Vladimir Putin believes that Ukraine is essentially a Potemkin country. We are, he claims, a nation 'entirely created by Russia'. This came as news to Ukrainians like myself. Russian soldiers and mercenaries sent to our country are also finding out the hard way that, despite our many similarities, there are key differences between Ukraine and Russia. These have made life difficult for Russians who have attempted to go undercover in our country.
While Putin might not like to admit it, we have our own culture and our own vision of the future. We also have our own language; idioms and turns of phrases – and way of pronouncing words – that make sense in Ukraine but would leave a native Russian speaker baffled.
One of the main melodies of Putin’s propaganda has always been the idea that Ukraine's language is an artificial dialect of Russian.