Geopolitics of Ukrainian conflict. Elite - the key to understanding. Part II
Relatively successful in terms of nation-building has been Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan – where the ruling elite distanced from straight betting on the cultural and linguistic unification of its political space. For example, the nationalists in Belarus remain fundamentally and formally half-marginal. The Belarus state placed its bet on a strong Soviet identity, on the cult of the Great Victory. Only in the last three or four years the officials of Minsk began to construct a demanded "state nationalism," which, on the one hand, is opposed to nationalism of the opposition and on the other hand exists create for the Belarusian authorities a potential foothold for stepping outside of Russian financial-economic and cultural influence within the EAEC.
In Kazakhstan, there was and there exists a pretty strong presence of Kazakh nationalism, which however is not designed structurally (with parties) but manifests itself more at the household level and at the level of individual bureaucratic groups. Nursultan Nazarbayev from the first days of existence of independent Kazakhstan clearly identified Kazakh nationalism as the main threats to the stability, territorial integrity and the very existence of the country. The concept of construction of ethnic Kazakhi state was replaced with a Kazakhstani state (with emphasis on its supra-ethnic origin). Nationalists had to remain content with a dominance of "national staff" in politics and business. But this dominance was not absolute and the rights of other nationalities, mainly Russian and Russian-speaking population were enshrined in the law. As for Russia, the Russian nationalists are still saddened by the fact that the Imperial discourse in Russian policy has not changed to the national, meaning Russia was not built as an ethnically state of Russians but a country of all the people which Russia is containing, and in recent years – of the «Russian world». Thus, Moscow, Minsk and Astana have achieved internal stability based on inter-ethnic compromise that caused the abandonment of nationalist policies. Adequate domestic policies have possible made compromise and constructive foreign police. Despite all the problems and contradictions, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan since mid-90s stood on the way to reintegrate the post-Soviet space on the new political, economic and ideological grounds.
Ukrainian state from the first days of its existence as a nation began to create the "titular nation" , placing the cultural identity of the western regions above the remote Russian population. In fact, all of the presidents of Ukraine with the tacit consent of the Kremlin in varying degrees stripped the statehood of any forms of alternative identities. At best, the cultural factor of the Russian population is not taken into account in the south-eastern regions and at worst – the elites carry out the violent cultural assimilation of the Russian population, which became a part of Ukraine after the collpase of the Soviet Union. The ruling Ukrainian elite has given priority to nation-building, and adopted the words attributed to the Count Cavour: "We have created Italy. Now we must create Italians "- was to their favor - "We have created Ukraine. Now we need to create Ukrainians". Instead of the concept of equality of citizens they've adopted the concept of "positive discrimination" , when nationalism was explained by the centuries of "oppression".
The bold experiment of constructing a new Ukrainian identity has received (through numerous Polish, European and American NGOs) much of the cooperation from the geopolitical opponents of the Kremlin. Through the efforts of many funds and through a common accord the Ukrainian oligarchs began to forge a so-called "Ukrainian nation". It is based on the historical identity of the area which is located in Galicia (Western Ukraine) with a clear focus on the preference of Europhiles and Russophobia. Thus, the conflicting potential of "Ukrainianism" was laid as a bomb , and topped with the fact that the violent ukrainisation met a very big misunderstanding amidst the Russian population of Ukraine.