'Post-Colonial' Dynamic Seen in Ukraine, Analyst Says

Mykola Riabchuk (Estonian Museum of Occupations)
4/24/2014 3:27 PM
Category: Politics

In Estonia, the Soviet period was a full-on occupation, whereas in Ukraine, the situation is more complicated and could be described, to a certain extent, as a post-colonial state, a Ukrainian cultural analyst said - Russia has a patronizing attitude towards these regions and the locals themselves begin to believe that they need Russia.

 

“Russia and Ukraine are a bit like Robinson Crusoe and Friday,” Mykola Riabchuk, a political and cultural analyst in Kyiv, said in an interview with uudised.err.ee today, referencing the famous novel by Daniel Defoe.

According to him, Robinson Crusoe looks kindly on Friday but their relationship is not equal because one thinks he must teach the other.

“If Friday starts making demands, wants to determine his own identity or use the local language, he must be crazy. Or he is under the influence of someone else, the US or Poland, for instance, because it cannot be that he thought of these things himself, someone must have taught him,” the analyst continued.

He said the model may not apply completely, but it demonstrates that as a result of Soviet propaganda and military oppression, at least some Ukrainians came to believe that Ukraine is dependent on Russia. Russia, in turn, thinks of Ukraine as a younger brother - they are related, but the younger brother must be protected and taught.

The post-colonialist model mostly applies to the Central Asian states like Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and some elements are apparent in Ukraine, Riabchuk said. 


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