A 21-year-old Ukrainian living in Israel, by the name of Dmitro Tyklyana, was charged with ‘unpremeditated murder’, for the brutal beating which allegedly led to the death of 43-year-old Moldovan citizen Aleskey Gunta, according to RIA Novosti.
Video footage of the violent altercation arose, which allegedly shows Dmitro Tyklyana beating Aleskey Gunta on the 26th of May, 2018.
Just last Sunday (June 17th), we learned the incredibly stupid and senseless reason for this loss of life, which occurred beside a night bar, on Gutman street in the city of Petakh-Tikve. It was the word Khokhol, which the victim Gunta allegedly called Tyklyana. As we explore in this article, this word offends Facebook enough to trigger a ban for its use, yet Facebook tolerates the posts of Neo-Nazi radicals who murder people for saying it.
What does Khokhol mean?
Khokhol (Rus/Ukr: Хохол) is a word with a complex history, but it has by most standards evolved to become a derogatory word for Ukrainians, however, the word was not always offensive. Khokhol refers to the stereotypical hairstyle of a Zhaporozhian Cossack, a shaved head with a single lock of hair, which became iconic of Ukrainian/Little Russian Cossacks, though it must be said this was not their only style of hair.
Now, the hairstyle is worn almost exclusively by Ukrainian nationalists, as outside of actual Cossack communities, there exists almost no context in which someone would wear the hairstyle. To be clear, there is nothing inherently fascist about it, from a historical perspective, aside from the fact that ultranationalists adopt it, as they often do with many historical symbols.
As noted, Cossacks and cultural performers may use this style of hair, even Russian actors if portraying Zaporozhian Cossacks may adopt it, however on the streets, it is heavily associated with Ukrainian ultranationalism, and it has become a racial slur for Ukrainians for this reason.
Still, it must be said, that this word is historical, and originally (like Moskal – a soldier of the Principality/Czardom of Moscow) had no offensive meaning. (Now, Moskal is offensive, and you should NOT use it, nor Khokhol)
The word “Khokhol” is a literary term, first recorded in the dictionary “Tyazychny lexicon” Polikarpov in 1704. It carried the meaning of “Ukrainian, Little Russian”.
The term “Khokhol” is also recorded in the “Explanatory Dictionary” of Dahl “Dictionary of the Modern Russian Literary Language,” published in 1965, which states that Khokhol is “the name of the Ukrainian, initially pejorative, then humorous, familiar”.
(Dictionary of the Modern Russian Literary Language, Moscow: Nauka, 1965.-T 17. – P. 427. Quoted from: Nakonechniy, 2001.)
In Moscow on the Boulevard Ring, between Pokrovsky Boulevard and Pokrovsky Gate Square, there is Khokhlovskaya Square, near Khokhlovskiy Lane, on which the Trinity Church is located in the original “in Khokhlakh”.
It is named because the inhabitants of Ukraine (Malorossia at the time), populated this area since the XVII century.
Also, there is a Khokhlovka locality in the Nizhny Novgorod district, with toponyms Khokhlovsky brook, Novokhokhlovskaya, and Upper and Lower Khokhlovsky streets.
Still, even the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, which is hardly pro-Russian, admits this history, saying:
At times, especially in the 19th century, it was used by Ukrainians as a term of self-identification. In these contexts, the term khokhol has appeared in Ukrainian literature, mainly in historical literary works by such writers as Oleksander Dovzhenko (‘Eh, you, khokhol. You would only joke’) and Zinaida Tulub (‘Our khokhly always wear moustaches’).
The Encyclopedia even says the word was used by Ukrainians to refer to “Russified Ukrainians”, so while I don’t ascribe to this anti-Russian view of Ukraine, seeing as Ukraine was always a part of Rus’ culture, it is clear that the term Khokhol should not be offensive enough to physically fight over.
An example of a form of the word being used endearingly, is the Cossack song “Oi Rada Raida” and national variant “Oi Dusya, Oi Marusia”
Part of the lyrics say:
We weren’t yet beyond the River Don, when we saw a Khokhlyonichka (Ukrainian girl) (Дальше Дона не были, Видели хохленучку)
This word is a form of the word Khokhol, in the feminine and diminutive form, which in this case, means a cute Ukrainian girl, who in most versions, is wearing a little black cap.
The word sounds much prettier than it looks when transliterated into Latin characters in an English setting.
If you listen to this version, you can clearly see these girls sing the song and say the word at this moment.
Purely from their upbeat tone, and their expressions, especially the girl on the far right, you can tell this classical song is not offensive. While the term Khokhol itself can indeed be considered offensive, it all depends on the context.
