrees. It was built according to the regular plan. A regular city. I.e. a village. It was officially called a village, though there was no village.
There were steam mills, factories, two-storeyed houses, pre-revolution shops. They still remained. And everything is built at 90 degrees, like in Petersburg.
The only thing is that therewere 16 000 citizens. At the moment of Makhno’s birth. Why was it a village? Because it belonged once to a landowner. And the landowner didn’t want to make it a city. And it appeared that in Aleksandrovsk,
now called Zaporozhye, there were the same number of citizens as in Gulay Pole. In the beginning of 20th century, here 16 000, and there 16 000. The only thing is that
during the Soviet period Aleksandrovsk turned into Zaporozhye, in a big industrial city. Nonferrous metal factories, now many knows more alcohol factory from this city,
but during the Soviet authorities the industry was the powerful one, except DneproGES. I was also in Zaporozhye several times. Gulay Pole still remains like in storage. And this Novorossiyan mentality, phenomenon is Nestor Makhno. On the one hand, this is certainly a character of Ukrainian history, and general Russian history,
but on the other hand, though he was in prison in Moscow, he didn’t become a Moscowite. He had his own point of view for all questions, despite he respected Lenin. He liked Lenin
very much, I don’t know why. He lost his mind about rememberances about meeting him. This is what Novorossiya was, if we put aside all estimation conclusions and appeal only to pure facts. – About Ukraine, about present borders to be more definite.
How was it made up? What is the pre-history? What is the history? The role of Austria-Hungary in creation of Ukraine. – Not a minor role of Austria-Hungary, because the first book in which
the idea of the independent Ukraine was justified, was published in Lvov. But it was published no by a native of Lvov, but a person
who lived not far from the birth place of my ancestors, in Poltava province. It was a famous lawyer Nikolay Mikhnovskiy. He spoke Russian all his life, worked either in Russain defence attroneys,
or military prosecution during the World War I, signed for allowances, certainly in Russian. But he thought that Ukraine had to be given independence. He made this work “Independent Ukraine”. By the way, he tried to blow up the monument to Pushkin in Kharkov. He failed.
He asked junkers of local academy. The monument was set up firmly. Windows in the neighbour houses were blown out, nothing in result.
But monumnet were fought against already at those times. And Mikhnovskiy, certainly anonymously, he was a very cautious person,
published this book in Lvov on the territory of Austria-Hungary. – What was the year? – 1900. It is very easy to remember. It is the first moment, when, one can say, the first political Ukrainian appears. Mikhnovskiy, a clear programm. – In an independent state? – In an independent state, because before that there were various modifications of cultural revivals,
autonomy, but there was no political idea of independent Ukraine not at Bogdan Khmelnitskiy, not Mazepa. It was always the idea of vassalage, submission to some bigger state structure:
either to Poland, or Russia, or Turkish sultan. But the there was no idea of independence. The first part of his political career, within 10 years, Bogdan Khmelnitskiy signed himself in Polish. Hetman of his Roayl grace Ian Kazimir, army of Zaporoshye his roayl grace. And after 1654 he moved to cyrilics and started to sign as Hetman of Zaporozhye army his Tsar Majesty.
Everything is clear in the title itself. So, the titleship impies that there was no independence, no alliance agreements. Again, what I said, are pure facts.
There is no need to look for politics here. I’m just a historian here. If I worked for somebody, for a Tsar, or a President, or a Hetman, then it could be said.
But as I, thanks God, am a free person, free cossack, I mus know the history of my land as it is. Mikhnovskiy was the first to make up this idea. I think this idea appeared not only in his head. When I was a young journalist, my first editor-in-chief said:
if you got some idea, it means two contacts are connected in your head. Run to make it real, because somewhere two contacts could be connected
in other heads and you will not be the first. Mikhnovskiy had problems with realization. He was very impractical. In some way, I’m sorry for him. He hanged himself in the end of his life. He came to Kiev during the Soviet authorities, he hanged himself on the street
with a life-loving name Zhilyanskaya. On the perpedicular street professor Grushevskiy snored. The first head of the Central Rada. He persuaded Soviet government to come back. Grushevskiy snored, everything was sweat juicy. And Mikhnovskiy hanged himself,
moreover, poor guy, from the second attempt. So, his life was not unfortunate. He couldn’t marry, he had too big ambitions, but there was no potential for realization. Because Hetman Skoropadskiy offered him a position in the government,
but very plain, minor, Mikhnovskiy got offended. Who was he, Skoropadskiy? A Russian general, he just joined the Ukrainian idea.
And I, Mikhnovskiy, created it. And everybody uses it. And he left to a village. In fact, he didn’t even take partin the Civil war. By the way, he was the first to come to the idea that Ukraine needed to have its own army in 1917. But the Central Rada in 1917 played in autonomy, characters of the Central Rada
like Grushevskiy, Petlyura, considered a horror independent Ukraine. No, not allowed. He would spoil relations with kerenskiy, Kerenskiy in Petrograd would be offended. When he went to a tribune with this idea at some meeting, Grushevskiy pushed him rudely out of the tribune. Grushevskiy writes in his memoirs that he didn’t understand how I made it:
to push out such huge Mikhnovskiy, he was really around 2m in height. And more likely, he was shy, maybe, his intelligibility prevented. He finished Russian gymnasium,
culture, worked in prosecution office, had some ideas about law, at least. From this moment, 1900 everything started. If certainly not to consider… that two Moskals, Zhukovskiy and Bryulov, let one Moskal had Tatar origins,
sorry Turkish, Zhukovskiy, in half, he is the son of a Turkish captive. Bryulov was a child of a French Bryul who naturalized in Russian empire,
but still they were Russians and bought out Taras Shevchenko. I was even asked why Ukrainians take Russia so negatively now, they put all their troubles on it? I also replied: You know… because that Ukraine which was till 2014,
was also created by Moskals, made it, Soviet Ukraine. Because it was made either by natural Moskals, like Khruschev, Lenin, let him be with a good portion of Jewish blood,
and some Finn-Hungarian, but still he was a Russian person. Lenin destroyed Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic. The capital of this republic was Kharkov, by the way. He was a unitary follower. He was against that proletarians of Donbass would fall apart from Ukraine.
