Why Russians hate / dehumanize Ukrainians

Volodymyr Yermolenko

My attempt to understand why Russians hate / dehumanize Ukrainians so much, -- which is a way to understand one of the major causes of this war. Thread 1/10

Ukrainian testimonies of meeting with "Russian soldiers" during the occupation are often pointing at Buryats, Bashkirs, Chechens, etc. This is a practical example to understand: Russians is not a nation, but an empire, which collected various ethnicities inside its body 2/10

Its only capacity to exist is to strip all "constituent nations" of their identity and culture, calling them "Russians". But instead of creating a "melting pot" in which these nations would enrich each other, it created a society in which humans are must forget their roots 3/10

this politics of amnesia transformed people into rootless biological / physical units in whom identity and culture should be erased. This was the nature of the "Soviet people" in the USSR. But "Russian people" is also an imperial construct based upon this forced amnesia 4/10

This can explain why Russians started hating Ukrainians so much: despite several centures of erasing Ukrainian identity and memory, physical extermination (Holodomor etc), Ukrainians miraculously succeeded in building a nation. 5/10

Building a nation means: having a society which has a collective identity and common practices despite all differences; most importantly, which shapes and reshapes its political elites instead of being shaped by them 6/10

compared to Ukrainians, "Russian nation" is still barely existing; thefore key kremlin ideologues are desperately looking for other metaphors to explain what Russia is ("civilization", "empire", "Nazi fighters") but all this only hides a big void: absence of Russian nation 7/10

So Ukrainians are seen as : a) traitors who reject Russian melting pot b) alter ego which succeeded in building an Eastern Slavic nation which Russians failed 8/10

In a way this attitude is comparable to Nazi attitude to Jews (both an "internal" enemy and an alter ego, an "example" of "race purity" for Nazi prop) but with important difference: 9/10

Jews were for Nazis "the Other" which wanted to "be like you"; Ukrainians are for Russians "like us" which now want to be "the Other". And therefore have to be exterminated as major enemy par excellence ("anti-Russia") 10/10