100 days of the large-scale invasion of Ukraine in numbers:
– 20% of our territory is currently occupied – on average 2-3 children are killed every single day – 60-100 Ukrainian servicemen and servicewomen are killed daily (in the current active phase of the war) – 1.4 million Ukrainians have been forcefully deported to Russia – 12 million Ukrainians left their homes, 6.8 left the country – 1123 educational facilities and 641 hospitals have been destroyed.
But these numbers tell you nothing about what millions of Ukrainians are going through every day. Our pain, loss, suffering, terror, despair, and anger can’t be put into numbers, they can’t even be put into words.
My Kyiv looks a little different these days. A lot fewer cars and people, long gas station lines, heavily armed men, remnants of checkpoints, and quite a few closed businesses. However, it is very much alive!
1720 – Decree of Peter I banning the printing of books in Ukrainian and ordering the removal of Ukrainian-language texts from church books. 1729 – Order of Peter II to rewrite all government decrees and orders from Ukrainian to Russian. 1763 – Decree of Catherine II banning teaching in Ukrainian at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (where I went on to study 243 years later). 1769 – Prohibition by the Synod of the ROC to print and use the Ukrainian ABC book. 1775 – Destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich and the closure of Ukrainian schools in the regimental Cossack offices. 1832 – Reorganization of education in the right-bank Ukraine with Russian language of instruction. 1847 – Intensification of the brutal persecution of the Ukrainian language and culture, the ban on the best works of Shevchenko, Kulish, Kostomarov and others. 1862 – Closure of free Ukrainian Sunday schools for adults in Russia-controlled Ukraine. 1863 – The Valuev Circular banning publishing of Ukrainian-language spiritual and popular educational literature. 1864 – Adoption of the Primary School Statute, according to which education should be conducted only in Russian. 1876 - The Ems Ukaz banning the printing and importation of any Ukrainian-language literature from abroad, as well as the banning of Ukrainian stage performances and the publishing of Ukrainian folk songs. 1881 – Prohibition of teaching in public schools and preaching church sermons in Ukrainian. 1884 – Alexander III bans Ukrainian theatrical performances in all “Little Russian” provinces. 1888 – Decree of Alexander III banning the use of the Ukrainian language in official institutions and the baptism of Ukrainian names. 1892 – Ban on translating books from Russian into Ukrainian. 1895 – Prohibition by the General Directorate of the Press of publishing of Ukrainian children’s books. 1911 – Resolution of the VII Noble Congress in Moscow on exclusively Russian-language education and the inadmissibility of using other languages in Russian schools. 1914 – Ban on celebrating the 100th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko; decree of Nicholas II on the abolition of the Ukrainian press. 1914, 1916 – Russification campaigns in Western Ukraine; ban on the Ukrainian word, education, church. 1970 – Order allowing defense of dissertations in Russian only. 1984 – Russian language teachers are given 15% salary increase in the Ukrainian SSR. 1984 – Order of the Ministry of Culture of USSR on the translation of all museum records in the Soviet Union into Russian. 1990 – The Supreme Soviet adopts the Law on the Languages of the Peoples of the Soviet Union, which gives Russian the status of an official language.
To me this picture depicts not only the russian invasion and our resilience, but also their efforts to destroy our language and our fight to preserve it over the past 400 years. So yeah, we are a bit sensitive when it comes to the Ukrainian language.
The myth of two brotherly nations, a simplified overview of the past 100 years or so:
– The Soviet-Ukrainian War from 1917–to 1922 failed war of independence by the Ukrainian People’s Republic against the Bolsheviks started after the government of Ukraine denounced the Bolsheviks’ armed revolt. Ended with the Bolshevik occupation of Ukraine and the entry of the Ukrainian SSR into the Soviet Union in 1922 – Red Renaissance also known as Executed Renaissance, the generation of Ukrainian poets, writers, and artists of the 1920s and early 1930s refused to submit to Stalin’s Russification of Ukraine. They were arrested en masse and then executed or repressed (their work banned and destroyed) as part of the Great Terror – Three Holodomors, 1921-1923, 1932-1933, and 1946-1947 mass deaths of people from starvation in the Ukrainian SSR, caused by deliberate actions of the Soviet government, were designed to suppress the Ukrainian national liberation movement and the physical destruction of millions of Ukrainian peasants. The Soviets carried out the confiscation of grain and other agricultural produce from peasants while having significant reserves and exporting them abroad – Soviet annexation of Western Ukrainian lands in 1939-1945 based on Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, explained by the Soviets as the liberation of the ethnic Ukrainian lands – Western Ukraine (1939), Northern Bukovyna (1940), and Transcarpathian Ukraine (1945) from the oppression of foreign countries. The Sovietization of these lands began right away – Ukrainian Insurgent Army resistance after 1944 started as large-scale warfare against Soviet troops, but gradually turned into guerrilla actions due to heavy losses. From 1944 to 1956, about 155,000 UIA members were killed by Soviet troops and state security agencies – Russian-Ukrainian War (2014-up to now) direct and indirect use of armed force by the Russian Federation against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. After the large-scale invasion in February 2022 – deliberate destruction of Ukrainian cities and targeting of civilians.
Nataliya Melnik is a longstanding partner of the Free Market Road Show. She lives in Kyiv and is sharing her Facebook diary.
We wish her all the best!
If you want to support the Ukrainian people, have a look at http://helpukraine.center/en
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