He thought that more proletarian elements were to be added to Ukraine. That’s why he cut air to Mr. Sergeyev known under name Artyom. And the latter failed
to make Donetsk-Kivoy Rog Republic with Voroshilov as a long-term project. But they wanted it much. Because this region was if not self-sufficient in industial terms, but at least unique.
And without doubts it made up some entirety. I mean Donbass, even Kharkov, Krivoy Rog. Where there are deposits of ore,
metallurgical plants, deposits of asbestos, coke coal, all this territory. – It was called the steel heart of Russia. – Yes, it was. There was such expression, you can find posters from early years of Soviet authorities, all this is present. It is well known that Stalin annexed Galicia, Galitchyna, what is now called western Ukraine,
the kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, as it was officially called in Austria-Hungary empire. He annexed it very well, everything what Stalin annexed, was made for ages. One can’t disconnect… Khrushchev was a voluntarist, he presented the Crimea. By the way, this expression “presented the Crimea” is indecent. Generally, these problems now with the Crimea… like a corn, Khrushchev made a lof of silly things. He did good things. Certainly, Khruschev houses are not pleasant. But in Ukraine nobody gave anyone Khrushchev houses free of charge, right? I mean after 1991. Certainly, corn is not the most tasty product. But when I went here for the interview,
corn is sold just in streets, for 10UAH. So some deeds of Khrushchev still go on. Passports to peasants, and generally speaking, thaw. Solzhenitsyn published the notion “thaw”. Everything was intersting. But it was not good with presenting the Crimea. He mixed everyone, made everyone embroiled as usual. People were not asked about in 1954, whether they wanted or not. I had such case in 1982, can you imagine? I was 13, i came to Artek, pioneer Buzina. From Kiev, I was born in Kiev. And Crimean girl told me: We feel so unsatisfied that we live in Ukraine. This is Soviet Union, still a common country. I ask: What are you not satisfied with? I learned in Ukrainian school, from the first class Ukrainian languange,
from the second – Russian, according to that programm. She says: We are annexed to Ukraine without our opinion. I really understood at that moment that when someone is married without her wish, offence will stay. It may go evident at any inconvenient moment. The weak has the worst. And here is the present of Khrushchev. For 300year anniversary of so called the reunion of Ukraine and Russia, this was the way to make Ukraine. Let’s not forget about Transcarpathia which Stalin added,
because Stalin though as a geopolitician in the first half of 20th century. And it was very important for him to make a base behind the Carpathians. During World War I, when Stalin was young, Russian army spent a lot of efforts and blood to cross the Carpathian range. It never crossed it till the end, it failed, Austria-Hungary and Germany made a counter-attack
at Gorlitz in 1915. A great retreat started, and the frontline fell to the east. And in order to prevent it in future, so that he would control all the time the ways
to Europe from the Carpatuhians, from Ukraine, Stalin chose this base of the present the Transcarpathia. Ealier Hungary took it from Czechoslovakia, he took it all from Hungary. He explained why it had to be done this way. And pay attention that two times after the death of Stalin
Red army entered to Europe through this Transcarpathian pass. In 1956 into Hungary, suppressing Hungarian revolt, and in 1968 into Czechoslovakia, to Prague. This Stalin base worked for two times to solve geopolitical problems of Soviet Union, as Soviet Union saw them. Whether it should be done this way or not, this is a second question. I have no certain opinion.
I even think that it is something senseless to discuss what to do then. That’s all, everything is done. There is no need to talk about it eternally. And Bukovina,the Duchy of Bukovina, on the emblem of which there was a bull, a bull’s head to be more precise. It was a part of Austria-Hungary which turned out after 1918 in the composition of Romania. But later comrade Stalin annexed it to Ukraine, with everything in it. With Bukovian Jews, Bukovian gympsies, local Slav-speaking Cristian citizens, who mentally differ from Galytchina. It is hard to understand what it is, how to call it, then they said: You are Ukrainians.
They wrote everyone in the classification, definetely. Gave passports, and live according to new rules. I.e. whether you like it or not, live. This is the way Ukraine was created. This is a Soviet project. Moscow project. Why was it made? Because pre-revolution project was another one. Pre-revolution project was a project of triune Russian people. And officially Tsar ideology stated that Russian triune people consisted of Malorussians, Velikorussians and Belorussians. Imagine that the most part of the Russian empire didn’t think
that this was this way. Really didn’t know. Because the national self-awareness was very weak before the spread of literacy among all. I also have to tell as a historian, as it was in reality. The national self-awareness was finally created by Stalin period together with the spread of literacy. The same as Frenchmen felt themselves French only in the second part of 19th century when
secondary school started to work everywhere, in Provance, Britan, where it was forbidden to speak Briton. This way Frenchmen were made. Also a created nation, by the way. Like Americans, like Germans, I’m sorry. Italians also say that the first foreign language which we learn at school is Italian. Because they have alot of dialects. In fact, a number of separate languages.
We know ‘O sole mio’ and know that this is in Italian, this is not in Italian. This is Sicilian. Italian language is a little bit different, it is a little bit tougher. Somewhere near Milan. Lombardia dialect, dialect which was the base
of modern Italian language, the language of Dante. Despite that Dante himself was an anti-Italian. He was a follower of German Emperor, it turned out.
There are many discrepancies in the history which are forgotten. And bolsheviks wanted to break White Russian ildeology by winning over White Russians,
to break the preconditions for White Russian ideology. So that White Russians would rise, they gave not only part of Donskoy region to Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic,
but also started the policy of Ukranization at the government level. This was a part of all union policy of colonization. At the same moment Kirghizs were told that they were Kirghizs. But not Kazakhs, because before that Kirghizs and Kaisaki didn’t differ one from another. They though that if not one people, but at least very close tribes. By the way, Kazakhs call themselves not Kazakhs, but Kazaks. Kazakstan, very definte.
