Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 17.01.2018 
Putin hates the Ukrainian flag. It enrages him. The blue and yellow banner symbolizes the freedom and independence of the Ukrainian people, who were never a part of the “Russian World” and never will be. Most of all, Putin knows that as long as the Ukrainian flag waves proudly, the hammer and sickle flag of the 1920 to 1991 Russian regime of state terror will never come back.
When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2014 the first thing that Russian special forces soldiers did when they occupied the regional parliament building in Simferopol, Crimea was to tear down the Ukrainian flag. Russian invader-occupiers continue to display a violent animus towards any display of natural patriotic feeling by Ukrainians in Ukraine. In the occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas, the foreign invaders from Muscovy persecute any person among the captive population who displays the Ukrainian flag.
Volodymyr Balukh is a Ukrainian citizen living in what is now Russian-occupied Crimea. He is being persecuted by the foreign occupation regime for flying the Ukrainian flag over his home and for his steadfast loyalty to Ukraine. On January 15, Balukh was ‘sentenced’ to three years seven months imprisonment in a kangaroo court. As is usual in Putin’s political show trials, Balukh was charged and convicted of bogus criminal offences for which no credible evidence was presented and for which no credible witnesses were called. It is probable that Volodymyr Balukh will be stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship (an illegal act by Russia), have Russian citizenship forced upon him (an illegal act by Russia), and be transported out of his home country of Ukraine to a penal colony in Russia (an illegal act by Russia). Balukh’s mother, who is 76 years old, nearly blind, and unable to look after the family farm on her own, will be unable to visit her son. Such is the barbarity of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In his final address to his tormentors, Volodymyr Balukh said “it is absolutely clear that this is political persecution for my beliefs. Nothing more.” He then struck at the heart of Russia’s propaganda lies about the invasion of Ukraine, saying “everything that happened in the spring of 2014 is a great crime for which everyone will be punished sooner or later.” He paid tribute to the defenders of Ukraine who have fought and died for the homeland: “And the tears of the mothers of the boys who fight for the right, and for self-determination, and for freedom, and for dignity, at the cost of their own lives. How much they have already paid.” Balukh ended by saying “victory is still in thought and in spirit, so Glory to Ukraine.”
The Putin regime vents its hatred of the Ukrainian flag in Russia-invaded and occupied Donbas, too. Vlad Ovcharenko and Artem Akhmerov were ‘sentenced’ to 17 years and 13 years imprisonment respectively for displaying the Ukrainian flag in Luhansk, Ukraine and for burning the flag of the terrorist organization, the so-called “LPR.” After enduring torture, solitary confinement, harsh treatment and abuse of their human rights of all kinds, Ovcharenko and Akhmerov were released on 27 December 2017 in the prisoner-swap between Ukraine and Russia (Russia acting in the guise of its terrorist organizations “DPR” and “LPR”).
The Ukrainian flag flies everywhere in Ukraine – from Zakarpatia in the west to Luhansk in the east; from Chernihiv in the north to Crimea in the south. That Russia temporarily and illegally occupies Crimea and parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions makes no difference. Foreign occupation by Muscovy has never made Ukraine a part of the “Russian World” in the past and it won’t now.
Volodymyr Balukh is a Ukrainian citizen who chooses to fly the Ukrainian flag in Ukraine. That’s not a crime. That’s love of country. Volodymyr Balukh is sacrificing his liberty rather than submit to the foreign Muscovy invaders. The nobility of Volodymyr Balukh is an example to all Europeans, and is a public rebuke to the baseness of Vladimir Putin and his henchmen who are invading Europe in Ukraine.

Oleksandr Palii, A History of Ukraine, 16.01.2018 




The Ukrainian language was for the first time recorded in Pravda Rouskaya (The Truth of Rus'), a collection of laws, and especially in household inscriptions and the charters of princes (the 10th until the 12th centuries). 


Most Ukrainian scholars believe that the Ukrainian language with its special features was formed on the basis of ancient Slavic dialects under some influence from the Scythian and Sarmatian languages at the time of the Antean tribal union, i.e. in the mid-1st millennium AD. There were no Slavs in the territory of either modern Russia or modern Belarus. 


Unlike princes’ charters and household inscriptions, the literature of Kyivan Rus’ was written mainly in Church Slavonic. This language was artificially created on the basis of the Thessalonian dialect of the Bulgarian language by the Slavic educators Cyril and Methodius for the purposes of Christianization of the Slavs. Church Slavonic became the lingua franca for the East Slavs and the South Slavs, a role similar to that of Latin, which was used in Western Europe for worship, writing and education. 


the lang ostromir

Ostromir Gospels, 1056–1057, written in Church Slavonic 


However, the ancient chronicles written in Church Slavonic and The Tale of Ihor’s Campaign preserved many Ukrainian words not found in Church Slavonic. Grand Prince Volodymyr II Monomakh had a good command of Church Slavonic but was unable to avoid hundreds of Ukrainian words when writing instructions for his children. 


