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Ukraine Parliament – The Best Absurdist Comedy Since Monty Python

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If we sometimes think that the Ukrainian politicians have already exhausted their treasury of the wonderful things with which to amaze the world, I’m afraid that’s not correct.

To confess, when PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk was talking about his wet dream to have Russia expelled from the UN or, at the very least, from its Security Council, I thought that was the highest of what’s humanly possible and nothing more marvelous could ever come from Kiev. Little did I know!

Since then there has been an eruption of the most breathtaking legislative and other ideas from the parliamentary Radical Party.

-Its leadership has finally discovered an effective way to fight hostile propaganda that’s simple as pie and life. And absolutely European in form and essence, too. Look, you organize a special police squad and give them the task of sawing off (their words) satellite dishes on apartment buildings. Basta! That does it. From now on, nobody is being brainwashed by the Kremlin! The proposal to that effect is already being discussed with the Minister of Interior.

A huge injustice, at that, would be to forget that the leader of the Radical party, Oleg Lyasko, has already a solid record of fighting Russian propaganda and promoting democracy in mass media.

In March 2014, with a group of his followers, including a vice- chairman of the Verkhovnaya Rada committee on the freedom of speech (that probably explains the whole story) he burst into the premises of a national TV channel, beat the crap out of its director and made him write a letter of resignation.

The bastard was guilty of translating a few videos and TV series from Russia. He also thought (that’s how he tried to explain himself) that “people have a right to know what’s going on”. Serves him right, it does.

But coming back to the idea of destroying the satellite dishes. It’s most timely of course, but not sufficient, I’m afraid. Because people also use the internet and this fact, again, begs for another, and much more powerful, police squad locating those who visit hostile sites and taking away their computers. Now, what about telephone and post services? Gosh, so much work ahead! Listen, if I were in Verkhovnaya Rada, I’d simply ban everything.

Speaking of bans, our readers already know about a bill introduced into the Ukrainian Parliament which demands to legally ban any mention of the word “Russia” in Ukraine.

The big idea is this. According to its author, Oksana Korchinskaya from the Radical party again, originally the word belonged to Ukraine, because it’s on the Dnieper bank that the state under the name of Kievan Rus existed from times immemorial and the word was even registered in an ancient chronicle.

That’s where I had a thought that the lady PM knows her history, because any history textbook for secondary schools, either in Ukraine or Russia or in many other countries, says exactly the same. Now, with time, she’s reasoning, the word was misappropriated by the Russians and the present linguistic situation is kind of humiliating to the history-sensitive Ukrainians.

And that’s where I had several thoughts all at once. First and foremost, historically the Russians are not to be blamed for living in a country called Russia. Up to the 17th century, they had lived in a country called Moscowy, thinking little and caring less about inventing or borrowing any other name for their land.

Interestingly, even today the traditional Ukrainian argo acknowledges this Moscow-centered identification of the Russians, calling them, with a negative connotation, the moscali, i.e. the Muscovites. What’s still more interesting, the same moscali is also found both in Belarussian and Polish argos.

So, where did “Russia” come from? Clear as day, the word is of Western origin. Just compare its “… ia” suffix with that of, say, Britannia, Venetia, Austria, Prussia, even Australia, etc., etc. Some historians believe it came from Byzantium; as for me, I tend to think it was Rome, but Constantinople or Vatican, the fact is that the Muscovites had nothing to do with it.

What’s also known for a fact is that this “Russia” was adopted by Moscow rather late – in the second half of the 17th century, soon to become, under Peter the First, the Russian Empire.

Now, Oksana Korchinskaya wants to ban “Russia” in just almost everything, including public statements, media, books, etc. The violators of the law, should they pass it in the Parliament, might face up to 12 years in prison. The only way to refer to…(gosh, how should I call it now?)… to refer to the country where the moscali live would be the official “the Russian Federation”. Because “the Russian Federation” is quite another matter, if you don’t feel this difference between “Russia” and “Russian”.

What I am thinking now is that “Belorussia” (or Belarus) also sounds suspiciously, as if it was appropriated from the Kievan Rus. Are they going to ban it, too? What do you think?