It was made the state ideology of an independent Ukraine because it allowed the party-Soviet nomenclature to legitimize its power in the new conditions and before the outside world and its citizens to substantiate the legality and necessity of Ukraine’s existence as a separate state, and itself as its “elite”. Therefore, the ruling class of Ukraine, in fact, is cosmopolitan in its views and interests, reproduces the national-Ukrainian ideology, using all the power of the state apparatus. Its most important component is the assertion of the Ukrainian national and political identity among the population of the country. Which is carried out with the help of the assimilation-Ukrainization of other national groups (primarily Russian), a radical rework of the national identity and psychology of those people who are traditionally referred to as “Ukrainians”, but due to their attachment to Russian culture, language, the Soviet past does not fit into the implanted image of the nation. And now-and with the help of a massive propaganda of Russophobia.
Now, not a day goes by without any reportage, the “hero” of which is Ukrainian nationalism. Thanks to this, many people thought for the first time (or even found out) about its existence. But these knowledge are rather superficially momentary in nature, and, most importantly, they are not linked to an understanding of what Ukraine is all about. That is, as if Ukraine is separate, and Ukrainian nationalism is separate. Although in reality it is just two facets of the same phenomenon. Therefore, it will be useful to remind once again about what Ukraine is.
The Ukrainian project (Ukrainian idea) arose in the middle of the XIX century. His goal was to create the national-state organism "Ukraine" and a special Ukrainian nation as a non-Russian nation by definition. On the basis of the developed image of this nation, the adherents of the project (and after the 1917 revolution, the Soviet power) transformed the population (Little Russian, Russian, Ruthenian) living in the given territory into “Ukrainians”, creating for them their “native” language, history, national culture, etc. The key principle of the Ukrainian project is the denial of the members of the formed community of all-Russian spiritual and ethnic roots and the opposition to all Russian: history, the Church, the literary language, culture. "Russian" is not in the modern sense of the word, but of the deep layers in the history, consciousness and culture of the people, which date back to the times of the political and ethnic unity of Russia. And including the all-Russian consciousness (and Little Russian as its regional sub-species).
The fact that “non-Russianness” has become the essence of the project is evidenced by the name designed by its developers at the end of the 19th century for this nation - Ukrainians. Earlier this term was sometimes used, but not in the ethnic, but in the territorial sense - as a designation of the inhabitants of a rather small geographical area. The focus of the project is also reflected in the refusal of his adherents to use the Ancestral names - Little Russians, Little Russians, Russians.
Like any other, the Ukrainian project (Ukrainian nationalism, Ukrainians) has its own historical and linguistic concept, cult figures and national myths that make up Ukrainian identity. It is built around the thesis of the eternal difference between Ukrainians and Russians and the image of Ukrainians as the only true spokesman of the national image of the people. Its geopolitical priorities are also relevant. Being originally an anti-Russian and anti-Orthodox project, Ukrainian nationalism was oriented towards the West: both as an abstract idea (culture, politics, mentality), and as specific opponents of Russia (Poles, Austria-Hungary, Germany, the Third Reich, the United States, the European Union). And he himself was in many ways the fruit of their non-disinterested ideological and material influence.
As a result of decades of hard work of their adherents and a favorable confluence of external and internal political circumstances (primarily support from the Russian left-liberal public and the Soviet state), the Ukrainian project was implemented. After 1917, Ukraine and the Ukrainian nation appeared, although not in such a form or as boundaries as the Ukrainian nationalists planned.
But, despite the fact that Ukrainian nationalism has a powerful mobilizing potential, mythology and argumentation system, long-term support of interested external forces, he came across reality. On the mentality of the population of the "quilt", which is called the "state of Ukraine". On a different - to the contrary - the history of the regions, by the will of fate turned out to be included in its composition. On past and latently existing historical and national identity of the population. For millions of people, completely different values are important, they have a different world view, different heroes, images of the past and a vision of the future.
