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The following article is a Ukraine Today translation of a story published by the Russian Slon.ru ezine authored by Pavel Kasarin, a journalist who works for Russia Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Slon.ru. He was born in Simferopol on Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula.
You know, what amuses you most when you leaf through pages of the Russian "Wikipedia" outlet? The fact that no news about Ukraine was published in the event section through August 2013. Not a single headline on Ukraine appeared there during an entire month!
Ukraine did not exist in Russian reality two years ago. I'll tell you more: except for a couple of news items, the Ukrainian version of "Wikipedia" also did not cover Ukraine in August 2013.
The Ukrainian "Wikipedia" two years mainly focused on Edward Snowden, an antipiracy law and the chemical attack in Syria. Ukraine was not high on the agenda at all. The two pieces mentioned make for regular and boring reading. One says Viktor Yanukovych (Ukraine's disgraced former fugitive president) pledged to meet terms for signing the EU Association Agreement. The second piece reported on Moscow banning Ukrainian exports for an unspecified period.
That was two and a half months before the first anti-government and pro-European protests broke out on Maidan (Kyiv centre).
Taking a look at the calendar is a very helpful thing with a sobering effect. It helps you see that ‘the then Ukraine' – under the late-Yanukovych era – was utterly secondary in many ways. After 2010, when this Donbas-born ‘prominent personality' (Yanukovych), won the Ukrainian presidential election, there was a feeling that the country retreated to the backstage of the Russian agenda. There was a feeling that no one would expect Ukraine to set trends or make news any more. The Pro-Yanukovych Party of Regions looked like a light-version of the ‘United Russia' (Pro-Putin ruling party in Russia), while Viktor Yanukovych himself was a corpulent image of Vladimir Putin, and Ukraine had been turned into a territory where neo-feudalism triumphantly ruled.
It was a strange time. Ukrainians would cross swords arguing who would share with Yanukovych the runoff of the presidential campaign in 2015. They wondered why the Vradievka protests (protests that started in Ukraine's southern region in summer 2013) did not escalate into a new Maidan. They said that the time of protests ended and would not come back again. People reconciled with an idea that it was the end of Ukraine. But it turned out that it was just the beginning of it.
No Ukraine existed during the 23 years after the Soviet Union collapsed. There was only the USSR skeleton and a state machine ready to plunder the nation's Soviet inheritance. Everything created in the country was created not by the state's will, but rather against it. Ukraine was praised not for being decent, but rather for not being indecent........................
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