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Andrey Kurkov: Practically, Putin was working hard to consolidate Ukrainian nation and he achieved what he didn't want, because Ukrainian nation is ready to defend itself

Andrei Kurkov
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Andrey Kurkov is one of the most important contemporary Ukrainian writers. He writes in Russian, but has been described as an "enemy of Russian culture." In an interview with Veridica, Andrey Kurkov spoke about Russia's return to the monarchy under "Tsar" Vladimir Putin, the decoupling - at least temporarily - from Russian culture, but also about Moscow's war against his country.

I am denounced as an enemy of Russian culture

VERIDICA: Andrey Kurkov, you were born in Leningrad, grew up in Kiev, and you live now both in Kiev and London. You are Ukraine’s best selling author. You change your location twice since Russia invaded Ukraine after receiving information that you are on a wanted list because of your outspoken criticism of President Vladimir Putin. Will you go back from Bucharest to Kiev with your family, your wife and three children?

ANDREY KURKOV: Well, first of all, I don't know exactly whether I am on the wanted list or not, but I'm sure the whole of Ukrainian culture is in danger and on the wanted list, because two years ago there was an attempt to kidnap Ukrainian cult poet Serhii Jadan in Minsk. We are now in Transcarpathia region, near Ujgorod, with my wife and my eldest son and I would like to go to Kiev because many people are coming back to Kiev. But from Kiev you cannot travel abroad now and I am traveling to take part in the conferences and in the events dedicated to Ukraine. So I will probably stay in western Ukraine for now.

VERIDICA: But this information is real about the wanted list? We know some other major writers, Russian also, that are afraid for their life. Garry Kasparov also. So is this real?

ANDREY KURKOV: I don't know. I haven't seen the list. So I cannot say. I know that I am denounced as an enemy of Russian culture. They were articles against me and my books in Russian press. And my books are not on sale anymore and not published in Russia. First time they were banned in 2005. Then, from 2008, no more new editions. And from 2014 it is illegal to bring my books for sale from Ukraine to Russia. So I am not on the welcome list. But I mean, in journalism you have to produce facts. So I don't have this list in my hands. I cannot say I know that I am not a very welcome person and probably in danger, but that's all I can say.

Russia is back to the monarchy. They love their tsar, Vladimir Putin, and they will stay with him

VERIDICA: But till 2005, they considered you a Russian writer or a Ukrainian writer?

ANDREY KURKOV: Well, in Russia they were considering me a Russian writer and even a little star. And in one of the interviews they said that, no, he is Russian writer. And everybody who writes in Russian is a Russian writer. But afterwards there was some kind of change. And some Russian intellectuals agreed that Russian language literature is not necessarily Russian literature and I belong to Russian language literature of Ukraine. There are Russian language writers in Switzerland, Mikhail Shishkin, or in New York or in Israel. So Russian language became lingua franca, like French and English. And the history of Russian language reminds me the history of Francophonie, of French language culture.

VERIDICA: And what happened in 2005?

ANDREY KURKOV: Well, the Orange Revolution happened and first time actually, Ukraine showed that Ukraine doesn't want to live according to the Russian matrix of political and social life. I should say that Russians and Ukrainians are very different, not the same people as Putin says, that's for sure, because they have two different mentalities. Russians are collective. They are used to the monarchy. In fact, the Soviet Union was a communist monarchy because every general secretary of the Communist Party worked as a general secretary until his death, except for Ukrainian Nikita Khrushchev, who was dismissed. And now, Russia is back to the monarchy. They love their tsar, Vladimir Putin, and they will stay with him and defend him and he will talk on behalf of Russian nation. Ukrainians are individualists and also natural anarchists, because in 15th-17th centuries Ukraine was independent territory with no monarchy, no royal family, no aristocracy. But they had elections. The hetman was the head of the state and of the army and he was elected. He was not appointed or put in place by some other forces. So Ukrainians are used to elect whom they will hate later. The best example of Ukrainian individualism is the fact that Ukraine has more than 400 political parties registered in the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. So we never had the same party rule in the country. Every party which comes with the president disappears after the president is gone. And people don't remember these political parties, but they were forces, important forces in politics for three, four years, like Yanukovych's Party of Regions, which is from Donbas. Nobody thinks about this party anymore, Yanukovych is in Moscow, the party is gone.

VERIDICA: But this is democracy. Putin is afraid of that kind of democracy. He's afraid that the Russians will look at Ukraine and say – ”OK, so democracy is possible also”.

