Month: April 2014

Map of a Conflict

In the New Atlanticist, Taras Kuzio writes that the unthinkable has happened in Europe – Russia has invaded Ukraine. But there are obstacles in Russia’s path:

First, the aim of the “green men” is to mobilize support for separatism in Russian-speaking eastern and southern Ukraine opinion, but polls do not give high levels of support for either federalism, a strong Russian demand, or for union with Russia. In a poll conducted by the Kyiv-based Democratic Initiative foundation, only 6 to 7 percent in eastern and southern Ukraine support their region’s separation and union with Russia. That support reaches its high, 18 percent, in the Donbass region, in the far southeast. Nowhere does secession have majority support.

Second, Ukraine ultimately will fight for its eastern regions, meaning there will be high numbers of casualties on both sides.

Eurasianism and Separatism in Ukraine

Voices of Ukraine notes that the “Bravo” section of the Information Resistance Group has published a list and overview of organizations in Ukraine that use the presence of Russian and Russian-speaking minorities to provoke autonomist and separatist sentiment and also to threaten Ukraine’s territorial integrity. One of these structures is the officially banned Eurasian Youth Union. From its Wikipedia entry:

The early-20th century Eurasianism ideology of a part of the Russian emigration and modern Neo-Eurasianism developed by Aleksandr Dugin has been declared the main ideology of the organization. Its ideology also features prominently Russian nationalism and imperialism, calls for the creation of a new Eurasian empire centered around Russia. On its website the movement declared the West and in particular the United States as its main opponent and termed it as the “main evil”.

Crimea Loses its Freedom

At Voices of Ukraine, Aleksei Fyodorov, a Crimea resident, describes the intimidation and threatening, Soviet-style behaviour of the civil and military authorities now that the Russian occupation is a fact of daily life:

When the “little green men” started to take over the peninsula, some people really were euphoric. I even entertained the perfidious thought that Russia would put its petrodollars into the Crimean economy and life would at last sort itself out. But that’s not how it turned out! Already after a few days some incredibly terrible things happened, it’s difficult to describe them, but to see them live is even worse. It’s like a nightmare or a horror film! A family of Crimean Tartars lived in our building, they had come back home at the beginning of the 1990s. The head of the family dared tell a Russian soldier that his armoured car was blocking the parking spaces near our building (it is on the edge of the city, almost as you come into town). The soldier immediately started swearing, then laughing loudly he commanded his comrade to ram the car. The front of his Lada Priora (bought six months ago on credit) was crushed and the Tartar, hardly believing his eyes, only just got out of the car.

We Never Will Be Brothers

The text of the poem by 23 year-old Kievan Anastasia Dmitruk

and a reading by the poet, together with a musical setting sung by a group including Lithuania’s Jeronimas Milius.


The Dangers of Yalta

In Project Syndicate, Yulia Tymoshenko writes:

Putin’s gambit is akin to the infamous Yalta Conference in 1945, where Joseph Stalin made Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt complicit in a division of Europe that enslaved half of the continent for almost a half-century. Today, Putin is seeking to make the West complicit in the dismemberment of Ukraine by negotiating a Kremlin-designed federal constitution that would create a dozen Crimeas – bite-size chunks that Russia could devour more easily later.