When speaking of Ukrainian independence, we do not mean national independence [...] but the social independence of workers and peasants. We declare that Ukrainian, and all other, working people have the right to self-determination not as an 'independent nation' but as 'independent workers'
"The cultural-educational section of the Makhnovist army constantly receives questions from school teachers asking about the language in which instruction should be given in the schools, now that Denikin's troops have been expelled.
"The revolutionary insurgents, holding to the principles of true socialism, cannot in any field or by any measure do violence to the natural desires and needs of the Ukrainian people. This is why the question of the language to be taught in the schools cannot be solved by our army, but can only be decided by the people themselves, by parents, teachers and students
"It goes without saying that all the orders of Denikin's so-called 'Special Bureau' as well as General Mai-Maevsky's order No. 22, which forbids the use of the mother tongue in the schools, are null and void, having been forcibly imposed on the schools.
"In the interest of the greatest intellectual development of the people, the language of instruction should be that toward which the local population naturally tends, and this is why the population, the students, the teachers and the parents, and not authorities or the army, should freely and independently resolve this question."
the Makhno FAQ:
This does not mean that anarchists are indifferent to cultural and national domination and oppression. Far from it! As we discussed in sections D.6 and D.7, anarchists are against foreign domination and cultural imperialism, believing that every community or national group has the right to be itself and develop as it sees fit. This means that anarchists seek to transform national liberation struggles into human liberation struggles, turning any struggle against foreign oppression and domination into a struggle against all forms of oppression and domination.
This means that the Makhnovists, like anarchists in general, seek to encourage local culture and language while opposed nationalism. As Frank Sysyn argues, it "would be a mistake . . . to label the Makhnivtsi as 'anti-Ukrainian.' Although they opposed the political goals of most 'svidomi ukraintsi' (nationally conscious Ukrainians), they accepted the existence of a Ukrainian nation and used the terms 'Ukraine' and 'Ukrainian.'" [Nestor Makhno and the Ukrainian Revolution, p. 288] It should be noted that opponents of Ukrainian independence generally called it the "south of Russia" or "Little Russia."
In summary, the Makhnovists were opposed to nationalism but supported culture diversity and self-determination within a free federation of toilers communes and councils. They did not limit their aims to national liberation, but rather sought the self-liberation of the working classes from every oppression -- foreign or domestic, economic or political, cultural or social.
I'm basically in agreement with the Makhnovistas on all points. I hope this clarifies my position on nationalism.
The term "nationalism" is used, in Scotland, in a broad enough way that it really just means support for independence, and I would consider it to be broad enough that it would include anti-imperialist anarchist positions such as the Makhnovistas'. You may disagree with that definition, but that's a semantic debate and doesn't matter. Words are our tools not our masters.
I (obviously) can't speak for Nick, so I'd be interested to see his opinion on this.
(edits to fix formatting issues)