It was also a Soviet invention to make Kazakhs so that they would differ from Kasaks. From our Don cossacks, Kuban ones and others. There was such a story. And by means of Soviet school, repressive measures, including the Cheka, and personally Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich who was first Secretary of
Communist party of Ukraine in that time of bolsheviks, they managed to make a policy of ukranization, to explain all citizens of Ukraine that they were Ukrainians. And they wrote as Ukrainians everyone without approval, even those who said:
No, we are Malorussians. No, we don’t even know who we are. There is a brilliant recalling of General Khorunzhev about
Ukrainian People’s Republic of Yuriy Tyutyunyk (for Russian speakers). He describes that in 1918 during the temporary government
when there was also the policy of ukranization of the army, they decided to make an Ukrainian regiment. And they took recruits among, according to our opinion, from the deep Ukrainian provinces. These are not my words. These are the words of a character
of Ukrainian liberation motion shot by NKVD Yuriy Tyutyunik. Don’t think that I created it. Open these memoirs. So, they gathered these recruits, Kiev, Ekaterinoslavl provinces, Podolsk. Everybody speaks simple Ukrainian. Without thinking over that this is Ukrainian. Just they speak and that’s it. Like now somebody says: What? Am I speaking Russian?
They speak Russian and swear Putin on the one and same languange. And Tyutyunik asked: Ukrainians, raise your hands.
And there were several thousands of people, huge crowd. Just a few hands raised, small percent. Then he said: malorussians, raise your hands. One third of all raised hands. Khokhols, raise your hands. Another third of people raised hands. These are the words of Tyutyunik.
There are no claims to Buzina, everything to him. Another third of people raised hands. And then he said: Khokhols, Malorussians, and Ukrainians,
raise your hands. And then there were a lot hands raised. This shows what national self-awareness was in 17 years after Mikhnovskiy worte his independent Ukraine. I mean, there was no, there were only some rudiments, germs. This is how it was. Everything is due to Kaganovich and Stalin. Stalin highly appreciated Kaganovich. Kaganovich was a great manager,
I saw his speech, not in reality surely, in archive. He spokes like Gebbels. He was a talanted Jewish with great managerial abilities. But don’t think that if I appraise Jews, I’m a Jews by myself. What I don’t have, I don’t have. But after Kaganovich ukranized Ukraine, Stalin put him for consturation of Moscow metro. I used it many times, it appeared to be a great metro, especially the old part. After Kaganovich made it, he put it to the Ministry of communication lines. It was called People’s commisariat of communication lines at those times. Kaganovich also made it, i.e. during the whole Great Patriotic war which is now renamed by the Directive…
Order of Ministry of Education of Ukraine into the War number 2, into the World War II, i.e. just the War number 2, they decided. So, during all Great Patriotic War number 2, Soviet railways worked better than German ones. And it resulted in the victory of the Soviet Union in the War number 2, being the Great Patriotic War as well. This is a merit of Kaganovich. Nothing can be done about it. And when I saw his speech at the congress of railway workes, railway workers listened him with open mouths. Maybe, due to him, they learnt for the first time that they were railway workers, so important workers,
but not just guys who unfortunately appeared to use hammers on the railway. – Here is another historical question: the Civil war in Russia in 1917-1923, after October revolution,
and the Civil War in Ukraine in 2014 after February revolution in Kiev. Can some parallels be made, taking into consideration that events of the past century
took place in the capital of the whole Russian empire, in Petrograd, Petersburg, and the present war in Ukraine, to be more precise the revolution
and the consequent war are local in terms of Russia. – Let’s look at it deeper. Events which resulted in little civil war in Ukraine in 2014, and events of 1917 are directly connected. These are evident parallels. As a matter of fact, look… Just… After the collapse of the Soviet Union… historical activity is weaker than after the collapse of the Russian empire. And the scenario is the same. The Russian empire collapsed in 1917, the revolution took place in Petrograd. And in 1991 there is the revolution in Moscow. The first Maidan was in Moscow, near the White House. It was not called Maidan…
you remember this GKChP, and Yeltsin on a tank. And there is a change of power in the capital of the empire, usually, outskirts fall apart. I.e. it happens all the time. French revolution took place in France, Britan fell apart at once. There were rebellions in Corsika, they changed their mind to be in the composition of France. This all had to be subordinated again. When the Russian empire fell apart due to February revolution, further there was Russian republic.
The Russian empire fell apart in February 1917, not in October. Outskirts felt themselves free. Finnland asked for freedom. Poland said that they conquered by Germans.
We have no relations with Warsaw province, we will be now Poland. Ukraine wanted independence, and Caucasus, mountain peoples of Caucasus separately,
i.e. Armenia, Georgia, everyone wanted. Middle Asian khanates, in the Far East started something unbelievable.
There were their own governments, Syberian. The system of power broke everywhere. The Soviet Union broke down in 1991, what happens? Outskirts fell apart. Former Republics of the Soviet Union, except one, the biggest, Russian, fell apart. Everybody says: now we are independent. Even Kirghizia
which was cut from Kazakhstan at one time by bolsheviks. And the process started, there were civil wars everywhere: in Abkhasia, in Chechnya, this is also a civil war. There are Russians fightiung against Russians. Listen, Chechenyans are Russian-speaking. They are bilingual… I tallked with Chechenyans, they speak Russian. This is one system figting inside, Russians. If you come to Moscow now, more sports costumes,
or winter coats with two-headed eagles and the inscription Russia are worn by natives of Caucasus. From Dagestan, from Chechnya. They fell themselves very much as citizens of Russian Federation. In Transdniestria, this is also the same part. Everywhere where it was badly sewed…
And how bolsheviks sewed together… Thye sewed together so that it will not shred. It seemd for them it will be more efficient. For exapmle, if we give Bessarabia to Moldova’s composition,
Bessarabia will prevent Moldova from leaving the Soviet Union. And Bessarabia failed to prevent. By the way Bessarabia was… Transdniestria was an autonomy republic. Bessarabia autonomy was in the composition of Ukrainian Soviet Republic till 1940,
when Moldova was joined from Romania and made A common Moldovian republic. And the fire started there. Because different, Moldovians want to be Moldovians, and
Transdniestrians want Russian-speaking Transdniestrians. They want to be Russian. Donbass is the same: Lenin gave it to Ukraine,
and the fire started. What can you do about it? As passed Chernomyrdin said, we wanted to make better, but we made it as usually. And this is a gigantic total Russian process, post-Soviet process. This is a civil war. I.e. there is… You know, a civil war gets cool very long. Because it seems that the first official civil war ended 1922, when Vladivostok was taken.
