O-Ton Hanna Herman:
Ryabchuk über die Verachtung der Russophonen gegenüber den Ukrainophonen:“Rich people are mostly Russian-speaking, while a great many citizens of Ukraine with Ukrainian mentality are poor people. This is the legacy of the first Ukrainian leaders. Whereas Vyacheslav Chornovil [a former political prisoner and one of the leaders of national-democratic movement during perestroika and the early years of Ukrainian independence] led us to meetings, where we sang Chervona kalyna [a patriotic song], the Komsomol functionaries have seized banks, privatized factories, and now they are wealthy, influential, and dictate fashions”
Und weiter:The contempt should not necessarily be interpreted as racial, or ethnic. It can be considered as merely the class superiority of haves over have-nots, advanced over backward, urbanized over rural, central over provincial. Yet, in Ukraine, these worlds and terms largely coincide. The two centuries of settler colonization resulted in thorough Russification of urban centers and complete marginalization of the Ukrainophone folk, primarily as kolkhoz slaves and unqualified workers — illegal migrants from the rural “third world” to the urban “first world,” in which “propiska” was institutionalized as the ersatz-visa system.
For most of Ukrainophones, the Russian language was the only vehicle for social advancement and higher cultural status. In many cases, they were forced to adopt not only the language of their colonizers but also their superior attitude towards uncultured “kolkhoz” aborigines; they internalized the negative self-image imposed upon them by the dominant group and contributed themselves to the further Russification of their defiant or less educated countrymen.
Ich finde die Thesen, die Ryabchuk aufstellt (es lohnt sich, den ganzen Artikel zu lesen), ziemlich plausibel: Wir haben es mit einem Konflikt zwischen verschiedenen Lebensmodellen (west-orientiert, idealistisch vs. ost-orientiert, pragmatisch) sowie mit um das soziale und ökonomische Überleben kämpfenden Gruppen zu tun. Die Sprache bildet aus historischen Gründen eine sichtbare Trennlinie und gewinnt dadurch auch noch zusätzliche Symbolkraft in der Auseinandersetzung.Hanna Herman seems sincerely to support a centrist line aimed at engagement rather than containment of Ukrainophones, aimed at their political cooptation rather than marginalization. In the same TVi interview she defined her political mission as “to defend the interests of the people who did not vote for V.Yanukovych [...] because they merely did not know him well enough… Yushchenko failed to become a leader of the whole nation. And I would not like our current president to repeat this mistake”.
This might be a good idea since Yanukovych was elected a president by only 49% of the voters, who make up just one-third of Ukraine’s adult population. The only problem is that this appealing notion is alien to the basic instincts and monopolistic habits of the ruling “elite” that not only despises Ukrainophones as an inferior race but also considers them, not unreasonably, as pro-Western agents and a major threat to their authoritarian dominance.