It must be said, it is not comparable to the N-word in English; Slavs, in general, are less easily offended as well, when compared to Westerners. It was never a term which implies a view of racial supremacy over Ukrainians, but it was rather a term used by a common people, to stereotype, and indeed, at times make fun of their own folk. That was normal amongst people of different regions of Russian Empire.
While I don’t condone, racism, racial slurs, sexism, or the use of cruel or abusive language, even as a speaker of Ukrainian (as well as Russian of course), and one who has sung Russian and Ukrainian folk songs at festivals, I can say that this is not a “fighting word”.
To react with such violence, as to beat a man in the street so badly, that he dies in the next few days, for allegedly hearing this word, is inexcusable. There is no logical reason why this happened, beyond the cause being podlosti (profound meaness), and gluposti (stupidity), as well as extreme Khamstvo (rudeness, but literally meaning – to behave like the descendants of Ham, Son of Noah).
It was the same things which caused the Odessa massacre, however, that larger event had the added accelerant of Western covert funding.
This is demonstrative of the mentality and general spirit that the Western-supported “Revolution of Dignity”, also known as the Maidan coup, introduced to Ukraine in 2014. The West and Israel should not be shocked, Ukrainian nationalists are merely demonstrating the “democratic values” they are learning from their new friends.
“If they don’t agree with democracy- hurt them” or so it was. Ukrainian citizens experienced this kind of brutality first hand, and on a regular basis, and this kind of podlosti (meaness – there is not a strong enough word in English) is what caused Crimeans to vote to democratically rejoin Russia.
Facebook censors the word Khokhol, but facilitates open extremism
One very important point that must be made, is how Facebook has been complacent, at the very least, in facilitating an environment where radical nationalism (the kind advocating for violence), relatively thrive, whereas the word Khokhol is censored as hate speech triggering a temporary ban.
This issue has been pointed out to me, by Russian Facebook users, who noted this is likely due to the fact that Facebook hires Ukrainians as moderators for the Russian language posts. Examples of the form of radical hatred that can appear were posted in my article on the Odessa Massacre, and here is one example.
In this photo, we clearly see Neo-Nazi extremism, coupled with an insult to the Holy Orthodox Faith. The poster is openly comparing innocent people being burned alive as comparable to the Miracle of the Holy Fire. THAT, is true Hate Speech, unlike the word Khokhol.
As discussed and shown further in the Odessa article, this is a microcosm. Such things exist all over the internet from ultra-nationalist groups in Ukraine, expressing such hatred against other Ukrainian citizens, let alone Russians. Here is an example of a Facebook group with thousands of followers that post Hate Speech specifically targeting Russian nationals:
Don’t think sensible citizens don’t report this content, they do, and this is the result.
It is ridiculous to remove specific offending content, but yet not remove a group which is clearly propagating it and supporting it.
Imagine if a group was called “The Hitler Fanclub”, and it posted pro-Nazi content, and instead of removing the entire group, only specific content was removed.
It’s obvious that the group is a radical organization, and it will continue to pedal hate speech, and it should be banned. No groups openly advocating for murder, nazism, or terrorism should be allowed to express these views. Both the ideologies and the groups should be completely banned.
Hate Speech is a Crime
In the US, many Americans feel very strongly that all speech should be protected as free speech, as part of the First Amendment. They feel it’s a slippery slope, as it’s ingrained in their culture that you must respect free speech. Americans should understand though, not all countries have these laws, and many peoples in Europe and Asia can’t comprehend why hate speech and Nazism should be tolerated.
I once heard someone say that, while these radical groups on Facebook are bad, their opinions must still be allowed because of the First Amendment. With respect, this is indicative of the subconscious misconception that American customs should be, or even are being implemented everywhere.
This is ridiculous – these people are not Americans posting this content, and they aren’t posting them in the US either. The First Amendment of the US constitution, obviously, does not apply in Russia or Ukraine, it is the supreme law of the land only on US soil.
Hate Speech in Russia is a criminal offense in the Russian Federation, punishable under article 282 of the Criminal Code. This can come as a shock to some American conservatives, who have this fascination with Russia, viewing her strong religious faith and traditionalism as being “conservative”, who then become shocked, thinking that banning “hate speech” is a “liberal” thing.
It must be said that traditionalist societies, as well as nations in Europe are quite different in their conservatism than American conservatism, which was uniquely anti-monarchist, as well as truly classical libertarian.
There is a difference between traditionalist societies, like the Russian Empire, which was extremely socially conservative, however, did not ascribe to the notion of “free markets” and “small government”.
Under the “Conservative” Russian Czar, the state (the Czar himself) controlled and ruled everything. As a result, one must not assume state involvement in the lives of citizens, for example, by banning hate speech, is a liberal idea. Defending it, is in fact, liberal, as historically, conservatives were very dogmatic in nature.
