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In May 2007 the Kruty Heroes Memorial was vandalised, the perpetrators left graffiti with anti-Ukrainian slogans and obscenities.[1][2]

Anti-Ukrainian sentiment or Ukrainophobia is animosity towards Ukrainians, Ukrainian culture, language or Ukraine as a nation.[3] It is widely present in Poland and in the former Soviet Union, mainly in the Russian Federation and in some parts of Eastern Ukraine.[4]

Modern scholars define two types of anti-Ukrainian sentiment: one based on discrimination of Ukrainians based on their ethnic or cultural origin (similar to other manifestations of xenophobia and racism), and another based on the conceptual rejection of Ukrainians, Ukrainian culture and language as artificial and unnatural. At the turn of the 20th century, several authors supported an assertion that Ukrainian identity and language had been created artificially in order to undermine Russia.[5] This argument has been promulgated by several conservative Russian authors.[3]

Russian Empire

The rise and spread of Ukrainian self-awareness produced an anti-Ukrainian sentiment within some layers of society within the Russian empire. In order to retard and control this movement, the use of Ukrainian (Little Russian) language within the Russian empire was initially restricted by official government decrees such as the Valuev Circular (July 18, 1863) and later banned by the Ems ukaz (May 18, 1876) from any use in print (with the exception of reprinting of old documents). Popularly the anti-Ukrainian sentiment was promulgated by such organizations as "Black Hundreds", which were vehemently opposed to Ukrainian self-determination. Some restrictions on the use of Ukrainian language were relaxed in 1905-1907. They ceased to be policed after the February Revolution in 1917.

Soviet Union

Under Soviet rule in Ukraine, a policy of korenization was established, which initially supported Ukrainian self awareness. This policy was phased out in 1928 and terminated entirely in 1932 in favor of general Russification. There was supposedly no anti-Ukrainian sentiment within the Soviet government, which began to repress all aspects of Ukrainian culture and language as contrary to the ideology of Proletarian Internationalism. During the Soviet era, the population of Ukraine was reduced by the artificial famine called Holodomor in 1932-33 along with the population of other nearby agrarian areas of the USSR. Many prominent Ukrainians were labelled as nationalists or anti-revolutionaries, and many were repressed and executed as enemies of the people.[6]


Template:Ambox/small On February 24, 2009 Ihor Olehovych Markov, a deputy of Odessa city council and leader of the pro-Russian organization Rodina — along with associates — beat up picketers who where protesting against raising of the monument of the Russian empress Catherine II in Odessa.[7][8] Catherine II was the founder of the city of Odessa, but she is sometimes reviled in Ukraine for the destruction of Zaporizhian Host and for spreading serfdom to Ukrainian territory.

On April 17, 2009, Maksym Chaika, a 20-year old student of Odessa National University, was murdered in Odessa.[9]. Chaika was a member of Sich, a patriotic youth movement in Ukraine. Some observers say that Chaika had openly criticized the pro-Russian activities of Markov, his party, Rodina, and the local TV channel ATB, which sympathizes with Markov.[9]

A propaganda article posted on the website of the Kremenchuk department of the Communist Party of Ukraine argues that history that was published during the Soviet regime was the true history, and that new historical facts being uncovered from the archives are false.[10] The article also denies the existence of the Ukrainian culture.

Mykola Levchenko, a Ukrainian parliamentarian from Party of Regions, and the deputy of Donetsk City Council states that there should be only one language, Russian. He says that the Ukrainian language is impractical and should be avoided. Levchenko called Ukrainian the language of folklore and anecdotes. However, he says he will speak the literary Ukrainian language on principal, once Russian is adopted as the sole state language.[11] Anna German, the spokesperson of the same party, highly criticized those statements.[12]

Mykhailo Bakharev, the vice-speaker of the Crimean Autonomous Republic parliament (and the main editor of Krymskaya Pravda), openly says that there is no Ukrainian language and that it is the language of the non-educated part of population. He claims that it was invented by Taras Shevchenko and others. He also believes that there is no Ukraine nation, there is no future for the Ukrainian State, and that Ukrainization needs to be stopped.[13]

