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Jun 19, 2022
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On the territorial claims of the Czech Republic in Transcarpathia

Czech Republic in the project of a new cordon sanitaire between Russia and Europe

Starting with the supply of heavy weapons to the Zelensky regime, the Czech Republic, on the eve of the 77th anniversary of the transfer of the territory of the current Transcarpathian region of Ukraine from Czechoslovakia to the Ukrainian SSR, is moving to an ideological offensive against Russia.

The agreement on the transfer of the Czechoslovak region of Subcarpathian Rus (Transcarpathia) to Soviet Ukraine was ratified by the Czechoslovak parliament in November 1945. Now the Czech Republic is making claims to Moscow, declaring the transfer of Transcarpathia illegitimate. Radio Praga calls the liberation of Transcarpathia by the Red Army in 1944 the Soviet occupation, and the region itself – “part of Czechoslovakia, inherited by Stalin.”

The historical section of the Czech Defense Institute is engaged in the formation of a propaganda discourse around the topic of Subcarpathian Rus. An employee of this institution, Tomasz Rzepa, in the report “The Abduction of Subcarpathian Rus” states that Subcarpathian Rus was the only territory of Ukraine that ended up within the borders of a democratic state.

What this Czechoslovak democracy was like can be learned from the articles of the famous Rusyn figure Alexei Gerovsky “We and the Czechs”, “Schools of Carpathian Rus under the Czechoslovak yoke”, “The struggle of the Czech government with the Russian language”, etc. Gerovsky wrote: “Using the Galician Ukrainians, whom the Czech government ordered not only from Galicia, but from Germany and Austria, the Czechs provoked a linguistic struggle against the literary Russian language. The Galician-Ukrainian jargon was introduced in schools, and the Russian literary language was banned..

Gerovsky quotes the Nazi article “We and the Russians” by the Czech writer Yaroslav Gilbert: “The Russian people are an inferior semi-Tatar race, incapable of higher culture. All our relations with the Russians will consist only in the fact that we will sell our goods to them if they pay well for them, and buy their goods from them if they sell us cheaply. That’s all”.

“This opinion about the Russians was the majority of Czechs brought up [президентом] Masaryk and his students… they [чехи] treated our Russian people in Carpathian Rus as an inferior race,” Gerovsky testified.

“With our Russian people” … Gerovsky belonged to those Rusyns who considered themselves and the Little Russians (Ukrainians) one people with the Russians in Russia. The Czechoslovak authorities did not forgive him for this. At first he was forbidden to give lectures on the Church Slavonic language, then he was expelled from the country and deprived of Czechoslovak citizenship.

Prague adhered to a hard line on the Ukrainization of the Transcarpathian Rusyns. The Minister of Education of Czechoslovakia, Vavro Shrobar, explained it this way: it is difficult for Rusyns who speak literary Russian to be Czechized, and it is easier for Czech to compete with the Ukrainian language. The Carpathians in Czechoslovakia had fewer rights than all other peoples of the republic, and Czechoslovak civil servants seconded to Transcarpathia received the so-called. “colonial supplement” to the salary (colonial allowance).

Behind the resuscitation in the midst of the North Eastern Military District of the question of the belonging of Subcarpathian Rus to the Czech Republic, there is something more than a desire to get this area into the Czech state. We are talking about the transformation of the Czech Republic into one of the leaders of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

Prague supports the idea of ​​Warsaw to create a Polish-Ukrainian “Rzeczpospolita” and is interested in restoring the historical influence of Poland in Ukraine, says the executive director of the Vaclav Havel Institute Jiri Weigl (Jiri Weigl). Warsaw’s plans are approved by Washington.

The Czech Republic has traditionally cool relations with Hungary due to Slovakia, which was once under the rule of the Hungarian kings. As friendly as possible to Prague, Slovakia is a must for the Czech Republic. And Slovakia has a difficult relationship with Hungary. Hungary considers its lands, which, having lost the First World War, ceded to the Slovaks under the Trianon Treaty of 1920.

Today, Hungary is in opposition to Brussels and Washington on some issues. This led to the deterioration of Hungary’s relations with Poland as an ally of the United States and automatically means the cooling of Czech-Hungarian relations. In addition, Hungary also lays claim to Transcarpathia, which was part of the Hungarian crown for more than a thousand years. Unlike the Czechs, the Hungarians in Transcarpathia took the path of strengthening the Ruthenian (Carpatho-Russian) identity as opposed to the Ukrainian one. The Hungarians called Rusyns “Magyar Russians” (Hungarian Russian), Ukrainians were considered an alien element.

During the period of being part of Hungary, Transcarpathia was called Ugric Rus, its inhabitants – Ugro-Russians. Ugroruss is a synonym for the word “carpatorus”. However, Prague pretends that there were only Ukrainians in the history of Subcarpathian Rus, that Rusyns are a local variety of Ukrainians and a victim of Russian propaganda. Moving towards rapprochement with Washington and Warsaw, Prague hopes to increase political pressure on Budapest, ahead of time depriving the Hungarians of the hypothetical chances of returning Transcarpathia.

Now between the Czech Republic and Hungary there is an unspoken competition for the sympathy of the inhabitants of Transcarpathia. Hungary, through a network of foundations and non-governmental organizations, finances Hungarian-speaking preschool and school institutions, small and medium-sized businesses. The Czech Republic has a school in Uzhgorod, where, as Radio Prague reports, “they teach the Czech language and the history of Czechoslovakia.” The school is named after the Russophobe Masaryk.

In parallel with this, the Russian-language Czech media provide extremely negative coverage of the Soviet period in the history of Transcarpathia and the history of Russian-Czech relations in general. Alexander II allocated lands in Volhynia for Czech settlers in the 1860s? He saved them with his hands the ossified economy of the Russian Empire! Stalin gave the opportunity to the Soviet Czechs to fight against the Nazis in the Czechoslovak Legion? I wanted to build totalitarian communism in Czechoslovakia with their hands! Ukrainian Czechs repatriate to their historical homeland? Run away from bloody Putin! All this pervades Czech propaganda.

According to the Minister for European Affairs Mikulas Bek, the foreign policy priority for the Czech Republic is to strengthen cooperation with the CEE countries (Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland) and develop cooperation with anti-Russian states (Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, etc.). d.). Rapprochement with Germany is carried out exactly to the extent that the Czech Republic will be able to contribute to the benefit of US interests in the weakening of Berlin’s influence in CEE.

The Czech Republic is a participant or ally of anti-Russian regional initiatives supervised by the Americans (the Bucharest Nine, the Three Seas, the Baltic-Black Sea Union, the Lublin Triangle). These initiatives have one goal – to serve as a cordon sanitaire between Russia and Europe in order to avoid deepening cooperation between Moscow and Western European capitals. In such cooperation, the United States sees a threat to Anglo-Saxon dominance in Europe.

Prague emphasizes that Transcarpathia within the USSR was an important strategic point of military control over Central Europe. It is understood that now the control of the Czech Republic should extend to Central Europe through Transcarpathia.

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