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Shevchenko's ire is not confined to Poles, Jews and Uniates. In his poem The Excavated Mound, he blames Bogdan Khmelnitsky for signing the Treaty of Pereyaslav (1654) which started the process of bringing east bank Cossacks under the control of the Russian government:

There was a day I knew delight [It is Ukraine who is speaking - PB]
In this vast world of ours.
My joy was great...
But oh, Bohdan,
You unwise son of mine!
Look at your ancient mother now,
Ukraine, of stock divine,
Who as she cradled you, would sing
And grieve she was not free;
Who, as she sang, in sorrow wept
And looked for liberty!...
O dear Bohdan, if I had known
That you would bring us doom,
I would have choked you in your crib,
Benumbed you in my womb!
For now my steppes are meted out
To Germans and to Jews;
My sons now toil in alien lands
Where foreign lords abuse;
The Dnieper they are drying up;
The loss will break my heart;
And my dear mounds the Muscovite
Is shattering apart.

The context of Shevchenko's complaining against the excavation of burial mounds is rather poignant given that he was a member of the Archaeological Commission. Though he wasn't a member for very long. In 1847 he came under suspicion for his association with the clandestine Brotherhood of SS Cyril and Methodius. Unpublished poems of his were found, notably A Dream and Caucasus, which were taken as directly offensive to the Tsar, Nicholas I, and the Empress (who had arranged the raffle that freed Shevchenko from serfdom). As a result he was condemned to military service for life, without promotion, and with the express prohibition of all writing or drawing. The other members of the Brotherhood received relatively light punishments and some of them, notably Nicolai Kostomarov, went on to very successful careers.

The Caucasus is dedicated to a friend of Shevchenko's, an artist and poet, who died as part of Russia's 'civilising mission' in that part of the world. The circumstances are described in Pat Walsh's book Great Britain against Russia in the Caucasus. (22)

(22) Pat Walsh: Great Britain against Russia in the Caucasus - Ottoman Turks, Armenians and Azerbaijanis caught up in geopolitics, war and revolution, Offenbach am Main, Germany, Manzara Verlag 2020, pp. 91-7. I would reckon Shevchenko's friend died in the course of the Shamil revolt, 1841-4, discussed on pp.94-5.

In Shevchenko's eyes Moscow was doing to the free Muslims what it had already done to the free Cossacks in the Ukraine:

Come, learn from us! We’ll teach you what 
The price of bread is, and of salt!
We’re Christian folk: with shrines we’re blest, 
We’ve schools, and wealth, and we have God! 
Just one thing does not give us rest:
How is it that your hut you’ve got 
Without our leave; how is it we 
To you, as to a dog a bone,
Your crust don’t toss! How can it be 
That you don’t pay us for the sun! 

And that is all! We’re Christian folk,
We are not heathens — here below 
We want but little!... You would gain!
If only you’d make friends with us,
There’s much that you would learn from us! 
Just look at all our vast domains — 
Boundless Siberia alone!
And prisons — myriads! Peoples — throngs!
From the Moldavian to the Finn 
All silent are in all their tongues
Because such great contentment reigns!


And you, my good Yakov, you also were driven 
To die in those mountains! Your life you have given 
For your country’s hangmen, and not for Ukraine,
Your life clean and blameless. ’Twas your fate to drain 
The Muscovite goblet, the full, fatal draught!
Oh friend good and noble, who’ll be never forgot!
Now wander, free spirit, all over Ukraine 
And with the brave Cossacks soar over her coast,
Keep watch o’er the grave mounds on her spreading plains,
And weep with the Cossacks o’er all of her woes

A Dream, subtitled 'A comedy', is even more savagely directed against the Russian domination of Ukraine. In the dream he imagines himself to be flying high over the whole of the Russian lands:

Goodbye, O world, O earth, farewell,
Unfriendly land, goodbye!
My searing pain, my tortures cruel
Above the clouds I'll hide.
And as for you, my dear Ukraine,
I'll leave the clouds behind
And fall with dew to talk with you,
Poor widow-country mine.
I'll come at midnight when the dew
Falls heavy on the fields;
And softly-sadly we will talk
Of what the future yields.
Until the rising of the sun
We'll talk about your woes,
Until your infant sons are grown
And rise against the foes.

