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Oleg Mihailik
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Oleg Mihailik

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An interesting framework explaining incessant failures of post-USSR states to create fully functional healthy national states. Written by Denis Kazansky, original here (Russian): from: http://durdom.in.ua/uk/main/article/article_id/20308.phtml

The Soviet Nation

Since the break-up of the USSR, there were thousands of publications in media musing how to live on and what should former republics that swapped socialism to capitalism do to join the so-called golden billion. During the first ten years of independence every one of those republics pondered what to do to live better, during the second -- deliberated why it didn’t work. Almost everybody has failed, except the Baltics, which successfully and quickly joined the EU. Although Russian media reckons they’ve failed too, but since on the face of the horrors happening in Russia all the Baltics’ troubles look a light flu, we will not take these opinions seriously.

Our country by obvious reasons always caused the worst debates. Ukraine too, as the Baltics did, attempted a civilisation refactoring. Well, not in 1991 of course. At first Soviet Republic of Ukraine that’s broke apart from Russia kept living in socialism, managed by the ‘red directors’ and soviet bureaucrats, but in the new century the new generation of managers have finally formed and ripened for power. An attempt to seize it in 2004 ended only in partial success. And what’s more interesting -- concluded quite peacefully, without external interventions as a victorious defeat of Yushchenko.
Interestingly, even a cursory surgery of this defeat reveals that it wasn’t due to any material economic reasons. Today’s critics of Yushchenko don’t spare no good words for the ex-president, but if the emotional undertones of these attacks to be turned down, what comes out is that Victor Andreyevich was cast down from the political Olymp somewhat unfairly. All those who blamed him for the ‘orange mess’ got instead a walking horror picture show, which pushed the country to the edge of a total chaos. Those who blamed for the theft got even more cynical and limitless thieves. Those who blamed for the economical crisis ot 70B budget deficit in 2014. Those who blamed for nepotism and corruption got ‘The Family’. And so on.

Which side you look at it, Yushchenko lost absurdly, because the negative qualities he had his opponents possessed in a great extent more. Now I am far from feeling pity for Victor Andreyevich, but it’s a peculiar point to consider. As such, the Ukrainian public has proven that it doesn’t follow the common sense in elections, there’s something else. And this means any hypothetical democratic candidate from the opposition with all her/his obvious advantages may lose to Yanukovich, or win only a temporary victory.

Even in the case that Yanukovich flees the country or get arrested, and the Party of Regions gets declared a criminal organisation there is guarantee that a new Party or boroughs or Party of quarters won’t crop up instead with the same messages and speakers from the second rank of the current P.R. This idea of ‘internal kinship’ is alive and in demand. Try to outlaw Communist Party today -- and tomorrow its place will be taken by Socialist Part or Progressive Socialst Party or Communist Part of Radiansky Soyuz or another outfit of decrepit necrophiles. Because KPSS (Communist Part of the Soviet Union) was too abolished in 1991, but immediately reincarnated in a variety of avatars all over the former USSR and till now is governing some states, including the modern Ukraine.

So what’s the reason the European Orange revolution in Ukraine lost without any serious reason, and a Soviet reaction hasn’t event offered anything new but managed to win, defeating logic and common sense? The answer to this question have been suggested a few times, but every time it sounded incomplete and inconsistent. Conventionally a ‘civilisation rift’ is blamed, as abstract as it would be. To my opinion it is correct to say that the constraining factor is the Soviet nation.

However, that applies not just to Ukraine, but to the all post-Soviet region. Endless fails of the former USSR republics moving towards the true European market capitalism are rooted in the denial of the obvious ethnological fact -- the existence of Soviet nation on all the territory of the former USSR. The nation, that in 1991 was left without its country.