As the song sings, on the valleys and hills a division went ahead. Look, Don cossacks, significant part of them moved to the side of Germans in 1942. And they made one cossack corpus. And Vlasov army, ROA, this is a continuation of the civil war. These are those processes which during Stalin were set underground,
and they broke outside as soon as Soviet power left. And here we have everything the same. What was put as the basis at Lenin’s time, is broken now,
with flesh and blood, it is awful, but what can be done? If the Tsar held strong the Russian empire in 1917, according to the Christianity he was Holding,
he held it from the failure, from total collapse, from arrival of the Satan. Everything would be different, completely. But we would not sit here and talk, maybe,
some other people would sit, everything would be in a different way. But it happened like this, and we live in the situation
when the Demon is strong, the Devil is walking everywhere. Everybody has freedom. Who the Holdingis , it is difficult to say, whether the Holding exists at all. Or instead of the Holding
there is some person, we don’t know, that’s it. With Cristianity everything was clear, there was monarchy. The faith was clear. But as the people turned out to be unfaithful to the sovereign, and the sovereign
turned out to be unfaithful to the people, and he abjured his people. What Gogol was afraid much. In the favourite places of correspondence with friends, he wrote that we were afraid most of all
if the people would abjured the sovereign or the sovereign would abjured the people. This is the idea of Gogol, a Malorussian, our compatriot. And we live in such reality after 1917. There would be 100 years soon. When someone speaks about legitimacy of the authorities,
and the classic legitimacy is common only to monarchies. After the fall of the monarchy, it is a question. They say: People have chosen, he is legitimate. And Yanukovich was elected, he was legitimate, he was overthrown by force. – And in 2004 he was elected. – Yes, in 2004. You understand, what decides the legitimacy? As I said, the force,
brutal physical force. As Henry Ford said, he knew much about it: A brutal physical force is uncrowned host of the world. This is what Henry Ford.
The very Ford who died in 1947 under the light of a kerosine lamp, as a Detroit newspaper wrote. And he didn’t have his own cabinet, he walked around all factory in Detroit. And workers said he was cruising. At least, if to trust Ilf and Petrov who wrote “One-storyed America”. And this is the way
we live, depending on who has more forces or less to protect ourselves, relatives, to chose your way. And it is difficult to say who does good and who bad. – We talked today about the question of Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic, and this is a
quite interesting period of the history in the life and territory of the present Donbass. Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic existed only several months in 1918.
And what parallels can you draw towards the present situation? – Parallels are evident. There was Kharkov which was in the composition of Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic. Rebellion started in Donbass. It was a rebellion. Certainly,
there was an external factor. It must not be denied. Mr. Strelkov came from Russian Federation through the Crimea, it is definite. Facts are facts, what can we say? But there was a rise, there was a revolution of decency in Donbass. I know Donbass well. At least, I feel that I know it well. And I like this region very much, by the way. And believe me, I’m sincerely sorry that people die there. People from both sides die. I’m sorry for usual Donetsk old women, and Ukrainian soldiers. Though some tells me: how can you feel like that? But I’m sorry for all of them. My friends died from both sides. I don’t know on which side to interfere in this conflict, that’s why
I prefer not to interfere. I think it is unnatural by its nature. Because it’s not done this way in Europe, i.e. the behaviour of Ukrainian authorities,
Maidan authorities. It’s aful, immoral. It’s immoral. Yes, Yanukovich was bad. Nobody says he was good. Certainly, he was bad. Only by one reason – not because the rate was 8 grivens for one US dollar. And not because he paid the salary to state employees in due time.
And he was bad not because he hosted Euro 2012. Not because of this. Just he didn’t fullfil his obligations to the end, properly.
He left. This is what was bad. He couldn’t solve the problem for three months. There were various solutions. He could make an extraordinary situation.
Read, there is a law about extraordinary situation. There is nothing written that somebody must be shot or crucified.
Everything was written there what to do. And he didn’t do. He had to agree with Klitschko, with opposition, with anyone else. And he prefered to do nothing. Criminal inactivity was common for him. This is bad. But the new authorities which decided to solve something in a military way,
are deeply mistaken. You can’t solve anything in a military way. One could agree initially. Initially, just to agree. To go and to hug Donbass. Tymoshenko had to come and to appologize for words about barbed wire.
To tear her hair, she has what to tear. And I have the right to tell this, because I was against the decision to put Tymoshenko in prison.
I don’t think she is worse than Yanukovich. They are two of a kind. Sorry, but a man who put a woman in prison, looks silly. This is an idiot deed, from political point of view. There is nothing worse than
to make a woman your enemy. In fact, it is so easy to fight with women. One should avoid the fight with her. Turchinov had to go there, and Klitschko, instead of thinking about mayor title.
Anyway, he is doing bad. What kind of mayor is he? To go and to hug Donbass. They had to say: Yes, we accept your position. They mustn’t do this bloody events in Odessa which put in fire everything. Everything was deeply mistaken. And a mistake, as Toleran said, is worse than a crime. And that’s it. And really… when I went to Lugansk, a wonderful city. Absolutely Soviet. Stalin architecture, Stalin Empire style. A stadium of 20s, a halfly destroyed city park, this is the motherland of Voroshilov. That’s why it is so… old Roman ruins, during the years of independence this park declined much. Tanks captured at White Russians, English tanks as monuments. Monuments to Civil war, monumnets to tanks. the Museum of Dal, own culture… understanding that this was a part of Don army. Local citizens, you can make them different. What they were born, they are in fact. Monument to Voroshilov. Don’t take Voroshilov for some fool. He was a ver clever man, very clever. And he had charisma. Local citizens told me that big crowds of people, meetings
were gathered in 1917-1918 to listen to Voroshilov. He could raise people by a finger tip. And recall for this Lugansk defense, when Germans attacked in 1918, bullets were passed from hands to hands. And this horse with balls, of Voroshilov. Local citizens who remembered, told that
Klim had not a she-horse, but a he-horse. And we needed to make these balls. I saw this monument. I’ve been to Donetsk many times. I still a lot of friends there. And it was crazy to shell Donetsk. It was simply crazy. One mustn’t do like this. This is not within terms of any civilized solution of the matter. Catalonia, there are Catalonian separatists. Nobody shells them, Barcelona is not shelled. Scotland set the question for referendum about independence. But they solved… by some tiny advantage of voices.
