Subscribe Menu

Occupation isn’t just a word

When Estonian war refugees, born during the first Soviet occupation, first applied for their Canadian citizenship, their ‘place of birth’ was often designated as ‘Tallinn, USSR’ or ‘Estonian SSR’ or something similar. Rarely was it marked ‘Estonia’.

This was an insult, made by ignorant officials who ignored the Canadian policy, which didn’t recognize de jure the annexation of the Baltic states. Plus, they didn’t grasp the painful meaning of ‘occupation’ for people who had to endure and then escape from repressive, foreign subjugation.

A clear signal about the Kremlin’s intention for the occupied areas of Ukraine and for the entire Ukrainian nation was spelled out in a RIA Novosti editorial entitled, “What Russia should do with Ukraine”, shortly after Russia launched the invasion.

It claimed the word “Ukraine” itself was synonymous with Nazism and cannot be allowed to exist. “De-nazification is inevitably De-Ukrainianization”. It stated that the idea of Ukrainian culture and identity is a sham.

It was in effect a rhetorical approval of destroying everything Ukrainian. In essence, also a licence to kill, as starkly witnessed most recently...

Become a subscriber to continue reading!

Every week we bring you news from the community and exclusive columns. We're relying on your support to keep going and invite you to subscribe.

Try the first 8 weeks for $1.

Go to Subscription Plans

Read more