In Soviet years the official term was ‘Soviet people’. They didn’t like the word ‘nation’ back then, although it is considered a swearword by the Soviet. The Big Soviet Encyclopedia wrote that the Soviet People is an ‘historic, social and international unity o people, having a shared territory, economy, innate socialist culture, unitary people government and a common goal -- to build the Communism.’ The definition of ‘nation’ sounds almost identical, except without Communism and Socialism parts. Indeed, here we talk about a real nation. A new nation, created during 70 years of a totalitarian brainwash. As artificial as the American nation in the USA, but not less real.
Interestingly, the existence of such nation have not been accepted in the USSR itself, where people have been ceaselessly reminded that they are Russians, Jews, Germans, Georgians and so on. Therefore the phrase ‘Soviet nation’ have not taken to the vernacular because of the derogatory and anti-Soviet subtext, but millions of the residents of the USSR factually have acquired Soviet Nationality, and accepted as their birthplace not Russia, Ukraine, Georgia but the USSR. With all the familiar attributes of a country: heroes-revolutionaries, socialism, paternalism, censorship, single-party regime, official Russian language etc.

Today many confuse Soviets with Russians, but that’s a mistake. The difference is huge, even bigger than a difference between the English and the Australians who also have common roots and language. In Russia itself there is a vast number of normal Russians, who are not Soviets. There are many of such Russians in Ukraine too. Take a look at the Maidan activists and you’ll see lots of Russian-speaking people with Russian surnames, who are ready to risk their lives for freedom and ready to fight against the criminal government. At the same time, there are many people with Ukrainan surnames, whose parents used to speak Ukrainian and grumbled on the Soviet regime, amongst the supporters of Yanukovich and the hard liners. These are Ukrainians, Jews, Tatars, Russians who grew up in the USSR and became Soviets. This is nothing unusual, by the way. In the same way immigrants from Africa or Asia become French or Americans. Who in their right mind would call Obama a nigerian?
Soviets and Russians are actually quite different peoples. Russians, for example, are considering themselves European. They are well disposed towards the West and feeling themselves at ease in the western society. Russian Empire, as you will remember, was an indelible part of the European fellowship, and a member of Antanta, the precursor of the NATO. The Soviets on the contrary have a pronounced tendency to self-isolation, building an iron curtain against the Hostile West, display a sharp rejection of European values and absurdly demonise Europe itself. Unlike Russians, the Soviets being such isolationists avoid learning foreign languages, often in principle. Amongst the older generation almost nobody could answer a question in English if asked for directions on the street. Interestingly, knowing this distinctive feature of the Soviets the Baltic states have excluded the Soviet nation from the political process quite effectively. Soviets and Russians could only acquire the citizenship through learning the official state language. Russians have learnt quickly and were allowed to participate in the management of the state, while Soviets remained ‘non-citizens’ and deprived of political rights.

Slavic states of the former USSR were much stronger Soviet lobby, therefore after 1991 they have remained Soviet countries. The official stats didn’t account for that, that’s why all the polls have always resulted in a skewed picture of reality in the formally independent states of the former USSR. For example, in 1990s the official polls counted 20% ethnic Russians and 75% Ukrainians. However at the same time about 50% of the population wanted ‘back into the USSR’, and in 1999 elections the Soviet candidates Simonenko, Vitrenko and Moroz took together 44% of the votes. And that means that there couldn’t actually be 75% of Ukrainians in Ukraine back then. Because no conscious Ukrainian would vote for a candidate calling for relinquishing of the independence. As no normal Russian nor Polish person would vote for a similar candidate. 44% of the voters in Ukraine of 1999 were Soviets, and represented an agenda of their non-existent country, the USSR.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 the Soviets have turned into a nation without a country, like Basques, Kurds or Scots. And what do the nations without countries do? Most commonly, fight for their independence or use peaceful means to gain statehood. Soviets, being a quite raw and unformed nation, had no way to create a proper national movement, neither could they formulate their national idea. In essence, most of them failed even to self-identify themselves as Soviets, keeping to call themselves Russians, Greeks or Ukrainians, even though they voted classical Soviet Vitrenko or Simonenko. The phantom Soviet nation have not been recognized as a nation, but still managed to be a profound political force, for long time defining the development trajectory of the country.

Today this nation has acquired all the conventional attributes of a nation. It’s language (invariably Russian, even though a Soviet may have arbitrary origin), culture, religion (formerly Communism, today - WWII cult), national heroic epos, temporary lost (in Soviets’ opinion) national country and so on. We don’t know the precise number of Soviets, but it’s clear the nation is very populous -- only the modern Ukraine have about 40% of Soviets. What to say about the modern Russia that consists of them at 60-70%.