At first, Ukraine managed to keep balance. But as soon as the foreign policy context changed, the fragile internal political and public balance in Ukraine was broken. And the ideology of Ukrainians laid in the basis of statehood did not involve the search for compromises and respect for fellow citizens who adhere to a different world view and national identities. Not wanting to live in a country where Ukrainian ultranationalists and russophobes came to power, the Crimea separated from Ukraine and reunited with Russia. The people of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions held a referendum on 11 in May 2014, spoke in favor of their independence, and the educated Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics asked for membership in Russia, thereby demonstrating their national and geopolitical orientation.
And the fact that the Russian leadership did not spread the “Crimean scenario” on them (although it was possible and would have allowed both to prevent the “Donbass massacre” and serve as an example for people's activity in other regions of the southeast), does not speak about the insufficient pro-Russian mood of the residents Donbass, and the Kremlin’s reluctance to accept them into Russia. Let's believe that for now. The self-proclaimed Kiev authorities, Ukrainian nationalists and their foreign curators managed to only pause the collapse of Ukraine and transfer the Crimean-Donetsk scenario to other regions of the country's southeast, only by way of unleashing civil war and terror (political and informational) against "their" population. However, they are no longer able to stop the process of its disintegration. The DPR and the LPR became a reality, and in November they held their free elections. A subject such as Novorossia, which claims to eight regions of Ukraine, has also announced itself.
Project "New Russia"
As a political subject, Novorossia is still at the project stage, having as its basis the Donetsk republics and the Russian Crimea. The internal content and ways of implementing this project, the territorial limits of Novorossia and its administrative status have not yet been determined and imply wide variation.
In many ways, its appearance, which could have happened in spring - summer 2014 of the year, was hindered precisely by the position of the ruling circles of Russia, which for several reasons (rather subjective rather than objective) prefer to consider Ukraine within its previous borders (but “for some reason” without Crimea), putting forward the utopian idea of federalization. Nevertheless, the issue of “Novorossiya” does not remove life itself from the agenda.
Will Novorossia be any number of separate subjects united by the idea of belonging to the same historical region? Or several interconnected republics with their own political centers: Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkov, Odessa, and Dnepropetrovsk? Or will New Russia appear as one political and even state entity? The question is still open.
Note that the last option is unrealistic. The existence of the region implies the existence of its own economic, political and cultural center with its own ruling group (elite). In historical Novorossia, there are several such centers with their own and competing elites. Therefore, it is difficult for them to mutually attract each other. This began to make itself felt already at the beginning of the 20th century. For example, when he was in Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic (1917-1918), Yekaterinoslav (now Dnepropetrovsk) was part of it and was subordinate to Kharkov, but representatives of its councils had their own point of view on some issues. And Odessa immediately became the capital of its own republic.
After nearly a hundred years, this situation only strengthened. However, Odessa began to lose its own political positions, being under the control of the “Dnepropetrovsk” clan (and after the bloody events of May 2014, it was actually “joined” to the “birthplace” of oligarch I. Kolomoisky). But Donetsk appeared (and now Lugansk) as independent powerful regional political centers. And regional centers can not obey each other, but only the capital: either Kiev or Moscow. Therefore, Novorossia has more chances to become not a state, but a common historical-geographical and cultural denominator of the region. Entering in some state. On what terms? Are “autonomies” part of some kind of “federative Ukraine”? Or in the form of independent (recognized or not recognized, like Transdniestria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia) republics? It is clear that the maximum program for which this project is designed is the reunification of eight regions of the so-called southeast of Ukraine with Russia. But whatever the status of Novorossia and its territorial limits, one thing is certain: it will already be “non-Ukraine”, even if some part of it continues to temporarily remain within the framework of this state. And here the forefront is the need to understand the region as a separate entity, ideological design and justification of the project.
First of all, the justification of the historical. Here history itself speaks for Novorossia: this region is the brainchild of Russia. It arose only because of it and in its state, economic, cultural and national heart. This land was conquered from the Ottoman Empire, the Crimean Khanate and the Nogai Horde, removed from the world of “Steppe” and “nomadic timelessness” (as the nomadic world was understood by European consciousness) and introduced into the space of “world history and civilization” by the forces of Russia. It was settled, mastered and turned into a developed scientific, industrial and agricultural region, a region of urban culture thanks to the policy of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. In his past there was no “foreign culture" and "foreign ethnic" period like the Polish in the history of Little Russia. All its history and culture is connected with Russia. In developing the project "Novorossiya" and its historical design, this point must be insistently postulated. It is the thesis about the original and essential belonging of this vast region to Russia and the Russian World that should form the basis of the whole project “Novorossiya”.
