“I believe it is senseless and fatal for Ukraine to break away from Russia”–Skoropadskiy

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 Hetman Pavel Petrovich Skoropadskiy

2/8/2015

Ukrainian Hetman about Galicia: “When both Russian andUkrainian culture develop freely, we can flourish.”

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

Pavel Skoropadskiy was a former general of the Russian Army,
and the Hetman of Ukraine in 1918. In his memoirs, he describes the events
between December 1917 until the end of 1918 from the position of a moderate
conservative.

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He called on the Ukrainian culture to develop in unity with
Russian culture. He viewed Galician separatism very negatively.

“The narrow Ukrainianness is a product that was brought to
us only from Galicia, whose culture it is senseless to transplant here: there
are no chances for its success, and it would be a crime because, come to think
of it, there is no culture in Galicia. Galicians live on scraps from the German
and Polish table. Even their language reflects it, since for every five words,
four are of Polish and German origin…”

“Great Russians and our Ukrainians have jointly created
Russian science, Russian literature, music and art, and to deny all that is
great and good so that we can adopt that poverty of ideas which is kindly
offered to us by the Galicians is both funny and unthinkable…”

“One cannot say that Shevchenko did not love Ukraine, so would
any Galicians or some other contemporary Ukrainian chauvinists, honestly say
that, if he were alive today, he would have himself off from Russian culture,
from Pushkin, Gogol, and others, and acknowledged only the Galician culture?
There is no doubt that he could not and would not have denied Russian culture,
or wanted Ukrainians to deny it.

“But at the same time he would have worked on developing his
own, Ukrainian, if the conditions permitted it. Therefore I believe it
necessary that children speak the same language at home and in school, the
language they had learned from their mothers, that they know the history of
their Ukraine, its geography. Just as I believe that Ukrainians ought to work
on creating their own culture, I believe that it is senseless and fatal for
Ukraine to break away from Russia, especially in the cultural sense. When both
the Russian and Ukrainian culture are freely developing we can flourish, but if
we cut ourselves off from the Russian culture we will be only raw material for
other nations, and will never reach greatness.”

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