If you open any academic book or article written by linguists, Russian or non-Russian all identify Ukrainian language . Ukrainian is not old Russian with some Polish loan-words.  Modern literary Ukrainian language is spawned from Ruthenian language spoken in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.  Not from old Russian. Only western Ukrainian dialect has many Polish loan-words, while literary Ukrainian is based on dialects spoken in Kyiv, Cherkasy, Poltava regions.

 As for turning others against the Russians , Germans or anyone else don’t need to make anyone to oppose the Russians. Russians are quite capable in turning every nation and every people on its western border against itself. From Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland,  Belarus to some extent, Ukraine, Moldova to Georgia. As well as other countries of former eastern block. The very post written by @Stalingrad is a good example why many people are not fond of the Russians.