It is symbolic that Ukrainians reject the historical experience of both the Russian Empire and the USSR as alien to it and therefore organically hostile to the edge. So it was all the years of independence of Ukraine, it was so before. It is no coincidence that against the attempts of Ukrainian nationalists to seize the Donbass and Novorossia (or, in the old way, the South of Russia), to make them “Ukraine”, and to impose Ukrainian identity on the people, their inhabitants fought weapons in hand. And this struggle did not begin now.
Take the Civil War. The main reason for which the politically active groups of the local population formed the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog, Odessa Soviet Republics (January 1918) and the Republic of Taurida were the claims of the self-proclaimed Ukrainian Central Council on the land from Kharkov to Odessa and the separatist peace it concluded with the Germans. And the republics defended their right to stay in Russia. Ukrainian separatism and nationalism, the very idea of "Ukraine" was alien and hostile to their people. In many ways, the same reasons — the reluctance to become “Ukraine”, the rejection of visiting Ukrainisers and German invaders, whom the Central Council brought to Little Russia, New Russia and Donbass — also gave rise to the peasant movement in the Azov region known as the Makhnovshchina.
Novorossia and Donbass (and later Crimea) were given to Ukraine by the Bolsheviks, after which they underwent (as, by the way, Little Russia) merciless Ukrainization - that is, a violent change in the worldview and national identity of millions of people. And yet it was Soviet Ukraine - part of the USSR. From the heritage of which Ukrainians always renounced. From everything — but not from the national policy pursued in those years.
"New Russia" - the national moment
In Soviet times, the identity of the region was imposed on the Ukrainian people and the idea was instilled that Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, and Odessa were Ukraine. In independent Ukraine, this was supplemented by an important provision: that Russia is alien and hostile. The consequences of such ideological propaganda are now clearly evident.
And therefore, a fundamental moment in the creation of Novorossia is the de-Ukrainianization of consciousness, the national and political identity of the population living there. His perception of the world is ambivalent to a certain extent and includes both the Russian and the Ukrainian (in Soviet terminology) component. Moreover, the “Ukrainian”, as a result of the Soviet tradition, appears in the form of a “Soviet-Ukrainian” identity, rather far from the content that the Ukrainian project carries. This appearance of “lack of national consciousness” gives Ukrainian nationalists a reason to treat these people as “nedoukraintsy” (which for them is a synonym for “subhumans”), which must be led to the “true” Ukrainian identity WRED de-Russification and Ukrainization (and, if necessary, exile and destruction).
Unfortunately, this interpretation of the “overflow of identities” also percolates into the Russian environment (although the people repeating it proceed more often from opposing ideas). In fact, such ambivalence is the result of the Soviet national policy imposed on its polyethnic character and the specificity of the formation of the regional population (as the territory of the joint Great and Little Russian colonization and the result of their interaction within the Russian cultural and political field). And, as a result, to the original common Russian identity, combining both Russian and Little Russian components, in which a person could simultaneously consider himself to be both “Russian” and “crest” (if he was of Little Russian origin).
Actually, the task of de-Ukrainianization and return to ancestral identity should become a program for the central regions of present-day Ukraine. This can be done only by WAY of actualization of others - opposite to Ukrainians - national identities. Only one other can overcome one nationalism, for they fight for the same population and act in the same area of social consciousness and social psychology. Domestic history demonstrates this as well as possible.
The nerve of the whole history of the earth, currently understood as “Ukraine,” beginning from the end of the 16th century, is the problem of its choice of a cultural, civilizational and national identity by the people and, as a result, of the development path itself. This happened in the form of competition-confrontation of various religious and cultural orientations, which from the middle of the XIX century acquired the form of national projects (Polish, union, all-Russian, Ukrainian, Ruthenian). The projects involved the development of a particular image of the nation, its linkage to specific conditions (ethnic, cultural) and the formation of a nation on the basis of a given population in accordance with the type developed. A logical continuation of this was the question of the political self-determination of a nation and its cultural, spiritual and geopolitical affiliation to either the Russian Orthodox world or the West.
