July 30, 2014

Reanimation of Novorossia as Manifestation of the Kremlin's Imperial Syndrome

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Oleksiy Volovych

Part 1

Moscow strategists and pro-imperial fifth column in Ukraine’s innuendoes and speculations around the “Russian Crimea” and so-called “Novorossia” (“New Russia”) do not die off since the first days of independence of our country. Defiantly falsifying well-known historical facts, pro-Kremlin ideologues state that “Novorossia” and the Crimea are “native Russian lands”, allegedly wrongly included into Ukraine in 1919.

Speaking April 17 at live broadcast nationwide phone-in, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the south-eastern Ukraine “Novorossia”: “Using Tsarist terminology, I want to say that this is not Ukraine, it is “Novorossia”. Here is Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Odesa — they in Tsarist times were not part of Ukraine, but were given to it later. Why this was done, I do not know”[1].

 May 24 “PRL” and “PRD” signed an agreement on establishment of the “Federal Republic of “Novorossia”

May 24 “PRL” and “PRD” signed an agreement on establishment of the “Federal Republic of “Novorossia”

May 24 “PRL” and “PRD” signed an agreement on establishment of the “Federal Republic of “Novorossia”, which, according to their plans, has to include 8 regions of Ukraine — Kharkov, Luhansk, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, Mykolaiv, Kherson and Odesa. This “document” was made after the Congress of “people's representatives” of quasi-states, organized by the head of the movement “South-East” Oleg Tsaryov.

A textbook on the history of “Novorossia”
A textbook on the history of “Novorossia”

July 2 in Moscow was held a “round table”, dedicated to the development of a textbook on the history of “Novorossia”. The event was attended by several representatives of separatists, the ex-People's Deputy O. Tsaryov, editor of the newspaper “Zavtra” (“Tomorrow”) Black-Hundreder A. Prokhanov, General L. Ivashov, “atheist Stalinist” A. Wasserman, Director of the Institute of CIS K. Zatulin, “theorist of the Anglo-Saxon conspiracy” N. Starikov and a Kyiv journalist-Ukrainophobe A. Chalenko, who “ran away” from “Banderites” to Moscow. This Ukrainophobe company tried to define the “ideology of Novorossia”, to discuss the formation of identity and the “system of values” of its residents. According to the representative of the “Novorossia's People's Front” A. Zinchenko, the ideology of the textbook will be defined first of all by belonging to the “Russian world”.

О. Царёв A. Prokhanov L. Ivashov
O. Tsaryov A. Prokhanov  L. Ivashov
A. Wasserman K.  Zatulin N. Starikov
A. Wasserman K.  Zatulin N. Starikov
A. Chalenko
A. Chalenko
Participants of the "round table" dedicated to the development of a textbook on the history of “Novorossia”

Here's how perceives “Novorossia” the above-mentioned ardent Ukraine-hater A. Wasserman, “I have Ukrainian citizenship and actually was born in Odesa — the capital of Novorossia. Ukraine occupied Novorossia in 1918 and I have not forgiven them for this occupation and am not going to ever forgive”[2]. The “great” erudite and hero of brain-rings Wasserman should have known that by that time (1918) “Novorossia” had no longer existed for over 100 years. If we analyze all that Wasserman writes about Ukraine, he should have been deprived of Ukrainian citizenship long ago.





Migration of foreigners to the territory of Ukraine began in the days of Tsarina Yelizaveta. Thus, in 1752 around Novomyrhorod (currently Kirovohrad region) to the lands inhabited by Ukrainian peasants and Cossacks, were resettled Serbs, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Wallachs and Moldavians. Often between new settlers and Ukrainian Cossacks there were misunderstandings and conflicts, but on the side of the colonists was the imperial power. In 1753 Serbs were settled in the lands of the Sich and southern Hetmanate on the right bank of the Siverskyi Donets, where was formed Slovyanoserbiya, bordering on lands of the Don Cossacks. The border between Zaporizhyzhya and Don Cossacks was established by the Empress Yelizaveta's Decree back in 1746.


