Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine: "imagined community" as it is

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Source: "Mirror of week"

"Imagined communities" the known American researcher Benedict Anderson called the nations. "Imagined" - as their representatives, without knowing the majority of the compatriots, never them meeting, nevertheless feel to them the participation. In other words, "imagined communities" exist in imagination of their members.

It can't be told about Russian-speaking citizens. It is unlikely citizens of Ukraine who communicate in Russian, feel special participation to each other. The Russian-speaking population still didn't prove and as the independent subject of public or political life.

Nevertheless it also is "imagined community", but not that is Anderson. Feature of this community - that it exists mainly in imagination of other subjects. And not simply exists. They proclaim it object of protection or, on the contrary, regard as potential danger to the state. This community is the cause for angry statements and letters of the management of the neighboring state, congresses in Severodonetsk, is quickly used in permanent domestic election campaigns. To this community attribute certain lines - as reasonable, not very much...

The question of the Russian-speaking population should be noticed. Not because it constantly serves as a red rag in domestic political bullfight, and not because it is one of the most sick callosities Ukrainian - the Russian relations. But because without understanding of features of identity more than a third of citizens of the country, in everyday life using Russian, it is difficult to speak about formation prospects in Ukraine to national identity, the Ukrainian political nation.

Razumkov's center, continuing to investigate identity problems, I set the purpose to find out: whether are Russian-speaking citizens uniform community; as well as in what degree the language factor influences other parameters of identity;that from additional attributes (a nationality, language, cultural tradition, age) and as influences nature of identity of Russian-speaking citizens.

Instead of the introduction: Ukraine, Russian-speaking citizens and "the Russian world"

There is no need to repeat all statements of the Russian statesmen and politicians of different level which are consolidated to one: everything who speaks Russian, treat the Russian culture, and therefore have to be a subject of special care and protection from Russia.

The most indicative example - creation by the decree now the former Russian President V. Putin of Russian World fund. This "world", according to ideologists of fund, unites not only ethnic Russians, citizens of Russia or the Russian diaspora, but also "the foreign citizens speaking Russian". Therefore, 37% of the population of Ukraine, most likely, without knowing about it, become object of special care and protection from Russia, and as it is possible to understand from fund materials, from them expect reciprocity...

From this place is more detailed...

Sense of existence of "the Russian world" as "network structure of big and small communities which think and talk in Russian" quite frankly the Russian philosopher and the political strategist stated (in the last form it "earned additionally" in Ukraine on elections of 2002) P. Schedrovitsky.

According to him, "today everything is clearer those drama crossroads on which there was Russia as a former Soviet Union kernel: or the new model of development which becomes a basis of formation of the new people, or the territory of the Russian Federation will be offered, without having got a constant political and state form, will turn into object of activity of world subjects of force or - at worst - into a dump of human waste... The Russia is necessary to bigger number of certain citizens of other states, the positions of Russia in the world are stronger. Stability and need bases the being formed Russian statehood can and has to look for within the Russian world, in policy of constructive development of its world networks".

As we see, "the Russian world" is provided to be used not only for strengthening of position of Russia in the world, but also for the solution of its especially internal problems - formations (or reconstruction) the Russian national identity. Not a secret that in Russia discussions about the content of the concept "Russian people" are rather briskly conducted recently.There are supporters of its ethnic definition, but those who inclines to an imperial national paradigm as to pledge of revival of the Russian greatness and power prevail. In the imperial discourse, as one of which representatives P. Schedrovitsky objectively acts, there is no place for Ukraine as independent state and Ukrainian people as sovereign political nation.

Promote distribution of such ideas on the Ukrainian soil and domestic politicians, practically since the beginning of 2000 playing "the language card" in political struggle. Inability to develop strategy of development of the country public discussion round which could become the content of election campaigns, is compensated by use "socially - sensitive" to among what the language question takes a predominating place.

When the politician of one color declares that "Ukrainian is not language of science and the need for it will simply disappear", and his political opponent claims that the Ukrainians who are considering native Russian, "simply insane", "they have no right for the word... and they need to be treated", certainly, it causes fair indignation of the people which deep feelings are offended. And offended to set easier. - it is correct to define the main thing, on whom...

Russian-speaking citizens: common features

Russian-speaking citizens in this research are citizens of Ukraine, in daily communication using Russian. According to poll of the Center of Razumkov, such citizens make 37% of adult population of Ukraine1.

Ideologists of "the Russian world" and which - whom from domestic politicians can disappoint the fact that absolute majority (86%) Russian-speaking citizens perceive Ukraine as the Homeland, and the vast majority (72%) - completely or are her patriots rather.