In modern Naziology, the predominant (albeit not the only) point of view is the view of nations (as special, politically meaningful forms of organization of ethnic groups) as intended social structures. The most adequate to explain the processes of national genesis in many nations, including in the region of interest to us, is a constructivist understanding of the nature of the national. It proceeds from the fact that national identity, national traits are not innate, originally given signs of an ethnic community, but acquired over time and under the influence of certain objective and subjective factors. That is, it considers the sphere of the national as created by will and consciousness.
"Nations are the creation of human convictions, loyalty and solidarity." “Nationalism is not the awakening of nations to self-consciousness: it invents nations where they do not exist,” this statement belongs to the British researcher E. Gellner. More precisely, it does not exist yet and it is in the form of such. The same principle is softer: “nations are made by man” (through social movements and / or states), other natiologists interpret.
The example of the emergence of "Ukraine" confirms the correctness of the constructivist approach to the nation and the national as created and created. This approach allows not only to understand much in the mechanism of nation creation, but also to use it, transforming the sphere of the national in the right direction, embodying its national projects and opposing competing projects. If Ukrainians are a denial of Russianness, then overcoming Ukrainians is a restoration of Russian identity, an awareness of their belonging to the Russian World and Russia as its political embodiment.
And historically, Russian identity evolved as a common Russian. It is no coincidence that in the Russian tradition (both Great Russian and Western Russian parts), Russianness was most often understood as the unity of several regional components, and the project of the Russian nation had a triune essence, which was represented by Great Russians, Belarusians and Russia on an equal basis. Therefore, Russian nationalism initially acquired an all-Russian, unifying character (and was widely represented precisely on the western outskirts of Russia).
The basis of both the Novorossia project and the Little Russia project should be the revival of the all-Russian idea and identity. Since national identities are hierarchical in structure, all-Russian identity presupposes the existence of local sub-or sub-identities.
Ukrainian crisis and the search for alternatives
The most relevant to these tasks is the revival of the Little Russian project, which envisages the formation of Little Russian identity as a subtype of the all-Russian identity. This project was comprehended from the first decades of the XIX century and existed right up to the 1917 revolution of the year.
Today, its revival was promoted by the crisis of Ukrainian identity, which began at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries. On the one hand, there was a violent imposition of the latter and its undoubted partial strengthening in society. But, on the other hand, this led to discontent with Ukrainians and a growing understanding of its unacceptability for millions of citizens of the country. And, as a result, the psychological and territorial erosion of Ukrainian identity. These processes dramatically intensified after the 2004 Orange Revolution. Along with the resurrection of Little Russian identity, it seemed, already completely destroyed by the Bolsheviks and Ukrainian nationalists, ideas about the expediency of new regional, sub-and national identities began to be formulated. First of all, Ruthenian and Little Russian. And over time, the first attempts to understand the identity of the “Novorossiysk” appeared.
At first, such thoughts began to appear in the public in Ukraine (in the Internet community), and then in Russia. The reason that pushed for the development of the idea of “Novorossiya” and regional identity is simple: behind it is the desire to give an answer to the challenge that the Ukrainian state and Ukrainian nationalism are throwing to the population of the region. The idea carries a rational grain, especially when it comes from the authors living in Ukraine. Even if the discussion of regionalism issues by the Ukrainian authorities causes nervousness, the open postulation of Russianness may simply turn into sad consequences.
But understanding of some space as a whole does not yet imply the development of a common identity, especially a national one, among the population living there. If Novorossia is seen as a way of gathering Russian national, cultural and political space, then the goal of the “Novorossiysk identity” is, in fact, the same. According to the idea of its adherents, it should become a transitional link from Ukrainian to Russian, from Ukrainian political and national identity of the regional population to Russian and all-Russian. Indeed, the authorities, the media, the education system of Ukraine all twenty-three years of separatism have directed efforts to make the notion of Russianness among the population under their control associated with “Russianness” and the Russian Federation. And in part they have succeeded.
