Home Russia-Ukraine War Little Hope for “Little Russia”, – The American Interest

Little Hope for “Little Russia”, – The American Interest


“There is a curious assertion in some circles that a Ukrainian national identity is somehow narrow and bigoted, failing to embrace the country’s linguistic and cultural diversity, while a “Little Russian” identity is broad and inclusive. This notion is contradicted by real life in Ukraine, where Ukrainian-speakers are nearly all fluent in Russian and thoroughly steeped in Russian culture, while Russophones—and particularly ethnic Russians—are often monoglots who disdain the Ukrainian language and culture. The supposed inclusiveness of the “Little Russian” orientation is further belied by the dismal situation in the occupied Donbas, which has seen not a glorious symbiosis of all things Russian and Ukrainian, but the forcible, even violent, suppression of Ukrainian institutions (schools, churches, and civic organizations), the virtual extirpation of any linguistic or cultural manifestation of Ukrainian identity, and thoroughgoing Russification. The Donbas is the prototype for a Russian-dominated Ukraine; as such it stands as a grim object lesson to Ukrainians who care about their national identity and heritage, and a powerful, ever-present psychological motivator for Ukrainian integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions.” (Article)



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