ePoshta pointed out this great article by the Guardian as Russia imperliasm eyes Ukraine’s Crimea:
The message was blunt: whoever wins Ukraine’s presidential election in January has to accept Russia’s veto over the country’s strategic direction
Medvedev’s video was an ultimatum, the diplomat added: accept Russian domination, voluntarily renounce plans to join Nato and renew the lease on Russia’s naval base.
In recent weeks, pro-Kremlin newspapers have been speculating that Crimea might soon be “reunited” with mother Russia, solving the fleet issue. The best-selling Komsomolskaya Pravda even printed a map showing Europe in 2015. The Russian Federation had swallowed Crimea, together with eastern and central Ukraine. Ukraine still existed, but it was a small chunk of territory around the western town of Lviv.
In a symbolic gesture, several Russian restaurants in Moscow have stopped selling Ukrainian borsch. They are still serving up the dishes of tasty purple beetroot soup, but they have renamed it “Little Russia” soup. Little Russia, or Malorossiya, is what Kremlin ideologists are now calling a post-independent Ukraine, back under Russia’s grasp.
According to Gorbulin, Europe’s apparent abandonment of Ukraine is as pernicious as America’s. He points out that Nato countries have “stopped the struggle” for Ukraine in order to preserve good relations with Russia. France and Germany, especially, have rebuffed Yushchenko’s attempts to join Nato. Gorbulin dubs the Europeans’ informal deal with Moscow “Munich Agreement 2”, comparing it to the notorious September 1938 Anglo-French deal that allowed Hitler to seize the Sudetenland, the German-speaking part of Czechoslovakia
Yanukovich lost in a re-run to Yushchenko. Yanukovich is ahead in the polls, but Putin has better relations with the populist Tymoshenko, who may steal through to win in a run-off second vote.
While the article touched upon many areas, it had some errors that I’d like to point out:
To a large extent, Ukraine has itself to blame for the mess. Since the 2004 pro-western Orange Revolution Kiev has been in a state of political crisis. Yushchenko has fallen out with his one-time ally, Yulia Tymoshenko, the prime minister. They have been involved in a power struggle that has paralysed governance and brought the economy to the brink of default.
I’m not sure why the author, Luke Harding, needs to feel apologetic for Russia’s imperialist bullying. Many countries that undergo reform like the Orange Revolution have problems internally as old regime structures are (painfully) removed, but what makes Ukraine’s so unique is that it is one of the few that has constant meddling from its neighbour – Russia.
Finally, the article’s ‘A short history of Ukraine’ contains a major historical inaccuracy:
■ Ukraine’s history stretches back to the ninth century, when it was part of a Byzantine Russian dynasty centred on Kiev. But despite its ancient origins Ukraine only emerged as a fully independent state in the 20th century, after long periods of foreign domination.
Not sure where Luke is getting his history lessons from but if he thinks the Byzantine dynasty was so ‘Russian’, why did it take only 400 years for it to spread from Ukraine to the establishment of what’s known as Russia today – Muscovy?
Great Russian is a name Tsarist Russian imperialists decided to give themselves when Peter the Great renamed Muscovy as Russia, intending to usurp the legacy of Kyivan Rus — the original Ukrainian state. The purpose was to deny Ukrainians their own national identity, relegating them to the role of an inferior “little Russian” branch of the “Great Russian” nation. As such, it must be categorically rejected.
That’s a question you can e-mail the Guardian to find out.
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