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    Anonymous

    by Michal Ondrejčík

    – on Ruthenia from the Ruthenian political point of view

    In the following lines I shall speak of a republic which strives to compete with Ukrainian power in the Zakarpattia Oblast. The reason for its origin is the fact that since 1991 Ukraine has been ignoring the requests of Carpathian Rusyns, who supported the status of a special self-governing administrative territory in the 1991 referendum by 78.2 percent of votes. This autonomy of Carpathian Rusyns has remained unrealized until present time. Following many attempts to negotiations with Ukrainian representatives, on 1 December, 2008, Rusyn activists decided to declare the restoration of pre-Soviet status of the Republic of Carpathian Ruthenia because according to Rusyn representatives, Czechoslovakia doesn’t exist any longer, and the only way to realize this status is the declaration of an independent sovereign state, namely the Republic of Carpathian Ruthenia.

    The above mentioned is the result of utter destruction and hopelessness, which (the representatives of a part of Rusyn activists in Zakarpattia) apparently yielded to in their hopes for solution to the problem in terms of the current state unit. The initial milestone here is the Ukrainian Government, which has ignored legitimate requests of Rusyns for the recognition of Rusyn nationality as well as Rusyns themselves as autonomous inhabitants of Carpathian Ruthenia. Concurrently, natural resources have been plundered for years in Carpathian region. Neither economy nor infrastructure has been developed (1).

    This article has come to life thanks to the information support of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Carpathian Ruthenia (who is at the same time the press attaché of the spiritual father of Carpathian Rusyns, father Dimitriy Sydor) – Petro Getsko – whom we would like to express our thanks in this way. Simultaneously, we managed to get the statements of Alexander Zozuľák, the former Executive Secretary of the World Council of Rusyns (hereinafter “WCR”), and its current Executive Secretary Vladimír Protivňák. Also the Chairman of WCR Djura Papuga has presented his stance on the matter. Personal standpoints and opinions have been provided also by Agáta Pilátová, who works in the Society of Friends of Carpathian Ruthenia in the Czech Republic. In addition to the aforementioned, we managed to obtain the stance of the Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and Inter-Ethnic Relations of the Supreme Council of Ukraine Oleg Oleksandrovych Zarubinsky.

    Virtual republic

    The Government of Carpathian Ruthenia has been functioning in a virtual regime. The reason is simple: According to our sources, Ukrainian secret services have been analysing their representatives, they have been monitoring their activities and developing countermeasures aimed at their marginalization and prevention in further activity. The entire system functions as follows: the Government is active in social networks http://www.odnoklassniki.ru (2), http://www.vkontakte.ru (3), and http://www.facebook.com (4), namely in groups “Republic of Subcarpathian Rus”. In the network “Odnoklassniki”, in the group there are nearly seven thousand people, there are at least ten people from every seat in the Carpathian region (5). The said group is the basic mechanism of collaboration between the Government and the inhabitants. There you can learn which steps it has carried out and which steps it is about to adopt. In terms of the discussions about the governmental program the documents regarding its activity are being prepared here. In this network online conferences are held twice a week in terms of which individual problems are discussed – these discussions constitute the foundation for the adoption of individual governmental resolutions. Also experts joint the debates. Besides these experts, more than fifteen thousand people have access to the discussions (6). Another forum of the Government works in terms of the social network Vkontakte, which is intended mainly for the work with youth. Around 1,200 people are registered there (7). Facebook is intended predominantly for the work with the Rusyn diaspora.

    In this stage the Government has already been constituted (in office since 1 December, 2008), all ministries as well as eight regional gubernators exist. Most of the ministers hold online conferences in terms of which the citizens may acquaint themselves with issues and trends in economy, politics and social area. Moreover, international scientific conferences are held. They are attended also by members of the Government. The whole of activity in real level has been suspended due to several alleged swoops and subsequent seizure of technology by secret service.

    If face of all the events, in 2009, the Government drew up, adopted and released plenty of documents and decisions and commenced public discussion about Carpathian Ruthenia economic doctrine, the budget of Carpathian Ruthenia (8 ), Rusyn national concept, Memorandum of the Government and finally the project of the Constitution of the Republic of Carpathian Ruthenia (9). In 2009, the Government’s preparation works in diplomatic circles were finished with the aim of international recognition (10), which is scheduled for the year 2010 according to available sources.

