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Rising Political Radicalism and Controversy Surrounding Iryna Farion

Photo by Marco Oriolesi on Unsplash

With the increasing meaning of political figures, the role of compliance with behavioral rules and political ethics arises as well. The importance of correct self-expression and presentation of yourself has become an indispensable part of the government. Some influential and widespread leaders are attacked because of their narratives. Yet, it is not rare that some are aggressive and quarrelsome ones. I would like to express the problem of political radicalism on the example of the Ukrainian politician – Iryna Farion – whose controversial ideas became the pushing and turning point. 

Iryna has always been actively involved in the Ukrainian development. Yet, her aggressive and even inappropriate actions became the obstacle that distracted her from true devotion, change, and advocacy. Firstly, she was a member of the Communist Party during the Soviet Union, whose fundamental idea is entirely different from the desired path of Ukraine as an independent country. Yet, after the proclamation of Ukraine, Iryna Farion switched to the Nationalist Party. She started active propaganda for the Ukrainian language, its usage, and nationalism among the citizens — precisely what was required for Ukraine after Russian imperialism for centuries. Mrs. Farion became a radical opposition to the libertarian regime and, thus, a controversial individual in Ukrainian politics. She started active advocacy for Ukrainian history and cultural borders. Even though it was the right direction, it was not the right action. 

Iryna Farion reused her power as a means of country-wide influence. Her acquisition of the given rights started not at once, yet it was the long-time result of the pacifism of other Ukrainian bill makers. Her language-related reforms were needed, but she has yet to do it too radically. After the start of the Russian full-scale invasion, she started propaganda against the East side of Ukraine. Historically, It was a more Russified region, but it was always pro-Ukrainian. Iryna Farion started sharing narratives related to the East: “separatists,” “Russia-waiters,” and at some point even “not Ukrainian.” She said how Russian-speaking regions were always waiting for the Russian occupation, even though all of the East always supports Ukraine. The East, which became more radical in terms of language after the start of the invasion, received much criticism. Every small mistake in the switch from Russian to Ukrainian was laughed at and accused of a lack of knowledge.

Iryna’s radicalism became one of the biggest problems. She started refusing to accept Russian-spoken Ukrainian soldiers who fought on the most intense battlefields: Mariupol, Bakhmut, and others. Moreover, she mentioned that they are not Ukrainians, and Ukraine does not need them. Yet, the apex of her phrasings was when the boy from the annexed Crimea wrote about his pure dedication to Ukraine and the Ukrainian language. As a fighter for the language, Iryna Farion posted on her social media with his name and the full text of the message. She was asked to delete the publication for the safety of the devoted Ukrainian, yet she refused to do so, argumentating that she knew what to do on her own. The boy from Crimea afterward was found and tortured, and the Russian occupation forces made him excuse for his words. But even after that, Iryna left the post. 

The story with Iryna Farion is still ongoing in Ukraine. She was fired from her work at the university by the initiative of its students, and a criminal investigation of her behavior was opened. There are no problems with her pro-Ukrainian ideas; there are problems with her abuse of her power. Radicalism in politics has rarely brought fruitful results, and the example of Iryna Farion only established this idea. Even if we think about the good Iryna did, we cannot forget about the inner fight she spread along with the unsafety for our citizens. She always has a choice of what to do: offense Ukrainians or not, make citizens tortured or not. Her radicalism brought her to the point where more than half of Ukrainians genuinely hated her. We, Ukrainians, do not want to underestimate her impact on the independence of the Ukrainian cultural battlefield, and we cannot forget how she called us, our relatives and friends, separatists. She has made a significant contribution to the rise of the Ukrainian language, yet she has put down a lot of Ukrainian activists. Radicalism in politics should exist in much smaller amounts – we should avoid the allowance to use hate speech and radical actions in the government. Words and actions are individable parts of the politician, so they should be respective and polite to its citizens. 

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