The Kremlin’s policy has historically been aimed at assimilating captured ethnic groups and turning them into an artificial imperial community that does not remember its roots, under the names «Russian» or «Soviet» people. And all of this was done with the main goal of strengthening the power of the ruling groups over the captured territories.
The history of our Fatherland — Kuban — is a vivid and typical example of the Russian colonial policy, which was aimed at «moscovization» of the local population, pitting different ethnic and religious groups against each other.
While our compatriots are looking for enemies among foreign countries or among their fellow countrymen of another ethnic group or faith — the real enemy is sitting in the Kremlin and it has no nationality, and its faith is the «golden calf».
This is probably the most difficult issue concerning the topic of ethnical self-determination. Most of us are descendants of Ancient Rus’ — East Slavic tribes (Rusnaks or Rusyns, as they were generally called) and neighboring peoples who formed feudal states about a millennium ago, stretching from the Baltic Sea to the part of the modern Kuban. The problem is that the Rus’s inheritance was captured and monopolized by Muscovy — the former backwater of Rus’ and then the ulus of the Genghisid Empire. Muscovy made it both by force of arms, and by the power of diplomacy and propaganda, and calls it «collecting of the land». Muscovy-Russia placed itself at the center of the «Russian World» and defined it not as part of an all-European idea, but as a despotic, aggressive and anti-human idea — a scarecrow for the entire free world, and thus discrediting our history and name.
We believe that the first thing to do in this matter is to define the terms in order to end the confusion. For example, thesis «Russification of Ukrainians» in the sense of «Russification of Rusyns» is absurd. Unfortunately, we have to use such oxymorons because of the current practice. In our work, we try to adhere to the terminology of Western and Ukrainian science, but, of course, we believe that work in this direction — in developing a common understanding and restoring historical truth — should continue, because the current is not enough.
Our movement is based primarily on the interests of the part of the Kuban population that has Ukrainian origin: regardless of when their ancestors moved to the Kuban — whether two centuries ago or in Soviet times, and regardless of whether they were Cossacks or not.
And, although official statistics define approximately 9/10 of the population of Kuban as «Russian», we know very well that these figures were drawn almost 90 years ago during the Stalinist policy of Decossackization. They are drawn in passports and birth certificates of many native Kuban people who even spoke the «Russian» language with difficulty. And, even in spite of mass repressions, famines and evictions, the part of the Ukrainian population by origin continues to remain significant in Kuban, as can be seen at least by the huge number of typical Cossack and Ukrainian surnames.
But it is useless to name concrete numbers. First of all, because the self-determination of the population has been fairly washed out by the occupation authorities for almost a century.
That is why our task is to return the ethnic consciousness of Kuban, to popularize the culture and language of our great-grandparents among the younger generation.
Kuban is a multi-ethnic region. In addition to the Slavic population, we have Adygs, Armenians, Greeks and many other ethnic groups. They also suffered from Russian imperialist policies. An independent Kuban should support the principle of protecting the rights of ethnic minorities.
With regard to the status of Adygea, we believe that the most rational form of relations is to grant Adygea the status of autonomy within the unitary Kuban Republic — with its own language, parliament, etc. Not in the way it is done in the imitational «federation» of Russia, but in the way it is arranged in developed countries.
The Moscow occupation deprived us of our native language — the Kuban dialect of Ukrainian, forced it to the margins of public life and then leaved it to extinction. Accordingly, our task is to correct this historical injustice and restore its popularity and use, to stimulate its study and development. In independent Kuban it should be introduced as the state language along with the now commonly used Russian.
Basically, Kuban Ukrainian should correspond to the modern literary language in state of Ukraine. Naturally, we should also encourage the revival, where possible and useful, of the features of the Kuban dialect as a distinctive feature of our region.
We stand for a secular state and equality of all religions in Kuban. At the same time, we cannot ignore the Orthodox faith, which is the most widespread in Kuban and has influenced the history of our region. Therefore, we consider it necessary from a political point of view to promote the separation of the Kuban Church from the Moscow Patriarchy. Of course, we would also welcome the reformation within the Church, the rejection of «Domostroy» remnants, but this is a matter of the second plan, and it depends more on internal initiatives in the Kuban Church itself.
In the constitutional acts of the Kuban state, it will also be possible to provide something like a spiritual or ethical regulation that corresponds to the modern humanistic values, on the basis of which prejudices and any morally harmful heritage of Russia will be purged from the Church and public consciousness: at least in the early stages of independence such work is vital.