Kyiv, March 28, 2014 – “This is typical for a dictator—to cover over their aggression with calls for assistance. This aggression is perpetrated by representatives of Soviet identity and has nothing to do with ethnic identity”, said Vladymyr Viatrovych, head of the Institute of National Remembrance, speaking during the expert panel at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center on the topic “Do Russians in Ukraine want Putin’s protection?”.
“In a blatant attempt to restore the Soviet Union, Putin relies on an ideological platform that has been built since 1990s: from those closed archives, he attempts to bring out and rehabilitate the Soviet past and the figure of Stalin. That figure uses the old ideological clichés from the Soviet era and even from the Second World War. [Putin’s] propaganda strikes a chord in the Russian population, because Russia has not yet judged its totalitarian past, – said Viatrovych. – The Soviet myths actively developed and implemented by Soviet propaganda over the course of 70 years must be demolished, because they divide society and are the basis for the anti-government activities in Ukraine.”
Andrey Plahonin, Russian historian, writer, and social activist, added: “In fact, Putin appeals not to the Russians, but to those people who are still part of a Soviet culture and fight for the right to be ignorant of the Ukrainian language in Ukraine. Even Russia itself is not an essentially Russian nation state, as there are more than 100 indigenous peoples on its territories.”
“The evolution of the Russian political doctrine that we see now appears in “collecting lands” of the former Russian Empire, and the Ribbon of St. George symbolizes the process,” said Andrey Plahonin. The historian also agreed that Putin’s foreign policy strategy is an attempt to solve the internal problems and economic difficulties of the Russian Federation.
Vladymyr Viatrovych is a Ukrainian scholar and historian, writer, researcher of the history of the liberation movement, and social activist. He is also former Director of the Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine (2008-2010) and head of the Institute of National Remembrance.
Andrey Plahonin is a Russian historian, journalist, writer and public figure.