Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 17.04.2018
Genocide. “Never again” is the response of any moral human being. But the seeds of genocide are in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and civilized humanity is not stopping it.
Russia has a history of genocide against Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars. Since 2014, the Putin regime of state terror has the Crimean Tatars and many Ukrainians under its brutal authority. The precursors of a new genocide can be seen in the Russian occupation regime in Crimea and Donbas.
Russia has never undergone decommunization. The past crimes of Soviet terror from 1917 to 1991 have not been redeemed or even properly acknowledged by the Russian people or their leadership. Ukraine, by contrast, is undergoing radical decommunization as a result of the Revolution of Dignity of 2013-14. Ukraine and other civilized and democratic countries recognize the Holodomor of 1932-33 as a forced famine and genocide of the Ukrainian people. Russia is in denial. Ukraine and other civilized and democratic countries recognize the Deportation of the Crimean Tatars of 1944 as a crime against humanity. Russia is in denial. Russia is invading Ukraine, and since 2014 has occupied Crimea and part of Donbas. No other civilized and democratic country helps Ukraine liberate its territory and its people, and save them from what may come at the hands of the Putin regime of state terror.
The Stalin regime of state terror is guilty of mass murder and persecution in the Deportation of the Crimean Tatars and is guilty of genocide in the Holodomor-forced famine of the Ukrainian people. Putin admires Stalin and is rehabilitating the cult of Stalin in the Russian Federation. The Putin regime of state terror is preparing to repeat of the horrors of the past in Russian-invaded and occupied Ukraine.
“The Ten Stages of Genocide” were laid out by Gregory H. Stanton, Research Professor in Genocide Studies and Prevention, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University. Going over his 10 steps one can see the precursors to genocide taking shape in Russia-invaded and occupied Ukrainian Crimea and Ukrainian Donbas.
Classification: This is the separation between “us” and “them.” When the Russians invaded Crimea they proclaimed “Crimea is ours!” By “ours” they meant that Crimea belonged to Muscovy. Excluded and cast as “them” were the autochthonous people of the Crimean peninsula, the Crimean Tatars, and the Ukrainian nation of which Crimea is naturally a part. The part of Donbas that Russia invaded and occupied was called “Novorossiya” or “New Russia.” The Muscovy invaders projected an “us” as Russian-speakers and ethnic Russians, and they forced a conflict with Ukrainian-speakers and ethnic Ukrainians — an imposition of disharmony and violence on the peaceful inhabitants of eastern Ukraine.
Symbolization: In Crimea, the Russian invader-occupiers gave the name “terrorist” to the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, the representative body of the Crimean Tatars. In Donbas, the Russian invader-occupiers give denigrating names like “Ukrop” and “Kiev Nazis” and “Banderists” to Ukrainians who are loyal to their home and native land. In their English language hate propaganda, the Russian invaders write “Kiev” for Kyiv and “Donbass” for Donbas, deliberately choosing Russian transliterations over Ukrainian transliterations. This was the practice during the 1920 to 1991 Russian occupation of Ukraine. Shockingly, this language/symbolization precursor of genocide finds many adherents among the Western press.
Discrimination: In Crimea and in Donbas, the Russian invader-occupiers denied the captive population all of their rights as Ukrainian citizens and their rights under international humanitarian law. Muscovy Russians are privileged with full political rights and Ukrainian Russians, Crimean Tatars, and Ukrainians are deprived of those rights.
Dehumanization: Muscovy usurped the legacy of Kyivan Rus’ to call itself “Russia” and its people named themselves “Great Russians.” Ukrainians were called “Little Russians” in the centuries of Muscovy occupation. The Putin regime of state terror in Muscovy today regards Ukraine as “not a real country.” Its people, the Ukrainians, are not sovereign in the sense that Russians in the so-called Russian Federation are sovereign. Muscovy Russians are essentially ‘great’ and deserving of mastery; Ukrainians are denigrated and deserving of subjection. This is the dehumanizing mindset of the occupation regime in temporarily Russian-administered Crimea and Donbas.
Organization: Aggressor Russia is not well-organized as a functioning state, but it is highly-organized as a crime syndicate and as a intelligence/security services apparatus. The crime syndicate aspect of Muscovy is stealing coal and stealing factories out of Donbas, and selling to war profiteers in western Europe. This is just like during the Holodomor, when Muscovy stole grain from starving Ukrainians and sold it for a profit to Westerners. The intelligence/security services apparatus of Muscovy is cracking down on the demonized “them” which are the Crimean Tatars and loyalists to Ukraine.
Polarization: Russia aggressively funds and supports extreme-right and extreme-left political groups everywhere in Europe. Russia supports the cause of separatism everywhere in the world except Russia itself – the Putin regime backed Scotland to leave the United Kingdom, backed Catalonia to leave Spain, backed the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. In Ukraine, Russia backs the idea that there is a division between the “Russian-speaking east” and the “Ukrainian-speaking west” that ignores reality completely but which is picked up by Useful Idiot academics at Western universities. With elaborate TV and Internet hate propaganda, Russia is very adept at the “zombiefication” of the Russian domestic population. A few years ago, Ukrainians were “brother Slavs” – now Ukrainians are “Enemy Number 1” to most Russians.
Preparation: Muscovy uses tactics like “passportization” on the captive population. Ukrainians in Crimea are deprived of their Ukrainian citizenship and have Russian passports forced upon them. Ukrainians in Donbas are deprived of their Ukrainian citizenship and have ersatz passports of the fake “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic” given to them. Anyone not enthusiastically embracing the foreign occupation is branded a “terrorist.” Political dissent is treated in (illegitimate) courts of justice as a criminal offence.
Persecution: The persecution of the Crimean Tatars and of Ukrainian activists and patriots by the Putin regime invader-occupiers has been appalling, and on a scale not seen since the time of the Stalin regime invader-occupiers. Basic human rights are being systematically abused by the Russian de-facto administration, with extrajudicial killings, torture, forced conscription, rendition of prisoners to a foreign country (the Russian Federation), and other crimes against humanity.
Extermination: Russia’s invasion and partial occupation of Ukraine has not yet reached the stage of systematic extermination of the Ukrainian or Crimean Tatar people.
Denial: Denial is the predominant feature of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia denies Russian soldiers, calling them “little green men” or “pro-Russian separatists.” Russia denies it shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, despite overwhelming evidence that it did. Russia denies that Russian soldiers are being killed in battle in Donbas, and have been for three and a half years. Russia denies that Crimea is the homeland of the Crimean Tatar people. Russia denies that Ukrainians have the right to choose their own politics, their own alliances, and their own destiny. Russia denies international law, and the complete illegitimacy of its occupation of Crimea and part of Donbas.
Russia is proud to claim to be the successor state of the Soviet Union. Russia takes on no shame for the Holodomor or for the Deportation of the Crimean Tatars. With a history of committing one of the worst genocides in human history and with no remorse whatsoever, Russia is likely to commit genocide again in Ukraine. Russia is already committing crimes against humanity in Crimea and Donbas. It will get much worse if civilized humanity does not do its duty and stop Putin.