The names of princes in the chronicles and charters are typically Ukrainian: Volodymyr, Vsevolod, Volodymyrko, Volodar, Vasylko, Ivanko, Volodyslav, Olena, Mykhalko, Dmytro, Danylo etc. 


The name of the capital itself always had the Ukrainian spelling Kyiv in the chronicles. 


The chronicles also contain the local Ukrainian names for August (serpen’) and December (hruden’).


the lang cronicle

Text from the Radziwiłł Chronicle describing the Rus’ campaign against Byzantium in 1043. 

The language spoken by the Rusyns had the following features: o-voweling, the soft ending of verbs in the third person in both singular and plural (pyshet’, imut’) and the pronunciation of the letter г as the aspirated [h] consonant. These are some of the characteristic features of the Ukrainian language. 


In contrast, the Russian language had being formed in the 12th to the 14th centuries as the local, largely Finno-Ugric, population was learning Church Slavonic, which had been imposed by the church and the authorities. Untill now, most rivers in Central Muscovy (Russia) and many Muscovite (Russian) cities in Central Muscovy (Russia), including Moscow, have their native Finno-Ugric names. 


In imperial times, Ukrainian was viewed by many people in Muscovy (Russia) as a Polonized version of Russian. This proposition is utterly unscientific, because Ukrainian features were found in the language of Kyivan Rus’ long before any Polish influence. Importantly, standard Ukrainian is based on the vernacular spoken in the Poltava and Chernihiv regions. These territories were part of Poland in 1569–1648 and over this short period of time many people there did not have to deal with the Polish authorities, to say nothing of changing the language of their ancestors. The written sources in Ukraine dating to the 16th and the 17th centuries do not record any changes in the language. Ukrainian has been able to withstand much greater, centuries-long pressures. 

Even though The Tale of Ihor’s Campaign (1187) is written in Church Slavonic, it contains many Ukrainianisms:  


«Комони ржуть за Сулою, — звенить слава въ Кыєвҍ; трубы трубять въ Новҍградҍ, — стоять стязи въ Путивлҍ!»
«Ни хытру, ни горазду, ни птицю горазду, суда Божіа не минути».


On main picture: the sign of Grand Prince Volodymyr II Monomakh



Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 16.01.2018 
Russia may declare war on Ukraine. The Russian parliament may renounce the part of the 1997 Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty where Russia agrees to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine. This was announced on January 15 by Konstantin Zatulin, a deputy in the Russian Duma and member of the United Russia party.
Russia is already violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine by invading Crimea and Donbas since 2014. Russia has been waging undeclared war against Ukraine for almost four years. Were Russia to revoke recognition of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, by renouncing part of the Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty, this would amount to a formal declaration of war.
In remarks to RIA Novosti, Zatulin admits that by the Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty “Russia confirmed that it considers Crimea and Sevastopol to be part of Ukraine’s territory.” By force of arms Russia now occupies Crimea and Sevastopol. Russia has violated the Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty. Rational policy would suggest Russia remove the violation of the treaty, have Russian troops leave Crimea and Sevastopol (and Donbas), and choose the path of peace. Instead, Zatulin is the harbinger of Putin’s plan to renounce the treaty, continue the occupation, and choose the path of war.
Russia has never realized the reciprocal nature of treaties, and does not know the danger it is in by effectively renouncing the Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty. If Ukraine’s territorial integrity is no longer respected by Russia, then Ukraine is under no obligation to respect Russia’s territorial integrity. Ukraine would have a claim to Ukrainian territory that was ceded after the Bolshevik Russian invasion and occupation of 1918-1920: the Kuban region, Rostov-on-Don, Voronezh, Belgorod, etc.. Finland is under no obligation to respect the terms of the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947. Finland should have renounced the Paris Peace Treaty when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, and it certainly should renounce it if Russia breaks the Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty. Finland can reclaim the Rybachy peninsula (Kalastajasaarento), Salla, and Karelia including the city of Viipuri. The status of Germany’s Königsberg would be called into question (since occupying it from the time of World War II, the Russians have named Königsberg “Kaliningrad” after Mikhail Kalinin, a Bolshevik and builder of the Soviet regime of state terror under Stalin). China would no longer have good reason to respect treaties going back to the nineteenth century, and can justifiably assert a claim to vast swathes of territory in what is now the Russian Far East.
Russia destroyed the post-Second World War settlement in Europe by invading Ukraine. Russia would be declaring war on Ukraine by renouncing the Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty. By doing so, Russia would not be able to wage its war of aggression against Europeans in Ukraine any better than it has for the past nearly four years. But it would call into question every territorial gain Russia has gained by treaty or by conquest. When Putin’s War ends, only rump Muscovy will be left.
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