A little personal history before we move on to the meat of the post……please bear with me.
I am sure that there are many readers that may ask why I get so wrapped up in world affairs…….a little professor history here……Most of the regulars here at IST know that I was in the US Army and spent two tours in SE Asia……and I became radicalized because of that exposure to one of the most obscene things humans can endeavor themselves to doing…….I returned to my studies and became fascinated with war….the causes more specifically and that lead to further studies from international relations to political philosophy and political history. I think that we all need to watch wars and the causes, not just from a historical perspective but rather the causes…..maybe after all we could cure ourselves of the abortion of war.
Shall we move on?
Ethnic cleansing…………..Now that is an ugly, ugly term…..ethnic cleansing……but unfortunately it has been with us since time began…..the Bible speaks of it when Joshua attacked Jericho and put the town under the sword……Turks eliminating Armenians during WW1……and everyone knows of the Germany thing…..and Africa there seems to be an ethnic cleansing every year…..the Balkans of the 1990’s….there have been many other incidents of the use of the tactic but those most readily come to mind……now I ask could Ukraine be the next?
Just a quick thought…….
Viktor Yanukovich isn’t the only thing absent in Kiev. There’s also no new government, something that interim leader Oleksandr Turchinov had indicated would be in place today. That timeline has now been pushed to Thursday, with Turchinov saying more time was needed to ensure a “coalition of national faith” was installed—a statement made alongside another warning of the “serious threat” of separatism, reports the BBC. Pro-Russia regions have seen protests against Yanukovich’s removal, and in Crimea’s Sevastopol (where Russia operates a sizable naval base), protesters yesterday yelled “Russia! Russia!” outside city hall, and swapped a Ukrainian flag for Russia’s. More:
- But speaking of Sevastopol, officials there say they have no clue where Yanukovich is, though a local TV station claimed he was holed up in the naval base and intended to sail for Russia. In the Guardian’s telling, there are few facts regarding his whereabouts, but plenty of rumors. Interim interior minister Arsen Avakov says Yanukovich was seen leaving a home in Balaklava around midnight on Sunday with a few bodyguards who remained loyal to him. (A girlfriend may have gone along, too, notes the New York Times.)
- Avakov seems to be leading the hunt for Yanukovich, and issued a plea on Facebook that citizens and border guards stop any attempts Yanukovich might make to leave. The Times reports that he is believed to have severed “all forms of communication,” and has been fleeing by car and helicopter. By last night, the stories were coming fast and furious: He was in Sevastopol, or still in Balaklava, or on his yacht, or hiding in a monastery near Donetsk.
- Who did Yanukovich have contact with in the US before vanishing? Joe Biden. The AP reports that Biden “was at the forefront of the delicate diplomatic maneuvering” on behalf of the White House, and spoke to Yanukovich by phone nine times during the three-month crisis, which the AP terms “an unusual level of contact.” Biden last spoke with him two days before he fled Kiev, and hung up uncertain as to Yanukovich’s next move.
- As far as foreign governments go, Russia spoke out today, reports Reuters, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warning that the country shouldn’t be forced to side with either Russia or the West. “It is dangerous and counterproductive to try to force upon Ukraine a choice on the principle: ‘You are either with us or against us.'”
Let’s return to the map of the ethnic divisions within the country…….
The map illustrates just how divided the country could become……..it also illustrates the lines that will be drawn if all this turns to a civil war………
Not like it would be something new for the Ukraine.
The German invasion of the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa began on June 22, 1941, and by September the occupied territory was divided between two German administrative units the General Government and the Reichskommissariat Ukraine.
Many Ukrainians chose to resist and fight German occupation forces by joining the Red Army or the Soviet Partisans. However, particularly in the Western Ukraine assigned to General Government, loyalty to the Soviet State was low due to the fact that it had been under Soviet control for a brief period of 2 years after the Soviet occupation of Eastern Poland under the Hitler-Stalin-agreement following September 17, 1939. Although the Ukrainian SSR did give the population the national and cultural autonomy that neither the Second Polish Republic nor the interwar Romania did, it came at a price. In 1933 millions of Ukrainians starved to death in the infamous famine, the Holodomor and in 1937 several thousand intelligentsia were exiled, sentenced to Gulaglabor camps or executed. The negative impact of Soviet policies helped garner support for the German cause, and in some regions, parts of the nationalist minority initially viewed the Germans as allies in the struggle to free Ukraine from Stalinist oppression and achieve independence. (Thanx to wikipedia)
The tactic is there…will they, Ukrainians, choose a democratic state or will it dive into a civil wr and all the horror that comes with it?
I will be watching….don’t know if I will be alone or not…..but I have to….it is in my genes.