“We proceeded from Paulovoskoy to Kazinskoy khutor, a village inhabited by Malo-Russians and Russians mingled together. The distinction between the two people might be made without the smallest inquiry, from the striking contrast between filth and cleanliness. In the stable of the post house we found about twenty horses, kept with a degree of neatness which would have done credit to any nobleman’s stud in Britain. The house of the superintendant villager was equally admirable; every thing appeared clean and decent, there was no litter nor was any thing out of its place. It was quite a new thing to us, to hesitate whether we should clean our boots before walking into an apartment, on the floor of which I would rather have dined, than on the table of any Russian prince“, – the quote is from the bestselling book of the 18th century written by a British traveler Edward Clarke. The observation was made in the Rostov region which is currently in the Russian Federation. As can be seen, the Ukrainian were the center of civilization in the area at the time and even the settlements were named khutors, a Ukrainian name for a village. (English word ‘hut‘ may have derived from the same root as the Ukrainian ‘khutor‘ – see the logic here).
150 years later, already famous American writer John Steinbeck visited a Ukrainian village not far from Kyiv. It was the year 1946 and everything around was in ruin including Kyiv. And one of the features that struck the future Noble-prize winner was the same neatness of the people around him. Even villagers: “”The walls are white, and there are shutters on the windows to be closed against the winter cold. Opening off this room are one or two bedrooms, depending on the size of the family. And since these people lost everything, the bedding is whatever they can get now. Pieces of rug, and sheepskin, anything to keep them warm. The Ukrainians are a clean people, and their houses are immaculate“. The current war Russia wages against Ukraine has already been named as the war between Civilization and Barbarians, between the Washed and the Unwashed. More on the subject in the “Ukraine & the United States” book.