good post Blacklack
I still insist on that the Russian in a right mind would be free of a standard garderobe of traits you listed such as ignorance etc. Don't get me wrong I've seen loads of that stuff and may still see it for one when there's a Zhirinovki's interview on TV or wherever. But he's not all Russia and... he is not a patriot. Same with others... An idiot or just someone who doesn't take into consideration other people's feelings can't be a patriot inherently. Therefore I wouldn't with a term "patriot" at that point or if you still want to I would put in front of it the "pseudo-" prefix.
I cannot agree with you. Zhirinovskiy's speeches don't matter because he's a talented stand-up comedian and a professional orientalist possibly linked with KGB. So his fake party was created to serve as a lightning rod for Nazi voters (now most of his voters are those who just like his pranks).
However there are too many influential people (not solely politicians) in Russia who advocate the same views in earnest. Do you know Privalov, the editor-in-chief of "Expert" journal? He stated that it would be a good idea to buy Eastern and Southern Ukraine, bribing locals to vote for it and politicians in Kiev to allow such a poll. It's typical Russian patriotic attitude to Ukraine and by far not the worst example.
I've read dozens of Russian articles on Ukraine and hundreds opinions on the web and never encountered one in which Ukrainian words or facts of Ukrainian history were not messed up. On the other side arrogant or "paternalistic" attitude towards Ukraine is most common thing even with intellectuals who are rather civilized.
As to pseudo- or not I think than chauvinism is merely a patriotism of the higher (disproportional if you like) degree. So patriotism while not a bad thing if shared by an honest and tolerant person can easily turn into chauvinism like a medicine can easily become poison.
My purpose was merely to show that Nathan's approach essentially duplicated what you heard in Russian Duma with the only exception of the descriptive adjective... "Ukranian" instead of "Russian".
Well, I agree that there's much misunderstanding, mutual animosity and other unpleasant things between various parts of Ukraine and Ukrainian nationals of different backgrounds. I for instance would like it if Russian language was granted an official status in some regions and endangered minority languages (Gagauzi, Urum, Crimean Greek, which is a separate language, etc.) were protected better.
Yet I don't like when people from Russia intervene because Nathan I imagine would disagree with me and say that Ukrainian itself is endangered and is not used as it should be. That would be true and I have no desire for Ukrainian to disappear or degenerate into Russian-Ukrainian mixture. And people from Russia usually don't care a bit for Ukrainian.
Now, I hope you understand me better.