10 Apr 2022 09:05 am
The famous Italian partisan song “Bella Ciao” is often corrupted as a party song. Now the “patriotic” Ukrainians also want to use it to mobilize against the Russian “aggressors” and in doing so are blabbering out the fantasies of Ukrainian nationalists: a world in which there are no more Russians.
by Vladislav Sankin
“Bella Ciao” can certainly be called the most famous partisan song. The one disguised as a love song text with a stirring melody is about the fight of Italian partisans in the mountain province of Modena against unnamed fascist occupiers in the Second World War. The song thus became a global symbol of anti-fascist resistance.
But too often the song has been corrupted in recent years as a mere party or love song, even in the Germans. Now it’s the Ukrainians who are reinterpreting the Italian original. A young girl, probably still of school age, sang the chorus in Ukrainian at a pro-Ukrainian rally in Berlin:
“And our people, the Ukrainians,
have the whole world
against the ‘Russians’
And soon it will
give no Russians at all,
And then there will be peace
Its all over the world.”
According to the rest of the text, as a result of the joint efforts of brave Ukrainian fighters and the West, there are said to be no “Russniaks” (Ukraine’s extremely derogatory term for Russians), with the West helping with arms supplies, sanctions and volunteer fighters.
The rally took place in the Berlin government district under the impression of events in the small town of Bucha near Kyiv on April 6, when after Russian troops had withdrawn, dozens of male bodies were discovered mostly on a single street. The protesters also called for a war tribunal against Vladimir Putin and a complete embargo on Russian energy supplies. At the end of the action, the demonstrators lay down on the ground with their eyes closed or their hands behind their backs as if they were handcuffed. A conclusive and independent explanation of the events in Butscha is not to be expected.
Singing the wrong “Bella Ciao” was just one episode of a larger action that would have gone unnoticed if the young lady’s performance had not been spotted by Russian Telegram channels two days later. Now he is also active in German social media divided.
And yes, the performance has it all – in front of, let’s say, a very symbolic backdrop, a girl wrapped in the Ukrainian flag sings, calling for representatives of another nation to be simply eliminated for the purpose of world peace. They enthusiastically sing along and applaud approvingly. Didn’t we hear something similar about 80 years ago in about the same place?
No, it is probably not meant that way, and if it is, then not all are meant, but only some. I can hear the argument now. And what did the Russians expect after attacking Ukraine? This melody from an anti-fascist context was not chosen at random. Because according to the first singer of the song, nowadays the Russians have become Nazis, and the Ukrainians are the freedom-loving partisans who are now allowed to take over the song:
“In the original Ukrainian texts, the word ‘Russnjaki’ (укр. русня, tr. rusnja) is used instead of ‘Russians’. ‘Russnjaki’ is Ukrainian slang for aggressive, xenophobic Russians influenced by the Kremlin propaganda of Imperial Russian Nazism are.”
With this YouTube comment, the Ukrainian lifestyle blogger wanted Sofia Shkidchenko scale back their call to murder Russians a bit. She added it about a week after the song’s initial release on March 12. Here is the video:
In the song, she expresses her pride that the Ukrainian fighters are killing the attackers. In the Italian original, however, there is talk of the self-sacrificing death of a partisan, the “enemy” is briefly mentioned, and there is no mention of any intention to kill.
To keep the bloodthirsty aspect of the Ukrainian song from being too conspicuous, the authors also borrow from the Soviet heritage, starting the song along the lines of a well-known Soviet song: “One early morning the attack came unexpectedly”. They are alluding to Hitler’s Germany’s insidious attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, which left 27 million dead.
The Soviet heritage, which has been completely erased from the Ukrainian public consciousness, may now be reactivated in the Kiev PR strategy as an exception and only in this aspect – against the Russian descendants of the brothers in arms from back when all republics of the Soviet Union fought as one against the invaders. Strange in a country whose cities have for years been adorned with the names of the most notorious Nazi collaborators from the ranks of the Ukrainian nationalists.
the scene, which recently took place in a village presumably in the Donbass region, which is still occupied by the Ukrainians, became the emblem and symbol of the Ukraine conflict: an old, fragile lady, probably thinking that Russian soldiers were appearing in her village, greeted the people in Military uniform with a red flag of victory. A Ukrainian soldier shouted at her contemptuously: “Glory to Ukraine”, took the flag from her and stamped on it. At the same time he asked the old lady for a bag of groceries. She refused to help and reprimanded the soldiers:
“This is the flag my parents fought with, and you trample it.”
The incident quickly became a meme in Russia:
The old lady paid tribute to the flag that had been hoisted on the Reichstag building by the victorious soldiers of the Red Army. Now the wearing of this flag is already forbidden in some German federal states, while the walls of the Reichstag are once again witnessing an incitement to murder an entire nation.
But not only because of the completely falsified reference to the Great Patriotic War, the cover of the legendary partisan song is deeply abusive. Its authors studiously overlook the fact that the war they condemn did not start one morning in February of this year, but eight years ago, when the nationalist putschists, as a result of a series of false flag attacks, overthrew the democratically elected government in Kyiv and, a few weeks later, troops sent to the regions that were rebelling against it. They also overlook the fact that their government over all these years was readyto risk a major war with Russia to join NATO.
And against what did the Crimea, the Donbass and other regions in the east of the country rebel, although they were violently suppressed by the new rulers? Also, and above all, against calls to murder in the form of numerous fascist, Russophobic and openly racist slogans, which have been part of the public sphere in Ukraine since the beginning of the “pro-European” Maidan revolution in November 2013. Now the slogans of Ukrainian nationalists, who constantly rave about the fall and destruction of Russia, reached the German capital. The capital of the country whose foreign minister wants to “ruin” Russia with sanctions and arms deliveries to Ukraine. Now comes together what belongs together.
More on the subject – Did Ukraine accept a ‘major war’ with Russia as the price of joining NATO?
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