We don’t even know if Englishmen garbled the results or not. Englishmen are able to be wiser than anyone else. Like with Berezovskiy, nothing is clear: who, what.
The only thing is that Britain turned out to be not the safest country, as it was thought. It comes as no surprise that the motherland
of the world detective is Britain. Conan Doyle is from there. From Scotland, in fact, but still. But Sherlock Holmes lives in London. And that’s it. They solved it easily with Scots. So many autonomy motions in Europe and nobody thought that by artillery… it could be destroyed. Autonomy desire can be destroyed by artillery. I made examples. Yanukovich didn’t shell Lvov by artillery anyone.
But Lvov told me that they didn’t want to separate. I said: in 1991 all Ukraine separated. And the prevailing majority voted for independence. But artillery didn’t shell from Moscow because Ukraine separated,
together with Donbass what is most amazing. What events took place in Ukraine for these 23 years,
that psychology of people in Donbass changed. A march of Donetsk miners in the end of 80s- beginning of 90s was one of the triggers of
Ukrainian independence, by the way. This was forgotten at the moment. But it took place. – Many Ukrainians take Soviet period of the history of Ukraine not definitely. Up to absolutely differenet opinions. To you mind, how did Soviet period influence on Ukraine,
especially on its demographic aspect, i.e. did the nation thrive at Soviet times in comparison with other periods? – Definitely, it is difficult to consider something, except some very simple things. You look at a chair. Well, a chair is a chair. You can sit on it. It is impossible to drive nails by a chair. You will not type a text on a chair, if you are not crazy, right? And Soviet legacy is not definite by its essence. On the one hand,
it was maybe not pleasant to live in 20s, right? My great grandfather was really repressed as a tsar officer, in mother’s line. My great grandmother in father’s line died during the hunger of 30s. My grandfather and her family in mother’s line severly starved. It was everything, if we talk about villages. DneproGES was built, was? Was. Did many people try to be pilots? Yes, they did. Did we fight for a badge of GTO? Yes, we did. Did we win Hitler? Yes, we did. You see, how many things. We flew to space, and in Kiev we made a ceramic nose for Buran
so that it would pass through the dense atmosphere. Oleg Antonov, natural Moskal, but Russian nobleman, can you imagine?
During the Soviet authorities, one paradox after another. He came here and established a state company – Antonov factory. And took the first stage in the world for transport aircraft building. Were aircraft carriers built in Nikolaiv? Yes, they were. It certainly arised on the empty place, this factory of Marti, and others. I don’t remember to the name of how many communards
it was in Nikoaev, but there were Swiss factories. One thing involves another. I beleive more in evolution than in revolution. I will explain why. I always went in for sports, woked out. And I know that in order to pump your muscles, you need to pump it much time, evolutionally. You can only tear your muscles, if you take at once a heavy bar. You will just tear your ligaments. There would nothing good, there would be a torn, your heart will be down.
If you are lucky, you will get healthy during a long period. A revolution took place with you. And then again, from dumbbells of 1kg you will move to bigger weights. That’s why I believe… not even believe, I know that evolution works. All revolution shocks will anyway bring the nation, the world, the land to the evolution process. Stalin understood that revolution must be stopped.
He was the greatest counter-revolutionist in the history of Russia. He did everything. Made positions, officers, reconstructedchurches , created a Soviet middle class. Allmost everything, social categories, military category which is analogue of nobility, once can say. He created oprichniks, NKVD, MGD, everything returned back. A great counter-revolutionist. And a dreadful man, naturally. When somebody starts to naively appraise Stalin, I’m sorry, this is stupid. First of all, Stalin mechanisms were good for Stalin period. You can’t mechanically transfer anything. Otherwise, try like Napoleon, or try like Peter I. Or like Wilhelm the Conqueror in England. it will not do. Present problems of Britain
are not solved by means of Wilhelm the Conqueror. It will not create his shadow. But nonetheless, this all is Soviet period. And on the one hand, for example, if we take the history of my family, my family suffered. But on the other hand, I saw school copybooks of my father. He grew up in a village. He finished a big village school. It was a big former cossack city. There were two schools. And I realized that comrade Stalin made him a man of education,
because these big village pupils were taught great Russian literature. These villgae pupils were taught good Russian language. These village pupils were taught Ukrainian simultaneously, you are welcome. And they were taught goo Ukrainian literature. Who would say
that the Aeneid of Kotlyarevskiy is bad? It is great. It is a great work. And due to this a village guy turned to be colonel Buzina, Aleksey Grigoryevich Buzina. A man who worked abroad at one time, and a great police investigator. An intelligence man and counterspy. And I don’t feel not only any remorse that he served in KGB and SBU. And general Marchuk serves up till now, his colleague. Nalivaychenko again took him for service, right? And when somebody starts to reproach me by my father, I always say: My father didn’t do anything bad. My father did only good. Some young investigators remember his phrase up till now. I met an officer of SBU in a street one day,
and he said that they were taught. And the instructor used the phrase invented by my father. One can serve in KGB if not physical culture and secret service. In Ukrainian, my father always spoke Ukrainian, by the way. It was. Life is very difficult, very difficult. One can’t create something more difficult. – Western Ukraine is a part of Russian civilization? – Without any doubts. – Lvov, Frankovsk regions… – Irina Farion was a member of communist party, right? Russian bolsheviks created communist party, right? Russian Jews created communist party, right? Not French. Trotskiy,
Martov, Kamenev, Zinovyev, these are Russian Jews, not other Jews? And Farion. Who is she? Russian. To my mind. Maybe, she thinks different. In contrast to her, I was not in KPSS.
I just didn’t want, and didn’t even dreamt. By the way, I was last to enter Komsomol in the class. Because of a fight. And in 1990 I was sacked from a pioneer camp where I was a guide,
with a wording: For not believing in possiblity of communist structure creation. You know, I never believed in creation of communist structure. I didn’t beleive. It is a uthopia. I always showed interest to a free display of myself,
i.e. I don’t hide that I’m a bourgeois. Yes, I’m a boursgeois. I like free initiative, private initiative. Even in Soviet Union, in Stalin’s, there was a boursgeois initiative. I’m afraid to be mistaken, but in Soviet Union around 10% of the production were market cooperatives. They produced… few knows that the first radio receiver in Soviet Union
was produced by a cooperative in Leningrad. It became a factory, right? Open-joint stock company now, but they were involved
not in stealing state funds, at Stalin times it could lead to something. But they were involved in real production.