    As far as concrete names of the member of the Government of Carpathian Ruthenia are concerned, it is not possible to ascertain them by means of public sources as Ukrainian power adopts repressive measures (11) against the Rusyn movement the consequence of which is, for instance, also the trial with the spiritual father of Carpathian Rusyns Dimitriy Sydor (12).

    In last year’s November, the Coordination Council of Rusyns was established in Mukachevo. Out of twenty registered organizations 17 became united within. As of the remaining three organizations, according to Petro Getsko, we may say that they have been functioning controlled by SBU and were established for the purpose of making the opposition to the Rusyn movement.

    The number of Rusyns in Carpathian region still unclear

    In 2001, the hitherto last census in Ukraine was carried out. Allegedly, Ukrainian power took all measure possible to cut the number of Rusyns living in the region. Three years before the census, Rusyn lobby pursued intensive activities so that the Rusyn nationality too became implemented in census sheets on national level. However, they failed. Despite obstacles on the part of the central Government, about then thousands people professed Rusyn nationality in the census sheets. And it wasn’t easy. At some places it was accompanied by big scandals, trials or personal check of Rusyn activists. All census takers, chairpersons of municipal assemblies were allegedly instructed in advance “how it should be done correctly” – Rusyn nationality doesn’t exist. This Ukrainian attitude springs probably from the history, since after World War II, the Rusyn nationality was officially abolished.

    Rusyn activists organized own parallel census in the Zakarpattia Oblast. The result was an interesting fact – Rusyn nationality was professed by around 200 thousand people (although this census took place just in two districts). All census sheets are kept by individual members of the Rusyn movement, but Ukraine ignores them. Nowadays, more then 800 – 820 thousand Rusyns have been living in Zakarpattia Oblast of the Ukraine according to other estimates (13).

    According to the statement of the Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and Inter-Ethnic Relations of the Supreme Council of Ukraine Zarubinsky, the Act on National Minorities in Ukraine (its article 11) permits to choose and change nationality. From this follows that the choice of nationality is a personal right of every Ukrainian citizen. He at the same time adds that there is no normative regulation defining comprehensively the official list of nationalities recognized by Ukraine.<br /><br />According to last census in Ukraine in 2001, the number of the members of sub-ethnic groups in terms of the Ukrainian nation was released, among them were Byokos, Hutsuls, Lemkos, Litvins, Poleshuts and Rusyns, who have been still living in the territory of Ukraine. Their total number, ascertained by means of the census, reached 32.4 thousand persons, out of which 10.2 thousand persons were Rusyns. According to the results of the I.F. Kuras Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Rusyns are an organic part the Ukrainian nation – i.e. it sub-ethnic group – according to all ethnographic and linguistic signs (14).

    Relations with Kyiv

    At present, we cannot talk of any official relations between Rusyn bodies and the Central Government. Without exaggerating, we may say that one of few ways how Kyiv communicates with Rusyn activists are infinite interrogations through the Security Service of Ukraine (hereinafter “SBU”). Another way is the written contact, where, upon the written request of Uzhhorod, either nobody or only common officials answer to the requests of Rusyn activists. Analogical situation is also in the relations with the President’s administration and regional administration. The only honourable exception is the cooperation with at least half of the deputies of regional assembly, which the bodies of state power haven’t demolished yet. Among the projects conducted during last two years is, for example, the recognition of Rusyn ethnicity on municipal regional level, which means that on the national level Rusyns are discriminated. The political decision to restore Rusyn anthem has been attained as well.

    Modus operandi of SBU

    As mentioned above, relations of Rusyn activists with official Kyiv are under way predominantly on the level of the activities of the Secret Service of Ukraine that are focused on the activity of Rusyn activists. According to Getsko, SBU operates in the following way:

    – By winning mostly marginal Rusyn activists for the purposes of collaboration, it penetrates Rusyn organization. Having achieved the corresponding number of influence agents, it hampers the decision-making process as well as the work of authorized persons;

    – Leads a discrediting media campaign against the representatives of the Rusyn movement in terms of which it strives to compromise them by releasing information about their alleged alcoholism, skirt chasing or idiotism. The media take from each other the given untruthful information spreading it with the overtone that in the Rusyn movement there are just marginal people and agents from the Kremlin and Hungary;