ANDREY KURKOV: This is true. But in fact, this type of democracy existed also in Russia in the beginning of 20th century. There were many political forces and parties present in the Parliament in 1912-1914. But it's gone and now it is an authoritarian one party system, like Soviet Union. So if you are a functionary, if you are a state servant, you have to belong to United Russia party of President Putin. And this is the Soviet system just reworked and turned into some kind of state capitalism.

VERIDICA: What is Russky Mir?

ANDREY KURKOV: It was started as a humanitarian project to unite all Russian speakers in the world around Moscow, to make them friendly and loyal to Russia independently from their passports. But very quickly and maybe from the very beginning, the idea behind it was actually geopolitical, to be able to use all Russian speakers in the world as the political forces which will defend and support any policy Moscow wants to have. And we see it now in Germany, where the demonstrations to support the war in in Ukraine are organized in Berlin, in German cities by descendants of Russian emigrants and by ex-Soviet people.

VERIDICA: And these guys you think are free, they do that by their own will or it's all orchestrated?

ANDREY KURKOV: Some of them are probably doing it on their own. Some of them do love Putin. It's very strange to think that if you left Russia or Soviet Union and you have a comfortable, free life in the West, you will have emotional attachment to your motherland, to your roots, but not to political system that Putin installed. But many people of Russian origin in the West support Putin. They think it is nice that the world is afraid of Russia, afraid of Putin. That means that they are becoming more important. But if somebody is afraid of you, you are not more important, you are more dangerous.

I think it's better to take a break and not to talk about Great Russian Culture

VERIDICA: You said that the Ukrainians destiny is individual and the Russians’ is collective. But the most significant minority in Ukraine is the Russian one. And maybe Putin hoped the Russians in Ukraine will welcome the Russian army with flowers, like liberators. Why he was wrong?

ANDREY KURKOV: First of all, he was misinformed by his FSB generals, and apparently one of the generals now is under arrest. So he got a lot of false information about the political mood in Russian speaking community in Ukraine. Most of Russian speakers in Ukraine are Ukrainians. They are not Russians politically, not ethnically. And actually, they are used to freedom. They can see that in Russia you can be put into prison or you can be fined for reposting something on Facebook. And the Ukrainians of any origin are so used to freedom, they cannot imagine that actually coming back to this Soviet kind of control. If you speak Russian, it doesn't mean that you love Putin and you support his ideas. You can be more interested in Russian culture, or you could be before this war, because now it is actually over with Russian culture. But in fact, Russian speakers also became the first victims of this war, because Mariupol is Russian speaking city, with Russian and Greek ethnic minority, and 10,000 or 20,000 people were killed there. Kharkiv is bombed by Russia every day. It is a Russian speaking city, 95% of people in Kharkiv speak Russian language. So it is not a war to defend Russian speakers or to defend ethnic Russians, it's the war to incorporate Ukraine into new Russian empire or new Soviet Union. And that's why actually the Russian speakers, most of them, are afraid of this prospect in the future. They want to remain free. I'm sure there is some percentage of Russian speakers and ethnic Russians who support Putin in Ukraine who would like to bring flowers to the army. But they are a tiny minority and nobody will sell them flowers for this purpose.

VERIDICA: You said that the the biggest victim of this war will be Russian language and Russian culture. How come?

ANDREY KURKOV: Because we live in a world where the culture can be canceled. And it happened before the war, in Europe. And now it's turned for Russian culture to be canceled in Ukraine because Russian language is officially the language of the enemy. And it's interesting that this is repeated by people who speak Russian in Ukraine. So they are sacrificing their mother tongue in their thoughts for the future of their country. Many people are changing language, they start speaking Ukrainian. Lots of Russian speakers started writing posts on Facebook in Ukrainian instead of Russian, including me. I do use sometimes Russian because I don't want to say that I just reject my mother tongue. My mother tongue doesn't depend on Putin and Putin has no monopoly on the Russian language. But I understand the emotions of Ukrainians who lost their parents, children, relatives and friends because of the Russian invasion. So everything which is coming from Russia is something to deal with enemy. It should be stopped and it should be safeguarded and it should be actually resisted.

VERIDICA: You will write from now on in Russian? You wrote some books in Ukrainian.