The majority (57%) Russian-speaking citizens would like that the status of the second state was provided to Russian. Every fourth (25%) would support idea of association of the state status of Ukrainian with the official status of Russian in certain regions. The present status of languages 12% of Russian-speaking citizens support, the status of Russian as uniform state - only 4%.

In definition of the Ukrainian nation the relative majority (44%) the Russian-speaking put the civil contents, understanding the nation as "all citizens of Ukraine irrespective of their ethnic origin, language in which they communicate, national traditions which they adhere and on which bring up the children". Options of definition the nations based on an ethnic origin, support 40% of representatives of this group, and the definition containing an element of belonging to the Ukrainian culture, - 9%.

A third of the Russian-speaking refer itself to the Ukrainian cultural tradition, nearly a third - to the Soviet, 6% - to European. To the Russian cultural tradition - it is less than a quarter.

Estimating prospects of cultural traditions in Ukraine in the future, the relative majority (36%) Russian-speaking citizens are sure that in different regions of the country different cultures will prevail, every fifth prefers the Ukrainian tradition, every sixth - European. The Russian - only 7% (whereas among ethnic Russians - every fourth).

And in end - about vision by Russian-speaking citizens of a problem of so-called split between the East and the West of Ukraine. More than a half (53%) of them don't agree that distinctions between the western and east Ukrainians are so great that they can be considered as two different people. Agree with this thesis of 36% of respondents, couldn't decide on the answer of 12%.

The majority of Russian-speaking citizens (55%) also deny possibility of split of Ukraine on the basis of contradictions between its western and east regions, acknowledge such possibility of 28%, have no answer - 17%.

The vast majority of Russian-speaking citizens isn't supported by such options of development of the regions, as secession of Ukraine with formation of the independent state (79%) or joining to other state (77%). The notable majority (60%) doesn't support idea of federalization of Ukraine.

For the majority (59%) Russian-speaking desirable option is preservation of the present status of areas with broader rights and powers of local government. Their present sizes didn't satisfy 51% of respondents.

As we see, Russian-speaking citizens in the prevailing majority are patriots of Ukraine, perceive it as the Homeland, maintain its territorial integrity.The main thing that they would like, are increases of the status of language on which they communicate in everyday life, and big powers of self-government for regions where they live.

In search of distinctions

"Picture" given above is quite adequate. Nevertheless - одномерна. In it that Russian-speaking citizens, besides that talk in everyday life in Russian isn't considered, can treat different nationalities, cultural traditions, consider native different languages, not to mention socially - demographic distinctions.

Logically to assume that the mentioned features could influence a position of Russian-speaking citizens on these or those questions. To confirm or disprove this hypothesis, along with group "Russian-speaking citizens" three more groups which were formed by addition of such signs were allocated: Ukrainian nationality ("Russian-speaking Ukrainians"); Ukrainian nationality and Ukrainian as native ("bilingual Ukrainians"); Ukrainian nationality, Ukrainian as native, belonging to the Ukrainian cultural tradition ("bilingual ukrainokulturny Ukrainians").

For comparison two reference groups were chosen base: "Russians" - citizens of Ukraine, Russians on nationalities for which the native language is Russian and which refer itself to the Russian cultural tradition and use Russian in daily communication, and "Ukrainians" - citizens of Ukraine, Ukrainians on nationalities for which the native language is the Ukrainian, carrying to the Ukrainian cultural tradition and using Ukrainian in daily communication. During research of group of Russian-speaking citizens were compared as among themselves, and to reference groups.

Results of comparison were very interesting.

Russian-speaking citizens: differences

In all allocated groups of Russian-speaking citizens the share of those who completely or considers itself(himself) as the patriot rather, exceeds 70%. Thus level of patriotism of all Russian-speaking groups for 22-37% exceeds an indicator of a reference group "Russians". In group "bilingual ukrainokulturny Ukrainians" it was only 3% lower, than in a reference group "Ukrainians". Apparently whether from the chart "You consider yourselves as the patriot of Ukraine? ", with addition of each sign (a nationality, Ukrainian recognition native, belonging to the Ukrainian culture) the share of affirmative answers increases.

Whether almost same dynamics is characteristic for distribution of answers to a question "You perceive Ukraine as the Homeland? ". The greatest gap in affirmative answers between a reference group "Russians" and "Russian-speaking citizens", it makes 22%. Also essential gap is observed between this and following group - "Russian-speaking Ukrainians" (10%). The share of affirmative answers in two other groups differs from an indicator of a reference group "Ukrainians" very little.

