Linguistics It’s like geography.It can also be used to wage war.It is used to wage war against people who believe individual identity can only be achieved through language. Putin sees citizens as his enemies. Russian-speaking Ukrainians were Russians long before they were Ukrainians.This is Linguistics at its worst. It assumes that an individual exists solely because of his ethnicity. This isn’t about racism biologically, but about an ethnic ideology.
So, a cultural and identity war develops between Moscow and Kiev whose roots date back to 1991 was the year of Ukraine’s independence. Ukraine passed laws encouraging the use of Ukrainian to defend its sovereignty against Russia, its powerful neighbor.
Russia’s logic would dictate that Russia should integrate other Russian-speaking European regions into its territory. Moldova is at the front line, and a portion of its territory has been occupied. The separatists of Transnistria.A large Russian-speaking minority also exists in Latvia. It is currently quiet, but it would not be difficult to find people who are willing to help Putin.
Jusqu’à 1917, when the Russian tsarist Empire was overthrown by the Soviet Union, Russian and Polish had control over the areas where Russian, Ukrainian, or Belarusian was spoken.. Russian was made the official language of government, military and education by the Tsarist Russia. The Soviet state made Russian compulsory in all Soviet schools in 1938. Russian was to be the dominant language for the Soviet bloc’s citizens.
They could choose to adopt the culture of their new homelands where Russian was no longer an official language or move to Russia. This would allow them to maintain their status.
Two distinct groups were thus referred to as Russian-speaking people by the term. The first is ethnic Russians, which by extension includes ethnic Slavs. But it also includes Jews, Germans and Greeks. The second group is made up of people who are from dominant ethnic groups, such as Azerbaijanis and Kyrgyz. They speak Russian as their mother language, and tend to ignore references to religious revivals experienced by others. . Today’s Russia is made up of Russian-speaking communities who reside in the United States. Estonia, Latvia. Lithuania. Belarus. Ukraine. Moldova. Azerbaijan. Kazakhstan. Kyrgyzstan. Tajikistan. (Armenia and Georgia now have small Russian-speaking communities, numbering between 12 and 16 millions people.
Putin is strategically utilizing this large group Russian-speakers for many reasons. First, Russia is a vastly empty countryA declining population is due to low living standards and brain drain.
Second, Russia is dependent on Russian-speakers who are generally Russia-produced media can be consumedTo represent their interests in different countries and to establish local pressure groups that promote Russian business interests and politics. Third, Moscow uses these communities to its advantage when it opposes foreign or local governments. It does this by playing the cards of allegedly disenfranchised minority. This is done in order to undermine the European Union by the Russian-speaking Baltic States. This excuse is used to support Transnistria, which was later used by Moscow as a justification to occupy the Crimean peninsula and parts of the Lugansk-Donetsk regions and, more recently, the entire Ukraine.
Nowadays, Moscow manipulates the complex and diverse notions of Russian-speakers in order to deny their specific identities: Even though many Ukrainians speak Russian as their first language, or are bilingual, they don’t identify as Russians. Moscow claims that it defends them. In reality, when the Russian Army bombs Kharkiv, in northern Ukraine it does so both to Russian-speakers and ethnic Russians. Cruel demonstration that the language issue is a pretext. TO PutinHe does not care about the fates of Russian-speakers within Ukraine. It is all about retaking the whole territory of Ukraine and, most importantly, stopping the spread Russia’s democratic system could be threatening its political survival.
*Frédéric Mertens de Wilmars is professor and coordinator of the Degree in International Relations European University of Valencia