ANDREY KURKOV: I will continue to write in Russian because it is my mother tongue. I can write much better in my mother tongue than in Ukrainian, which I learned many years ago. I speak without accent, but my knowledge of Ukrainian is not sufficient to to be such a good writer in Ukrainian as, for example, Taras Prochazko, who was brought up and grew up with Ukrainian language. So I don't want to assimilate, I want to be integrated. And I think many minorities in Ukraine are not properly integrated, not because they did not want to integrate, but because they were ignored by politicians for a long time.

VERIDICA: The Russian language and the culture, the literature, will survive Putin in Ukraine?

ANDREY KURKOV: Dostoevsky will survive Putin, but others will suffer, like Pushkin, because Pushkin is used now by Russian ideologists in the demonstrations organized by the librarians in Russia in support of Russian army. They are using Pushkin. They use Russian culture, they are using everything from ballet to theater to show that they are a higher race. And I think also Europe should be very aware of this because Russia was investing in the cultural image of their country millions and millions over 20 years, trying to compensate with this positive cultural image their negative political image. And now, people think that they know everything about Russian culture, but they know nothing about Russian politics. Only now they can see the results of this politics on TV, in the news.

VERIDICA: We talk about the ”Great Russian Culture” these days and about the West who wants to cancel it. And we are talking about Tchaikovsky, who is not played anymore by some orchestras and about conductor Valery Gergiev and soprano Anna Netrebko and so on. It's a proper topic? There is a war, and children dying there. Do we have to talk about the ”Great Russian Culture” these days?

ANDREY KURKOV: I think it's better to take a break and not to talk about ”Great Russian Culture” in the times when actually ”Great Russian Culture” is used to destroy Ukraine and Ukrainian culture. I wouldn't mix Netrebko, Gergiev and Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky was an excellent composer. He was also partially Ukrainian and he lived in Ukraine. But Netrebko and Gergiev supported openly Putin's policies and they are responsible for this war as well. And as much as Putin and other politicians of Russia.

VERIDICA: Some of your writer friends, like Sorokin and Shishkin or Ulitskaya are living already in exile. They are opposing the war, they are opposing to Putin. But some other great writers are still living in Russia and they are supporting Putin and the messianic role of Russian civilization. Do you think that the West will read these writers in other way after the war?

ANDREY KURKOV: You know, it's interesting that the writers who support Putin are not translated into foreign languages. They are not international writers. They are not telling the story of Russia to the outside world. Unlike Shishkin, Sorokin or Ulitskaya. So we are dealing actually with the internal writers who support imperialistic ideology inside the country. They are more like propagandists than writers. And yes, they sign open letters to support Russian aggression in Ukraine, but that it doesn't make them great. It doesn't make them better as writers. So I don't think we have to care less about their books or what they are writing about because their actions show us what they are.

“The losses Russia had in the war are also due to the Russian corruption in the military forces. So God bless their corruption

VERIDICA: You experience the war, you lived in Kiev when it started.  How do you lived through the war?

ANDREY KURKOV: Well, I only stays two or three days after the beginning of the war, but I can tell you that it is completely different. Life begins when you are woken up at 5:00 in the morning by explosions outside your window. And this is a terrible feeling. You feel helpless. You understand that now nothing material has any role. We left our apartment in a house in the countryside. And when I was driving for 22 hours to Lviv, mostly standing in the traffic jams, because there were tens of thousands of cars escaping from everywhere in Ukraine, not only from Kiev and when you are in this state, you understand that the life which is behind you, the life which ended on the 24th of February, will never come back. It will never return. Your life is changed. I was told by my grandfather many years ago ”How lucky you are! You were born after the war!” He meant after the Second World War. He didn't know that actually I was born before the war, not after the war. And I'm thinking about my children who are 19, 24 and 25. They were born before the war, definitely. And they had this experience because they were all in Ukraine when it happened. And we had to look for our children because they were in Lviv on the day of the war. And Lviv was also bombarded. My daughter lives in London. We don't live in London anymore, we used to go there and spend months and months until 1997, but since then, we're just there for holiday. But my daughter, when she got stuck in Lviv, I had to find her and to take her to Ujgorod and my friends helped to send her to Slovakia. And then I was looking for a plane that could take you back to London because she lives and works there. I mean, I don't want you to have this experience. Anybody shouldn't have this experience.

VERIDICA: You think that Ukrainians will be different after the war? Their identity will be different?