Furniture was produced by private companies, almost half at Stalin period. Furs were made by cooperatives, cooperatives went fishing. There are great glass-holders, chiselled. In Vladimirsk province there was a whole village. It lived in one cooperative. Everyone did his function, somebody drew this wire, somebody bent it,
made details, as a result there was a glass-holder. There was such idea. Now they can’t. Now they can’t make such a glass-holder like at Stalin period. There was no such private company. And then it was. That’s why, Aleksey Tolstoy is a bourgeois writer of Soviet structure.
And Michail Bulgakov? This is a bourgeois writer of Soviet structure. I like than more than others, like persons, like a model for imitation. Sholokhov, who is he? He is a cossack-private owner,
though he was not a cossack by origin, but he bore this mentality. All this was… many things were in Soviet period. And many things are forgotten. Don’t judge the Soviet structure
only by Stalin period, or only by Brezhnev’s, of Gorbachev’s. This system passed a big way of evolution. It changed, it was so different. In 20s it differed so much from the one in 40s, and 40s are absolutely different from 80s. As if the history took place on diferrent planets.
But it was the same, 1/6 part if the land. And it still turns around. – Ukrainian nationalism, waht is its essence? – I think its essence doesn’t differ from any other nationalism, generally speaking. Nationalism concerns with a big interest to your own land and your own ethnos. When it is put above all, as Ukrainians say. French nationalism is the same in these terms. Italian nationalism, German, they are very much alike. All nationalisms are alike. Russian nationalism i these terms… Russian nationalism broke the Soviet Union. Yeltsin was a Russian nationalist. For him, a native Russia was more important
than a Russian empire, big and multinational. Just recall when the Soviet Union was collapsing, there was an organization Pamyat (Memory) in Russia. In Russia people said… complained that for the sake of the Soviet Union
Russia was devastated, nonblack soil zone was devastated. They said that all Republics had communist party, and we, poor Russians, didn’t have. All Republics had a capital, Ukraine had Kiev, Gerogia – Tbilisi, and we, Russians, didn’t have our won capital. They were told: You have Moscow. And they replied: This is the capital of the Soviet Union.
And we want it to be the capital of Russia. So, it turned out this way. In this aspect all nationalisms are alike. They are local. By the way, the tragedy was that Yeltsin was also a person with limited reasoning. He was also provincial. You understand? It is hard to say if there is American nationalism. I think no. USA tends to universalism. USA tends that everybody will wear jeans,
everybody will eat cheeseburgers. everybody will look at the world by American eyes. So that eveyone will believe in democracy in American way. I.e. if an American says that this is democracy, people are killed there, destroyed, but he says this is democracy,
democratic… There was a democratic government in Afganistan, and talibs are not democratic. Though, I’m sorry, a Devil will not understand, who is more democratic, you can spend a lot of time for that. America is an empire like Russia. Russia tends to universalism, USA tends to universalism,
the present Russia. Putin’s Russia tends to universalism. Look, girls from Buryatia, Kalmykia, i.e. from constituent entities of
Russian Federation, learnt written form of Russian language. They sit at reception at many hotels. They are Russians. Nobody tells them that they have narrow eyes. Nobody even will such words in mind. These girls are married eagerly.
Pavel Volya, for example, a showman, has his wife with remarkable Mongoloid features, a beauty. And nobody feels any complexes about it. Nobody says that you are not like everyone. Present Russia pull Caucasians inside itself. How long will it take? Will efforts be enough
to keep this centripetal process of universalization, approximation? I can’t say, but it takes place. Americans have the same melting pot truned on. Melting pot, whatever gets inside… Obama got with Keniyan origins, if I’m not mistaken, and he got afloat. The blackest president of USA. A cute guy. Nationalism… I don’t want to get stuck only at Ukranian one. I’m sorry, but in some way I feel pity for Ukrainian nationalism, because it was chosen as some awful negative example. I can also explain why. – Then I will ask a question… – But it doesn’t differ. Nationalism is always pronvicialism. And British emprire can not be a nationalistic empire. It pulled in itself Scots, Welsh, Irish. Here you are. I made an example, Conan Doyle, he is a Scot. He is a famous English writer. Maybe, he is read more than Shakespear indeed in the world. And Shakespear is somewhat… is imposed. And that’s why the difference between the empire and nationalism is in the range. All the time in the range. When a state ceases to be an empire, it becomes nationalistic. In German empire, in the old one, in Holy Roman empire of German nation,
as it was called this way, whoever were included, even Czechs. And when it started to collapse, when it started to degrade, when it slowly became a new German empire,
the one which appeared under Bismark, there was pure nationalism. And as no surprise, it was a show of degradation. It was an attempt to impose the will of one ethnos also created, by the way,
because Germans are not homogeneous, they have a big layer of Slavs. Germanized, a big layer of Balts, Calliptamus was. And also Celts, Bavarians are germanized Celts. close relatives to Czechs in blood, by the way, Bohemians.
