I have noticed profound confusion in Ukrainian narratives, and you may have read many posts on this blog, where I discuss them…
1) The Ukrainian nation is a modern nation, created on the basis of a vernacular language that developed in the East European plain through the contact of Old Russian peasants with their Polish overlords. 40% of Ukrainian are borrowings from Polish. It is precisely this centuries long estrangement from the rest of Russia that gave rise to the ideas of a separate Ukrainian nation.
Well, if Ukraine is based on a culture created by centuries of Polish rule, why then would the Ukrainians claim the legacy of Old Rus’. I get it, the true history of Modern Ukraine is the history of enserfed peasants, and there isn’t much to say about the place after the Old Rus’ perished in the flames of the Mongol invasion.
Ukraine is the only country of the East Slavs that does not contain in its name a reference to Rus’. Belarus and the Russian Federation do. Mind you, “Russia” is the hellenized form of the word Rus’ that entered World languages, and retrospectively the Russian language in the time of the Romanovs. I bet the Zmahars (Belorussian nationalists) would have changed the country’s name if a suitable nomenclature was current there.
So, if Ukraine on one hand is the rejection of Rus’, and commonality with Russia and Belarus. How then can Ukraine claim to be the sole proprietor of the Rus’ legacy? Ukrainian officials even make rather uniformed statements that the Russians, of the Russian Federation have somehow usurped the label Rus’.
2) Russian gas is very dirty, said Zelensky on one of his recent visits to the United States but Gazprom must continue pumping that gas to Europe because Ukraine needs the money. For many years, Ukraine was buying Russian gas through Slovakia which was several times more expensive than if it was bought directly from Russia. The Ukrainian population is feeling this independence from Russia every time they have to pay the bills.
3) Ukrainian officials speak of an ongoing war with the Russian Federation but neither is there an official declaration of war, there isn’t even a conflict going on Russian borders.
Ukraine signed the Minsk Accords but would not implement them in any form because then they would have to acknowledge that the Donbas is an internal Ukrainian conflict.
4) Speaking of Donbas and Crimea, the Ukrainians have for a long time used the question: “Whose is Crimea?” as a way to determine a friend or foe. But Crimea is a testament to the formation of the Ukrainian state.
You see, the country named Ukraine was entirely created by the Bolsheviks. The anti-Tsarist forces in the Russian Empire in the nineteenth century were very fond on the budding Ukrainian nationalists. Ukrainian nationalism in the late nineteenth century was very much intertwined with the ideas of social justice, it was about the emancipation of the downtrodden peasants, and naturally these ideas found favour with the Bolsheviks, and it was the Bolsheviks, who played the decisive role in the formation of Ukrainian state as we know it.
It was through the decision of Lenin that the Donbas became Ukraine. Stalin annexed the Western part of Ukraine from Poland and Czechoslovakia, and Khrushchev gave Ukraine Crimea. When Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, instead of trying to accommodate the people in the disparate lands they were given, the successive Ukrainian governments have embarked on a program of imposing what arguably is a West Ukrainian culture on the whole of the country.
The West Ukrainians have the desirable quality of being the most distant from the Russians but they also have a seething hatred towards the Bolsheviks that they view as occupiers. Stalin does not get any props for uniting Halychyna with the rest of Ukraine.
It is rather ironic that when the Ukrainian nationalists began toppling the statues of Lenin around Ukraine, Crimea and the Donbas seceded. You simply cannot deny the genesis of Ukraine in the USSR through the good will of Soviet leaders. The West Ukrainian nationalists have never fought for this territory, they haven’t spent a single bullet for this territory, they have inherited it from the Soviets.
Naturally then, if they want to claim this territory, they have to fight over it. But at present, Kiev finds the guts only to fight the separatists in the East, and therefore de facto, Crimea is Russia.
Recently, Russian rapper Morgenshtern, who arguably promotes a rather degenerate culture of American rappers but is actually smarter than he appears, said in an interview with the Ukrainian TV host, Dmytro Gordon that Crimea belongs to the Crimeans, and basically only the people of Crimea can decide which country they want to belong to.
5) Ukrainian officials claim they are defending Europe from the invasion of Russians from the East. They are probably trying to elicit the help of the countries to the West of their borders, who are no less sick with Russophobia than they are. However, do they not realize that their most immediate Western allies are in no position to help them militarily. The guarantors of the Minsk accords are France and Germany, not Poland and the Czech Republic. Moscow does not consider the latter as equal partners.