The idea of the formation of some kind of “Novorossiysk identity” has advantages: binding to local conditions, intermediate nature, the possibility of being used as an argument for creating Novorossia (especially if it appears as a political whole). A few adherents of the construction of “Novorossiysk identity” rest on this. At the same time emphasizing that, by its nature, it should be the all-Russian identity.
However, with all the advantages, the “Novorossiysk identity” has a very serious minus. In the construction of local identity, and even embracing the regions that are still different from each other, there is a danger that can destroy the very idea of Novorossia. This is the risk of repetition of the “Ukrainian scenario”.
What is the ultimate goal in the name of which the development and implementation of the Novorossia project is underway? If for your own sake, for the formation of a special political and national space as such, this is one thing. Then this project in the historical perspective (and not very distant) will turn out to be no better than the Ukrainian one, even if for some time it will appear as an ally in the fight against Ukrainians. Then he is not needed and even harmful.
If his ultimate goal will be the restoration of the Russian national and political identity of the regional population with the subsequent integration and reunification of the all-Russian cultural, national and political space, it is another matter. Then the project "Novorossiya" seems to be necessary. New Russia - but not the “Novorossiysk Identity”.
Suppose that at first everything will be as it is thought: the “Novorossiysk” identity will be built as a local variant of the all-Russian identity. But then there is the question of how to implement it. Regional specificity will be maximized, otherwise why do we need an “extra” identity when there is a Russian one? So from a regional it can eventually turn into a self-contained one. And subidentity - in the main, pushing the all-Russian to the periphery of consciousness.
To do this, firstly, economic regionalism, embodied in the existence of several of the above-mentioned centers, can be used. Secondly, the “Novorossiysk” identity can begin to be derived not from the Russian Novorossia, but from the steppe history of the region - the non-Russian history and, by its nature, anti-Russian. Artificially linking the times when this space was “Steppe”, with the time itself “Novorossiya”. And the history of Zaporizhia and Don Cossacks, which occupied part of the territories in which Novorossia later arose, is again interpreted not in the Russian spirit, as phenomena of the Orthodox Russian world, but in the spirit of "Cossack separatism", as part of the world of the "Steppe" conquered by "Rus "(Moscow and Petersburg). That is, again, leading the construction of the region and local identity as non-Russian.
Thirdly, the peculiarities of the formation of a multi-ethnic and Russian-cultural population of the region may be involved. In the presence of ill will, this specificity can turn from a powerful argument in favor of justifying Russianness and Russian culture of a region / regions into a basic thesis about “another Russian nation”. And then - and about the "non-Russian Novorossiysk ethnic group."
There are examples of this. For example, in Belarus, the process of filling the Belarusian identity (where Russianness is postulated already and even in the name!) Is going on to Belarusian, but not Russian. This quiet, but persistent campaign is being conducted by the hands of the Belarusian authorities and the Russophobian intelligentsia. As a result, it will not even be necessary to rename the community, as the adherents of Ukrainians with the Little Russia once did. To fill the existing with the opposite content is the most simple and invisible way, not causing public outrage and rejection. Artificial construction in Belarus of new identities “from scratch” - like the same “litvinstvo”, in this case becomes superfluous. The new “Belarusian character” will be in content the same pro-Polish litvinism (which can even be described as a local kind of Polish identity), but familiar to the ear.
A classic example of the rebirth of a national project and the identity that it carries is given by the history of Little Russia and its transformation (or conversion) into “Ukraine”.
Little Russian and Ukrainian
Little Russian identity originated in the second half of the XVII century. It was transformed from the West Russian (as a local version of the all-Russian identity), which was actively analyzed in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at the end of the 16th - first half of the 17th centuries. The surge of self-awareness of the local Russian population was provoked by the conclusion of the Roman-Brest Church Union and the subsequent split of Western Russian society into its supporters and those who remained faithful to Orthodoxy, as well as the general context of national, religious and social Polonization, conducted by the Polish ruling class and the state.
The result is well known: the national-liberation uprising under the leadership of Bogdan Khmelnitsky, and then the years-long civil war that swept through Little Russia, in which Rzeczpospolita, Russia, Sweden, the Ottoman Empire and the Crimean Khanate were embroiled. It all ended with the fact that in the lands remaining under Poland, the Russian identity was practically crushed, and in those that were reunited with Russia, it was transformed into Little Russia. It was a local, Cossack-autonomist, experienced artificial design with reference to the same "Steppe", but still the Russian version of identity.
