This article originally appeared on Ukraina.ru

Ukrainian classical literature is full of descriptions of suffering, servitude, existential sadness. Ukrainian classics, trying to emphasize the poor life of the people in the empire, painted a dark kingdom in the best traditions of Russian literature, and their readers dreamed about Ukraine as a progressive, “free, new family”.

To convince people of how good everything is now, it is necessary to tell what used to be completely unbearable. And this “unbearable” is closely connected with the everything Russian-Soviet-Muscovian. Ukrainian nationalism is not a dream of a better future, but suffering because of a sad past. Here, ancient Kiev is ruined by the Muscovites of Andrei Bogolyubsky, and the enslavement of freedom-loving Cossacks, of course, the Holodomor-genocide, the suffering of Bandera followers in Stalin’s camps and so on.

The facts that during the time of Bogolyubsky there were almost no Muscovites (Moscow was tiny), the Cossacks were enslaved primarily by the Cossack foreman, the famine of 1933-34 was not the extermination of a single ethnic group, and the suffering of the killers is much less than that of their victims are not taken into account. Hatred as a conditioned reflex must be developed by any means, and then it will do its job.

Words like “Muscovites”, “separs” (short for separatists), “vatniki” (a sort of Russian rednecks), “scoops” today are not regarded as abusive language, but belong to the professional terminology of civilized-looking national people.

Neither literary norms nor God’s temples save from dirty words and thoughts.

“They say that they are Orthodox, and at the same time they go to a church, which … does not practice religion, but is engaged in propaganda of the Russian world. They do not have the right to do this”, says Kiev city council deputy Igor Miroshnichenko about the parishioners of the Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. “The state should ban the Russian church as a propaganda organization that works in favor of Russia. The UOC-MP is made propagandists who pollute the minds of Ukrainians, it is not a canonical organization.”

A man known for domestic terror against his ex-wife is sitting and demanding that the country’s largest religious organization be banned. And in a television interview with the KRT television channel, an ordinary girl (who, according to her, is not a “practicing Orthodox”) states that “the tomos is a chance for the Ukrainian state to have a church independent of Russia.” A conditioned reflex is in action, developed over many years of propaganda and the belief that she is certainly on the right side with the nationalist deputy Miroshnichenko.

“Non-practicing Orthodox” fight for the “independence” of Ukrainian Orthodoxy, the history of the fatherland is written consciously mixing Galicia and Galilee, the world around is transformed by those who hate creation.

“I watched an advertisement for a Kiev cottage complex with a claim to elitism,” says the journalist Andrei Manchuk. “Buyers are offered ‘duplexes for real Ukrainians, protection from the virus of the Russian world, with allocated pieces of land for two vatnik slaves.’ But the main thing is that the owners promise to conduct a political interview for all potential residents with questions about the Crimea and Putin. So that there won’t be any unreliable dissidents. What a country, such a dystopia.”

However, it is a big mistake to assume that hatred cultivated everywhere does not affect its generators. Yes, in Ukraine it is possible to attack dissidents with impunity, undermine and set fire to the offices of opposition parties (for example, the Opposition Block for Live or the party of Shariy), to kill undesirable journalists, but endless hatred is steadily corroding the very foundations of civilized coexistence.

Every day, the Ukrainian criminal chronicle gives examples of terrible crimes, and we are talking about not the now usual pogroms at memorials or stabbings. So in Kharkov you have a “ATO veteran” eating up a random drinking companion, then in the Zhytomyr region seven “twin brothers” were shot and killed by a pool tenant, then a sixteen-year-old teenager killed a former Aidar man in Vyshgorod, then two police officers were subjected to brutal torture and rape of a girl in Kagarlyk (one of them also “ATO hero” from the Lviv region).

This is only a small part of the high-profile crimes reported by the Ukrainian press over the past month.

Theft on a Homeric scale, persecution of dissidents, the sale of the homeland are in a natural alliance with the pogroms of temples, moral decay, serial killings. Instead of serving the original purpose of cementing the society, hatred turns it into dust – and this is the most important lesson of Ukraine for Russia.

It is very easy to slip into hatred in the heat of political controversy, and from there to deny the human right to have one’s own opinion. When we see, for now virtual but already rabid, fights between the Russian “whites” and “reds”, “nationalists” and “cosmopolitans”, “liberals” and “patriots”, we are involuntarily drawn into Ukrainian discourse. Many people remember how the mutual bitterness ended in 1991 and in 1993.

Wrap yourself in anger – Ukraine is round the corner.

Konstantin Kevorkyan