Espreso. Global

Ukraine in Russia's propaganda mirror

29 November, 2023 Wednesday

Do you remember the beginning of the fairy tale ‘The Snow Queen’? Where an evil troll created a mirror that enhanced a person's flaws and disfigured them to a great extent? A piece of this mirror got into Kai's heart and made him indifferent

This is exactly the kind of mirror that Russian propaganda is for us. There are many problems in Ukraine, and this is, after all, normal. But it is the amplification of these problems by the multiplier of Russian propaganda that makes our problems seem catastrophic. We are deprived of the freedom and opportunity to look at ourselves normally and to perceive and evaluate the shortcomings of our own country, because Russia holds a huge mirror on the side that exaggerates and distorts these problems.

And we look like inept, lost, and thoroughly Russified and corrupt. This country (c), and in this country (c), but what do you want, it's Ukraine. (C) are our internal epithets for assessing our own country when discussing any social problem. We can't even discuss our problems out loud in public, because we're afraid that Russia will hear about it and turn it into propaganda.

“In Ukraїner's recent video about de-Russification (check it out, it's cool), there's a good phrase: in Ukraine, the national idea is ahead of the language idea. And it's damn right. For 30 years, the healthy and beautiful horse of the Ukrainian national idea has been carrying the weak idea of language on a cart, because it was weak and could not walk on its own two feet.”

Judge for yourself: even with the catastrophic problems with the situation of the Ukrainian language in the USSR, in 1991 all regions of Ukraine voted for independence from the USSR and, accordingly, Russia. Even Crimea, which is almost 100% Russian-speaking, voted 54% in favor.

Even with obvious language problems, Ukrainians were still clearly aware of their national identity. Over the past 30 years, Russia has tried many tools, from blackmail to direct bribery, but nothing has worked. The Russian-speaking Kuchma was reluctant to introduce a second Russian as the state language, under the watchful eye of society. Kyiv, which was heavily Russian-speaking, immediately supported both revolutions and welcomed people from all regions. Neither the total media occupation nor the huge petrodollars pumped into radio, television, and the press were in effect. Do you remember how, just before Euromaidan, Putin took a desperate step and tried to simply buy Ukrainians by lending USD 15 billion to Yanukovych, taking it from Russian pensioners? So that he could improve economic conditions and reduce tariffs. But the billion-dollar buckwheat did not work. I wonder what the fate of this loan is and whether Ukraine has repaid it.

“Putin tried everything, but nothing worked. That's why he put the "last argument of kings" on the table, as he imagined it.”

We are not as hopeless as the Russian propaganda tries to portray us through internal pressure groups. Imagine for a second that Russia does not exist in principle - what does Ukraine become then? A normal post-Soviet country that has lived only 30 years after the occupation and Russification. And it solves a bunch of hereditary problems that are natural in such cases. The fact that we quarrel is, after all, normal. That's just who we are. We can't discuss something calmly, so we'll do it through hysterical quarrels and shouting. But we will discuss it.

Of course, Russia is unlikely to go away. But if we manage to fight back against it and break the huge Russian mirror, this will be a victory. To be able to finally look at ourselves realistically and see not only exaggerated flaws and shortcomings, but also valuable and strong features.

This is important for the psyche and for normal self-esteem.


About the author: Volodymyr Hevko, marketer, blogger.

The editors don't always share the opinions expressed by the authors of the blogs.

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