Yekaterina II
Yekaterina II

In 1762-1763 Yekaterina II issued two manifestoes on foreign colonization of Southern Ukraine and relocation to its territory of Russians, Serbs, Bulgarians, Moldavians, Germans and other nationalities. Yekaterina II decided to dissolve the Ukrainian ethnicity among other ethnic groups, to deprive Ukrainians of their national characteristics and identity and, ultimately, to Russify (Russianize) them completely. These settlements were guarded by Russian troops, whose number exceeded the number of new settlers. Against the Russian expansion, Cossacks matched effective economic development of the region, underpinned by force methods of extrusion of uninvited, supported by the tsarist government colonists.

Novorossia Governorate (province) in southern Ukraine had arisen on Cossack and Tatar lands twice: in 1764-1783 with the center in Kremenchug, and in 1796-1802 with the center in Novorossiysk (later Yekaterinoslav, now-Dnipropetrovsk). At the beginning of the 19th century it was divided into three — Ekaterinoslav, Kherson and Tauride governorates. Kherson province (the largest) included the now Kherson, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk and Kirovohrad regions of Ukraine and Trans-Dniester. After another Russian-Turkish war (1806-1812) in 1822 was established Novorossiysk and Bessarabian governorate-general, which lasted until 1874 and consisted of the three above-mentioned provinces. The term “Novorossia” went on being used as a place name for some time. And now Putin and his environment are trying to fill this old toponym with new political content, taking it as a basis for annexation of south-eastern regions of Ukraine.


Is “Novorossia”an “ancestral Russian land”?

The Novorossia Governorate

The Novorossia Governorate

At the turn of the 15th-16th centuries Ukrainian Cossacks began to gradually colonize the Black Sea steppes, simultaneously pushing off Muslim neighbors. This allowed the Ukrainian population to get access to the Black and Azov Seas, a huge area from the Kuban to the lower reaches of the Danube. In the 1690s Hetman Mazepa's Cossack regiments seized Turkish fortresses on the Dnieper, and founded in their place the current Kakhovka and Beryslav. At the beginning of the 18th century Ukrainian Cossacks and peasants had been already dominating in the development of this region and finally made ​​it a part of the Ukrainian ethnic territory, where there appeared a dense network of Zaporizhzhya winterings, palankas, settlements and towns. Attempts to force the Ukrainian population leave or to assimilate it to Russian in tsarist times did not succeed. Thus, in 1851 as part of more than one million population of Kherson province, Ukrainians made 70%, while “Velykorossians” (“Great Russians”) — only 3%. By the middle of the nineteenth century in Kherson and Ekaterinoslav provinces Ukrainians constituted 73.5%. Following the results of the Russian census of 1897 in the Russian Empire at that time 85% of inhabitants of “Novorossia” were Ukrainians. In the second half of the 19th century the number of immigrants from Ukrainian provinces to “Novorossia” was the greatest.

The Tauride Governorate

The Tauride Governorate

At the end of the 19th century the territory of the Crimea along with the southern part of the current Kherson region was part of the Tauride Governorate (province), which existed from 1802 to 1821. According to the 1897 census, in “uyezds” (districts) of Tauride province, the Ukrainian language was the most common (42.2%), Russian was in the second place (27.9%) and Tatar — in the third place (13.6%). However, among the urban population of Tauride province the most widely spread was the Russian language (49%), followed by Tatar (17.2%), Yiddish (11.8%) and Ukrainian (10.4%)[3].

In 1794, Russians in the Right-Bank Ukraine accounted for only 0.1%, in the Left-Bank Ukraine — 5.2%, in Novorossia and Tauride — 19%. In the second half of the 19th century, the population of Donetsk region, at the expense of Russian immigrants, was growing 5 times faster than in other regions of the Russian empire. According to the 1897 census, on the Ukrainian ethnographic territory there lived 3.8 million Russians, representing 11.7% of the 27.8 million total population. According to the 1926 census, on the territory of the USSR there lived 4.2 million Russians (12.1% of the total population), and in 1939 — 2.7 million (9.2%). According to the 2001 census, in Ukraine there lived 37.5 million Ukrainians and 8.3 million Russians, respectively, 77.8% and 17.3%. In 2001, the part of ethnic Russians was as follows: in Donetsk region — 38.2%, in Luhansk region- 39.0%, in Kharkiv region- 25.6%, in Zaporizhzhya region — 24.7%, in Dnipropetrovsk region — 17.6%, in Kherson region- 14.1%, in Mykolaiv region- 14.1% and in Odesa region- 20.7%.