The Soviets are pulling Ukraine towards other Soviets. In a country with a big Soviet ex-pat community. They aren’t pulling towards Russians -- there are lots of Russians in Europe as well -- but specifically towards Soviets, that are absent in Europe. They are pulling towards the phantom of the USSR. The Soviet nation unlike Jews doesn’t have a compact historical homeland, whose independence it might have sought -- and that is its national tragedy. Soviet nation is spread across ⅙ part of the Earth’s land area, but can only realise its statehood in case all of that becomes a single country again. A scrap of land won’t suit Soviets. They aren’t going to accept any ‘Soviet autonomy’ as part of Russia or Ukraine. They seek all, the whole, and won’t be satisfied without that country. That’s why Customs Union was founded -- a pitiful parody to the USSR, but in modern world they have to settle to this.

A question is, what should we, Ukrainians do about the Soviet nation? What should Ukrainians do about the Ukraininan Soviets that are in phantom territorial conflict with us, laying a claim to our land? I have no answer to this questions today. Clearly, this problem is waiting for the solution. Because today the Soviet nation is a powerful constraining factor in the way of Ukraine joining the EU. Soviets will always, regardless of everything vote for a Soviet president and for a Communist Party in the parliament.

Will we be able to coexist peacefully? Will we need to deprive of the political rights the Soviet nation, or leave it to self-determination? Or we ourselves could be deprived of our rights as it’s happening right now. Clearly, without answers there is little chance for peace in our country. Does anybody know those answers? Anybody at all in Ukraine?

P.S. Will weed the bugs out in the morning, time to take a nap.
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U might find a winner in a huge library authored by Ouspensky.  Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Anna Ackmetova for poetry.  Gotta go.
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Oleg Mihailik

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Can you spot what's wrong with this image?

This shop should not be here. I get how a cafe generates money, or Primark or WHSmith. Walk in, pay cash, walk out. Lots of people -- lots of cash.

But nobody walks in a Vodafone store.

I mean, they do, but only under duress. You stand in line for 36 minutes, during which a girl with a notebook twice speaks some vodafony shit at you, triggering poison and anguish to come up from the bottom of your soul clouding into dark powerful words like, 'no thanks, just browsing'.

Naturally we all rationalise the experience: contracts, discounts, micro-SIMs. But be honest to yourself: what would you really prefer on that street spot: a drug den or a Vodafone shop?


How did it come to that? So many companies pay lots of money to be nice to people, just for the sake of getting their smiles, goodwill and shopping profiles. What has gone wrong with Vodafone?

Just imagine a mobile carrier that doesn't hold its customers in contempt. Where walking in the store you get an answer to your question and help. Without withstanding passive aggressive smiles from the staff for the whole measure of your lunch time.

Would that require much cash or lots of effort? Hardly. Somebody high enough up the crocodile food chain must research what people need, and make a strategy how to fuck the bloody lazy staff to stand in line instead, to wipe those carnivorous smiles off their cheap lipstick and try to act and look smart for once.

Well, something tells me that'd never happen. Fair enough, don't ask for my pity then, when some new model obliterates you to dumb pipers.



The image is from Reuters' article: http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/04/04/idINIndia-56105120110404
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Interestingly, the utopia of customer service comes from apple. I walk in, get what I want, helpfully and quickly, and walk out.

They never try to sell me anything.
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Oleg Mihailik

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+Yonatan Zunger can Sergey outcool Mark? Do you guys hate USSR as much as anyone?

;-)
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Ahhhhh, the Russians love the politics....and a good excuse to walk and talk together in the wintertime !!!!  *.*   
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One is not crazy if he remembers his grand-mother !  Some people are crazy, jealous, 4 such.  Ancestry wins in the States ! Come.
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Oleg Mihailik

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It's a war :-(

According to the leaked documents, the government of Ukraine updated the instructions to the interior forces, allowing them to use the military flame throwers Shmel and Shmel-M for the purpose of dispersing the demonstrators.

This is the same weapon Russians used to kill children in Beslan's school live on television.

My friends are there.