At the end of the 18th and the first decades of the 19th century, this identity again underwent changes, which were caused by the internal political, socio-cultural and ideological processes that took place in Little Russia (in the former Hetman and Sloboda Ukraine) and Russia as a whole. And above all, the integration of the Little Russian lands into a single political and cultural space of Russia. From the Cossack-autonomist local identity has changed into a “second Russian” - “Little Russian”. At the same time, it marked two directions, initially almost indistinguishable, flowing into each other, but containing embryos of two different identities. These directions are “Little Russian” and “Ukrainophilism”.
The first can be characterized by such names (just a few) like Mikhail Maksimovich, Nikolai Gogol, Orest Somov. The second - as Nikolai Kostomarov, Panteleimon Kulish, Taras Shevchenko. Somewhere, the middle position between them (but still closer to the first) was occupied by Yevgeniy Grebyonok. The divergence of these directions for the 1840 years only became apparent and insurmountable in the second half of the century.
Sometimes you can find the statement that Little Russia as a national project created Ukrainophiles. Indeed, the local identity was created primarily by the Little Russians who worked in St. Petersburg, Moscow and “on the ground”, although not only they: the role of Russian society and cultural capitals in this, perhaps, is even greater. But the thing is different. When it is stated that the Little Russian project became the brainchild of “Ukrainophilism”, concepts are being replaced, in which one of the areas, Ukrainophilism itself, is given out for the entire cultural movement, based on local Little Russian patriotism and self-image as a local ethnic community.
To glue the label of “Ukrainophiles” to this whole direction is fundamentally wrong. Adherents of the Ukrainian project do it consciously, trying to appropriate a significant layer of culture to themselves and enrich Ukrainians with their historical and ideological baggage. But other people should not mix everything in one pile. For early Ukrainophilism was only one of the manifestations of local patriotism. Indeed, the early Ukrainophiles used different terms to designate “their” small homeland (the homeland they considered all of Russia): Southern Russia, Little Russia, Ukraine, and the local community was called Little Russian, Southern Russian and, more rarely, Ukrainian. Ukrainophiles had a dual cultural and national identity - local and all-Russian, advocated the development of bilingualism, considering (so far) Little Russian speech as a subspecies of the Russian language. Nevertheless, the differences between representatives of the Little Russian and Ukrainophile directions were, albeit at first they could consist in the nuances and shades of their understanding of the “I”. And it is for this reason that Ukrainians prepared the ground for Ukrainians and later reborn into it.
Representatives of the “Little Russian” direction could also use different terminology, however, the words “Ukraine” and “Ukrainian” were less common than Ukrainophiles. But the main thing was in the sense that was invested in all these concepts. So, both directions proceeded from the fact of presence of a special Little Russian nationality (identity). But the Little Russian direction considered its commonness precisely the Russian (regional sub-type of the all-Russian), understanding the fate of Little Russia and Great Russia as their unity, which should be strengthened. And seeing the fate of the Ukrainians and Great Russians seeing in the direction of their ever closer cooperation, right up to the national and cultural fusion into one nation.
Representatives of the Ukrainians understood the local ethnic, linguistic and cultural characteristics as symbolic values, equal to those of all Russians and even having priority over them. And their local identity was seen as the main one. The purpose was also relevant: the preservation of this specificity and even its strengthening. And, accordingly, the distance of the historical path of Little Russia from Great Russia. And therefore among them were found a place of Russophobia and anti-Russian sentiments. Not at all, but still. A classic example of this is Taras Shevchenko, the singer of Kazatchiny and Ukrainian separatism.
