“Are the Irish really ready to engage in such nationalism?” – Russian Embassy criticizes Taoiseach’s Ukraine comments
The Russian Embassy in Ireland has criticized Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s comments on Ukrainian nationalism.
At its peak at the national famine commemoration on Sunday, Mr Martin said Ukraine’s nationalism was “not aggressive and exclusionary nationalism, but a nationalism with which we and so many others can identify”.
Mr Martin commented on the welcome Ireland has given Ukrainian refugees.
He said Ukraine’s own national history was marked by famine.
“And of course we remain steadfast in our solidarity with the people of Ukraine defending themselves against a brutal and unjust war waged against them by a neo-imperial power,” he said.
“When the people of Ukraine voted for independence, they did so in a spirit of self-reliance and without resentment.
“They chose for themselves a simple flag of a clear sky over fields of wheat. It was not aggressive and exclusionary nationalism, but a nationalism with which we and so many others can identify.”
However, the Russian embassy in Ireland has questioned the Taoiseach’s comments, saying his assessment “requires closer consideration of certain basic facts that would enable any independent observer to appreciate the nature of the Ukrainian version of nationalism”.
The embassy’s comments come as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, with a top human rights watchdog saying on Wednesday it had documented further instances of “blatant war crimes” by Russian forces in two regions of Ukraine.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report that Russian forces, which controlled much of the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions from late February to March, executed, tortured and subjected civilians to other serious ill-treatment.
The report noted that according to HRW, 22 were apparent summary executions, nine other unlawful killings, six alleged enforced disappearances and seven cases of torture. Twenty-one civilians told HRW they had been unlawfully detained in inhumane and degrading conditions, it said. HRW called for the alleged abuses to be “impartially investigated and appropriately prosecuted.”
In an online statement to the Taoiseach, the embassy said Ukrainian nationalism manifested itself in “radical and violent forms” in the first half of the 20th century.
It also claimed that “to this day, the authorities in Kyiv openly promote xenophobia, radical nationalism and neo-Nazism at all levels.”
“The history of Ukrainian nationalism dates back to the 18th century. However, it only took on its extremely radical and violent forms in the first half of the 20th century,” the statement said.
The embassy accused the Ukrainian authorities of “condoning the rise of nationalist, Ukrainian dominance in society and flirting with radicals for political reasons” from 1990 to 2000.
The embassy also accused the authorities in the Ukrainian capital of pursuing policies aimed at “violating the rights of the Russian-speaking population”.
She ended her statement with a question to the Irish public: “The question is – are the Irish and many other peoples really ready to embrace such nationalism?”
https://www.independent.ie/news/are-the-irish-really-ready-to-relate-to-such-nationalism-russian-embassy-hits-out-at-taoiseachs-ukraine-comments-41664165.html “Are the Irish really ready to engage in such nationalism?” – Russian Embassy criticizes Taoiseach’s Ukraine comments