This week, on November 22, in Moscow, the unknown wrote on the wall of the Ukrainian cultural centre on Arbat st. “Kharkov – Russian city,” a sheet, pasted on the front door, said: “Kharkov to home – Ukraine away!.” During the campaign, the Ukrainian flag was burned. Unidentified activists left the place of the incident until the police arrived. In this regard, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s official website reported on indignation upon criminal abuse in Russia over the national flag of Ukraine.
Of course, the fact of holding such actions should be condemned. Any public action should take place within the law and with respect for the state symbols of other countries. However, if we look at how Ukraine behaves in relation to the state symbols of the Russian Federation, and compare the behaviour of the two countries, such a comparison would not be in favour of Ukraine. For example, the message on the official website of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that “the planned and sanctioned nature of such actions demonstrates the regularity of their conduct at the walls of Ukrainian institution in the heart of the Russian capital, and lack of proper reaction from law enforcement agencies.” To begin with, any systematic conduct of such actions is non-negotiable, as only a single case was registered, while the police responded to the incident in the normal mode. In addition, it is not a public institution or a building, but cultural centre.
In Ukraine, embassies and consulates of the Russian Federation have repeatedly been subjected to attacks by extremists. The most egregious case is an attack on the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Lvov, which was attended by the deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Parasyuk. He ripped off the state flag of the Russian Federation from the Consulate’s building, and it was later burned by Ukrainian activists. In other words, the Ukrainian government directly supported the intervention of the radicals, and its representative participated in their action. What is this if not a direct provocation?
An important point is the fact that, despite all the controversy, the entire flow of groundless accusations of Ukraine towards Russia, the Ukrainian cultural centre continues its work in Moscow. Moreover, the Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the incident. While the Lvov region of Ukraine authorities have filed a lawsuit for forced eviction of Russian cultural centre from the premises in Lvov. The building has been leased by a public organization “Society of Friends of Russian and Ukrainian culture named after Pushkin” since 1990. After all this, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expresses strong indignation.
In fact, the policy of double standards on the part of Ukraine is no surprise. Naive behaviour of representatives of the Kiev authorities, who are outraged when they are faced with the reaction of ordinary people in response to their outrages, strikes. It is possible that exactly mirrored measures have been expected in Kiev from Moscow when they held their torch and other rites near the Russian diplomatic offices. The difference is that in Russia, unlike Ukraine, any such actions are not held under the patronage of the authorities, and therefore they have to wait for asymmetrical answers.
Alla Barkhatnova, the DPR People’s Council deputy