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Title: Putin is bombing the ‘Russian world’ he claims to protect
Source: [None]
URL Source: ... in-ukraine-russia-russkiy-mir/
Published: Mar 8, 2022
Author: Annabelle Timsit and Dalton Bennett
Post Date: 2022-05-15 09:31:57 by BTP Holdings
Keywords: None
Views: 27
Comments: 3

Putin is bombing the ‘Russian world’ he claims to protect

By Annabelle Timsit and Dalton Bennett

March 8, 2022 at 7:16 a.m. EST

The aftermath of shelling in downtown Kharkiv, Ukraine, on March 3. (Sergey Kozlov/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has damaged landmarks across the historic center of the mostly Russian-speaking city Kharkiv, including an opera house, and threatened the Derzhprom building, a classic example of constructivist architecture that was the tallest skyscraper in the Soviet Union when it opened in 1928.

Ukrainian officials said Russian air raids also damaged the Assumption Cathedral, an Orthodox church that was built in the late 1700s — during the Russian Empire — and rebuilt after a fire in a style inspired by St. Clement’s Church in Moscow. It had a bell tower commemorating< /a> Czar Alexander I’s victory over Napoleon.

In footage of the aftermath of Russian strikes, people can be heard saying “Russkiy mir,” or “Russian world,” as they survey the damage. It’s a reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s often repeated assertion: that all Russian speakers belong to Russia, which has a responsibility to “defend” them. It became his pretext to invade Ukraine.

While the theory does not have much traction beyond Putin and other hard- liners in Russia, the damage his troops are inflicting on Russian- speaking civilians in eastern Ukraine, as well as to the cities and institutions that are a testament to their intertwined history, highlights the contradiction.

Putin’s attacks undermine his ideology that Russians and Ukrainians are “one people,” said Ronald G. Suny, a history professor at the University of Michigan.

Russia’s invasion and destruction of parts of Kharkiv and other cities “limits or at least contradicts” the idea that Ukraine and Russia are part of a shared Russian world, said Suny, an expert on nationalism and the formation of national identity in the former Russian Empire and Soviet Union.

Putin has employed many controversial arguments to justify his invasion. He has charged that the West turned Ukraine into an “anti-Russia” and that Kyiv’s goal of joining NATO was a “red line.” And he has accused Ukraine of committing “genocide” against the Russian-speaking people of the eastern Donbas region. While never producing evidence for his claim, Putin cited his need to defend them — underpinned by his revanchist view that much of Ukraine exists on territory that is historically Russia’s.

Buildings damaged by Russian shelling in Kharkiv, shown on March 4. (Oleksandr Lapshyn/Reuters)

Putin claimed Ukraine as an “inalienable part of our own history, culture and spiritual space” in a speech on Feb. 21, before the invasion. He formally recognized the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, Moscow-backed separatist enclaves in the Donbas, and claimed against historical evidence that Ukraine “never had stable traditions of real statehood,” saying, “Modern Ukraine was entirely created by … Bolshevik, Communist Russia.”

Why are Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine’s Donbas region a flash point for Putin?

Yet Putin’s invasion has not spared the Russian-speaking areas and historical links to Russia. In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, near the Russian border, Russian forces have bombed several cultural sites, according to Oleksandr Tkachenko, Ukraine’s culture minister, including the Assumption Cathedral and parts of the Kharkiv National University of Arts and the Kharkiv State Academy of Culture.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky touched on the “tragic irony” of the destruction in Kharkiv in a speech on Thursday. Putin “said that there are many challenges in Ukraine, including nationalism,” said Zelensky, according to an English-language translation by Ukrinform. “Now there’s a bombing outside the Assumption Cathedral. A Russian bomb was launched on the Moscow Patriarchate Church. So much for Putin defending his church.”

Kharkiv’s historic center battered by Russian attacks
Video taken on March 3 shows the historic center of Ukraine’s second- largest city, Kharkiv, heavily damaged by repeated bombardment. (Video: Maria Avdeeva via Storyful)

Kharkiv holds a special place in both Russian and Ukrainian history.

Scholars Natalia Shapovalova and Balazs Jarabik wrote in 2018 for the Carnegie Center think tank that the city “was established in 1654, the same year that Russia’s colonization of Ukraine began following the Treaty of Pereyaslav between the Russian tsar and the Cossack hetman, Bohdan Khmelnytsky.”

It became a “Ukrainian intellectual, cultural, and industrial urban center in the Russian Empire” and later “served as the capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic between 1919 and 1934,” they wrote.

Kharkiv was then occupied by the Nazis during World War II and rebuilt under the Soviet Union in its aftermath. Russian forces are “destroying that as well,” said the University of Michigan’s Suny. “All the past is in some ways being obliterated, and that totally undermines this idea that we’re ‘one people.’ ”

Poster Comment:

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#1. To: BTP Holdings (#0)

As soon as I saw the it was a Washington Post article, I didn't read any further because I knew it was all lies.

DWornock  posted on  2022-05-15   9:42:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: DWornock (#1)

I didn't read any further because I knew it was all lies.

If you would have read further, you would have seen the people were saying "Russkiy mir" or "Russian world" to explain why the Russians would bomb cities with large Russian speaking populations. ;)

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one." Edmund Burke

BTP Holdings  posted on  2022-05-15   9:55:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: BTP Holdings (#2)

That is not what is happening. It is what the lying media claims is happening.

DWornock  posted on  2022-05-15   14:57:46 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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