I’m sorry, everybody, I’m trying to finish my translation projects before the semester begins, so I’m working on them day and night. I promise that I will:

– answer all emails,

– respond to comments,

– pick up the phone,

– blog what I promised I would blog about

on Monday.

Tomorrow there are three interesting posts coming up, so stay tuned.

FEMEN as the Symbol of Ukrainian Self-Immolation

In 2004-2005, Ukrainians finally had enough of Russia’s blatant intrusion into the affairs if their country. After Putin’s government tried to manipulate the Ukrainian presidential elections to ensure that a pro-Russian candidate became the leader of Ukraine, the country erupted in hundreds of peaceful, creative, and colorful protests.

This hopeful moment when the people of Ukraine rejected the 300+ years of Russia’s brutal colonial rule and the 13 years of constant intrusion of Russia into Ukraine’s business after Independence was called the Orange Revolution.

Finally, Ukrainians were ready to come together and put a stop to the endless interference into their country’s affairs on the part of a big and powerful neighbor. A decision was made to commemorate the millions of victims of the Communist regime brought to Ukraine by the Russians in 1921. A cross was erected in Kiev in memory of the fallen and as a sign of a national reconciliation. For a very long time, the myth of the Eastern and the Western parts of Ukraine which were supposed to be at war with each other had been promoted by the colonial powers. Now the Ukrainians were trying to come together in the opposition to Russian imperialism.

Yesterday, a Ukrainian pseudo-feminist organization FEMEN decided that the Ukrainian victims of Communist genocide matter less than a hooliganism trial taking place in Russia and destroyed the cross. This is a highly symbolic act that signals the readiness of certain representatives of the Ukrainian youth to forget the colonial past and go back to caring about Russia more than they ever cared about Ukraine.

As a Ukrainian, I can tell you that we were schooled to believe that everything Russian was better, more important and more prestigious than anything Ukrainian. When after the independence the TV companies started showing Ukrainian news programs instead of the Russian ones, many people were appalled. For them, the only news that mattered were the ones coming from Russia. The women of FEMEN are young, yet their mentality is still fully colonial. The centuries of colonial rule brought out in people this humiliating servility that leads them to destroy their own historic memory to show how well they lick the boot of their masters.