Therefore, in a question of patriotism of Russian-speaking citizens a notable role such factors, as the Ukrainian nationality play, the native language and belonging to the Ukrainian cultural tradition. At the same time patriotism of Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine has no anti-Russian character. According to research, in different groups of the Russian-speaking population from 37 to 61% count up that the relations with Russia have to be the priority direction of foreign policy of Ukraine.

In a question of the status of languages the consensus between Russian-speaking groups is available only among those who chose "Ukrainian-state, Russian-official in certain regions" option. When it is a question of a state language (languages), the situation sharply changes (the chart "How the Ukrainian and Russian languages in Ukraine have to coexist? ")

So, if in groups "Russian-speaking citizens" and "Russian-speaking Ukrainians" it is more than a half or a half of respondents (respectively 57 and 50%) support introduction of the state bilingualism, in groups "bilingual Ukrainians" and "bilingual ukrainokulturny Ukrainians" the relative majority (45 and 49%) defend the present status of Ukrainian as only thing state. That is recognition by the native language of Ukrainian and belonging to the Ukrainian cultural tradition cause aspiration to that Ukrainian had the highest status.

Therefore, the position of Russian-speaking citizens in a language question differs both from a position of Russians, and from a position of Ukrainians. "Russian-speaking citizens" are non-uniform (the question of the status of languages here can be considered as the best indicator). Positions of groups in which there are such signs as the native language - Ukrainian and belonging to the Ukrainian cultural tradition, is closer to Ukrainians; groups where these criteria aren't present, - to Russians.

How it was noted, the biggest support of Russian-speaking citizens was got by civil definition of the Ukrainian nation (the chart "What of definitions of the Ukrainian nation for you it is most acceptable? "). It should be noted that in this case positions as reference groups (the distance between "Russians" and "Ukrainians" makes 7%), and a position of groups of the Russian-speaking population (distance between "extreme" positions - 9%) are quite close. More noticeable distinctions arise, so far as concerns "kulturnichesky" understanding of the nation. Here the distance between reference groups increases to 10%, and between a reference group "Ukrainians" and group nearest to it "bilingual ukrainokulturny Ukrainians" - 8%.

The special attention is drawn that number of adherents of ethnic definitions of the Ukrainian nation among representatives of such groups of Russian-speaking citizens as "bilingual Ukrainians" and "bilingual ukrainokulturny Ukrainians", exceeds (!) level of its support among a reference group "Ukrainians" respectively for 13 and 11%.

To what it can testify? Probably, the Ukrainians communicating in Russian, nevertheless consider native Ukrainian and (or) as representatives of the Ukrainian cultural tradition, feel a certain discomfort from such internal cultural division. Therefore for them belonging to the Ukrainian ethnos is important that, on - visible, has to compensate "russkoyazychnost".

This hypothesis can be confirmed and - "The national identity of the person has to be determined by what signs by answers to other question? ". Among groups "bilingual Ukrainians" and "bilingual ukrainokulturny Ukrainians" part of respondents who consider that the national identity has to be determined by an ethnic origin of parents (one of parents), respectively for 5 and 6% such indicator of a reference group "Ukrainians" exceeds. Though it would be possible to expect what exactly for the last group it has to be maximum. As higher, than the indicator of "Ukrainians", is support in these groups of criterion "on the native language" (in both of these groups of Russian-speaking citizens there is this criterion).

On the other hand, level of support by these groups of option of definition of a national identity "on language of daily communication" below respectively in four and two times, than an indicator of a reference group "Ukrainians".It should be noted also that all groups of Russian-speaking citizens estimate the importance of this factor below, than representatives of both reference groups.

The conclusion from this can sound is a little paradoxical. The Russkoyazychnost of part of citizens of Ukraine acts as the factor increasing the personal importance of the "Ukrainian" aspect of their identity: nationalities, native language, belonging to the Ukrainian cultural tradition. That is part of Russian-speaking Ukrainians there can be even "big Ukrainians", than Ukrainian-language citizens.

Russian-speaking citizens considerably differ on the basis of reference of to this or that cultural tradition. So, among "Russian-speaking Ukrainians" to the Ukrainian tradition of carry already 46%, while to the Russian - 11%. And for "bilingual Ukrainians" this ratio makes 75 and 2%.

