Prominent Kremlin ideologue Vladislav Surkov, a former aide to the president of Russia in charge of the policy of the Russian Federation in occupied Donbas, has shared his vision of the future of Ukraine, its prospects and future relations with Russia.
"There is no Ukraine. There is a Ukrainian national project. That is, a specific disorder of minds. A passion for ethnography that has surprisingly been driven to extremes. Such local lore full of blood. A mess instead of statehood. Borscht, Bandera [leader and ideologist of Ukrainian nationalists Stepan Bandera], there is also a bandura [a folk musical instrument]. But there is no nation. There is the brochure titled 'Independent Ukraine,' but there is no Ukraine. The only question is whether Ukraine doesn't exist any longer or yet?" Surkov said in an interview for Russia's Actual Comments media outlet.
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Yet, he said Ukraine, will nevertheless reveal itself as a state thanks to "the Ukies' stubbornness." The only question, according to Surkov, is how many parts Ukraine will be divided into. Therefore, Russia "will have to participate" in the process of its formation.
"Strangely enough, I'm an Ukroptimist. That is, I think that Ukraine doesn't exist yet. But over time, it will come into existence. 'The Ukies' are stubborn guys, they will do this. However, what kind of Ukraine it will be, in what borders it will exist, and maybe even how many 'Ukraines' will appear are open questions. And one way or another, Russia will have to participate in resolving these issues," Surkov noted.
He also says he is sure that "coercion by force into fraternal relations" is a main effective method in relations with Ukraine.
"Relations with Ukraine have never been easy, even when Ukraine was part of Russia. Ukraine has always been troublesome for the imperial and Soviet bureaucracy. Either Hetman [Pavlo] Polubotok let down, or 'zapadentsi' [residents of the western part of Ukraine] joined Hitler. Coercion by force into fraternal relations is the only method that has historically proven effectiveness in the policy towards Ukraine. I don't think that any other method will be invented," he said.