Even the origin of Bavarians and Bohemians is the same, there was a tribe Boyev, Celtish. Just, one part was germanized, and and other was slavianized. The histroy decided this way. This is German nationalism, it is the decline of the empire. And nationalism is always… we also live in a period of the empire collapse. It seems strange, but it is. We live in the period of Russian empire collapse. In thousand years it will be not intersting to know what took place
in 100 years after 1917. They will just say in one sentence: In 2014 as a result of remote consequences of the collapse of Russian empire in 1917… Can you imagine? Russian empire, pre-revolution, wanted to change Georgians into Russians,
without depriving of their national distinctness: they drank wine, danced lezginka. But their princes served in Russian guards, Khan Nakhichevan commanded
Russian cavalry in Eastern Prussia in 1914, commanded the guard cavalry. Khan Nakhichevan, really, i.e. Azerbaijanian at present. Where Azerbaijan now and where Russia is. Armenian Loris Melikov was a close associate of Aleksandr II. Malorussians, or let’s call them Ukrainians, I will be reproached again, let’s call. Brothers Rozumovskiy, Bezborodki, Paskevich, close associates
of several emperors and empresses: Elizabeth, Ekaterina, Pavel and Nikolay. Look, 2 emperors and 2 empresses and next tothem there are Malorussians, i.e. Ukrainians all the time. And why do I say “i.e. Ukrainians”? Because the word Ukrainian was used in 19th century. From last jorney to Moscow I brought the romance of Mordovtsev “The great rupture”. There is a pocket issue. Why I liked it? It describes how Ukrainians came to Moscow in 17th century. As Hetman Brukhovetskiy, like Ukrainian came… it says about it. The very word ‘Ukrainians” already existed in end of 17th century. Not denouting all territory of the present Ukraine, but towards those who lived at the very border with a steppe.
Ukrainians, here you are. You can find in documents, chronicles, not widely spread, but it was. While russian empire was rising, this is 17th century, 18th, 19th, at the beginning it was not even called as empire,
but nonetheless it created empire structure. It pulled in itself Tatars after campaigns of Ivan the Awesome. Peoples of Syberia, everyone who it was possible, were pulled inside it. It tried to make everyone its own. And after the collapse of the empire, there appear nationalisms, always. And it is a sign again… It doens’t depend on my wishes, it is a maximum analysis of mine as a historian.
Finally, I try to look at the events from the furutre, how it will be treated from the future. And I take our futurologists like… When they start to discuss seriously
who wins, how it will be. Everything is little predicted. I like more the expression: as God decides. – What way of development you think is more acceptable
for people and territories of present Ukraine and Russia? – For me the one which more humane. So that there will less blood. For me. But some people, even many people don’t like my position. And don’t know why, but a homicide is treated as bravado at us. They see some huge achievement in it. Apes, or some primitive human with a stick did it very well,
and with modern means of orgamisms annihilation… you can kill the soil, without problems. I think… you know, by the way… it is difficult to say what can restrain Ukraine. 5 nuclear plants which were built due to the Soviet Union. They were all built under the Soviet Union. There are only energy blocks that were commissioned during independent Ukraine… This is a factor of stabilization of Ukraine. – Or? – Or.. and if someone got an idea and so on… It also seemed to us fantastic that armed forces of Ukraine would shell Slavyansk. People called me from Slavyansk during this epic. And I told them: Run from there as quick as possible.
Because shatters hit yards, gardens, and roofs. I told: This is a war. This is something unbelievable. That’s why run. This is the only advice
I can give you considering your age and physical conditions. You will not win there anything. Just run away. There is no way out. Even if you don’t like it. And these 5 plants. Maybe it is a factor of stabilization or maybe not. Gas pipeline which passes from Russia to Europe – maybe it is afactor of stabilization,
some kind of a pivot which restraines Ukraine. There may appear some crazy guy and he would decide taht it must be destroyed. Or they have to take the gas pipeline and start to blackmail,
for example, Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko. Only God knows what will be. Anything possible. Already… you know, how 1917 differs from 1913?
1913 is the peak of economic development of Russian empire. And 1918, 1919, 1920 are total collapse. Everything, Kiv, Ispanka, that flue Ispanka took more lives than a war. 3 persons died in my family in two days in 1918. I.e. at the frontlines of the World War I, one person died, and because of the flue
my great grandfather’s wife, sister and sone died. Just because of the flue. And here everything is possible. I don’t want to scare anyone, but I think everybody must some pills,
because you will not have enough time and so on to run for the. In case of flues. I don’t know what one should drink in this case. Thanks God, I had a flue much time ago. – Are there any contradictions in Ukraine, here in Kiev between the East and the West?
Between Eastern Ukraine and western Ukraine? How deep are they? And how to solve them? – To solve can be done only by a common project. I.e. when a country is divided all the time,
there will be always contradictions. And when the country is built… our country was never built in principal, it was divided all the time. – A constructive project? – A constructive project. I.e. well… If the project of the Customs Union is constructive, it will join together. If the project of European Union is constructive, it will join together.
One and the same Ukraine, depending where Ukraine turns to be. If Ukraine appears between these two constructive projects, ideally, it will take the best from both projects. Like Switzerland. It is not a member of European Union. It is forgotten, I don’t know why. Ukraine could keep the status of such steppe Switzerland,
if Ukrainian politicians behave themselves wisely. it would be normal. When you meet somebody, when you do some trifles at least, you have people
from different parts not only Ukraine, but from everywhere. And they are involved in a common project. Let it be called ‘issue of a newspaper’, or ‘creation of a company’. Or ‘building of a certain road’, it is built many people: an engineer, for example, from Kharkov,
and workers from Volyn region. They find a common language. And then they are proud of waht they have built. ANd if you shoot at each other by artillery, then there is a little of construction. Tt will not be soon when construction starts. You know, I understand that this correct that people want something good. And people want me to inspire hope. And I will tell sincerely: one can’t do without a hope. I.e. you can get stuck in something bad,
but you must see something good even something bad. And this is not for the first time when our country appears in such difficult conditions. Not for the first time. All the time… it is clear that it is hard on the territory of combats like in 1942. There is no difference. Weapon is more frightening in some aspects.
Automatic arms are more there. Everyone has it there. Sniper rifles, night vision equipment, artillery cannons are killing more.
Tanks are more powerful. Everything. Scary? Certainly, scary. But if our civilization, and we live in general civilization… I made an example, in Moscow at the live interviews,
this is not for the first time the relations between Ukraine and Russia are tense. Frictions. There was a period in 1617 when cossacks of Hetman Sagaydachniy
stood at Arbat gates and tried to take Moscow. And before thant they devastated all Russian towns, on their way there.
They devastated rudely, they killed all population, this is a fact. And in 1918 a former tsar colonel Muravyev came to Kiev. Really with a huge crowd of bolsheviks. Mainly from Russia. Certainly, there were some from Kharkov. Different people, but mainly from there. And there was a awful massacre here in Kiev. I.e. Muravyev killed
everyone with intelligent faces, a crowd came indeed. Dead bodies are still left dug near Verkhovna Rada. There is a pot for Victims of the Revolution.