As visions by various groups of Russian-speaking citizens of prospects in Ukraine different cultural traditions significantly differ (the chart "What cultural tradition will dominate in Ukraine in the future? "). Considerable differences in vision of prospect of domination of the Ukrainian cultural tradition are observed between representatives of such groups, as "Russian-speaking citizens" and "Russian-speaking Ukrainians", on the one hand, and "bilingual Ukrainians" and "bilingual ukrainokulturny Ukrainians" - with another. Among the first two groups number of those who considers that in different regions various cultural traditions will dominate, the number of adherents of other alternatives - while among representatives of two last groups the majority convinced of future domination of the Ukrainian culture prevails.

Therefore, Ukrainian recognition native is very important factor for reference of by Russian-speaking citizens to the Ukrainian cultural tradition. Belonging to the last forms a basis for optimistic vision of its prospects. Disagreement by that differences between the western and east Ukrainians so big that them it is possible to consider as two different people, increases in groups of the Russian-speaking citizens who are differing from - for additions of signs of "ukrainskost": the Ukrainian nationality, Ukrainian as native, belongings to the Ukrainian culture - in the last group the part discordant makes already 72%.

Also with addition of signs of "ukrainskost" the confidence grows that split of Ukraine won't be, that is that divergences between the East and the West isn't pushed their inhabitants to creation of the certain states (or to joining to other state) though the distance to an indicator of a reference group "Ukrainians" remains notable - 13%.

It is worth causing: "won't be" and "won't push" if politicians don't set citizens at each other only that someone talks in Ukrainian, and someone - in Russian. In the public conflicts on the language soil the reason voice very quickly gives way to emotions. Than it threatens - it is well known. Fortunately for us, while from foreign experience.

Russian-speaking citizens: inakost forever?

The analysis of character of answers of representatives of different age groups of this category can add paints in a palette of ideas of features of Russian-speaking citizens. Such groups allocated three: 18-35; 36-59; 60 years also are more senior.

Results of research showed that between different age groups of Russian-speaking citizens practically there are no essential differences in such questions, as patriotism, approaches to definition of the Ukrainian nation, an assessment of differences between the western and east Ukrainians or depth and possible consequences of interregional contradictions in Ukraine.

But in other questions of positions of age groups there were quite noticeable differences.

So, in all age groups of Russian-speaking citizens approximately identical percent of those who perceives Ukraine as the Homeland. Nevertheless among youth percent of those who doesn't perceive it as that, slightly less, than among citizens of advanced age (respectively 7, 11 and 12%). On - visible, in this case plays the role that young people as persons were in whole or in part formed already in the conditions of independent Ukraine, and they hadn't "to choose" the Homeland.

In all age groups the majority defends introduction in Ukraine two state languages. But among youth (18-35 years) percent of those who considers that Ukrainian has to be the only state and official language, and Russian can be used at household level, slightly more, than among citizens of advanced age: 15 against 12% in group 36-59 - summer and 9% in group of those who is more than 60 years old.

At the same time percent of those who considers that both languages have to be state, it is slightly less (51%) in comparison with two other age groups (59 and 62% respectively).

Also among youth it is more than those who considers as the native language Ukrainian (for 4-6%), or both Ukrainian and Russian (for 3%), and is slightly less than for whom Russian (for 7-9%) is native. Though for the majority of representatives of all age groups the native language is Russian.

Much more young Russian-speaking citizens referred itself to the Ukrainian cultural tradition (43% against 30 and 22%), it is slightly more - to all-European (9% against 6 and 2%) and much less - to Soviet (13% against 33 and 46%). Only among youth carriers of the Ukrainian cultural tradition make the relative majority, in other age groups the majority - carriers of the Soviet cultural tradition.

In all age groups the relative majority considers that in the future in various regions of Ukraine different cultural traditions (34, 36 and 40%) though among youth such it is slightly less will prevail. In definition of prospects of other cultural traditions of such differences it is more. So, considerably bigger percent young (22% against 17 and 8%) consider that in the future in Ukraine the all-European cultural tradition will prevail.

Differences between age categories in opinions that the direction of foreign policy has to be priority for Ukraine are rather noticeable. Among youth of those who consider as the priority direction of the relation with EU countries, almost twice more, than among 36-59 - summer, and almost three times, the among those, the for 60 (24, 14 and 8% respectively). At the same time considerably smaller percent of people for whom the relations with Russia - 51, 64 and 71% respectively (though as we see, and among youth such more than a half) are priority.

Therefore, differences between younger and senior age groups of Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine affect first of all in the relation to the questions connected with language, cultural identity, foreign policy orientation. The Russian-speaking youth is more connected with Ukraine, its cultural tradition less - with the Soviet tradition. The Russian-speaking youth is more pro-European, than the senior age groups.

