Why Putin and Russians are so emotional and obsessed about Ukraine?


By Vitalii Usenko

I did a little research to try to understand why Ukraine is so personal to Putin and the Russians, and why it creates such emotions from the psychological and existential point of view. Such explanations as Putin’s obsession with conspiracy theories, his preoccupation with something called Eurasia (Timothy Snyder, Ukraine: The Haze of Propaganda) the kleptocratic nature of the Putin regime (“Want Putin’s Attention On Ukraine? Follow His Money” by Paul Roderick Gregory for Forbes) or the all-consuming horror that Maidan can happen in Russia, are all true, but these are only some facets of the more complex issue.

I found some citations which currently are widely used by Russians. I have understood that Putin will not stop on Crimea. He does not want to stop until he takes over all Ukraine.

Russian propaganda intensely exploits the citation reportedly made by Adolf Hitler: “We can conquer Russia only when Ukrainians and Belorussians believe that they are not Russians.  They refer to “Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-1944” by Hugh Trevor-Roper. I have not found such a citation in this book. It is fake and very useful for Russian propaganda. It suggests that the West will conquer Russia by taking Ukraine into the EU.

More citations show that Russia denies the existence of Ukraine not only as a state but as a nation. From their point of view, such nations as Ukraine do not exist.

Russians suppose that the enemies of Russia are suggesting to south and west Russians that they are Ukrainians. Following citations are self-explanatory:

Ethnical Ukrainian is no different from Russian. In order to become Russian, it is enough for Ukrainians to decide to be Russian and vice-versa.

The most dramatic thing for Russians is that without Ukraine all existence of the Russian World collapses.

Ukrainians sold and betrayed their true history, history of Old Kyiv Russia and repudiated from their kinship with Russians in return to Polish fairy tales that Russians are Mongols and Tatars.

Interesting but fact: each talented Ukrainian who starts to create high culture automatically becomes Russian.

Ukrainians are Russians who lost their minds.

There is no Ukrainian language. Ukrainian language is dialect of Russian. Illusions of the existence of a Ukrainian language occurred in Soviet times when on the basis of Poltava Russian dialect the so-called  literary Ukrainian language was artificially created.

That is why Russian extremists and Putin as one of them hate Ukrainians. They consider them as “Russians” who betrayed them. It seems that Putin and Russians perceive that  if Ukraine is in the EU they lose lose part of their “Russian soul” which in turn they perceive as desintegration within them. So be sure. Putin is not going to stop with Crimea. He is planning to take over all Ukraine. It is only the beginning as it touches existential and mystical strings in Putin and Russian mind.

According to research at the  All-Russian center of public opinion published in Zerkalo Nedeli on September 10th 2013 more then half of Russians are ready to name Ukrainians and Belorussians who live in Russia as Russians, 29% of Russians consider Ukraine as part of Russia, 56% respondents in Russia said that Crimea is Russia.

It is no surprise that Putin’s decision to use military force has actually been popular among Russians. A new poll by VTsIOM, a state-run institution, shows that Putin’s approval is higher than it’s been since the middle of 2012 (“A New Poll Shows That Putin’s Approval Increased After Sending Troops To Crimea” by Mark Adomanis for Forbes). The same dramatic increase in public support of Hitler was seen in Nazi Germany after the annexation of the Sudetenland region and Austria in 1938.

Stubborn non-acceptance of Ukraine as a separate nation is the gravest mistake Russia ever made in its policy toward Ukraine. This mistake is even more dramatic than the higher and higher costs and consequences associated with Russia’s aggression in Ukraine explained in more details in the article “Ukraine: A Mistake Moscow Will Regret” by Steve Forbes:

  •  the economy (possible sanctions)

  •  possible exclusion from G8,

  • ruble devaluation,

  • flight of capital,

  • possible freezing the illegal assets of Russian oligarchs and political leaders,

  • disturbances in the Russian bank system which would crimp Russia’s ability to do business  with  the rest of the world,

  • possible visa sanctions

  • development of the energy system in the EU to become more and more independent from Russian natural gas

I would add to this only the risk of possible disintegration of Russia following economic collapse in middle-term.

Non-acceptance of the existence of Ukraine and Ukrainians served Putin badly as a result. All his political technologists developed campaigns without taking into consideration Ukraine as a separate state and the Ukrainians as separate nation without considering the difference in psychological profiles between Russians and Ukrainians. In alternative history style I would try to assume what Putin could have seized Ukraine peacefully if he recognized existence of Ukraine as a separate state and the Ukrainians a separate from Russians nation.

Major psychological differences between Ukrainians and Russians will be explored later in the next material. This will be science fiction scenario as Putin is not able to change his attitude.