    – Summons activists for several-hour interrogations into SBU or conducts random interrogations directly at the place of the occupation or residence of Rusyn activists, in terms of which it tries to prove the guilt of the interrogated person or forces him/her to confession in all possible ways;

    – If Ukrainian nationalists hold meetings with slogans like “Off with the Hungarians and Rusyns from the Ukrainian soil of Zakarpattia!”, SBU brings them to Rusyn activists and they are untouchable in practice – they aren’t prosecuted by anyone for instigating ethnic hatred, although their guilt has been proved several times;

    – SBU agents spread leaflets with photographs of an unspecified Rusyn leader with the title “Wanted by SBU” among Rusyn villages asking the people, who know of the residence of the wanted Rusyn, to call the agency;

    – Carries out swoops in Rusyn houses and churches with the aim of evoking fear in the environment of Rusyn activists – the given objective is partially achieved.

    According to Getsko, SBU was the initiator of the rupture among Rusyns. Ukrainian agents are reported to have worked among Rusyns since 1991. At the beginning of 2008, SBU succeeded in penetrating the structures of the Rusyn movement. Allegedly, a large number of new, aggressive agents took part in it. One of them is said to have even penetrating the leadership of one of Rusyn organizations. In the course of last two years, people spoke much of an alleged rupture within the movement, of alleged existence of a pro-Russian and pro-European wing of the movement, of Rusyns who want to create a kind of second pro-Moscow Abkhazia in the Carpathian Ruthenia. According to Getsko, SBU agents used to write provocation letters about these matters to Russian representatives Medvedev, Putin and Gryzlov.

    These letters were sent by SBU often on behalf of “alternative” Rusyn organizations. They contained provoking requests claiming not to recognize the conclusions of the congress in Mukachevo dated 25 October, 2008, which re-restored the pre-Soviet status of the Republic Carpathian of Ruthenia, and not to support financially those Rusyns who declared this status – otherwise these Rusyns were reported to start military actions. Other letters sent by SBU on behalf of the objectors of the Rusyn movement contained names of alleged cheaters from the Rusyn movement who were said to have obtained millions dollars from Russia and have done nothing. On the other hand, in the letters they used to convince the addressees that they were the right people to deserve this money because they were able to spend it better for the development of the Rusyn movement.

    Apart from the measures mentioned Ukrainian secret services used to publish materials compromising the leaders of the Rusyn movement, e.g. father Sydor, Getsko, Zhupan, Mikulina, Djugan and others (15). All of that immediately after the Russian movement managed to free from Ukrainian agents. Relatively recently, another trio of Ukrainian agents has been disclosed (16).

    SBU is said to exert pressure also on Rusyn media. Following the swoops in some Rusyn editorial offices, the newspapers “Carpathian Ruthenia” and “Christian Homeland” ceased to be published. They got a ten minute show in Rusyn language in local television, but the editor is only allowed to sing and dance. He wasn’t allowed to deal with any political questions (17).

    The financing of the Rusyn movement

    Rusyn leaders reject any financial support of the Kremlin (18). According to them, they are financed solely by means of contributions of Rusyn middle class in Zakarpattia as well as financial contributions of Rusyn diaspora in the US, Canada, Germany, the Czech Republic and Russia. They say SBU severed all the financial flows it could. Therefore the elementary burden of financing lies on the shoulders of Rusyn middle class, entrepreneurs in particular, according to Rusyn representatives. Means suffice for business trips, indirect expenses, like rent and wages. They have though little but enough money – many Rusyns even work for free.

    In spite of the statements of Rusyn activists the question remains who does instigate their activities, who does finance them, who does spend money for the relatively wide propaganda activity? Perhaps Russia in order to destabilize the situation in Ukraine and uphold thus indirectly also its claims and interests in other Ukrainian regions. Or, for instance, the Orthodox Church? Answers to these questions remain unanswered as to concrete information, but such broad-concept activity must cost money. Where does the money come from (19)?

