The view of the Ruin The view of the Ruin The view of the Ruin The view of the Ruin

The view of the Ruin

Roman Skyba
The view of the Ruin
Undoubtedly, George Orwell was quite right: "All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting."


The Ruin is a historical term, referring to the period of Ukrainian history of the late XVII century. The period is characterized by continuous strife and civil war with almost all neighbor countries involved in it. In result, Ukraine was left devastated with many its regions mostly depopulated. Today the same term is widely used with regard to the current civil war in Ukraine.

You may believe it or not, you may laugh or cry over it, but there’s nothing to be done with the fact: both Ukraine and USA have emerged due to separatist movements. The victory of separatists is celebrated yearly in our countries as ‘Independence Day’. “To every city its rights and morals” – smiled Ukrainian classic writer Hryhorii Skovoroda. If we could do it in 1991 [to declare independence], then why Donetsk people cannot do the same? Why?

The fight of any state with separatism is considered by state-protectors as a natural expression of the self-preservative instinct. Ideally, they ground this instinct on legal base, but ethics has nothing in common with it. Can the actions of Russian Federation, aimed at suppressing is rebellious Chechen region be considered immoral? Yes, they can. Can the same actions be considered illegal [from the point of view of Russian government]? No. Moreover, even Russian regime of Boris Yeltsin had more legitimacy than those Ukrainian politicians, who seized power in February.

What could save Ukraine from the split in current situation when it is better not to speak even about a law? Concessions. Undoubtedly, there had to be concessions of the new government to the regions, which were openly indignant over February coup in Kiev. You might say that it actually means federalization and introducing official bilingualism in these regions. In the last resort - if there were no way out but local referenda – the most reasonable solution would be their approval (at that time there were yet chances for it). Well, you don’t like to bargain. But why, then, during ‘Maidan’ you didn’t care about the inevitable perspective of bargaining?

Ukraine has lost Crimea – because our country expressed the intention to put Crimea on its knees. Then, Ukraine has lost Donbass – actually after the first shot of our regularly army. And our “Anti-Terrorist Operation” – is actually a solid war crime (‘Anti-‘  is unneeded there). And there is additional information for consideration over it: even A.Hitler refused to bomb German cities, seized by his enemies - at least formally - in words.

The term “Punishers” [how the participants of Ukrainian Anti-Terrorist Operation are widely called] – is not just an abusive euphemism – it defines the real purpose of Ukrainian soldiers stationed on the front line in Donbass. Are there also foreign mercenaries present? More or less, they are involved in all civil wars and participate in all sides of any armed conflict. Didn’t the militants of the Ukrainian far-right organization UNA/UNSO fight in the military conflict in Transnistria, Abkhazia and Chechnya? Why do we always criticize others for what we did and do too?

Oh, angry accusers of the ‘fifth column’! Sheep in wolves’ clothing! Could you tell us: what is the price for heroin for heroes?

“That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger” – explained Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg trial the tactics of people’s militarization.

Undoubtedly, George Orwell was quite right: "All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting."

Our times – the epoch of the most cynical and outright meanness. And many of my fellows stayed forever in that kingdom of darkness.

Roman Skyba

Ukrainian writer and poet, the member of National Writer's Union of Ukraine since 1993.


Translation: Dmitriy Kolesnik

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