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President Putin Equates Forced Assimilation of Russians in Ukraine to ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction Against Us’

July 13, 2021 (EIRNS)— Vladimir Putin has a long article posted on the President’s website July 12, titled, “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians,” which details the long and complex history of the Russian-language groups, and identifying “forced change of identity” for Russians in Ukraine. On July 1, Ukraine’s unicameral legislature Verkhovna Rada, passed a law “On Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine,” which now applies such a status to the Crimean Tatars, Karaims, and Krymchaks. It is implied that Russians cannot be considered an indigenous people in Ukraine. The bill allows indigenous people broad cultural, economic, educational and language rights, for example, to create their own education establishments and to be taught in mother language, and to create their own media. Some programs can get state funding.

President Putin writes in his article:

“There may be an argument: if you are talking about a single large nation, a triune nation, then what difference does it make who people consider themselves to be—Russians, Ukrainians, or Belarusians. ... But the fact is that the situation in Ukraine today is completely different because it involves a forced change of identity. And the most despicable thing is that the Russians in Ukraine are being forced not only to deny their roots, generations of their ancestors, but also to believe that Russia is their enemy. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the path of forced assimilation, the formation of an ethnically pure Ukrainian state, aggressive towards Russia, is comparable in its consequences to the use of weapons of mass destruction against us. As a result of such a harsh and artificial division of Russians and Ukrainians, the Russian people in all may decrease by hundreds of thousands or even millions.

“Our spiritual unity has also been attacked. As in the days of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a new ecclesiastical has been initiated. The secular authorities, making no secret of their political aims, have blatantly interfered in church life and brought things to a split, to the seizure of churches, the beating of priests and monks. Even extensive autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church while maintaining spiritual unity with the Moscow Patriarchate strongly displeases them. They have to destroy this prominent and centuries-old symbol of our kinship at all costs.

“I think it is also natural that the representatives of Ukraine over and over again vote against the UN General Assembly resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism. Marches and torchlit processions in honor of remaining war criminals from the SS units take place under the protection of the official authorities. Mazepa, who betrayed everyone, Petliura, who paid for Polish patronage with Ukrainian lands, and Bandera, who collaborated with the Nazis, are ranked as national heroes. Everything is being done to erase from the memory of young generations the names of genuine patriots and victors, who have always been the pride of Ukraine....

“First of all, we are facing the creation of a climate of fear in Ukrainian society, aggressive rhetoric, indulging neo-Nazis and militarizing the country. Along with that, we are witnessing not just complete dependence but direct external control, including the supervision of the Ukrainian authorities, security services and armed forces by foreign advisers, military ‘development’ of the territory of Ukraine and deployment of NATO infrastructure. It is no coincidence that the aforementioned flagrant law on ‘indigenous peoples’ was adopted under the cover of large-scale NATO exercises in Ukraine....

“I am confident that true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia. Our spiritual, human and civilizational ties formed for centuries and have their origins in the same sources, they have been hardened by common trials, achievements and victories. Our kinship has been transmitted from generation to generation. It is in the hearts and the memory of people living in modern Russia and Ukraine, in the blood ties that unite millions of our families. Together we have always been and will be many times stronger and more successful. For we are one people.”

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