    Economy of Carpathian Ruthenia

    The Zakarpattia Oblast is the poorest region of Ukraine and that’s why many Rusyns search for work right beyond the borders of their region. On the basis of statistics from 2008 and 2009, Rusyn migrants working abroad brought approximately half a billion euro from abroad. Up to 15 thousand people work in the US, mostly with university education. More than 200 thousand in Russia and more than 100 thousand in the states of the European Union. The lowest salary of a Rusyn “gastarbeiter” amounts to 1,000 euro; women have lower salary. In most cases migrants work in the field of services and construction. In Ukraine Rusyns are allegedly allowed to work in state administration to a rather limited extent – their total number amounts just to 5 thousand people. The work in leading positions is almost out of the question. The amount of salary reaches the level between USD 200 and 300. Approximately 270 thousand people have reached retirement age – the core are Ukrainians and Russian – retired soldiers. In case of the return of “gastarbeiters” there is the threat that the unemployment rate in Zakarpattia achieves as many as 60 percent.

    From the aforementioned facts follows that the region of such a small extent and thus much economically weak and dependent like Carpathian Ruthenia has no hope for quite independent existence so far. Finally, it isn’t even rooted in its historical tradition. Therefore this very objective can be regarded as not too wise since Carpathian Ruthenia suffers permanently in terms of the big whole, we may even say that it is exploited. A more real scenario can be considered the acquisition of as large and wide economic as well as political autonomy as possible in terms of the current Ukraine (20).

    Carpathian Ruthenia, Rusyns and Slovakia

    Current Rusyn movement doesn’t consider the attachment of Carpathian Ruthenia to Slovakia because according to the statements of its representatives, it would be equally dangerous step as the persistence in the state whole with Ukraine. The same holds true for current Hungary – the Governments of Slovakia and Hungary aren’t biased on favour of Rusyns. The main course of Carpathian Ruthenia for the next 50 years is the restoration of pre-Soviet status of Carpathian Ruthenia as quoted in Rusyn national concept. According to Rusyn leaders, the one who bore the blame for the commitments of the Treaty of Saint Germain not being fulfilled is the state power in the era of the first Czechoslovak Republic (21). The primary objective is the independent and sovereign Republic of Carpathian Ruthenia, which will be integrated into European structures – all of that in active attendance of the Czech Republic, Germany, the US and Russia.

    Simultaneously, the question is pending whether the Slovak Republic needs to dread independent Carpathian Ruthenia – one of the primary reasons is that the Rusyn element largely exceeds the territory of today’s Zakarpattia Oblast. According to Rusyn activists, Carpathian Ruthenia has no territorial claims towards the Slovak Republic and Rusyn nationality will be realized in terms of current administrative borders of the Zakarpattia Oblast. As regards all the questions, the Slovak Republic is sure to gain a trustworthy ally and partner in Carpathian Ruthenia. The possibility of attaching the territories inhabited by Slovak Rusyns is ruled out and a comprehensive answer to this question shall be given by the final version of Rusyn national concept. However, on the other hand Rusyn activists feel to be committed to supporting Slovak Rusyns culturally.

    Rusyn organizations strive to forge cooperation with countries also in Slovakia. According to our source, cooperation is restricted thanks to the activities of Slovak secret services as well as secret services from the US, represented by persons like Alexander Zozuľák (22) or Paul Robert Magocsi (23). The crystallizing of the situation in Ukraine and Slovakia shows that the restoration of Rusyn nationality isn’t in the interest of both countries. According to the source, state power in Slovakia has upheld the “good-for-nothing and drunkard” Alexander Zozuľak, who is the right-hand man of American Paul Robert Magocsi, a long time, according to the statement of another secret service agent. The power in Slovakia is said to support Greek-Catholic Church, which persistently and thoroughly assimilates the Rusyns. However, it seems that it has been much more successful in Carpathian Ruthenia than in Ukraine. According to the source, equally apparent are the power’s actions in pursuit of dividing the Rusyn movement in Slovakia into three or four streams.

    The format of the detachment of Carpathian Ruthenia from Ukraine proposed by Ukrainian activists

    1) The Division of Ukraine and Carpathian Ruthenia must be carried out in a peaceful way – such a one which is satisfactory for the US, Russia and the European Union;
    2) the division must be reached unilaterally (independently of Ukraine), but under strong international control;
    3) no troubles with the restoration and recognition of the pre-Soviet status of Carpathian Ruthenia may occur for the states of the Visegrád Four;
    4) international recognition dated 1 December, 2008, of the restored statehood of the Republic of Carpathian Ruthenia;
    5) the detachment cannot affect the functioning of what functions now – international communication, pipe transport, roads, electric networks, communal ownership, businesses, workshops etc.

