THE TALE OF THE YEARS NOT GONE BY

Nestor-the-ChroniclerIn his Tale of Bygone Years, written in the 12th century and describing the events that took place a few hundred years earlier, Nestor the Chronicler told about how the Chuds, the Slavs, the Krivichs, and the Vesps had invited the Rus (another name for the Vikings, or the Varangians) to rule over them: “Our land is great, but there is no order in it. Come and reign as princes, rule over us. Three brothers with their kinfolk were selected. They brought with them all the Rus… Later they … created the Kyivan Rus.”

However, the Varangians didn’t manage to make the country orderly. They simply got diluted in the Slavonic sea leaving only a few Nordic proper names for the posterity not to forget their failed effort: Helgi, Helga, Ingvar, Sveinald, who were transformed respectively to Oleg, Olga, Igor and Sviatoslav. The Mongolian nomads from the East drove the final nail in the coffin of the Rus statehood.

Almost a millennium later a political troika from Kyiv (the President, the Premier and the Speaker) invited a reform task force from abroad to put their country in order: “Our land is great, but there is much corruption in it. Come and root it out for us.” The Varangians from the U.S.A., Georgia, Lithuania were selected. But the troika planted their appointees round the new Varangians, and the Varangians started being diluted among the local cadres, and the sea of the Slavonic corruption remained as endless as it always was.  Ironically, the mongolized hordes are again in the country’s east as they were several centuries before.

Who said that Time is linear? It is, in a modernistic way, cyclic. And with Ukraine, it goes round in circles. Round and round. Millennium after millennium.

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