The current Ukrainian Minister of Science and Education, Dmytro Tabachnyk, has sparked protests calling him anti-Ukrainian in some parts of Ukraine due to this statements about Western Ukrainians, his preference for the Russian language, and his denial of the Holodomor.[14] [15] Tabachnyk's view of Ukraine’s history includes the thesis that western Ukrainians aren’t really Ukrainian. In an article for the Russian newspaper Izvestia Tabachnyk wrote last year: “Halychany (western Ukrainians) practically don’t have anything in common with the people of Great Ukraine, not in mentality, not in religion, not in linguistics, not in the political arena” “We have different enemies and different allies. Furthermore, our allies and even brothers are their enemies, and their ‘heroes’ (Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukhevych) for us are killers, traitors and abettors of Hitler’s executioners.”[16] By March 17, 2010 four of western Ukraine’s regional councils had passed resolutions calling for the minister’s dismissal. A host of civic and student organizations from all over the country (including Kherson in southern Ukraine and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine), authors and former Soviet dissidents also signed petitions calling for his removal.[17] Tabachnyk also denies the Holodomor,[18] considering it an invention of foreign historians for political motives. Tabachnik also had stated that Ukrainian history textbooks contained "simply false" information and announced his intention to rewrite them. [19] [20]


File:Ukrainians Caricature.jpg

Caricature "Khokhly" by Igor Serdyukov. The use of ethnic slurs and stereotypes in relation to Ukrainians in Russian media is one of Ukrainian community's concerns in Russia.[21]

In a poll held by Levada Center in June 2009 in Russia 75% of Russian respondents respected Ukrainians as ethnic group but 55% were negative about Ukraine as the state. In May 2009, 96% of Ukrainians polled by Kyiv International Sociology Institute were positive about Russians as ethnic group, 93% respected Russian Federation and 76% respected Russian establishment.[22]

Some Russian media seem to try to discredit Ukraine[23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31]. Media like Komsomolskaya Pravda seem to try to intensify the bad relationship between Ukraine and Russia.[32] A series of Russian films used anti-Ukrainian slurs without any criticism from their government[not in citation given]. Anti-Ukrainian attitude persists among several Russian politicians, such as the mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, and the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and the Deputy Speaker of the Russian Parliament, Vladimir Zhirinovsky.[33]

Ukrainians form the third largest ethnic group in Russian Federation after Russians and Tatars. In 2006, in letters to Vladimir Putin, Viktor Yushchenko and Vasily Duma, the Ukrainian Cultural Centre of Bashkortostan complained of anti-Ukrainian sentiment in Russia, which they claim includes wide use of anti-Ukrainian ethnic slurs in the mainstream Russian media, television and film.[21] The Urals Association of Ukrainians also made a similar complaint in a letter they addressed to the OSCE in 2000.[34]

According to the Ukrainian Cultural Centre of Bashkortostan, despite their significant presence in Russia, Ukrainians in that country have less access to Ukrainian-language schools and Ukrainian churches than do other ethnic groups.[34] In Vladivostok, according to the head of the Ukrainian government's department of Ukrainian Diaspora Affairs, local Russian officials banned a Ukrainian Sunday school in order not to "accentuate national issues" [35]

According to the president of the Ukrainian World Congress in 2001, persistent requests to register a Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate or a Ukrainian Catholic Church were hampered due to "particular discrimination" against them, while other Catholic, Muslim and Jewish denominations fared much better.[36]. According to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, by 2007 their denomination had only one church building in all of Russia.[37]

Some Russians mass-media continues their policy of turning the population of Ukraine against its government and and trying to convince of non-existence of the Ukrainian culture, such as some Alexei Itsenkov from Gazeta 2000 who posted his article under domain's name litvin.com.ua.[38] In his article Mr.Itsenkov gives an impression of being an expert of ethnography, implying that the Ukrainian ethnicity never existed and is simply an invention of the Motherland's deserters who emigrated to Poland, United States, and Canada. Interestingly that his name can also be traced to the pro-presidential website of the Russian Federation.[39]


Anti-Ukrainian sentiment in Poland first became significant in the mid 17th century in the aftermath of the revolt led by Khmelnytsky in 1648. It continued with numerous outbursts during the Haydamak revolts of the 18th century.

The 20th-century anti-Ukrainian Polish actions such as Operation Vistula left a deep and endemic mark on the ethnic Ukrainians living within the Polish state.

Despite more recent positive official relations, some Polish politicians often resort to exacerbate anti-Ukrainian sentiment. This is achieved by organizing speculative exhibitions focusing on Ukrainian participation in war crimes, and creating memorials and monuments that contribute only to the escalation of mutual hatred [40]. War and after-war crimes took place between both sides, and many of these escalations are caused by one-sided attention to Ukrainian outburst creating anti-Ukrainian's sentiment in both in Poland and in Ukraine [41]. Such actions on Polish side are treated in Ukraine as Ukrainophobia.[42].