    Territory where the Rusyns live

    Relations between Rusyn diaspora and the Rusyn movement struggling for the statehood of Carpathian region are complicated. Rusyn diaspora (institutionalized in the World Council of Rusyns) and a large majority of the Rusyn movement in Zakarpattia imagine the future of Carpathian Ruthenia in a different way. The Coordination Council of the Rusyns heads for the creation of an independent republic, whereas Rusyn diaspora insists “solely” on the creation of the rights of the Rusyns in Zakarpattia, which means right to autonomy (on local and national level as it is in Hungary, or on national level as it is in Serbia, or on local and regional level as it is in Croatia), the use of language and writing system, right to education in Rusyn language, development of Rusyn culture, as it is enacted and guaranteed by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Simultaneously, in many respects it encourages the Carpathian Ruthenia’s struggle for autonomy in terms of the state frontiers of today’s Ukraine, but not a unilateral declaration of the Republic Carpathian Ruthenia according to Kosovo scenario, which means a war in practice. Rusyn diaspora is for the commencement of a wide discussion in attendance of the European Union (24).

    Father Sydor was a member of the World Council of Rusyns (25), but since he engaged in autonomous Carpathian Ruthenia, they have come to a parting of the ways (which is the case of the others as well), because his struggle in this matter isn’t approved by many individuals in Slovakia as well as other states. According to Alexander Zozuľák, the former Executive Secretary of World Council of Rusyns, the World Congress of Rusyns and its body World Council of the Rusyns aren’t political but cultural and ethnical structures and the activity of father Sydor is a political activity, which doesn’t correspond with the statutes of the World Council of Rusyns. We have also managed to obtain the statement of Vladimír Protivňák, the current Executive Secretary of the World Council of Rusyns, according to whom the initiatives of father Sydor as well as other protagonists aren’t in accordance with the intentions and objectives of WCR. They rather harm the Rusyn movement in European room, and therefore the World Council of Rusyns cannot agree with them.

    According to Agáta Pilátová, current activities of the self-constituted representatives of the so-called “Republic of Carpathian Ruthenia” are managed unfortunately and they don’t have any chance to succeed. They are led in a dilettantish manner, with no respect for international context, mainly for Europe-wide context. He further said that in her opinion, today, there is no political will to change post-war borders and the map of Europe, no matter how positive is the stance of international structures on the independence of Kosovo, which was an inspiration for Rusyn activists in the end. But Kosovo has found itself in completely different context. She at the same time adds that according to her information, Rusyn activists don’t collaborate in their quest with further ethnic groups living in the territory of Carpathia, they don’t coordinate their actions with them (26).

    Conclusion

    In the dispute over Carpathian Ruthenia four players can be clearly distinguished. The first one is Ukraine, which strives to preserve territorial integrity and does it’s level best to neutralize the Rusyn element. On one level it says that there is no legal regulation containing comprehensive definition of the number of recognized ethnic groups, but on another level it says that Rusyns are a kind of sub-ethnic group of the Ukrainian nation and oppresses their cultural manifestations. In opposition to Ukraine there are Rusyn domestic activists represented by the collaborators of father Sydor, who struggles for the creation of an independent republic in the territory of today’s Zakarpattia Oblast and is no longer willing to negotiate with Ukrainian power. In opposition to the aforementioned players is Russian diaspora, which insists on the autonomy, territorial and cultural, in terms of the boundaries of current Ukraine and regards Carpathian Ruthenia as an integral part of Ukraine. The last player in the area to be distinguished is the Russian federation, which, according to the statement of our source, provides Rusyn activists in Zakarpattia with information support only and the financial one remains a question for now.

    Notes

    (1) Personal statement of Agáta Pilátová, Society of Friends of Carpathian Ruthenia (CZ).

    (2) Search guide: find the name “Петр Гецко” in the browser on the website. There will be two equal profiles, the first one closed and the second one open. Go to the open profile and, like an avatar, there is a photograph of Rusyn passport. Click on it and the program will redirect you into the group. Submit a request to the moderator and he will include you in the group.