Seeing Nazism supported as free speech can drive a sensible person to wish they were living back under Czarist autocracy, hundreds of years ago, when society at least could identify what was moral from the grossly immoral, and propagated the former, while prosecuting the latter.
This misconception comes from the American love of individualism, but not all countries and societies are individualistic to this level. In the Old World, there exists a totally different mindset, one of freedom by establishing national unity (sobornost’) rather than liberating the individual, so that he may run himself off a cliff – and make no mistake, Nazi sympathies do just that for a person’s morals.
Russians do not wish to tolerate evil fascist organizations, which promote the death and destruction of innocent people. In Russia, this is why groups like the KKK, or Pravy Sektor, for example, are not tolerated in any way, and completely banned. Pravy Sektor, the Ukrainian Neo-Nazi organization, is banned under its own law, and Russia also has general laws banning the rehabilitation of Nazism. Similar laws exist throughout the civilized world.
The (allegedly) unpremeditated murder story described in this article is a perfect reason why Nazi organizations should not be tolerated, or permitted to congregate via the misuse of free speech. This form of “Free Speech” allows extremism to be fostered and tolerated in a society, to the point where a person is so radicalized, they are willing to kill a man simply for using his free speech.
Facebook thinks Khokhol is a crime, but assassination sites are O.K.
Facebook has a strange policy, cracking down hard on silly words like Khokhol, and independent investigative journalism, while at the same time, allowing obvious hate groups to continue their activity.
Furthermore, Facebook allows Ukrainian extremists to maintain the page of their online hit list Myrotvorets. The website contains the illegally obtained personal data of several thousand Ukrainians, and other nationals, including journalists, that they have been putting together since 2014, under the auspices of the Interior Ministry advisor Anton Gerashchenko.
They have even listed on this website as an ‘enemy’, Patriarch Irinej, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, as well as Metropolitan Vladimir of Pochaev, the head of the legendary Pochaev Lavra, which has always found itself among the victims of such anti-Christian attacks, either by Mongols, Turkish-Tatar armies, Uniates, Nazis, or today, Neo-Nazis.
Those whose personal data is posted on this Myrotvorets are labelled as “terrorists” and/or “traitors” and automatically become subject to either detention and enhanced interrogation (tortures) by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), or direct assassination, like prominent Ukrainian journalist Oles Buzina who was shot near his apartment just two days after his details, including his address, were entered on this hit list. This was exposed by the Ukrainian journalist Julia Vityazeva.
Thank God, in addition to the divine, the Metropolitan of Pochaev is protected by the fortified walls of Pochaev Lavra, strengthened by the prayers of faithful in not only Russian, but Ukrainian language.
This comes even as the Brotherhood is slandered by Ukrainian nationalists, falsely claiming these Western Ukrainian monks don’t bless Ukrainian speakers (Pochaev is VERY Ukrainian speaking).
He also can take refuge in the fact that he is a Bishop of the largest Church in Ukraine, the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which outnumbers vastly the little nationalists. Do you want to see just to what level the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate outnumbers the extremists? Just see these videos of tens of thousands of believers on their way to Pochaev in a typical cross procession – this was not unprecedented, this is normal in Russia and Ukraine. The second video focuses on the part of the long journey these people walked on foot, which went through the magnificent castle Kemenets Podilsky (The Stone One of the Valley land).
All those people were on the way to Pochaev, and this was only a small example of the size of the massive All-Ukrainian Cross Processions, which occur on the Feast Day of the Baptism of Rus’. Pochaev has survived the storms of the ages since the Mongol Invasion around 1240, and the Ottoman-Tattar hordes. She will outlast them all.
The Patriarch of Serbia is protected by the Serbian government, but regular journalists, do not have such protection.
The Maidan coup propagandists openly call for killing all the people whose details are on Myrotvorets – about 100 hundred thousand, yet Facebook does not bother to remove such posts as hate speech:
Please don’t assume sensible Russians and Ukrainians have not reported these radical Ukrainian Neo-Nazi and hate groups on Facebook. They have reported them, Facebook simply does not care.
Moreover, Facebook admins, allegedly of Ukrainian origin, hand in the personal data of the users to Myrotvorets handlers.
How many people will be killed in the streets, before the world realizes we have a Nazism problem on our hands. Nazism is returning to the world! This is very bad, and the fact that I feel the need to make that clear is very sad.
Nazism in post-coup Ukraine is easily spreading beyond the borders of this state which was failed by neocons.
We will have to see how Israel prosecutes this case, though I am inclined to believe “anti-Zionism” could be a greater crime in Israel than Neo-Nazism – provided the latter is directed against Russians or Syrians. Such irony is a tragic and maddening thing.