Ukrainian organizations in Poland are disturbed by a new wave of anti-Ukrainian actions that have recently erupted such as those that appeared during the festival of Ukrainian culture in Poland in the border town of Przemyśl in 1995 where numerous threats against participants and numerous acts of vandalism took place. A rise in incidences of graffiti with anti-Ukrainian slogans, and the office of “Związek Ukraińców w Polsce” was set alight [43]. In some cities anti-Ukrainian assaults, vandalism acts of an organized character have targeted centers of Ukrainian culture, schools, churches, memorials [44].

Ukraino-phobic authors published include: Roman Dmowski, Janusz Dobrosz, Jędrzej Giertych, Jan Ludwik Popławski, Zbigniew Żmigrodzki, Adam Doboszyński, Czesław Czaplicki, Andrzej Sołdrowski, Lubomir Czupkiewicz, Piotr Kosobudzki, Maciej Giertych, Stanisław Jastrzębski, Edward Prus, Stanisław Żurek, Norbert Tomczyk, Stanisław Sosenkiewicz, Henryk Komański, Szczepan Siekierka, Witalij Masłowśkyj, Aleksander Korman, Mieczysław Dobrzański, Feliks Koneczny, Michał Poradowski, Stanisław Bełza.

The publisher was recently banned from the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2000, for selling anti-German, anti-Ukrainian and antisemitic books.[45]


Anti-Ukrainian discrimination was endemic in Canada from the arrival of Ukrainians in Canada around 1891 until the late 20th Century. In once sense this was part of a larger trend towards nativism in English Canada during the period. But Ukrainians were singled out for special discrimination because of their large numbers, visibility (due to dress and language), and political activism. During the First World War, around 8,000 Ukrainian Canadian were interned by the Canadian government as "enemy aliens" (because they came from the Austrian Empire). In the interwar period all Ukrainian cultural and political groups, no matter what their ideology was, were monitored by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and many of their leaders were deported.[46]

This attitude began to slowly change after the Second World War, as Canadian immigration and cultural policies generally moved from being explicitly pro-British to a more pluralistic foundation. Ukrainian nationalists were now seen as victims of communism, rather than dangerous subversives. Ukrainians began to hold high offices, and one, Senator Paul Yuzyk was one of the earliest proponents of a policy of "multiculturalism" which would end official discrimination and acknowledge the contribution of non-English, non-French Canadians. The Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism of the 1960s, which had originally been formed only to deal with French-Canadian grievances, began the transition to multiculturalism in Canada because of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's desire to court Ukrainian votes in Western Canada. The Commission also included a Ukrainian commissioner, Jaroslav Rudnyckyj.

Since the adoption of official multiculturalism under Section Twenty-seven of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, Ukrainians in Canada have had legal protection against discrimination.

United States

According to Ukrainian-American historian Petro Mirchuk strong Ukrainophobia existed among some extremist members of the Jewish population in the United States during the 1990s, as well as among some Russian-Americans.[47] He referred to trials against Ukrainians who were accused of war crimes against Jews by the prosecutors of the Office of Special Investigations comparing them with witch-hunts.[48]

