“A shared long and common history” implies Ukraine and Russia are somehow like Siamese twins – in their origins, historical development, and in their current values and outlooks. These assumptions are often repeated by the media, but closer examination reveals crucial substantive differences.
1. Common origins? For more than 300 years, ‘Moskovia’ was… ‘Moskovia’
This is key for proper understanding… up until the early 1700s, most maps, government documents and all other records throughout the territory of present-day Russia proclaimed themselves “Moskovia” (Muscovy). All the people considered themselves Moskovites. But in trying to kick-start his country into contemporary Europe, Peter the Great searched for a more imposing pedigree (the word “Moscow” means “swampy or dark waters” in the ancient Finno-Ugric language).
“Third Rome” was a failed attempt to connect Russia’s royal genealogy through Byzantium to ancient Rome (the title ‘Tsar’ was derived from ‘Caesar’) . Other spurious “ancestors”…
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