At the same time, after yesterday's news that Bulatov, a leader of the protest have been found in the snowy woods tortured but alive -- today the fascists from the police ganged up on the hospital where he's just had a surgery overnight, with the view to 'arrest' Bulatov.

It's a fluid situation. There's been a couple of months things brewed into Yugoslavia-model civil unrest. People are standing in the city centre, while thugs with open support from the police are terrorising random pedestrians on the streets at night. Just random, arbitrary people walking the streets with national flag colours on their clothes.

Not a single policeman was even charged, not to say arrested. Not a single one, no one. Zero. Over two hundred civilians are literally kidnapped from the streets, some of them still missing, like Bulatov was for the last week.

OK, fuck it. My friends are there. I need to stand there, if only to be a live shield for fucks sake.

I am utterly ashamed for our British government. Bla bla bla, peaceful resolution, regrets blabla. It's 2014, Youtube is full to the brim with the evidence. What are you mumbling, come on...

Maybe later
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Escalation?  No thanks.
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Oleg Mihailik

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Not just good bye.

Time to smash it hard at the tiled bathroom wall, so it bounces and sends several plastic splinters clicking on the wet curtain. And soak the disfigured aluminium body in the warm water, with cruel force pushing and pushing it down, breaking the resistance of the messy parts, still beautiful in its desperate struggle to avoid the killing touch of water. Then, when the last blink of life goes off its cute face — put it on the floor and smash, smash, smash it, beat it with the butt of your electric toothbrush. Bend the remaining corpse, skewing, jamming its dead bones, scratching your palms and stopping, looking at it in tears.

Why? Why should it be so stubborn, so beautiful yet so unyielding in its individuality? Oh why
 
With Apple's iPhones and iPads doing it all, is it time to say good bye to an old icon - the humble iPod? http://bbc.in/1iK5I4o
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Crap-I like my Ipod classic-it's the only thing that lets me carry my entire music library with me. And it's a brick, has never given me a problem. If they discontinue them I might have to stockpile a few until the hard drive capacity of something else catches up.
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Oleg Mihailik

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Ukrainian doodle.

Lately in Ukraine the resistance movement overthrew the government in half of the country regions, mostly Western. Took some more buildings under control in the capital. Surrounded the police and special force 'Berkut' in one of the building and made them walk 'the corridor of shame' to their station with helmets removed and faces in the open.

But the biggest win so far, is that 'death squadrons' ceased to roam the streets in minibuses. Several people are still counted missing though, hoping nobody would be found tortured and killed in the woods.

The most interesting feature of the mafia resistance war in Ukraine is the omnipresence of the mobile broadband throughout the clashes. In this situation dozens of live streams are made from all over the city, so 90% of all the crimes committed are immediately documented, and will make no difficulty investigating and convicting in court when the mafia is overthrown.

Come on, that one is pretty cool! It's not twittering the police brutality, it's bloody live transmission in HD.

The police fighting for the mafia seems to have cigarette butts for their brains: they simply don't get the internet thing. Probably think they will beat and torture whomever necessary until they get their hands on the camera and delete the video. Clueless stinky blobs of muscle matter.
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This is one of the more illustrative videos. Made by Berkut themselves, leaked for whatever reasons.

Беркут б'є Михайла Гаврилюка, принижуючи його голим

Again, even after things like that, when the police was surrounded in a building, all the trouble they have had was to walk the corridor of people watching in their eyes. Not beaten, not naked.
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I am going to the Embassy of Ukraine in London

There's been a bunch depressing news these few weeks. Ukraine, the biggest country in Europe has been taken a hostage by its own president. Law is destroyed, people are kidnapped, fired upon and brutalised.

Now I don't claim it's a bigger tragedy than what happens in Syria or Central Africa. Murder and mass murder are two very different things.

But what can do — I will.

Our ambassador is a coward, all he wants is to be left alone to sit his term until retirement. Dead people aren't that interesting to his Excellence.

Well, we need to find arguments today. We need to convince him that an ambassador that is actively despised by his own diaspora is a lame duck. We need to make our British side to express their disgust too.
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Good for you, guy, and good luck!
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Oleg Mihailik

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Починаємо працювати.

По-перше, Фірташ через квартал від Ахметова.
По-друге, письма повинні написати усі україно-британці.
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