Continuing this post about preparations for the upcoming school year in the two Ukrainian Separatist areas of Donetsk (DPR) and Luhansk (LPR). A conference was recently held in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, by an organization called the “Integration Committee Russia-Donbass”. As its name implies, the organization assists the two Separatist areas to reintegrate back into Russian civilizational space. Now that they have seceded, for political reasons, from the central government in Kiev, and it is highly dubious that they will ever return to Ukrainian jurisdiction.
During this conference a session was devoted to educational issues. Yesterday we covered the round-table presentation of Natalia Tikhonskaya, Deputy Director of the Council of Ministers of LPR. Today’s post covers the presentation of Alla Podtynnaya, Director of Luhansk School (Gymnasium) #60. In August 2014 this particular school was bombed by the Ukrainian military. “When our homes were destroyed and our schools were burned,” Alla recounts, “we did not allow ourselves to become enraged. Instead, we pulled together. The proof of that is that we are still teaching the Ukrainian language and literature, even though our native tongue is Russian. In the Ukrainian language textbooks that we have put together, there is no place for the likes of Bandera and Shukhevych, but there is definitely a place for the living and melodic Ukrainian language.”
Podtynna recalled: “In August 2014 an aerial cassette-bomb fell on the roof of our school. It fractured onto numerous tiles (of the roof), and the residents of this block, grabbing pails (of water) and rags, and whatever they had, rushed to put out the fires. But [just a couple of weeks later], on September 1, our school opened for the new year. At that time we had 160 children. Now we have 2,000. The biggest thing which our teachers have won — is the right to teach in the great Russian language.”
Responding to a question regarding bilingual education, Podtynnaya reported that Luhansk schools teach one hour of Ukrainian language and two hours of Ukrainian literature per week. Parents were given a choice, whether they wanted their children to be taught in Russian or Ukrainian. If any of the parents had picked Ukrainian, then there would have been a Ukrainian track. But there were no takers.
Re-Integration Must Involve the Youth
In the course of this post, we mentioned the Integration Committee, which just met in Rostov-on-Don, and where Natalia and Alla spoke about the Luhansk school situation, the new textbooks, and so on.
There is even more backstory to cover. The Integration Committee “Russia – Donbass” was formed a few months back, in March of this year and now meets regularly in Rostov-on-Don. I have this piece from back then, also from PolitNavigator. At the founding session of this Committee, a man named Rem Kiselev gave a presentation on his project to honor the “Young Guard” of the anti-Hitlerite underground in wartime Nazi-occupied Krasnodon. Rem is a political activist, a member of the United Russia party, and a Deputy Chairman of the Crimean Regional Section of the “Young Guard”, the youth wing of United Russia.
Rem is active in the movement to reintegrate Donbass — particularly Luhansk — back into the Russian civilizational space. After wandering for 25 years in the go-nowhere Ukrainian wilderness. People who are well-read on Ukrainian issues know that the people of the Donbass are the most Soviet of all Soviet peoples. They never accepted the dissolution of the Soviet Union. They are Russians to the bone, but Soviets to the marrow of the marrow of the bone. They didn’t mind learning Ukrainian, but they never would have accepted Bandera and Shukhevych as their heroes, no matter how the Kiev fascists tried to cram these psychopaths down their throats. Victoria Nuland’s Gauleiters pointed guns at them and ordered them to “Kneel to Bandera,” and they replied, quietly but respectfully, like Bartleby the Scrivener, “I prefer not to.” And the rest is history.
A whole lot of history here, a lot of issues, and an interesting excursion into the world of Alexander Fadeev’s young heroes. Can their lives and their deeds inspire the people of the Donbass during their process of re-integration back into Russian civilization?
[to be continued]