Suspilne Culture is launching a new project – “No brotherhood – there wasn't one, isn't and will never be”. People from across Ukraine's creative and cultural industries explain in their columns, how Russia has been trying to destroy Ukrainian identity for years (or even centuries).
All materials will be published in both Ukrainian and English. Russia's informational aggression has been a part of the daily discourse in Ukraine for a long time, especially after Maidan in 2014. Now we need to make this context available abroad to show that we've been fighting this war for way more than just a month.
Alyona Lobanova, an SMM expert and a photographer with 13 years of experience reflects on why Ukrainians and Russians are so different, even on social media.
For the Ukrainian version click here.
Translated from Ukrainian by Ivan Korniienko.
We've been hearing the nonsense about "brotherly nations" from everywhere since we were kids – from grandmas in the yard to tv channels. But let's be frank: it's just Russians trying to reel us in with their talons, forcing us on emotional rollercoasters, unable to just let us go.
Working as a photographer and SMM manager, I noticed the vast chasm of difference between us. While we post about our support of the LGBT community, Russians get jailed for just using LGBT symbols.
Like every Ukrainian's life, mine was split into before and after Maidan. We know the price of our freedom: it tastes like the blood of Hundred Heavenly Heroes, like barricades, like calls to your loved ones asking "how are you?". We don't care about your walksRussians have been taking to the streets in so-called "walks", decentralized actions without leaders – Editor`s Note. It seems that you, Russians, just don't know how to take a proper walk.
We want to save our love towards everyone and everything Ukrainian, to put it shortly. It's easier than ever to feel ever since 2014, as I've mentioned. "Buy Ukrainian", "support our own", we yell from every corner, while our toxic "brother" is busy flexing his new Channels and Guccis.
We build campaigns featuring models of all complexions, write nice comments, create projects to show how different yet beautiful in the same way our people are. We come together when we see Hum Hum get a bad review on Google just because they are supportive of LGBT+After a list of LGBT+ positive Kyiv venues was published, they got a wave of negative reviews. Ukrainians united to counter that with positive reviews – Editor`s Note and drown them in positive ones.
Russians protect each other's backs only when it suits them; Ikea shark and sugar are holy and are definitely worth kicking each other's butt. While Ukrainians study the list of brands that haven't left the Russian market to make sure they never buy from them, Russians cry about H&M leaving on TikTok.
Sugar fights in Russian stores
We built Ukrtwi and collect "ЮЩЕНКО ТАК"Ukrainians on Twitter post a letter each to a Twitter thread, ironizing about the motto of Orange Revolution "Ющенко – ТАК!" (YES to Yuschenko) – Editor`s Note in replies.
Meanwhile, Russians shame each other for petty things. We're not brothers, will never be brothers. People who know no freedom cannot understand why it has to be fought for, why they have to support their own, or what "own" even is.
We love our own, we raise up this love in those dear to our hearts and treat everyone with respect (except ruskis).
While war rages on, we quote ZhadanUkrainian writer, musician, and publicist. He was nominated for A Nobel Literature Prize by Polish Literary Sciences Academy in 2022 – Editor`s Note, we buy tickets to Mykolaiv ZooUkrainians started buying tickets to support Zoos to help feed the animals – Editor`s Note from all around the world while Russians shove in queues to get the last cheeseburger in McDonald's.
Russians queue up to visit Mcdonald's after the networks announced it would be closing its chains in Russia
To quote Serhiy Zhadan, "Happiness is something you fight for", and we sure know how to fight.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Suspilne Culture.
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