    (5) Internet access in Zakarpattia is on a standard level and the choice of providers is sufficient. Tariffs are dependent on the service pack. Almost every inhabitant of the region can afford the use of internet. For comparison, 5 – 6 visits to a café cost approximately the same as monthly fee for internet.<br

    (6) Discussions are under way in blogs, forums and social networks. Political scientists, predominantly, Russian ones, are invited to as experts to discussions because domestic, Ukrainian, ones are afraid of discussing this topic owing to alleged persecutions. On the other hand, Ukraine grants the status of persona non grata to these persons. Also Rusyn experts take part in the discussions. Their names cannot be released for obvious reasons. <br />(7) Obviously, it is not just about people registered in the aforementioned groups only – we have to add users registered also in personal profiles of the leaders of the Rusyn movement in social networks.

    8 ) Drawing up the budget of Carpathian Ruthenia for 2010, Rusyn economists were said to come to a budget amounting to 1 billion and 600 million euro. Nevertheless, official budgets of the Zakarpattia Oblast don’t exceed 200 million euro. It means that the money obtained in Zakarpattia is delivered to Kyiv and just one eight or maximum one tenth of the total amount is returned back. According to the estimates of Rusyn economists, Carpathian Ruthenia will achieve a budget amounting to 4 billion euro in two years.

    (9) Enforcement units are necessary for the functioning of a legal state. These are formed gradually from the ranks of young members of Rusyn organizations.

    (10) The Rusyn movement collaborates with many countries. No links have been forged with Slovakia so far because according to Rusyn leaders, Slovakia is plagued by the Rusyn element. Furthermore, according to them, after the recognition of the existence of an independent Carpathian Ruthenia by just a single state – the process of recognition will be triggered very quickly. Of course, requests for the recognition of independent Carpathian Ruthenia will be addressed by its Government to the Governments of Visegrád Four countries. The former Foreign Affairs Minister of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák stated that similar scenario is out of the question (it is an unofficial statement extracted from a debate on the premises of the university).

    (11) According to available information, SBU tries to block the accounts of the Rusyn movement on the internet. For instance, Rusyn accounts have been blocked on Ukrainian servers “Zerkalo nedeli”, “2000”, “Sevastopoľ info” and on a great deal of other Ukrainian servers. In last year’s spring, two biggest Rusyn blogs were cancelled (one of them had even got into the top 30 (of 10 million) blogs according to the rankings of Russian browser Yandex). For obvious reasons Rusyns try to get all their services on non-Ukrainian servers. The fact that the situation hasn’t changed even after the arrival of opposition is proved by the fact that hacker attacks on Rusyn accounts were carried out immediately after the inauguration of Viktor Yanukovych. Internet remains the fundamental information room of the Rusyns – according to a Rusyn activists, SBU personnel working in the sphere of information technologies doesn’t even achieve average level and they will take ten years to achieve at least the level of Rusyn activists.

    (12) Part of the Dimitriy Sydor file.http://getsko-p.livejournal.com/50805.html (Dimitriy Sydor is tried according to Section 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

    (13) Rusyn organizations have been presently functioning in all districts of the Oblast and cooperate actively with the inhabitants. And it is according to the data collected by the above mentioned organizations that the number of inhabitants is estimated at 800 – 820 thousand. Rusyn organization issues identity cards for their members confirming that their holders are Rusyns, because official Rusyn nationality doesn’t exist and cannot be proved by any other way. For the moment given the issuing of these identity cards is partly suspended because according to Getsko, SBU seized the necessary technology in many Rusyn centres. Nonetheless, thousands people would like to gain the identity cards (see here – pattern of an identity card below http://www.pudkarpatskarus.eu).

    (14) Statement of Oleg Oleksandrovych Zarubinsky, the Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and Inter-Ethnic Relations of the Supreme Council of Ukraine.

    (15) In compromising letters it was allegedly confirmed that the leaders of the Rusyn movement are unfair and work in the movement just for Russian money.

    (16) According to Getsko, only two names have been know so far, Mayor Nikolay and Ivan Palinkash, who have been bribed and now they are forced to serve SBU. The third one is somewhere in the Czech Republic, his surname is unknown – first name is Vasily.

    (17) Even in the field of education system the situation is not much better. The Rusyn language is said not to be taught in state schools, only in schools financed by the Rusyns themselves – they have been financed by the Rusyns living in the US until recently. In 2009, a part of Rusyn classes were reputedly shut by SBU, which scared teachers and sponsors that they would be arrested for seditious activities and separatism.

