Magazine article Russian Life

Survival Ukrainian

Magazine article Russian Life

Survival Ukrainian

Article excerpt

"WE ARE ALL Ukrainians," declared US Senator John McCain not long ago. Yes, but do you at least speak some of the "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" (Ukrainian language), Senator? "Hi"?! ("No"). Too bad.

Being a native Russian speaker, I understood everything that was being said on Kiev's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("Independence Square"). Thirty-four years ago, when I was watching a football match featuring my then favorite Dinamo (Kiev) on Ukrainian TV, I easily figured out what [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] meant ("penalty box"; the Russian is [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). So, with a bit of linguistic logic, one can assume that [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]--as in the one colored in Ukraine's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (yellow and blue) national colors--is not a [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (playground or platform) but actually a rather large [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (interestingly, the word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is originally from the Arabic maydan, dating perhaps to when the Crimean Khan held sway over these lands).

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

As a result, I also easily understood the leaflets that activists from the Ukrainian "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" ("Right Sector") disseminated in [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" is the pejorative for "Russian" and "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" is the notorious Ukrainian pejorative for "Jews". Thus it read, "Russians and Yids Just You Wait!" The leaflet was signed by "Stepan Bandera"--an allusion to the infamous Nazi collaborator whose followers, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], perpetrated atrocities on Ukrainian soil during WWII and its aftermath. Well, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Welcome) to a new Ukrainian reality, where hate speech seems to be tolerated.

As you may have guessed, I am no fan of the Ukrainian opposition. Having said that, I don't have hard feelings against [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (all) Ukrainians. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (How is that possible)?! The first time I ever [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (loved a girl) was back in the summer of 1977. Blonde [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] was a [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (beautiful) Ukrainian I still [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (see) sometimes in my dreams. I was 16, she was 17. I was the son of a Soviet diplomat posted to the UNESCO mission, she was the daughter of a Ukrainian functionary in UNESCO. …

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