References and footnotes

  1. One of the graffiti read "Long live Russia". More pictures here
  2. Template:Uk icon Новий акт вандалізму на монументі Героям Крут, BBCUkrainian.com (May 21, 2007)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Andriy Okara. Ukrainophobia is a gnostic problem. Retrieved 12.27.08.
  4. James Stuart Olson, Lee Brigance Pappas, Nicholas Charles Pappas, An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of the Russian and Soviet Empires, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1994
  5. Russia and Ukraine By Myroslav Shkandrij. Retrieved 12.27.08
  6. Basil Dmytryshyn, Moscow and the Ukraine, 1918-1953: A Study of Russian Bolshevik Nationality Policy, Bookman Associates, 1956
  7. the proud Ukrainophobe Template:Ru icon
  8. the Ukrainophobes in Odessa beat the Ukrainians, Youtube
  9. 9.0 9.1 Template:Uk icon Вбивство в Одесі студента Максима Чайки отримало додатковий резонанс, Ukrinform (April 19, 2009)
  10. http://kremenchug-kpu.nm.ru/read/Shulygin.htm?i "Украинствующие и мы"
  11. M. Levchenko interview
  12. Anna German statement to Levchenko's interview
  14. http://www.kyivpost.com/news/nation/detail/62086/ "Furor over Tabachnyk appointment rising"
  15. http://www.kyivpost.com/news/opinion/op_ed/detail/84817/"Ukrainian Education Minister Tabachnyk Confirms His Russian Nationalist Credentials"
  16. http://www.kyivpost.com/news/nation/detail/62086/ "Furor over Tabachnyk appointment rising"
  17. http://www.kyivpost.com/news/nation/detail/62086/ "Furor over Tabachnyk appointment rising"
  18. "1932-1933 genocide in Ukraine was invented by foreign historians, Tabachnyk says". http://www.zik.com.ua/en/news/2010/09/01/243009.
  19. http://ukranews.com/uk/news/ukraine/2010/05/13/18566 "Табачник: українські й російські вчителі будуть викладати історію за спільним посібником"
  20. http://www.kyivpost.com/news/opinion/op_ed/detail/62058/ "Tabachnyk’s views are dangerous in classroom"
  21. 21.0 21.1 Letter to President Putin from the Union of Ukrainians in Bashkiria, retrieved 28-12-2008
  22. Russians about Ukraine, Ukrainians about Russia (Russian)
  23. Russian attitudes not as icy towards Ukraine, Kyiv Post (October 15, 2009)
  24. Ukraine-Russia tensions are simmering in Crimea, The Washington Post (October 18, 2009)
  25. 56% Of Russians Disrespect Ukraine, Kyiv Post (June 17, 2009)
  26. Russia, Ukraine relationship going sour, say polls, Kyiv Post (October 2, 2008)
  27. Why Ukraine will always be better than Russia, Kyiv Post (June 12, 2009)
  28. Poll: Russians like Ukrainians half as much as the other way round, Kyiv Post (November 6, 2009)
  29. Report mistake, BBC (May 20, 2008)
  30. False Hitler Doll Reports Vex Ukraine, Deutsche Welle (May 15, 2008)
  31. Kremlin-loyal media make Merkel sing to Medvedev’s tune, Kyiv Post (August 20, 2009)
  32. Template:Ru icon Виктор Черномырдин: Выборы на Украине - это не футбол. Болеть не надо..., Komsomolskaya Pravda (February 2, 2009)
  33. The Ukrainian Pravda. Why Cannot Zhirinovsky and Zatulin Wash Their Feet in the Black Sea on the Ukrainian coast? Retrieved 11.20.07
  34. 34.0 34.1 Open letter to the Comissar of the OSCE from the Union of Ukrainians in the Urals Retrieved 11.20.07
  35. The Ukrainian Weekly. 2003: The Year in Review. Diaspora Developments: news from East to West.Retrieved 11.20.07
  36. Regarding the census in Russia and the rights of Ukrainians. Retrieved 11.20.07
  37. http://www.ugcc.org.ua/eng/press-releases/article;5911/
  38. Ukraine doomed to be destroyed and involved in war
  39. Public forum of All-Russian supporters of Dmitriy Medvedev
  40. Tree of discord Lvivska gazette. 02.03.2007
  41. Call to Poland concerning anti-Ukrainian provocations 12.05.2005
  42. Memorial's was: re-incarnation of the past Oles Andriychuk. Dzerkalo Tyzhnya. Issue 11 (640) 24.04.2007
  43. The last besieged fortress: Peremyshl wracked by Ukrainian-Polish confrontation Petro Tyma. The Ukrainian Weekly, July 21, 1996, No. 29, Vol. LXIV
  44. Assaults to Ukrainian schools in Poland. Lvivska gazette. 31.10.2006 issue № 27 (27)
  45. "Wycofani z targów" (in Polish). rmf.fm. 20 October 2001. http://www.rmf.fm/fakty/?next=1&ptr=0&id=14780. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
  46. Hewitt, Steve. "Policing the Promised Land: The RCMP and Negative Nation-building in Alberta and Saskatchewan in the Interwar Period", The Prairie West as Promised Land ed. R. Douglas Francis and Chris Kitzan (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2007), 318-320.
  47. Interview for the journal 'KRUG' in Tel Aviv, Israel
  48. The Trials of Ukrainians, or the 'witch-hunt' in the U.S.

External links


hr:Ukrajinofobija ru:Украинофобия uk:Українофобія