ANDREY KURKOV: It's it's a good. I mentioned that Ukrainians are individualists, but this is the third time they got together to defend the future of their country. The first time was Orange Revolution. Second time was Euromaidan, in 2013-2014, which ended up with annexation of Crimea and the non-stop war in Donbas. And the third time now. So practically, Putin was working hard to consolidate Ukrainian nation and he achieved what he didn't want, because Ukrainian nation is ready to defend itself and to defend the Ukrainian statehood and independence. It doesn't mean that every Ukrainian is prepared to take arms, of course, the society is different. But the number of people who are patriots and who don't see themselves as refugees abroad is much bigger now than it could be 20 years ago.

VERIDICA: When you see the atrocities in Bucha and Borodianka and you hear Putin and the other guys, Peskov and so on saying that everything is fake, what do you think?

ANDREY KURKOV: No, I don't believe any word that Putin or Lavrov is saying already for 15 years. I mean, the lie is part of their politics. I think Putin said in 2014 or 2015 that if we have to lie for the sake of our country, we will lie non-stop. So this is the political culture and this is social culture because it means that actually all Russians are prepared to lie, to defend what they think is right for Russia, and they think it is right to fight against Ukraine and to kill Ukrainian civilians. So why should they take seriously whatever they say? The world already understands what they mean when they lie. Maybe not the whole world, but Europe definitely understands. Latin America doesn't because it's too far away. And now actually the Russian propagandists are very active in Latin America, sharing fake news about Ukraine being a country of anti-Semitism and that it is dangerous to be a Jew in Ukraine and about corruption. We can talk and talk and talk. And there is corruption, yes. But much less than it was before 2005.

VERIDICA: And much less than in Russia.

ANDREY KURKOV: Definitely.

VERIDICA: Because Putin said that we have to save Ukrainians from corruption before invading.

ANDREY KURKOV: But in fact, I think the losses Russia had in the war are also due to the Russian corruption in the military forces. So God bless their corruption. It helps us to survive.

“People who professionally poison others, they don't read fiction

VERIDICA: But what about the the the people in Russia? Do they believe in propaganda? Do they really believe that these atrocities were not committed by the Russian army?

ANDREY KURKOV: I think some people believe maybe a lot of people believe it, but I'm sure there are people who are just afraid to say that they don't believe. So they will be silent. They are accomplices because if you are silent and you know that this is not true, but you support it, you are also an accomplice. You are co-author of this tragedy. And I think Russian nation will have to repent like Germans had to repent for years and years after the Second World War.

VERIDICA: In one of your books, you talk about a president that was poisoned and also about the gas crisis. And actually, two years after you published the book, Yushchenko was poisoned and the gas crisis produced. How come you foreseen these events?

ANDREY KURKOV: I don't think it was easy to foresee, in fact. But because I was always crazy about reading news every day, sometimes several times a day, and I'm still guilty that I'm wasting time, even today....

VERIDICA: Well, you used to be a journalist. And a film documentary director...

ANDREY KURKOV: Yes, but actually, the news is some kind of chess game. If you know the pre-history of something, you can probably foresee what will happen next. Logically, if you know the mentality and you know the the habits of the people involved, of the politicians involved. So, the book you mentioned, The President's Last Love, ends with the occupation of Ukraine organized by Putin with the help of Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Communist Party. I mean, it was exaggeration. Well, only to some extent, not 100% exaggeration.

VERIDICA: And when the two generals from SBU (The Security Service of Ukraine) came to you and ask you that maybe someone read your book and get an inspiration from there, what did you tell them?

ANDREY KURKOV: Well, it was a nice experience. In 2005, I was invited to a Belgian restaurant. And these generals knew that I like cognac, so they immediately ordered 50 grams of Hennessy for me. And one of them asked, ”Do you think somebody could use your book as a scenario to poison Yushchenko?” And I remember my answer. I said, ”I don't believe it is possible because people who professionally poison others, they don't read fiction. They read professional books on chemistry, on poison, etc. But that could be also foreseen because before that we had a lot of assassinations with guns, machine guns and sniper weapons. And actually I think there was some kind of change coming and there were already political poisoning before. Like a Russian banker of Greek origin was poisoned in Moscow. And then Anna Politkovskaya, whom I knew very well, she was poisoned on the plane to Beslan during the siege of Beslan. So it was clear that now Russian secret services started using poison on Litvinenko and Skripal and so on. So this is all the bits of one and the same tendency. I'm not sure this tendency is over, because I don't know what will happen next to other opponents of Putin.

“The happy end will be very bitter

VERIDICA: You were translated in more than 30 languages. One of your latest novel, Grey Bees, was translated in Romania recently. This is why you are in Romania now. It's about life in Donbas, in the grey territories, between the lines, between the loyalist and separatists. And I was struck about the tragedy of these people because I went there three years ago. And it's a huge drama. I mean, there are people who are trying to live, as you wrote, despite the war. But as we're looking to the main character, Sergeich, do you think that one can remain innocent, through this war, till the end?

