Valentin Constantinov: Everyone wants peace, but this is perceived by everyone differently

History suggests enough reasons for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and also models for returning to normality, for stopping the hostilities. It is known that the first attempt to restore an empire dates from the sixth century and Vladimir Putin is tempted by similar impulses after many centuries of human experience, Valentin Constantinov, Doctor Habilitate of Historical Sciences, said in a public debate staged by IPN News Agency.

He noted that all the attempts failed, with the fall of the empires lasting longer or not so long and having more or less powerful effects and this is a lesson to be learned. The current attempt will also fail as the historical process and finality lead to such a conclusion. “If comparing the democratic and authoritarian regimes, we can make reference to the Republic of Moldova, where all the politicians quarrel between them, but this is what a democratic regime is like. Vladimir Putin has a despotic regime. He is surrounded by people who told him what he wanted to hear. He detached himself from the reality and made a fatal mistake.”

The historian considers the Russian leader’s mistake refers not only to Ukraine, but also to the own country and to other countries. “The Russians will feel the consequences of the war soon. For now they do not feel really affected”.

As to the solutions that can be suggested by the historical experience, the historian said that everyone wants peace to be established, but peace in the view of Putin and of Patriarch Kirill means that the Ukrainians must capitulate and accept the conditions imposed by Vladimir Putin. And Europe and America should also accept them. “In this connection, I would speak about the notion of national consciousness. In 2014, the Ukrainians didn’t have the national consciousness needed to fight for Crimea. Today the Ukrainians are ready to sacrifice their lives for their homeland. This is national consciousness,” stated Valentin Constantinov.

Speaking about the sources of national consciousness, the historian mentioned the role of Petru Movilă (1596 – 1646) from Suceava. “We cannot know what would have happened to the national consciousness of the Ukrainians if Petru Movilă hadn’t existed. He became the Metropolitan of Kyiv (of Galicia and all Russia, e.n.), founded the famous Movilean Academy in Kyiv where a considerable part of the Ukrainian intellectuality that promoted Orthodoxy in this area was trained,” he said, noting that many Moldovans found refuge and an occupation in the Sechya of Zaporozhe.  

Generalizing, the historian said the relations between the Romanian and Ukrainian areas in time were complex, while the contributions were considerable on both parts. “Even the nationalist movement of Bandera took roots and developed mostly in areas that were cohabited by Romanians and Ukrainians.”

The public debate entitled “Moldovan-Ukrainian and Moldovan-Russian relations in time and before the war between the two states?” was the 245th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation

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