December 16, 2015
Translated for Fort Russ by Soviet Bear
As the man who grew up in Russian political culture for which foreign sovereignty is the highest absolute value it is almost impossible to understand the reaction of Ukrainians to the visits of senior American officials. I don’t understand, how you can not notice in public places where these officials sit the yellow-blue flags get replaced by stars and stripes, when they announce the letter to the local legislative Assembly. In our eyes it doesn't look like the visit of the Vice President of the United States to the independent Republic, and as the visit of the Viceroy of British India in one of the Indian states.
Again, a man of Russian political culture sees all this as exclusively signs of humiliation and does not understand to what extent it was possible to devalue your national dignity to bear such humiliations with great pleasure. And yet I'll try to explain.
Biden will come, Biden will judge us
For example, imagine that you are an orphan. That you are a kind and hardworking girl with ash smeared face. And you have, for example, the stepmother.Yes, the wicked stepmother, which hasher own daughter.Even two daughters – one is skinny and feisty, and the other one is cheeky and fat. Imagined?
Now imagine that you have a godmother. And she is not just a godmother, but godmother the fairy. Oh, this fairy also has a husband - a powerful magician and sorcerer. The Deputy of Gandalf himself. No, sorry, not Gandalf, it's not a Republican administration. I keep forgetting. Dumbledore. The husband of your godmother fairy is the Deputy of Dumbledore. Imagined? Well and now tell me please, what are your feelings as you see their occasional visits?
There is a famous phrase that the victory has many fathers, while defeat is an orphan. So this is the orphan with ash smeared face is the Ukrainian society.This is always a loser. You think this society doesn't know that worthless and corrupt government was put in place to control them? Of course they know, and know in detail, much better than you know. Ukrainian society sees this government as a stepmother, who with her corrupt daughters aka branches of government robs and hurts Ukraine. Ratings of confidence in the current Ukrainian government are the lowest in the entire history of observations. Joe Biden and Victoria Nuland who arrived to Kiev are the godparents of the Ukrainian national revolution of February 2014. So how do children of the revolution who define today’s Ukrainian public opinion should perceive the arrival of these people? They expected Biden to magically transform the attorney General into coachman in glittering livery, and rabbit Prime Minister- into grey stallion, who will fly the pumpkin of Ukrainian statehood to a fabulous ball of European integration.
Chicken Kiev 2.0
The people, relieved from this eternal Ukrainian orphanage complex shouldremember that the speech of high-ranking Americans from the rostrum of the Verkhovna Rada is not and will not always reflect the mood of the natives. A classic case is the speech delivered from the rostrum by the George H. W. Bush and it was named the "chicken Kiev".
Many of us believe that by the diabolical instigation of Brzezinski and in strict accordance with the "Dulles plan" (which, as we know, does not exist, but it works) the Americans only wanted to tear Ukraine away from Russia.
OnAugust 1,1991, i.e. two weeks before the "putsch", the US President from the rostrum ofthe Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian SSR warned members against "suicidal nationalism" and persuaded to sign a new Union Treaty, which "gives hope that the Republic would rather combine greater autonomy with greater voluntary interaction – political, social, cultural, economic, than to pursue a hopeless course of isolation" (holds forth the hope that republics will combine greater autonomy with greater voluntary interaction — political, social, cultural, economic rather than pursuing the hopeless course of isolation)". The speech was welcomed with loud and prolonged applause, though, andcaused resentment among some nationalists.
Something similar happened in Kiev this time. After saying a lot of compliments and taking the standing ovation, Vice-President of the USA said something that «suicidal nationalists" did not like.And they didn’t like it so much, that most of them didn’t hear the keyword. And since they didn’t hear keywords many were quick to say that they didn't sound.
So did Joe Biden talk about the United States of Ukraine?
Now we will play some Egyptologists and imagine that the famous Rosetta stone is in front of us with the inscription of the same contents, made in three different kinds of writing, and we are Jean-Francois Champollion, who with its help has learned to read the hieroglyphs.
So, JosephRobinet Biden, Jr. has the right to speak:
"Constitutional reform that includes judicial reform and decentralization does not compromise your sovereignty, it enhances it. It's an important step to building a strong new nation. It is important for Ukrainian European future(here Biden turns away from the room and the following sentence is addressed to someone in the government box). This issue of federalism is a thing that almost prevented our nation from coming into being. (Biden turns again to the audience, making meaningful theatrical pause, looks around the audience's gaze and begins to dictate) Autonomous independent states, the parties to have their own police forces, their determination to have their own education system, to have their own government under a united constitution".
