Man with 12 million followers airs genocidal speech of Russian dictator invading Ukraine
By BOHDAN BEN
Imagine the British Prime Minister saying today that the US is an artificial state because its war for independence was arranged and sponsored by France and that, in reality, the US was always part of the UK and should remain so. And all who disagree are Nazis and should be “denazified.”
This is precisely the logic Putin uses regarding the history of Ukraine to justify his current war to eradicate Ukraine’s independence and everything Ukrainian. Only the role of France in his propagandist narrative is assumed by Poland. At the same time, Ukraine is constantly described as “part of Russia,” subversively used as a weapon against the “Motherland” by Poles, later by Austria, and now by the USA.
For contemporary Europeans and Americans, such reasoning could seem funny or insane. For Ukrainians, it is, too, but its rhetorical implications are grave.
Russia has already committed a genocide of Ukrainians in the 20th century, killing thousands of intellectuals in the repressions of the 1930s and conducting the Holodomor famine in 1932-1933, which took the lives of at least 3.9 million Ukrainians.
Similar repressions and social engineering policies are taking place now while Putin speaks about so-called “historical justice.” Putin’s claims should be treated as severe intentions, even if they are insane. Many Russians do believe in them and are effectively implementing the outlined policy by fighting against Ukraine.
At the very beginning of the 2-hour interview with ex-host of American Fox News, conservative media personality Tucker Carlson, Putin rejected his claims made on 22 February 2022 that Russia allegedly attacked Ukraine, fearing NATO expansion. Instead, he referred to his historical narratives to explain why Russia attacked Ukraine: to “restore historical justice.”
Putin spent almost 30 minutes describing his parallel version of history, starting from the 9th century until the collapse of the USSR. Tucker allowed this monologue to go on uninterrupted, airing it to his 12 million X (twitter) followers. 15 hours after publication, it had 110 million views.
Putin acted in perfect accordance with the KGB playbook, mixing true historical facts with blatant lies and ignoring 90% of Ukrainian history related to Ukrainians themselves.
Particularly, he listed states that at some point controlled some parts of Ukrainian lands: Russia, Poland, Austria, Hungary, and Romania, repeating his genocidal mantra that Ukraine is not a real state.
However, he stayed mum about each and every manifestation of Ukrainian agency throughout nearly a millennium.
There was no word about the states that the predecessors of modern Ukrainians created in the 12th, 17th, and 20th centuries and how they fought for their independence.
Neither did Putin mention the proto-Ukrainian Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, which existed in the west of Ukraine from 1199 to 1349, or the Cossack state, which existed as an independent Zaporizhzhian Host in Ukraine’s south from 1556 until 1775, and as an independent state in central Ukraine briefly in the 17th century.
Nor did he consider the Ukrainian Republic, which struggled for its independence from 1917 until 1921, fighting against the Russian Bolsheviks and the Russian royalist White Army.
Neither did he mention Carpathian Ukraine, proclaimed in 1939, and Independent Ukraine, proclaimed in 1941 and supported by the at least 100,000-stong Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which operated in Soviet-occupied Ukraine during WWII and until 1953. Or the Ukrainian dissidents who perished in Siberian Gulags for the idea of an independent Ukraine during Soviet times, or the 90.32% of Ukrainians who supported Ukrainian Independence during the referendum in 1991.
The list goes on and on.
He failed to mention the distinct Ukrainian culture and language shared by 85% of Ukrainian citizens, 78% of whom identified themselves as ethnic Ukrainians according to the 2001 census.
He said 90% of Ukrainians spoke Russian in 1990, which is blatantly false. Despite 70 years of Soviet-era Russification and anti-Ukrainian repressions, which were predated by over a century of similar measures during the Russian empire, the regime managed to make only 50% of Ukrainians use Russian as their sole language in the 1990s. This figure dropped to 15% in 2023, with only limited state efforts to support the Ukrainian language after 2015.
Obviously, he didn’t mention contemporary Ukrainians as well, 90.5% of whom say Ukraine must continue defending itself against Russian aggression and can’t cede even currently occupied territories for the sake of an illusory peace agreement.
Speaking about the so-called “denazification” and “liberation” of Ukraine, Putin essentially means getting rid of those 90%.
If Ukraine falls, the majority would flee to the West, while others, who would stay in Ukraine and try to preserve their identity, would be repressed. Finally, the remaining, most pro-Russian part of the population, which would attempt to simply live their private lives, would still be compulsorily mobilized by the Russian army to attack Russia’s western neighbors.
Though insane, these are Putin’s plans, and unfortunately, they are not unique.
This is what happened to the Ukrainian Republic in 1921, during 1932-33 repressions, and during WWII, after the occupation of all of Ukraine by the Soviets.
Putin’s plans are currently being embodied in the occupied territories.
The smaller part of the pre-war population that remained in occupied territories was deprived of their right to study in the Ukrainian language, with numerous arrests conducted for so-called “extremism,” should one show the slightest loyalty to independent Ukraine.
Children from occupied territories are being abducted into Russia, forcibly adopted into Russian families, Russified, and made to lose their Ukrainian heritage. On accusation of this war crime, Vladimir Putin is wanted by the International Criminal Court.
At the same time, thousands and thousands of ethnic minorities from the Russian southeast, as well as ethnic Russians, are resettled to occupied Ukraine to change the ethnic balance and leave no chance for a revival of the Ukrainian nation there.
Nearly 60,000 were already mobilized to the Russian army from occupied Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts of Ukraine, with barrier troops effectively preventing the majority of those “soldiers” from retreating, sending them into so-called “meat attacks.”
Should Putin’s interview be ignored? Yes and no. We don’t have any need to start historical debates with a dictator committing a war of aggression and war crimes. Neither should we take seriously his mad reasoning. But we must consider such narratives as actual plans in a real human mind because any, even the most cruel plan, has the potential to be implemented.
However, one must question the motives of Tucker Carlson, who ventured to Russia to air the unchallenged lies of Putin.
He claimed that he wanted to enable Americans to understand Russia’s view of the war, yet in reality, provided the dictator a free microphone to call for the erasure of the Ukrainian nation.
Whether driven by ignorance or connivance, a man giving a sympathetic ear to the propaganda of a possible war criminal can hardly be called a journalist.
Edited by Alya Shandra