ANDREY KURKOV: I think people theoretically can remain innocent and civilians are not guilty anyway. To have, for example, political pro-Russian views and to vote for pro-Russian political party is not a crime. It may become a crime after the war, because I think there will be no more pro-Russian political parties. But your political sympathies are not crime. So I don't think these people, whether they were pro-Russian or pro-Ukrainian, if they didn't kill, they didn't collaborate with with the enemy, they are not criminals and they are innocent in a way. And in this way it is probably more difficult for them to survive than for some Ukrainian soldiers, especially now when the grey zone is over, it doesn't exist anymore. And we should understand that Donbas is destroyed territory. Russia doesn't need Donbas for industrial reasons or for Russian language population. I don't know what will happen there because once Donbas became part of the war zone, elite left Donbas, political business, cultural elite escaped from Donbas either to Russia or to Ukraine. And the territories were run by criminals and by people sent from Russia. So we should talk about ordinary civilians who live there, who worked in the mines and in the factories, and then they remain there without mines, without jobs, without money, without infrastructure, and in the grey zone, without shops, without medicine, pharmacies. And so, I mean, for them to survive was a very difficult experience. And I wish them to survive this war. But I'm not sure they will, because they are becoming also a collateral damage. They become innocent victims, whatever happens, because they are already victims. They lost not only the country, they lost normal life. They lost history of their families. If they escaped from the villages or towns where they lived, they lost connection with the graves of their ancestors.

VERIDICA: I will not disclose the end of the the novel. But still, do you think that it's any danger that the gray bees, the bad bees infected by the Russian FSB, can overwhelm the good bees in Ukraine?

ANDREY KURKOV: I don't believe it. I don't believe it because beekeeping culture is very ancient in Ukraine. In fact, people first learned how to find honey from wild bees, and only much later they started baking bread. So in the very beginning, life was sweet and then it was sweet and sour. And for Ukrainians, beekeeping is important because actually every beekeeper is considered a wise man because he understands the bees. And as Sergeich says in the book, the bees are the only beings which achieved communist society, where they work and they get what they need, not more, not less, and they don't complain. So, Ukrainian bees will be hardworking after the war and they will not be influenced by any kind of enemy special operations, even in the beekeeping culture.

VERIDICA: Humor is present in all your books. I don't know if it's your natural humor or it's specific to the Ukrainian society or culture. But you invented a moral category – the black optimism. What is that?

ANDREY KURKOV: Well, in 1992, when we had a huge social crisis in Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union, many of my friends emigrated to Germany and to Israel and they were sure that I am going also to emigrate. And one of my friends, Sasha Belfer, before going to America, asked me, ”Are you still a stupid optimist or you are now a normal pessimist like everybody else?” And I said, ”No, I am a black optimist.” And he asked, ”What does it mean black optimist?” And I said, ”It's somebody who knows that everything will be good in the end. But he is not sure he will survive to this moment.” So I'm now a grey optimist, like the grey bees, because I believe that I can survive and I can see a happy end in this story. And I understand that the happy end will be very bitter, of course, because of all the losses inflicted on Ukrainian state and society. But Ukraine will survive. Ukraine survived artificial famines in 1930-1933...

VERIDICA: Holodomor...

ANDREY KURKOV: And in 1947, Ukraine survived mass deportations of Ukrainian farmers who didn't want to be collectivized. Ukraine will survive this war. Maybe Ukraine will become smaller because Russia is huge and has a huge army and they can bite off more of Ukrainian territory. But Ukraine will resist to the very end and I'm sure Ukraine will stand against the enemy.

VERIDICA: What do you think about the West and the ”West hypocrisy”? I mean, for a long time, even after 2014, and Ukraine is at war since then, the West preferred to do business with Putin and forget about war. Now, do you think that the West can do more?

ANDREY KURKOV: Well, I think I don't know everything the West is doing. I know that America is helping, Great Britain is helping a lot. Germany is finally ready to help. But actually it was Germany who was dealing with Putin more than other countries. After annexation of Crimea and after the beginning of the war in Donbas, it was Angela Merkel who wanted to appease Putin and to build Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. And of course, for me, the actions like this showed that Ukraine meant nothing for Germany because they wanted to put investment in big country like Russia. Ukraine was smaller country and less important, less predictable. And the same probably can be said about other European countries. I mean, now they can see the result of this policy because in fact, France and Germany were selling arms to Russia until the war began. From 2014, they were selling high technology arms and weapons to Russian army.

