In Donbass, Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine in better days

The following is a posting to Facebook in March 2022, circulated widely there, by Natascha Janssen, a Ukrainian-Russian woman living in The Netherlands.

Published on A socialist in Canada, Mar 14, 2022
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As many of you may know, my mother was born in the former Soviet Union, in Ukraine, where my extensive family is a mix of Russians and Ukrainians. Because of this, I feel called to share my vision on the developments in Ukraine.

With my Russian/Ukrainian roots, I love both nations very much, centuries-old brotherly nations merging with each other. When you asked my Ukrainian-born mother if she felt more Russian than Ukrainian, she replied, ‘That’s a weird question I have no answer to. There is a difference in our language, our music and dance but our hearts are one.’

This is how I was raised and spent 40 years — the most beautiful holidays of my life — in love and togetherness, experienced in Russia and Ukraine, in the former Soviet Union.

It’s good that everyone in the Netherlands is now speaking out against waging a war. No one supports war. But why was everyone silent when that war started eight years ago?

Why didn’t everyone curse the slaughter of thousands of citizens in Eastern Ukraine?

Why didn’t everyone curse Ukraine for not following the Minsk agreements?

Where was everyone who looked away when 52 people were burnt alive in Odessa? [On May 2, 2014, gangs of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and neo-Nazis traveled to Odessa in order to violently crush opposition to the coup in Ukraine on February 2014. Wikipedia]

Where was everyone who thought it was fine that in 2014, the elected government of Ukraine was overthrown and a major European country was taken over by bunch of neo-Nazis?

Where was everyone when the new Ukrainian regime took away from Russian Ukrainians their basic human rights? Speaking Russian was banned, the right to pensions disappeared for Russian Italians, and children who spoke Russian and had Russian names and were no longer welcome at school. [See the related article weblinks below for background on Ukraine’s 2019 language law effectively banning the Russian language in print media.]de

Where was everyone when torch rallies were organized by neo-Nazis spouting slogans like ‘Russians to the gas chambers’?

And finally, where was everyone who was silent when large parts of this beautiful country, once Europe’s grain barn, were sold to Western banks and investors for an apple and an egg, to serve the exploitive, genetic manipulations by Monsanto and Europe’s latest mega bio industry? My niece in Ukraine saw such a factory farm built in front of her house. The incessant screaming of those animals packed so close together, and then those big deafening silences…

Take note: In Ukraine there was only one small-scale breed of beef before the country came into the possession of the Western bloc. Ukraine has been transformed into a vassal of the West during the past eight years. A colony. And all this at the expense of man, animal, nature and environment.

So why, only now, is the compassion of the people channeled into rage against the war? The Ukrainian population has been living in war for eight years. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have already fled to Russia, including my relatives, like my niece and her family.

Of course, I know that most people have no idea about this side of the story because our news services give a very one-sided picture of the situation. I’m now providing that information from the other side. Do what you will, but silence is no longer an option for me. I can only hope that peace will come soon for ALL Ukrainians, Russian and Ukrainian speakers.

Related:
Newspapers in Ukraine must switch to Ukrainian language, TASSRussian news service, Jan 19, 2022
New restrictions on Russian language rights in Ukraine raises concerns, ibrief analysis by Rachel Denber, deputy director for Europe and Central Asia, Human Rights Watch, Jan 19, 2022  A new legal provision on the use of the Ukrainian language, part of a broader state language law, is raising concerns about protection for minority languages. The provision is contained in Article 25 of the language law and it entered into force on January 16. It requires print media outlets registered in Ukraine to publish in Ukrainian… The article concerns print media outlets and makes exceptions for certain minority languages, but not for Russian. Ukrainian authorities justify this by referring to the country’s European ambitions and “the century of oppression of … Ukrainian in favor of Russian.”…

[Russian is the first language by birth of some 30 per cent of the Ukrainian population. It is the main, spoken language of a majority in the country, including the large majority in the east and south.]

Irish member of European Parliament delivers fiery condemnation of Western hypocrisy over Ukraine, video on YouTube of two-minute address to the European Parliament by Ireland MEP Clare Daly, Mar 11, 2022

You can read the article here in pdf format: A Ukrainian-Russian woman speaks

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