But victims of the Revolution are former officers, who even didn’t take part in this. Burgeouis people of Kiev, people with intelligent faces. It was all. And there are more scary things, but… This can not last forever. The war can not last forever because human resources come to the end. There are no volunteers to die for nothing. You see, the waves of mobilization are tried to be made by force. I think that
the reason of this mobilization is to distract attention of people form economic situation. Maybe, they take even more not for combat purposes, but cause fear, shake-up.
So that people will not think how much costs… prices, rent payment, gas, transfer, bread… After paying rents, retired people have even not 30 UAH. I know evn such retired people. In order to distract from all this, from that there be no study allowances to students,
there will be some funeral fee to retired people instaed of retired payments. And they creat another wave of mobilization, the 4th one. They influence no by means of food instinct, but fear for death. The most basic, there is no more basic. But this will do. And the main thing is that the war must be provided with money. Economy falls. Falls, it simply crashes. It had better times both in Ukraine, and in Russia. There are no extra money. They gathered 2 billions for the army due to this 1,5% tax. But the currency rate fell so much during this period, that in USD these 2 billions
became in 2,5 times cheaper than it was under Yanukovich, these 2 billions. And you must buy everything abroad for the army. A bullet factory was only in Lugansk. It is now there, in LPR. It means whaere Ukraine must buy bullets? Russia will not sell. And who will sell? Czech military. Big stores of former Yugoslavia.
They always supply from there, so they will try to buy it there. These are even simple bullet for Kalashnikov guns. And shells? And how to make an light armored infantry carrier if you can produce
only one part of it, and the second part was always made by russian Federation. They assembled it. And there is no aviation, except transport.
Ukraine doens’t produce any fighter planes, any bomberdment aircrafts. Helicopters, it turns out that they are produced in cooperation with Donbass. A part of companies there… Motor Sich partially has its own enterprises on the territory of Donbass. How will you make it all? And if the war, God saves, will spread a little? Even less resources. It means that the war must be finished. There is no any way out. You can insist much, but I remember from my childhood when we studied in 4th clas, I guess. We got into a class where seniors fought. A blow is weak at 4th class, and they fight just nominally. And there desks were dropped everywhere,
everything is covered with blood. Senior guys fought. This picture is still vivid in my memory, and this is how a real fight differs from the fight in a kindergarden. And this fight is for all money. That’s why it is so bad. So, it must be stopped. Peace is a bigger value than anything else. Because Slavs kill Slavs. It is stupid. And this is no like the Great patriotic war. This is a civil war. This is a war of oligarchy clans. oligarchy clans breached the taboo which was unbreakable. They made it clear between each other, Donetsk clan, Dnepropetrovsk, Lvov. So, they don’t invove people in that. Somehow they made it clear. Somebody was dug, somebody was killed, somebody was expelled
out of the country, like Pavel Lazarenko for example. But people was not involved in it. People felt, like girls say, comfortable. He knew taht nobody would call him for a huddle. And here
a new generation came, they are afraid to go at a huddle. They go for negotiations with each other, and people are sent to the huddle. to kill… and draw a picture: here Nazi, and here antifascists. But this is not in real. There is a civil war. Men who are simply taken to armed forces of Urkaine. What kind of Nazi are they? And antifascists are also different, sorry for my words. There are also…
they handled by themselves, try to make an order. They kill marauders somehow, and so on. Everybody says that all those units were isolated in Lugansk region.
And they conflicted with each other. Everything was there. it means that we hve to refuse from this propaganda cliches. There is a certan percentage of Nazis, certain percentage of antifascists. There is a percentage. But I don’t see fascists among our oligarchs. Is Kolomoyskiy fascist? You want to say that Jews Kolomoyskiy is a fascist?
I don’t believe that a Jews can a fascist. It means, these are not fascists. Jews Pinchuk is a fascist?No, he is not. It means it must not be considered… And this is what finances Ukrainian army. What finances volunteer battalions, in case of Kolomoyskiy. It means, it must not be treated as fascism. This is something different. Kolomoyskiy doesn’t tell everywhere that he is a follower of Hitler?
He doens’t give the Hitelr salute. There is no such things about him. It means that this is a cliche. This is a cliche. The conflict is completely different. This is a conflict of oligarchy groups, when people were raised by a TV, by means of propaganda. To distract from the most important, to distract from those who stand behind it. That’s all. And to destroy that good what was in the Soviet Union. Pay attention that there is no left party. In Ukraine. They explained that this is bad. This is bad when children meals are free of charge,
free of charge education. Bad when retired payments are made, when flats are given. This all is abd. And it is good when we go and kill each other. This is ideological. Ideology is at the top. I don’t agree with it. I think the conflict is in this. The conflict is very bourgeois in its essence. I say that despite my bourgeois sympathies. I consider myself a bourgeois writer.
But I ‘m among those bourgeois writers who feel big sympathy to left ideology. Without being left, they feel sympathy. I also came from people. I didn’t fell from the moon, not from a certain prince family. That’s why people will step by step… I’m sorry,
but if you can’t understand by brains, you will understand by your ass. You jumped on Maidan, now pots fell in the kitchen because of these jumps.
There is an earthquake. You woke up a volcano. The volcano will calm down. People will get smarter. They will learn new information, at least a little.
They will understand that to kill is more expensive to yourself. I don’t look at this all pessimistically, frankly speaking. Anyway, I try to find a reason that the progress will come back. It can not be eternal.
But there are some really progressive periods in the history. And I wait for a progressive moment. I make it closer as much as I can. I try to speak about a norm,
but not about these deviations. When everybody goes behind each other, and women become cheaper than bullets. – So when a Ukrainian will understand this? When will this moment come? – I don’t know. But he understands… The process of slow insight is unstoppable. The mankind develops anyway from a Neanderthaler to more higher forms. Anyway… We will see how it will be. At least I know that increased aggresiveness will not help to set the peace on our territory. And everybody passed through civil wars. Everybody. Absolutely everyone. Frenchmen, Spaniards, Englishmen. Generally… – Americans? – Americans. There are no one who didn’t pass through this. Cannibals have a constant civil war all the time. They eat each other. – We will hope that this is also our last…