But what the Ukrainians heard in the translation:
"Constitutional reform, including reform of the judicial system and decentralization that involves the use of the best European edit – not an abandonment of democratic principles, not an erosion of sovereignty. It is very important for Ukraine's future in Europe, uh, very important. This also happened in our country, and almost... (Sigh, mumbling, pause, the Director of the broadcast switches the camera from Biden to the government box)... similar situation. It is important to have the Autonomous independent States, have their own forces that determine its own educational system, the government in the framework of the United Constitution."
It is not necessary to know Ukrainian demotic script, to understand what the word "federalism" is not present at all.
I think the professional translator who understoodwhatBiden said, was just horrified by the use of the forbidden in Ukraine word and decided to pretend that she had forgotten the English language. The poor woman was probably shot by Praviy Sektor. Just kidding.
And finally, my own translation of the words of the Vice President of the United States, said from the rostrum of the Verkhovna Rada:
"Constitutional reform, including reform of the judicial system and decentralization, does not threaten your sovereignty, it amplifies it. This is an important step in building a new strong nation. It is important for the European future of Ukraine. The issue of federalism is the fact that almost prevented our state from being born. Autonomous independent States that determine their own police force, its own education system, own government under a single Constitution."
As they say, feel the difference.
The federalist papers
The last straw for which the Ukrainians grabbed was an assumption that Biden does not offer anything of the sort to Ukraine, and just decided to share them with a wider audience the little-known details of the governmental structure of the United States. Those who claim it are missing two things.
First, only retired politicians travel the world with educational lectures. The words of current Vice President of the United States are mandatory for execution, regardless of the degree of politeness of the form in which they were said. And second, and most important thing. Historical context, ignorance of which does not allow to understand Biden’s words.
The American politician sends the audience to the dramatic date of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, ratified by the legislative Assembly of each of the then existing States. The Constitution envisaged the creation of a Union, a Federation of individual States, which in this case would maintain their autonomy.
There were opponents to this approach who feared the appearance of a single center, limiting the freedom of the provinces. Especially a lot of skeptics were in the state of New York. If this view had succeeded, then America as we know it today really would never be born.
And then Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, together under the pseudonym Publius, from October 1787 to August 1788, published 85 articles in defense of the new federalistConstitution. In 1788 they were unified in the book called "The Federalist", or else "the federalist papers", which became the Bible of the political philosophy of the United States.
Every American schoolchild and every local redneck Gavrilyuk know this story. And they all, of course, convinced that every Ukrainian legislator knows it. It is in this and not in the description of Autonomous States is the essence of the American experience, which Joe Biden presented as an example.
Of course, in the USA it was about the more centralized Federation in comparison with the Confederation, and in the Ukraine we are talking about the opposite process. But and there and there "the issue of federalism" in the end provoked a civil war.
The Minsk process
Here you need to explain what actually the administration of the Nobel peacemaker Obama wants from the Ukraine. A word about the aggression of Moscow, about the residents of Donbass who” dream” to return to the Ukraine, that Crimea never, never, never will be recognized as part of Russia which the audience so enthusiastically absorbed actually did not carry anything new, nor principled.
But the Minsk agreement? Each of the parties to the conflict around them is playing the game "who will perform slower". Quickly to comply with them is impossible – their conditions really are not interested neither in Ukraine, nor the Donbass. But not to fulfill the Minsk agreements is also impossible, for it tied the repeal or extension of the sanctions. Each party makes a step, and immediately begins to accuse his opponents of violations, then made another step, and repeats it all over again.
Godmother fairy’s husband artistically throws in magic formulas that should hypnotize the MPs: "this is what Putin fears the most!", "this will help your European future!". "This" – this is indicated in the Minsk agreements and constitutional reform with real decentralization.
And that's the thing around which the Ukrainian society has come to a concrete consensus - to surrender sovereignty, to lose to Putin, treachery and shame. And any politician, who would do that, commits political suicide (which in Ukraine is often followed by physical suicide). So, they’re going to do this it all together, without exceptions and exemptions.
Therefore Biden says no new Prime Minister, no re-elections of the Parliament or the President. He understands that at such election who will vote for the amendment of the Constitution, be fixed as "zradnik”( a traitor), and the one who will abstain from voting, will automatically become "peremozhets”(a victor).
Last time, in order for to do a small step in this direction, it took the personal presence of Victoria Nuland in the Rada, who, if anyone knows, is not only the fairy with biscuits, but also a DeputySecretary of State. Now to move on the constitutional reform, they needed to roll in the heavy artillery – the Vice-President.