Some conclusions in a "non-numerical" format

The provided sociological data incontestably prove that there are no bases to consider Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine subethnos of the Russian people, its diaspora, especially part of "the Russian world" in the value of this phrase mentioned above.

In - the first, the vast majority Russian-speaking recognize Ukraine as the Homeland and consider itself it as patriots.

In - the second, to the Russian culture refer itself less than a quarter from them.

And at last, in - the third, the Russian-speaking population doesn't feel or, according to B. Anderson, doesn't represent itself community separate of the Ukrainian people or part of another, international, the community united "in space and history".

But in thoughts about ethnic questions there can't be a place neither for aprioristic judgments, nor for belief in iron regularity, and, looking today in historical prospect, especially in the long term the Ukrainian history, we understand correctness of the popular statement "never speak never". National substance and its separate segments - quite mobile education sensitive to external influences, especially, if the last are powerful and purposeful. In Ukraine Russian-speaking citizens are their priority object. These influences are based not on emotions, and on the complete, logically constructed concept which in the practical application bears obvious threat of national security of Ukraine as considers powerful part of her citizens as a potential resource of other state.

Actually, it is behind the majority of "crying" political and public "Yaroslaven" local production over destiny of Russian, education, culture in Ukraine and the violated right of the Donetsk audience to watch movies at movie theaters exclusively in language North - east neighbor, behind party initiatives of holding an All-Ukrainian referendum of questions of the state bilingualism, behind attempts of some pseudo-philologists to present Russian as "the general property of the East Slavic people", and modern Ukrainian - as option of a galichansky dialect, others for the majority even ethnic Ukrainians.

Generally, it is very necessary for someone, that Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine nevertheless once (and the earlier, the better) presented separate community, whose interests don't coincide with interests of own state and whose future is connected with other state. But meanwhile sober mind of our fellow citizens allows them to present first of all consequences of such succession of events and to draw practical conclusions in favor of the Homeland that is the best safety lock from any embodiment of political and culturological chimeras.

But, on the other hand, it is obvious that Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine are rather non-uniform in socially - cultural aspects, their considerable part is in a transit state. It confirms, in particular, communication between patriotic sentiments, recognition native Ukrainian and reference of to the Ukrainian cultural tradition. Therefore the policy of the Ukrainian power concerning this category of citizens has to be extremely weighed and thought over.

As Russian-speaking citizens are non-uniform if to characterize them on age signs. The Russian-speaking youth is less connected with rudiments of the Soviet past, more perceives Ukraine and its culture, is more pro-European, than the senior citizens. It allows to hope that certain cross-cultural disagreements can be removed in the future in the course of integration of Ukraine into the all-European cultural space.

The most fundamental conditions for strengthening of civil patriotism are progressive changes in political, economic and social spheres and development of civil society. Introduction of optimum model is state - an administrative system, rotation of political elite, economic growth and more equitable distribution of the social benefits, at last, a country conclusion from a vicious circle of stagnation, permanent political crises, total corruption and public apathy is that can and has to strengthen a pride for the belonging to "The Ukrainian world" and participation to its destiny. It and against what it is considerable bigger understanding and support will have distribution of the use of Ukrainian and influence of the Ukrainian culture in mainly Russian-speaking now regions.

If to speak about specific problems of language adaptation of Russian-speaking citizens and their integration into the Ukrainian cultural space, improvement of quality and increase of standards Ukrainian-language educational (first of all educational are main! ) cultural and information production, granting bigger systemacity and sequence to measures for expansion of the Ukrainian language space.

Certainly, it is necessary to get rid of pink glasses and to understand that someone never will buy the Ukrainian-language book and the movie, irrespective of their quality won't go to the cinema on duplicated Ukrainian. But it is necessary to understand that these persons not репрезентуют socially significant part of Russian-speaking citizens. Data of sociological researches give the grounds to hope: rational, weighed, and the main thing - consecutive actions of the state concerning realization defined by the Constitution of Ukraine of fundamentals of language policy will be apprehended by the vast majority of Russian-speaking citizens positively. After all they correspond to radical interests of each citizen - to live in the stable state deprived of excess internal barriers - let and virtual, but such which at desire can be turned into quite material barricades easily.

And meanwhile the other day it became known that in Lugansk plan to open Russian World fund on Russian promoting …

1In article results of survey conducted by sociological service of the Center of Razumkov from May 31 to June 18, 2007 in all regions of Ukraine are used. 10956 respondents aged from 18 years are interrogated. Theoretical error of selection - 1%.


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