VERIDICA: Well, the final question. I'm quoting the title of one of your article in The New Yorker: ”What would be the legacy of this Russian invasion of Ukraine?”

ANDREY KURKOV: Well, there will be several layers of legacy. Cultural legacy, Ukrainian culture will be much more strong to resist other cultures, including Russian culture. It will be very traumatic for people who have relatives in Russia. And these relatives mostly support Putin. So there will be a lot of family ties cut. Because what happened after 2014, for two years, relatives didn't talk to each other even on the phone. And then many families agreed to talk, but not to discuss politics. Now, you cannot not discuss politics with your Russian relatives. I think pro-Russian political parties will not be able to exist in Ukrainian politics because they all turned out to be traitors and collaborators and in the occupied territory. Now, in some places, new mayors are installed by Russian occupation forces who were members of the so called Opposition for Life Party, which is what remains from the Party of Regions, the pro-Russian political force. There will be other legacies, of course. The rebuilding of cultural heritage will require a lot of time and money because we have theaters demolished and destroyed by bombings. We have museums burned down. We have hundreds of schools destroyed, universities damaged and destroyed. So, the education is also impacted and it will have to be restructured. And I think everything in Russian will go away from all educational processes. Now, there are demands of the parents to exclude Russian language from school curriculum, to replace it with another additional foreign language. The legacy will be very, very multifaceted and complicated, but Ukraine will have to deal with it.

 

Tags: Ukraine , Russia , War in Ukraine
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22 minutes read
  • I know that I am denounced as an enemy of Russian culture. They were articles against me and my books in Russian press. And my books are not on sale anymore and not published in Russia. First time they were banned in 2005. Then, from 2008, no more new editions. And from 2014 it is illegal to bring my books for sale from Ukraine to Russia.
  • Russians and Ukrainians are very different, not the same people as Putin says, that's for sure, because they have two different mentalities. Russians are collective. They are used to the monarchy. In fact, the Soviet Union was a communist monarchy because every general secretary of the Communist Party worked as a general secretary until his death, except for Ukrainian Nikita Khrushchev, who was dismissed. And now, Russia is back to the monarchy. They love their tsar, Vladimir Putin, and they will stay with him and defend him and he will talk on behalf of Russian nation. Ukrainians are individualists and also natural anarchists, because in 15th-17th centuries Ukraine was independent territory with no monarchy, no royal family, no aristocracy.
  • Most of Russian speakers in Ukraine are Ukrainians. They are not Russians politically, not ethnically. And actually, they are used to freedom. They can see that in Russia you can be put into prison or you can be fined for reposting something on Facebook. And the Ukrainians of any origin are so used to freedom, they cannot imagine that actually coming back to this Soviet kind of control. If you speak Russian, it doesn't mean that you love Putin and you support his ideas.
  • I think it's better to take a break and not to talk about ”Great Russian Culture” in the times when actually ”Great Russian Culture” is used to destroy Ukraine and Ukrainian culture.
  • I think the losses Russia had in the war are also due to the Russian corruption in the military forces. So God bless their corruption. It helps us to survive.
  • Ukraine will survive this war. Maybe Ukraine will become smaller because Russia is huge and has a huge army and they can bite off more of Ukrainian territory. But Ukraine will resist to the very end and I'm sure Ukraine will stand against the enemy.
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VERIDICA SPECIAL: From Mykolaiv to Izium. The war, seen by a Romanian enrolled in the Ukrainian military
VERIDICA SPECIAL: From Mykolaiv to Izium. The war, seen by a Romanian enrolled in the Ukrainian military

Octavian Magas luptă chiar din primele zile ale războiului în cadrul armatei regulate ucrainene. Este etnic român, originar din regiunea Cernăuți. Magas a supraviețuit bombardamentelor intense ale rușilor, în vară, a văzut bucuria oamenilor din Harkov, eliberați de forțele ucrainene, dar și ostilitatea celor din zone rusificate. A trebuit și să treacă, la fel ca nenumărați alți militari ucraineni, peste pierderea unor camarazi și prieteni. Într-un interviu acordat în exclusivitate, Octavian Magas a povestit, pentru Veridica, cum a văzut și a trăit primele opt luni de război.

Marin Gherman
Marin Gherman
25 Oct 2022