It’s been sometime since Ukraine was in and out of world headline and what’s more ominous, it is all in the context of global confrontation between two largest nuclear powers in the world. Some may say: what do we care we have our problems here in the USA. May be, but glancing at historic precedence, it does not look good. Soon some young jobless US enlisted grunts may start dying there while not having slightest idea what this desperate land is all about. We heard this before in so many ways. But this time, as Commander-in-Chief would put it some folks (millions) may be dying in the US too. And meanwhile WWIII preparations are ongoing and MSM does what it does best, producing silence and pointless chatter.
When Americans went to polls in November 1916 all were joined by political class in total opposition to entering the war in Europe. Six months later, American soldiers, (jobless, poor, desperate) who never cross county line in their lives, were dying in muddy fields of far away France de facto, defending Europe’s disintegrating aristocratic class and global banking system. Nobody would have predicted it !!!!! Except for ruling elite, who solely for purpose of financing upcoming war, in December 23,1913 created Federal Reserve Banking System, eight months before commencement of WWI in August 1914. There is more. When in September 1st, 1939 nazi Germany invaded Poland and WWII began, except for few sensational reports from the front, Hitler aggression was met in Washington with a yawn. Department of State calmly asserted that it’s just nothing, correctly stating that it will be over in few weeks and that US will stay away from this mess, as a peace-loving nation. In 26 months US soldiers were dying in Pearl Harbor. The same story of non engagement or staying away from trouble got US into trouble in Korea by intervening into Korean revolution and Vietnam where it started from few US advisers to advise French how to restore their colonial rule in Vietnam Cambodia, Laos etc. all allies of US in WWII against Japan. Soon after that body bags started coming home in thousands. Should I go on? I think I made my point that when brutal machine of war it turned on there is no stopping it.
So let’s see, about what this next American war will be. We hear about Ukraine, about Crimea and about Russia and their aggression in Donbas and annexation of parts of sovereign country of Ukraine. But before we are sent to die for it, let’s examine closely what Ukraine actually is.
Ukraine is a state that has been established for a first time in 1992-1993 as a result of disorderly collapse of Soviet Union of Socialistic Republics (USSR). One of republics of USSR was Soviet Socialistic Republic of Ukraine (SSRU) which borders changed several times since its establishment in 1920-ties, including annexation of Crimea from Russia in 1954 under the unilateral decree from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. The SSRU never have separate identity from Soviet Union within area of international law and conducting sovereign foreign policies despite being granted separate membership in UN (also Belarus SSR was granted the status but Baltic and other republics did not). Only western boundaries of SSRU approached internationally recognized borders of Soviet Union. What’s worth to note is that so-called western Ukrainian border zone was administered militarily directly from Moscow since it was heavily militarized area. The other internal borders of Ukrainian SSR with Russian SSR and Belarus SSR, Moldova SSR were arbitrarily set by Moscow as internal administrative lines often changed by administrative decrees never by referenda. In the Soviet Union there was not much difference between Russian SSR and Ukrainian SSR as far as laws and everyday living including jobs, schools, officially promoted culture therefore Soviet leadership did not really pay any attention to internal administrative borders especially since they adopted program of complete integration, “sovietization”, and absolute unity within soviet realm. The purely administrative northern and eastern boundaries, which have never been (nor could have been) internationally recognized before 1991 do not reflect any national, ethnic, cultural, political, language divisions existing throughout Ukrainian SSR which population was and is now inhomogeneous due to unique historical processes.
These historical processes mentioned above occurring within Ukraine resulted in situation that significant national/ethnic groups such as Poles, Hungarians, Romanians, Russians, Jews, Tatars etc. settled in the borderline area called Ukraine throughout centuries.
Careful reader would think that I must have omitted Ukrainians from the list of national/ethnic groups settled in the borderline area but it is not so. If Ukrainians were not among settlers and there were only few native inhabitants of Ukraine borderline areas so how Ukrainians came to be?