To be continued. Alternative history (science fiction): Peaceful incorporation of Ukraine in Russia. As “science fiction” material will also contain in exaggerated way (for better understanding) mistakes made by the Ukrainian politicians in euphoria after Madian and invented (not real) cold blooded cynic Russian political technologies to achieve this goal.

Edited Janet Taylor


8 thoughts on “Why Putin and Russians are so emotional and obsessed about Ukraine?

  1. I am a Pole of partially Tatar descent and I have never heard any “Polish fairy tales that Russians are Mongols and Tatars”. That’s just some complete utter bullshit. Where did they get it from?

    What I only heard was a sociopolitical theory that Russian authoritarianism and imperialism (tsarist, Soviet and putinist) was influenced by the Golden Horde which occupied Muscovy for many years in medieval times. That may or may not be true, and even if it was, it would certainly not be the only influence.

    Still, this random, not really important theory is the only thing I can think of that could have been twisted this way by some authoritarian propagandist.

    • That is true that some of suppositions in Russian propaganda are totally absurd. The purpose of publication is to show how absurd is Russian propaganda against Ukraine is. Russian sometimes behave themselves as paranoids and their chauvinism and non-recognition of Ukrainians as nation caused considerable resistance in all Ukraine.

      • I admit that I don’t know much about their dissention in the past excepting when the Ukrainians enrolled en masse against the Red Army in WW2. Back then the Germans started to act ugly on the Ukrainians anyway or at least war documentaries say so, so the movement did not have much success -which many modern strategists say that was a strategic mistake from the part of the German regime. But right now by going allin poker style in supporting the West against Russia instead opting out for an independent Ukraine is the worst thing that the people of Ukraine can do. With the Russians the Ukraine would have remain maybe poor but also maybe the country would have been recovering. Going with the UE the population will remain poor or even poorer and the price that these stupid kids will pay for their right to immigrate in the West will be bringing to Ukraine immediate debt and Islam in the long run, two bad effects that by not equally developing at the same pace will wrongly look like unrelated because the Islam will come in Ukraine only when the economy will recover -and it will recover anyway but with much more sacrifices and with considerable delay of 20 more years -as it would have been recovering much faster with the Russian alliance in about 5-10 years.

    • In the Western part of Ukraine where the influence of the Poles is visible the anti-Russian feelings are not very much caused by the Russian oppression but because the undeniable national Polish anti-Russian sentiment. The Ukrainians pro or anti-Russia sentiments are viciously derailed by nationalistic Polish feelings.

  2. Conspiracy theories? All you have to do is to open Discovery Channel or History Channel and the Americans talk proudly about all the machinations they have done and are doing without someone even forcing them to say the stories. All those spying activities behind so called humanitarian and Red Cross actions are being shown by them alone.

    Why could Russia be obsessed about Ukraine? Because the battles around Kharkov and Kiev, the takings over the city multiple times by the Germans and back by the Russians, with the price of million of lives of Russian soldiers? How would it look in 2018 having anti-Russian missiles installed in Kharkov a town who was for the most part of its history part of Russia?

    Ex communist country here. Although we could have all the motives to hate the Russians we cannot overlook the policy of the West. The massive Islamizing of Europe show without any doubt that the Westerner leaders couldn’t care less for the wish of the people of the West as of the East as well.

    I’ve seen one of the young leaders of the Right Movement in Ukraine saying how they will liberate Europe from the Muslims. Right Sector Ukrainians don’t congratulate yourselves. Once the Ukraine problem will be solved by the Rockefellers you will be used as an ugly example to shown the world how bad the nationalism really is if letting loose “in the XXI century”, to retrospectively paraphrase them. Your case will be used in their ever increasing campaign of Islamizing the Europe so you contribute to that process in a negative way so to speak. Between the two evil one who is preserving at some extend its Orthodox roots and the other who is pushing an ever more increasing number of Muslims in Europe you should choose the lesser evil.

    • Rockerfeller assertions are so absurd…they’re laughable. But, firstly, I want to correct your history. Kharkiv has NEVER been Russian. It has always been Ukrainian. My Parents and all my ancestors for hundreds of years have lived in that region and they have always spoken Ukrainian and have always called themselves Ukrainian. I have letters and information from hundreds of years back. NEVER BEEN RUSSIAN….IT DIDN’T MATTER WHO SUBJEGATED IT …IT WAS AND ALWAYS WILL BE UKRAINIAN. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU RUSSIANS SAY OR DO….THEIR WILL ALWAYS BE UKRAINE!!!!!!WE We’LL RAISE OUR CHILDREN TO KNOW THEY ARE UKRAINIAN! no matter how you try to kill our culture or language or steal our greatest writers etc., they will always be ukrainian. so take that in your pipe and smoke it!!! we will continue to correct your lies.

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