Was there a threat of fascism in Ukraine before Russia invaded it?

Formally, the reason for the entry of the Russian army into Ukraine, as Putin states, was the protection of Russian and Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine from the nationalist and chauvinistic leadership of the country.

In fact, this reason is made up and does not stand up to any criticism. Nationalist sentiments are indeed present in Ukraine, but there are no more of them than in Kazakhstan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and in Russia itself, too. In almost every country in the world there are representatives of an indigenous ethnic group who promote the development of their nationality. But the red line separating nationalists from chauvinists is their attitude not to their own ethnic group, but to other ethnic groups. When a nationalist from Ukraine or Kazakhstan develops his native language and demands that he be served in his country in the state language, this is nationalism. Russian Russians are not allowed to speak to each other in Russian, but when a Ukrainian or a Kazakh forbids anyone to speak Russian among themselves, expels a Russian from the country and considers his nationality higher than Russian, then this is chauvinism.

So, in 2014, there were no more real chauvinists in Ukraine than in any other neighboring country.

What Russia calls a chauvinistic and fascist regime in Ukraine is actually national patriotism, which means the development of Ukrainian identity and getting out from under Russian influence.

Unfortunately, Kremlin propaganda has been able to impress upon most Russians that any distance from Russian culture and the desire to get out of Moscow’s control is nationalism in the worst sense of the word, and even chauvinism and fascism.

All the stories about the oppression of Russians in Ukraine in 2014 were nothing more than propaganda and lies. And the victims of Ukraine’s confrontation with the separatists were largely provoked by Russia itself, including the Odessa events and military actions in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Indeed, Ukraine used military force against Luhansk and Donetsk regions after they declared independence. But these are legitimate actions of the government aimed at preserving the integrity of the state. Similarly, Russia once used military force against the Chechen Republic when it tried to declare its independence. At the same time, the brutality of Russian soldiers in Chechnya is incomparable with the actions of the Ukrainian military in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

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