For the 8-year lasts the war — not only that on the battlefields, but also intellectual and mental, where Ukrainians are fighting with malorosu. I have to confess that for the most part of my life I was a mediocre maloroska myself. My maloroska mentality was ruined in 2014 with the victory of Euromaidan. I was on the ruins of this maloroskii world with an almost sterile soul, which I should have filled with useful microflora. But back then I did not realize that. This understanding came only later.
I was not a very bright pupil. The only classes I was good at — History and literature. The stress was on russian literature.
A russian literature teacher was good at rising curiosity about the subject. So as to hide my shame from failure in other classes, I was persuading myself that russian literature is cool. Obviously, I was reading all recommended literature to get satisfactory results. But inside I felt resistance — russian literature was loathsome to me. There was something wrong with it. But I could not define what. The same was with russian movies and the so-called "russian estrada". My intuition works in a particular way. When meeting a stranger I have bad feelings toward him/her, that is the right sign — this person will bother me or will harm me. This foreboding never failed me. I was doing my best trying to overcome loathsomeness towards russian literature, for since my childhood I have been constantly told that russia embodied all the best, all the strength, because it is Rus, and we are just inhabitants of post-soviet space, almost russians or their younger sibling. Also, I was knee-jerking social opinion, not to stand out from the biomass of malorosгu.
But after the Maidan, after Crimea`s annexation, after russians were mocking Nebesna Sotnia, making fun of us on social media, deriding Ukrainian soldiers who went to fight on Donbas wearing sneakers. After that, loathsomeness to all russians had risen in my soul. First, I thought that not all the russians are bad, that there are normal people among them. But after years, my soul detoxed from everything russish, and faith in decent russians faded: they all tarred with the same brush. Even though they use a fork and a knife, they still are the bastards of Golden Horde. History helped me to detoxify. Not only the Ukrainian history but the world one. I have come to the conclusion that only a deeply national country can provide a normal life to its citizens.
Sometimes I hear that the Ukrainian state should provide a decent life level, and only then promote national culture. My brainless honey-loney, who is going to provide you dolce vita, if everyone in the government is open ukrainianhaters, treating the country as the source of enrichment; treating you as slave power, who should labor for their`s benefits. Until the government wouldn`t consist of those who consider Ukraine as a motherland, not until Ukrainians realize that only they are able to build a legal system and economy, because this is their country, their property — not until then no one will provide a decent life for anyone.
Let's take for example Romans. After taking over so-called barbarians, they tried to Romanize the elite — intellectual, military, and religious. They would provide them with Roman citizenship, all the pack of rights and privileges. That elite, also would dress like Romans, furniture their dwelling in Roman style, and speak Latin. And would leave their culture behind. The people, left without an elite, were metaphorically speaking, decapitated, not able to resist invaders. The same happened to us. The high commandants of kozaks were bribed by the russian nobility. And we all know how it ended up.
But I'm a little bit distracted by the topic. Only the national state, where national language and culture are flourishing, is able to live. Because of this, I cannot stand the discussion on the justification of russian literature and culture. All russian literature is subtle propaganda of the superiority of russia over other nations, framed in the luxury of language and the beauty of the narrative. You can be tempted by it, like with cocaine or opium, but sooner or later it eats up your soul like narcotic eating up your body. Maybe someone would say, that is completely different. Maybe someone would say that he or she understands the hazardous effect of ruslit, so does it, cuz cannot cut it out, for it is beautiful. Well yes, the poison can be ambrosial, but also it kills.
The biggest trouble I had was with my mother tongue. It turned out that I don't really know its beauty. At the very beginning, I considered being bilingual normal, it's fair, for this is how it was done historically, that I must be wiser than to go into fights. But on one beautiful day, I realized that I am trying to sit in two chairs with one butt. I made a decision to use only Ukrainian. It was difficult, I used to make a lot of mistakes, and use a lot of stamps and words borrowed from russian. Russian speakers would make fun of me. Indulgently, they recommended not to spoil the language, but to speak properly. But I humbly went through all these wry comments and stubbornly used Ukrainian. I was persistent in studying it, working myself out, and correcting my own mistakes. And what is more — I did not attend any language classes, I used Ukrainian dictionary and Google. I assume I achieve my goal. Recently my friend told me frankly: Before it was impossible to listen to yours quaking, it made me want to shoot myself. But now you are speaking very decent without mistakes. I am impressed. So that is how I was killing maloroska within myself.
What do I get out of it?
Dignity. For I got back to my essential myself, which was in me genetically. I gain soul balance. Yes, my path wasn't easy, but I am happy that I managed to go through it. And I don`t feel sad that my previous world was ruined, I am not ashamed of saying that I was wrong, I am not ashamed that I had turned my back on previous beliefs, for they were ruining my mentality. I consider that by killing maloroska within myself I gained true life.
Now I see an interesting trend. Some children and teenagers, witnessed the war and the brotherhood love of russian, nip the inner malorussian in the bud — they are talking ukrainian, reading Ukrainian and foreign literature, support the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and donate savings to the military. They are turning into Ukrainians so don`t you stay on their way with your pietts for the stinking ruslit. You had lived in the malorosska misguidance, you feel pain because you are not stupid and understand everything. So don't you make the future generation live in this shit. Give them a chance to live in a national country, for they are the one to create the future, for you love them, don`t you.
Ukrainian Text by Yaroslava Degtisrenko. Translated into English by Ukrainianvancouver team – Jun 20, 2022