Ukrainians and Tatars — descendants ofcommon ancestors

According to Greek historians — Homer (8th century BC), Aristaeus (7th century BC), Hecataeus (6th century BC), Herodotus (5th century BC), the Crimean peninsula was inhabited by Taurs or Taurideans that originally by their customs and peculiarities of construction and arrangement of housing, culture, beliefs and graves were related to the ancient-Ukrainian population of the mainland around the Dnieper. The Roman geographer Pliny the Elder in his “Natural History” (77 AD) writes about Taurs, as ancient people of the Crimea. The Roman historian Tacitus (55-120 BC) wrote about Ants (ancient Ukrainians) and Taurs as one people. Taurs adopted the name “Rusans” back in the days of the first Kyiv princes Askold and Dir.

Crimean Tatars emerged as a nation in the Crimea during the Crimean Khanate (1441-1783) and are descendants of various ethnic groups that at different times inhabited the Crimea — Taurs, Scythians, Sarmats, Alans, Ants, Cimmerians, Huns, Goths, Khazars, Pechenegs, Cherkessans, Turks, Romans, ancient Bulgarians, Mongol-Tatars, Oghuzes, Kipchaks, Karluks, Ugrics, Italians and Greeks. Actually Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars have common ancestors, in particular, Taurs[4].

In the second half of the 17th century, ethnic Ukrainians made up the majority of the population of the Crimea. According to the census of 1666-1667, in the Crimean Khanate there lived 187 thousand Tatars, 20 thousand Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Karaims and 920 thousand Ukrainian slaves, most of whom had been so much adapted to life among the Tatars that they did not want to return to Ukraine. For example, in 1675 during a campaign against the Crimea, Kosh Ataman (leader) I. Sirko brought out 7 thousand Ukrainian prisoners from there. When asked if any of them wanted to stay in the Crimea, about 3 thousand people answered affirmatively. They explained that in the Crimea they already had families and houses, while in Ukraine they had nothing left.

After the annexation of the Crimea by V. Putin Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars have united in the struggle against the invaders for the liberation of the Crimea

After the annexation of the Crimea by V. Putin Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars have united in the struggle against the invaders for the liberation of the Crimea

By the middle of the 18th century Zaporizhzhyan Cossacks had already established their settlements even in the Crimea near Bakhchysarai, Yalta and Feodosia. Numerous are examples of individual interaction between Cossacks and Tatars not only in military campaigns, but in short periods of peace. When in 1675 in Tatar steppes there occurred draught, Ataman I. Sirko allowed Tatars to graze cattle on the lands of Zaporizhzhya. To Hetman I. Samoilovych's reproaches about concessions to Tatars, Ataman I. Sirko replied,”... When we and Tatars live as good neighbors and help each other, it does not seem strange to a wise man”. Hetman Pylyp Orlyk's Constitution of 1710 refers to “laws of close neighborhood, inextricably linking the fate of the Cossack people to the Crimean state.” And today, after the annexation of the Crimea by V. Putin, Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, victims of the imperial tyranny, have united in the struggle against the invaders for the liberation of the Crimea.

To be continued…

[1] Putin called the South-East of Ukraine as Novorossia // http://112.ua/politika/putin-nazval-yugo-vostok-ukrainy-novorossiey-50819.html

[2] Wasserman: "There is no Ukraine and there never was!"  // http://www.chornomorka.com/node/1257 //    http://politikan.com.ua/2/0/0/13350.htm

[3] Gawa A. History of New Russia and its ethnic composition in the XIX century//   http://www.istpravda.com.ua/articles/2014/05/7/142762/

[4] Ukrainians - indigenous people of Crimea//  http://ukrlife.org/main/mindyuk.html