From the sky he sees a host of woes throughout the Empire, for example the suffering of people working in the Russian goldmines in the Far East. But the poem comes to a climax when he flies to St Petersburg and contrasts the vulgar display of splendour with the misery on which it was built. He sees the equestrian statue of Peter I (subject of Pushkin's nightmarish short story The Bronze Horseman) with its inscription 'From the Second [Catherine II who commissioned it] to the First' and then evokes the hetman Pavlo Polubotok, who died in the Peter and Paul fortress in 1724:

I see a steed
A-gallop and his flying hooves
The granite seem to cleave!
The rider, bareback on the horse,
In something like a cloak,
Is hatless. His bare head's adorned
With leaves, perhaps of oak.
The steed rears up as though it means
To leap across the sea,
And he extends his arm as though
He coveted to seize
The whole, whole world. Who is that man?
I read the message terse
Inscribed upon the mound of stone:
"The Second to the First."
I understand right well what's meant
By those laconic words:
The First was he who crucified
Unfortunate Ukraine,
The Second — she who finished off
Whatever yet remained.
Oh, butchers! butchers! cannibals!
And did you gorge and loot
Enough when 'live? And when you died
What did you take with you?
A heavy weight pressed on my heart.
It was as though engraved
Upon that granite I could read
The story of Ukraine.
I stand... And then I faintly hear
A melancholy strain,
From ghostly lips a mournful song:
"From Hlukhov-town at break of dawn
The regiments withdrew
To build abutments on the line.
I, with a Cossack crew,
As acting hetman of Ukraine
Due northward took my course —
Up to the capital. Oh God!
Oh wicked tsar, accurst!
Oh crafty, evil, grasping tsar,
Oh viper poison-fanged!
What did you with the Cossacks do?
Their noble bones you sank
In the morass and on them built
Your capital-to-be,
On tortured Cossack corpses built!
And me, a hetman free,
You threw into a dungeon dark
And left in chains to die
Of hunger... Tsar! We'll never part.
We are forever tied
Together by those heavy chains.
E'en God cannot untie
Those bonds between us. Oh, it's hard
Eternally to bide
Beside the Neva! Far Ukraine
Exists, perhaps, no more.
I'd fly to see if she's still there,
But God won't let me go.
It may be Moscow's razed the land,
And emptied to the sea
Our Dnieper, and our lofty mounds
Dug up — so none may see
The relics of our former fame.
Oh God, please pity me."

Statue of Peter the Great in St Petersburg

The poem also features grotesque caricatures of Nicholas and his Empress together with scorn for a Ukrainian flunkey who has abandoned his language for Russian and German, and for the tribe of civil servants who

                        hasten next
Their office desks to man,
To scribble — and to rob the folks
Of everything they can.
Among them here and there I see
My fellow-countrymen.
They chatter in the Russian tongue
And bitterly condemn
Their parents that when they were small
They didn't teach them how
To jabber German — that's the cause
They've no promotions now!
Oh leeches, leeches! It may be
Your father sadly sold
His last remaining cow that you
The Moscow tongue should know.
My poor Ukraine! My poor Ukraine!
These are your hapless sons,
Your youthful blossoms, splashed with ink,
In German reared salons,
On Moscow's silly-potions fed
Until they are inane!...
Oh weep, my childless widow-land!
Unfortunate Ukraine!

Having read all that it's difficult to agree with Sergei Glazyev when he says 'a self-evident thing for Shevchenko is integration of the entire Slavic world under the sceptre of the Russian Emperor!' Shevchenko was indeed a supporter of the Pan-Slavic idea, but hardly under the sceptre of the Russian Emperor.

(23) Sergei Glazyev: The Last World War. The U.S. to Move and Lose.  ("The Izborsk Club Collection"). – Moscow, Knizhny Mir Publ., 2016, p.165.