    (18) As already mentioned, SBU was reputed to write on behalf of “alternative” Rusyn organizations letters to Moscow pertaining to financial support. These letters were said to have been written by the SBU preventively in order to bounce possible attempts of Rusyn activists to ask the Kremlin for financial support. According to available information, Russia doesn’t provide any other support besides the information one

    (19) Personal statement of Agáta Pilátová, Society of Friends of Carpathian Ruthenia (CZ). Certain suspicions and mistrust on the part of Pilátová is confirmed also by the way of the media presentation of the last year’s congress of Carpathian Rusyns held in Pardubice in the Czech Republic (see the report: http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=279314). Who, with what aim and for whose money organized this “event”. It is no accident that Russian media informed of it and in Russian language. Moreover, in the report certain Vasily Pauk appears, who was presented as the Chairman of the Organization of Carpathian Rusyns in the Czech Republic (who, by the way, wasn’t appointed thoroughly into this position by anyone according to available information from Pilátová). Pilátová met him once or twice when he was attempting to push through his political goals on the floor of the organization Friends of Carpathian Ruthenia and other ones. Pilátová and the others were explaining him repeatedly that their organization was apolitical, developing mainly cultural activities, which was contained in its statutes. And also that Rusyns were supposed to fight for their political goals at home, in Carpathian Ruthenia and in terms of Ukraine, but not in the Czech Republic; due to their political dilettantism they only can cause complications as far as their relations with Ukraine are concerned. As far as they want to live and work here, they should respect and protect the interests of the Czech Republic. All in all, according to Pilátová, Pauk is far from expressing the opinions of all Rusyns living in the Czech Republic. Pilátova knows a lot of people disapproving of his actions or having no clue of them at all. She further said that these activities don’t have positive impact on the foreign policy of the Czech Republic. People of Pauk’s class have marginal importance from the point of view of social awareness in the Czech Republic according to Pilátová. Nobody in the Czech Republic is interested very much; there was no feedback when they, for example, went out demonstrating with Rusyn flag in front of Ukrainian embassy about two years ago.

    (20) Personal statement of Agáta Pilátová, Society of Friends of Carpathian Ruthenia (CZ).

    (21) Commitments pertaining to the unrealized autonomy of Carpathian Ruthenia. According to this contract, the CSR de facto had to provide Carpathian Rusyns with complete national autonomy – top degree autonomy compatible with the unit of Czechoslovak state.

    (22) Alexander Zozuľák denies the statements of Petro Getsko saying concurrently that he knows neither him nor his activities. Moreover, he added that in connection with Zakarpattia, it is so just in the sphere of culture and education system, with organizations developing the national identity of Rusyns. Also Vladimír Protivňák provided his statement. He is said not to have known Getsko either and as far as he knew, he hadn’t participated in the structures of the World Congress of Rusyns as well.

    (23) By that time Paul Robert Magocsi was the Chairman of the World Council of Rusyns and Alexander Zozuľák was its Executive Secretary. On the other hand, a very attractive cooperation exists between Rusyn activists and organizations from the Czech Republic (Prague) and Serbia (Novi Sad). Cooperation is under way on the level of expert conferences, festivals, congresses and meetings.

    (24) The statement of the current Chairman of the World Council of the Rusyns Djura Papuga.

    (25) Father Sydor wasn’t elected WCR member. Michail Almashi won his position. Following the activities and initiatives of father Sydor in Carpathia and notifications of the then World Council of Rusyns, Almashi didn’t respond to the appeals of the then WCR Secretary and didn’t know to justify his attitude to the new situation in Ukraine. Finally, he resigned on his post of WCR member for Ukraine prior to the 10th World Congress of Rusyns. Now, Mikola Bobinec is the council member representing Ukrainian Rusyns.

    (26) Personal statement of Agáta Pilátová, Society of Friends of Carpathian Ruthenia (CZ).

    http://www.despiteborders.com/clanok_an.php?subaction=showfull&id=1281433454&archive=&start_from=&ucat=49&amp;

    Source: http://www.pudkarpatskarus.eu/index.php/slovakia/203-carpathian-ruthenia-or-a-new-neighbour-on-the-horizon-michal-ondrejcik.html

    Click to the link to read the article in Slovak language

    #355497

    Anonymous

    Very interesting text.
    If SubCarpathian Ruthenia would be created on teritory of Ukraine, they would seek unification with other Rusyn areas in Slovakia, Poland and then it will become "Great Ruthenian Reich" ;D
    Personaly, I don't support their independency. Slavs should be more united not more dezintegrated. Anyway, how is big difference among Rusyns, Ukrainians, Belarusians and Russians? Basically It's all one folk.
    Just look case of Rusyns in Serbia, one part claim they are Rusyns, second part to be Ukrainians, third to be Russians… Common people call them simple "Rusi".
    Best solution I think is high cultural autonomy as they have in Serbia and Republic of Srpska.