And after that they questioned the political unity of Russia. The most prominent Ukrainophiles Kostomarov and Kulish were the most active members of the Cyril and Methodius Society (December 1845 - January 1847) - a secret organization that became a milestone in the development of South Russian separatism, from which the birth of the Ukrainian movement as such is counted. The members of this society set the goal of turning Russia into a federation of national units that were weakly interconnected, among which Ukraine (not Little Russia, namely Ukraine) should have taken a prominent place as two “Ukrainian” states. For the first time, they spoke about the “Ukrainian people” not as a population of a certain territory, but as a national and political collective. Later, having matured, having carefully studied history (and above all the times of the Cossacks, Khmelnitsky and Mazepa) and Kulish, and Kostomarov revised their previous views on the subject of relations between Great Russia and Little Russia and took the position of their political and national-cultural unity. But the matter has already been done, the message for the younger generation of Ukrainophiles has been given, and the idea of the “Ukrainian people” as an independent political and national team and “Ukraine” as its geopolitical projection received an impetus to development.
The concept of “two Russian nationalities”, which was developed by the early Ukrainophiles (and first of all Kostomarov), was interpreted by new generations of Ukrainophiles as the concept of “two nationalities”, and later, by the adherents of Ukrainians (first of all, Mikhail Hrushevsky) turned into the concept of “two different nations” .
It is no coincidence that the all-Russian movement later emerged from the “Little-Russian” direction, including the all-Russian orientation structured in the right-wing and centrist parties and Russian nationalist clubs (whose members were mostly ethnic Little Russians), and “Ukrainians” occurred from the “Ukrainophile”, completely breaking with dual identity and Russian patriotism and entirely built on the denial of Russianness.
Identity "Novorossiysk" and Little Russian
No national or regional identity, including the “Novorossiysk” one, constructed in the Russian space, is insured against this path either. Will the next generations of developers and adherents of “Novorossiysk” on the path of constructing the “second Russian” and “non-Russian” nationality, the path of the early, and then later Ukrainophiles, eventually degenerate into new “Ukrainians”? And with this they can help. And the West, quite ready to sacrifice a part of the Ukrainian project (and already rather weakly controlling the “south-east”) in order to prevent the Russian consciousness from reviving there and reuniting it with Russia. And, strange as it may sound, Russia is represented by a liberal society and their influential like-minded people within the Russian government. This has already happened. The Russian left-liberal public community of the 19th and early 20th centuries sympathized and helped Ukrainians and Ukrainians. In them she saw her allies in the struggle against the autocracy, and at the same time everything that associated with it, including with the all-Russian and state unity. It treated the united Russia, Russian nationalism and Little Russian as if it were its opponents, and therefore declared them to be inert and non-progressive and demonized. And Ukrainophilism and Ukrainians praised both oppressed and progressive. In this context, it becomes better to understand the sharp rejection of Russianness and Little-Russian identity by the Bolsheviks - only the most extreme and radical representatives of this public, and their policy of building the Ukrainian nation and “Ukraine”. In post-Soviet times, this trend not only did not disappear, but also received a new impetus: it was the Russian ruling class and authorities that were the main sponsor and guarantor of the existence of Ukraine.
The danger of constructing a regional identity lies in its technology. "Novorossiysk" identity is entirely artificial. In order to create it, you will have to make a start from some already existing one. And there are two: Ukrainian and Russian / all-Russian. In order to build on the Ukrainian, "reinventing the wheel" is not necessary: its antithesis is Russian identity. In this case, for the constructors of Novorossiysk, one thing remains: a repulsion from Russian identity. That is the way that Ukrainians-Ukrainians went. This is where all the regional differences and the history of the region will be involved - and above all, the unfolding of its “steppe”, pre-Russian component.
Another thing is a little Russian identity. There are differences between Little Russian and "Novorossiysk" identities. Novorossiysk is the construction from scratch. There is a rich historical tradition behind the Little Russian project and the identity that it carries. “New Russianness” is a complete convention: the absence of a separate and clearly marked ethnic group, from which the formation of a national team is supposed (even as sub-identity). The absence of its own history as the history of this and only this region: its milestones, events, heroes: after all, they are either aliens (those belonging to the “steppe history”), or common - Russian and Russian-Soviet. Little Russianness has a clear ethnic foundation (ethnos), its own history, its own heroes, key milestones. Which are not "Great Russian", but, belonging to the living fabric of Russian history and culture, become common Russian phenomena. Of course, if you do not aim to break this history and culture into "independent pieces", but to understand them as such integrity. But here lies the watershed with the ideology and practice of the Ukrainians.
