August 29, 2015
Translated from Russian by Tom Winter
People’s Artist of Ukraine Nykolai Gnatiuk posted the following report on his facebook page:
“Here I am finally back home from Russia, where I stayed with relatives for more than 40 days. I covered the territory from Bryansk to the coast of the Krasnodar region. What can I, as a Ukrainian, share with the Russians, and Ukrainians?
I liked the Krasnodar region, clean everywhere, with the roads no worse than in Europe, the fields well-maintained, shops full of local products, service at a high level, a lot of well-off people, not to mention the houses (I haven’t seen such beauty in a long time (my Sums region is about 200 years behind), and what cars! Most importantly, I have not seen the Russian troop movements, though I had to travel day and night, and nobody in Russia says anything about the war with Ukraine. On the way I met a lot of cars with Ukrainian plates, and there’s a Ukrainian license plate on my car, too, but neither the police at their posts nor the FSB ever stopped me.
Up in the resorts of the Krasnodar Territory, I met other Ukrainians, and they confirm my words, that they are vacationing peacefully and nobody makes a deal about their being from Ukraine.
But yesterday I arrived in Sumy, and it was all stuff like this: Russia has attacked, Russia has invaded, there are Russian tanks, paratroopers and marine battalions; the Ukrainian APU has succeeded in repelling the attack of 100 tanks of the Kantemir Tank Brigade, and the brigade itself has been captured.
Call-ups, war? – what can I say? Cheap propaganda. Our MSM are deceiving the Ukrainian people. I can confidently say that in fomenting civil war in Ukraine, the media in Ukraine and the West are to blame…”
Our correspondent Sergey Shvedko, who for many years lived in the Ukraine, also decided to speak on the subject:
On reading this, I recalled on the spot the recent popular joke. “Ukraine has been waging war with Russia for a year. During this time the Ukrainian armed forces have lost six planes, a dozen helicopters, hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles, two thousand soldiers dead and seven thousand more injured. And what about Russia? Russia was not at war!”
I am convinced that the current situation in the “independence” has already gotten the attention of scientists: Dozens of books will be written on today’s phenomenon in the Ukrainian society, in which the authors actually will puzzle over the one really important question: how did it happen? How did millions of people go out of their mind almost overnight? As if in their heads the defense mechanism was shut off, you know, the one that causes us not to take delusions and fantastic messages on faith, but to question and analyze?
By what route did this virus penetrate the server of the collective consciousness of society, that erased its memory, and put in its place a falsified picture of the world?
After all, the residents of Ukraine believe in the tens of thousands of mythical Pskov commandos and combatants from the Buryats, who have invaded their country’s territory in order to destroy their budding young democracy with their bloody paws.
They believe in nonsense of the victory-shouters reporting how the heroic Ukrokids are mowing down the invaders right and left. They believe in the mobile crematoria, that they are supposed to be using on packs of war dead so that Russian society won’t be shocked by the actual war losses.
They rejoice at news of the starving Russian people resorting to catching and eating sea urchins, and that Dagestan will start a revolt in August that finally will bury the empire. With pleasure they hear the news of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine opening a criminal case against the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Federation for organizing the aggression.
In general, they have abandoned the real world, and stay in “The Matrix” given by the local media, the journalists who also are objects of ideological influence.
One Krasnodar colleague once told me, “Well, they can not all be fools there! I have many friends in Odessa and Kharkov – they are completely normal people.” I agree, but therein lies the beauty of manipulating public opinion, that someone being perfectly all right in his personal life, once falling into the social milieu, becomes totally different. As if they are locked inside the famous towers of the “Desert Island”, where the mind falls asleep and the monsters are born.
How long will such a twilight zone last? Hard to say. Probably until such time as the “towers” either give up their system or get destroyed. But the impression of the author stipulates the situation of an epiphany: to fall out of “The Matrix” you have to cross the border with Russia, as you begin to experience a real culture shock. It turns out that there are people who consider Ukrainians brothers, there aren’t millions of bloodthirsty aggressors with their “Iskander” at the ready; in the Krasnodar region, most roads are on the level of Europe, and the people here are, on average, better off even than in Odessa. And after such a “truth serum” you’d perceive quite differently those regular cries of underwater Buryat cavalrymen, that drink the blood of Ukrainian babies for breakfast.
In this regard, I have come to the same paradoxical conclusion: to treat this condition, love is necessary. Of course, I’m not talking about the Nazis of “Azov” but bout the plain relatives we all have there – person to person. Perhaps it is necessary to undertake a global campaign called “Invite a Ukrainian over.” Having been here, having seen with their own eyes, and given a break from the mud flow of information, the vast majority of them will forever leave the fields of this strange war, in which Russia has not appeared.