    #355498

    Anonymous

    Exactly! I absolutely agree. With Roma question, Magyar question it could be very dangerous for sovereignty of Slovak Republic. Is the debate about our differences what we need?

    #355500

    Anonymous

    They are a very peaceful and very cultured people this is very out of character for them IMHO

    #355501

    Anonymous

    This, for me, looks same as Catalans, Galicians and Basques wanting to break from Spain, when essentially they are part of same Iberian folk. Or like Friesland breaking away from Netherlands. Or Silesia or Pommerania from Poland when we are all same Lechitic speaking West Slavs. How many Rusyns actually speak their own language even? Lemkos in Poland and Slovakia speak language generally of country where they live in. I am sure is same in Ukraine.

    In history, Ukrainians, Belarussians and "Rusyns" were all called Rusini in times of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. There was no difference between them. After fall of Mongol Empire into various hordes, all East Slavs on our side of border were Rusini (Ruthenians in latin) and all on Russian side of border were Russians/Muscovites. I would be interested to know actually how this various nations as they are today actually formed. What was their ethnogenesis?

    On other hand, I believe firmly that everyone deserves self-determination if they are living in their homelands under control of another ethnic group. This goes Rusyns also. If they want it, no one has right to deny them this.

    #355502

    Anonymous

    That is very interesting question, especialy about Ukrainians and Ukraine/Little Russia – ancient teritory of Rus'; there is only little linguistic and cultural difference as fair I can see.

    Anyway, everyone have right to self determination, if they want state so hard they will have to fight for it.

    #355503

    Anonymous

    Dervan, languages in East Slavic peoples (Russians, Ukrainians, Belarussians and Rusyns) are all different, though similar. But to unite them would be like uniting all South Slav countries. Though indeed, West Slavs with other West SLavs and East Slavs with other East Slavs have better possibility of unity, because culturally, they are similar to each other, unlike South Slavs.

    #355504

    Anonymous

    All right, I agree with you, but differences between Slavic people are exaggerated, especialy among South Slavs.

    #355505

    Anonymous

    I was referring more to religious issue among South Slavs. Generally in terms of culture/mentality otherwise, I am sure that indeed between South Slavs there is not so much difference.

    #355506

    Anonymous

    These people need more indepenence, but not a new state, that weakens Ukraine, or Slovakia (wich is small already)

    #355507

    Anonymous

    I would give them more autonomy but Zakarpatya and Rusyns remain an integral part of Ukrainian nation.

    #355508

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    I would give them more autonomy but Zakarpatya and Rusyns remain an integral part of Ukrainian nation.

    We agree on something? Hm, this is cannot be GDN_D

    #355509

    Anonymous
    Quote:

    Quote:
    I would give them more autonomy but Zakarpatya and Rusyns remain an integral part of Ukrainian nation.

    We agree on something? Hm, this is cannot be GDN_D

    Seems to be so ;D

    #355510

    Anonymous

    Podkarpatska Rus cannot exist as a separate state because of several reasons:
    – situation in Europe is already beginning to be quite volatile
    – an ethnicity seceding and establishing a new state would create another dangerous precedence in international relations; Europe must cool down a bit now
    – they do not have neither economic capabilities neither enough capable lawyers, politicians, etc.
    – there would be too large minorities in this state and Rusyns would not even have an absolute majority but a relative majority.

    Quote:
    …and Rusyns remain an integral part of Ukrainian nation.

    I have Rusyn ancestry. There are no Ukrainians in my family.

    #355511

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    I have Rusyn ancestry. There are no Ukrainians in my family.

    I wasn't implying this. I see Rusyns as a subgroup of the Ukrainian people.

    To avoid further confusion which may be caused by my statement: Rusyns are a special and distinct branch of the Ukrainian people. I encourage them to follow their traditions and to keep their language alive – they are a part of Ukraine's cultural legacy after all. I am against oppression of Rusyns – why should I do bad to a part of my own people?

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