Putin: Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians are one

The Kremlin has published a long historical article in Russian and Ukrainian in which Putin evokes the common roots of Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians in the 'Ancient Rus' and portrays any division of this great people into several states as an accident of history. He fiercely opposes the positioning of Ukraine, supported by the West, as an antipole to Moscow.

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Ria Nowosti (RU) /

Manifesto against an anti-Russia

The state news agency Ria Novosti approves of Putin's clear language:

“Bearing in mind the status of the author, this is nothing short of a manifesto. ... In it, important principles are declared for our people: the unity of the people and the responsibility for its future, including Russia's responsibility for Ukraine. No, Putin is not declaring that Russia wants to liquidate the Ukrainian state. ... But he is openly saying that if the Ukrainian leadership, in its 'position of a voluntary hostage to foreign geopolitical will', sets out to become an 'anti-Russia', it must understand that Russia will never come to terms with its existence.”

24tv.ua (UA) /

Thinly veiled expansionist ambitions

For political analyst Volodymyr Fessenko, the article is full of imperial posturing. He writes on 24tv.ua:

“True, Putin is generous with terms like friendship, respect and brotherly feelings for Ukraine. But behind this verbal tinsel hides the beastly grin of Russian imperialism. There is the thesis of a 'unified great nation and a triune people' and the rejection of the modern borders of the post-Soviet countries that emerged after the division of the Soviet Union. All this can be used to justify Russia's territorial expansion at the expense of its neighbours, including Ukraine. We already saw this in 2014 [with Crimea].”

Echo Moskwy (RU) /

Professor Putin's definitive version of our past

In a Facebook post republished by Echo of Moscow, Kirill Martynov, political editor at Novaya Gazeta, is horrified by the historical image the article conveys:

“The text is bad, but it explains a number of simple mechanisms in the minds of the 'Russian elite' that have brought us to the current shameful point in history. In terms of genre, it's a blend of a college exposé and a Youtube video about why we are the greatest and what the 'patriotic history of Russia' looks like. The text says nothing special, but unfortunately it will now be quoted as the definitive truth in the history books of hapless Russian students. Putin has become our historian-in-chief, other historians can take a bow and be on their way.”