Let’s get back little over thousand years, when medieval states were being established in Europe, a division line (or rather border area) between eastern and Western Europe was forming along mostly religious lines of Western Roman Christianity (Roman Catholic) and Eastern Byzantine Christianity (Eastern Orthodox). The word “Ukraine” was used back then as referring to vast borderlands between Kingdom of Poland and Kingdom of Hungary on western side of borderland and Mongols, Tatars and later Kiev Russia and Muscovite Russia on the eastern side of borderland. The borderline area of Ukraine was a place resembling no-mans land. Due to continuing conflicts between east and west taking place, Ukraine borderline area was changing hands and rarely was under strict control of either side for prolonged periods of time.
Originally Ukraine area was populated very sparsely mostly due to lack of secured settlement sites within natural topography. The land of “steppes” as it was called was easily exposed to military raids from either side during summer time with no significant natural barriers such as mountains or dense forests for protection. Longer periods during which Ukraine was being dominated and controlled by one side or another brought waves of settlers from Poland, Hungary, Romania, Russia and others such as Jews and Tatars etc. claiming the land awarded by respective governments but mainly attracted by excellent soil and “free” trading opportunities. These national/ethnic groups, formed what contemporaries would call Ukrainian, inhabitant of borderland with loyalties either undeclared or varying by nationality/ethnicity/religion. These Ukrainians mostly preserved language of their origin sometimes with modifications reflecting local specifics. Generally Ukraine was referred to as land of lawlessness or changing loyalties to whoever (west or east) was in stronger military position at given time which often lead to local conflicts.
There was also small political component of the Ukraine population namely political refugees from east as well from west. To simply state these refugees were anti-Russian Russians, anti-Polish Poles, anti-Hungarian Hungarians etc. or refugees fleeing any kind of persecutions.
Perhaps, descendants of these small groups of warring “ anti” people may have centuries later provided foundation for Ukrainian strive for independence represented by modern Ukrainian nationalism instigated and developed by Austro-Hungarian imperial secret services in late XIX century in order to breed political conflicts among ethnic minorities and having only marginal support among Greek Catholics in small region of Galicia, north-eastern part of Austro-Hungarian Empire, about 20% of current territory of Ukraine. Ukrainian nationalism is a strange political creature and has no broad support among Ukrainian people because of their social affinity, language and cultural ties to eastern neighbor.
In summary there are practically no ethnic/native Ukrainians in Ukraine now and never been any. Virtually all Ukrainians are settlers or refugees from neighboring countries including mostly from Russia. Idea of pure Ukrainian and/or slogans such as Ukraine for Ukrainians, that lay foundation for Ukrainian fascism/nationalism as defined by D. Doncow, is nothing but utter nonsense and serves only as brutal and ruthless tool employed to defeat and destroy any moderate political opponents in a way not dissimilar to Nazi tactics.
In view of these facts one may clearly see that the strive we are witnessing in Ukraine is an internal struggle between mostly ethnic Russians on both sides divided along the lines of west-instigated religious affiliations and political divisions in the country where no boundaries have been settled through treaties and peace agreements*. In this situation we cannot even talk about territorial integrity of Ukraine or Russia because those issues were never settled. Hence, there could be no talk about annexations especially in context of extra-constitutional means Kiev fascist regime came to power and therefore, does not represent whole population of Ukraine at all.
It is a civil war fueled by western and local oligarch strategic interest to disassociate Ukraine from centuries old bonds with Russia. It is similar to American civil war when brother fought against brother to defend wealth and power of American oligarchs. The results of the struggle of people of Ukraine will decide faith of Ukraine as an independent nation in Europe. This is their job alone. We should let Ukrainian people decide their future in peaceful, democratic ways if possible but never act to fuel conflict through escalation of tension between east and west and never allow even one American soldier to die for Ukraine, which is yet to be born. Unfortunately, it has already happened.
*Note that there is no binding border TREATY between Russia and Ukraine at this point. The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances (1994) was a political act related to nuclear proliferation and therefore not legally binding in terms of international law. Which means that it is in force as long as all parties of the agreement politically support it. Even threat of reintroducing nuclear weapons to Ukraine, which Kiev government already expressed would be enough for Russia to unilaterally remove her guaranties for territorial integrity of Ukraine.