Southern or Western Russia had its own way, due to history, and Little Russia for a long time was autonomy within Russia, when their cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and social differences from the Great Russian and Belarusian parts of the Russian World were laid. New Russia is just Russia in its pure form, Russian-Soviet history, Russian culture. And, importantly, already in the general Russian form, in which it appeared after the reintegration of the East Russian (Great Russian) and West Russian (first of all Little Russian) components.
And local specificity is everywhere and always, even between the Oryol and Vologda regions. But this does not mean that, noting and respecting local "local history" features, it is necessary to engage in the construction on the basis of something more.
There is a doubt about the need to construct a “Novorossiysk” identity for the following reason. The current war in Novorossia is not just a civil war. She is a national liberation. It is being waged for liberation from "Ukraine" with its frantic Ukrainian nationalism / Nazism, Russophobia, intolerance and pro-Westernness. This is a war for Russianness, for independence, for the right to be yourself. Ukrainian political and national identity disappear, exposing the Russian fundamental principle. So, people live a historical understanding of their Russianness. Why impose something that alienates them from it?
The history of nation building, including in the space currently understood as “Ukraine,” shows that what kind of history, literature and language children will be taught, they will gain that consciousness. If schoolchildren and students are hammered into their heads, that they are Ukrainians or Novorossi, they will become them in some time. Especially if the same will repeat the media. And if they teach that they are Russians (both in a broad, all-Russian, and in the narrow sense of the term), they will grow up to be Russians, and those who have been divorced from ancestral identity will return to it. If they teach Russian history and literature, with facts in their hands, they show that Novorossia is a part of Russia and the Russian World, which arose only after Russia arrived there and was forcibly rejected from it, and therefore historically obliged to reunite with it, they will become patriots of Russia.
The pledge of the assertion of an all-Russian identity, and with it the revival of Novorossia itself, is in control over the education system and the mass media. And no matter how the WAY it will be received. Whether the liberation of regions from the “Ukraine” by the Donetsk militia, or their independent “ripening” to the idea of their belonging to Novorossia and the Russian World through the development of local consciousness and identity. The latter option in the conditions of Ukraine, especially Ukraine modern, Russophobic-nationalist, lost the Crimea and the Donbass, is impossible. On the contrary, the national and political Ukrainization of the remaining regions will only increase. This means that another argument of supporters of constructing “new Russianness” is lost - that it will help the local population to come to Russianness through the mediation of new subidentity, smoothing the transition from the Ukrainian national and political community to the Russian and Russian ones.
Local patriotism and love for the native land can and should be preserved and maintained without new artificial structures. This applies to the entire population of the region, but above all that has always considered itself Russian, as well as Russian-speaking and Russian-cultural (but in the Soviet- "independent" tradition called Ukrainian). For those who are Ukrainian-speaking (or even "surzhikoyazychen"), who for some reason calls himself "Ukrainians", but does not accept Ukrainian identity in its present and authentic form, the identity of the Malorusskaya (South Russian) is better suited.
Let's sum up.
The first. Understanding and creating Novorossia as a historical and cultural subject or a number of administrative units (like, say, parts of the Novorossiysk Federal District - following the example of the Far Eastern, Central, etc.) can and should be continued.
The second. The formation of this space should serve not as an end in itself, but as a means of postulating its non-Ukrainian character, its Russian character and unity with Russia.
Third. Comprehension will be based on the historical realities of the region as an inseparable part of Russia and the Russian World and the space of the Russian nation, which was separated from them and should be reunited with them. The last moment should be the ultimate goal of the whole project "Novorossiya". This idea should be a red thread through historical works, educational literature on the history and culture of the region, as well as through political activities and work related to the sphere of national consciousness.
Fourth. The basis of the latter should be the de-Ukrainianization and re-Russification of the region and its population, opposition to the Ukrainian national project and the Ukrainian identity it carries. This implies the de-Ukrainianization of the education system, the media and national identity and the restructuring of their work on the basis of common Russian identity and Russian patriotism. The fifth. In this case, local specificity and elements of local patriotism should be used, including those related to Little Russian (or South Russian) subidentity - as parts of general Russianness. But the formation of new regional and especially national identities and sub-identities (“Novorossiysk”) seems to be an unnecessary and potentially dangerous experiment.