From Ukraine’s capital Kyiv everything looks surreal: we have just overthrown a corrupt and bloody Putin’s marionette, and at this moment Russian troops with newest weaponry land en masse in Ukrainian territory, surround Ukrainian army bases, threat Ukrainian soldiers’ families. Newcomers wear masks, but everyone knows they are Putin’s – if a French army in masks landed in Yorkshire, in just couple days everyone would know where the troops have come from.
More absurd: Putin is getting nominated for Nobel Peace Prize and Germany asks Russia not to invade Ukraine! It’s an absolutely unimaginable thing from the XXth century history’s view. But there’s more: Ukraine’s ex-president, guilty in hundreds of deaths asks Russian president to invade the neighbour-country and the latter sends his troops to “protect” Ukraine against Americans (!).
A little excursus into national relations in Ukraine:
Russians and Ukrainians (and Jews, and Crimean Tatars, and other minorities) have peacefully lived side by side in Ukraine after the collapse of USSR. Russians speak Russian and noone has ever forbidden them to do it. Almost every Ukrainian has Russian relatives; most Russians have relatives in Ukraine.
Ukrainians have more than just historical reasons to hate Russians (Holodomor’s 8 million deaths; cruelty of Russian invasion in 1918-1921; ” shot Renaissance ” – a tragedy in 1930s when the whole generation of Ukrainian spiritual, intellectual, and artistic elite was shot or destroyed in Gulag; uncounted millions killed in WW2 organized not only by Hitler, but Stalin as well… this list of tortured by “Bigger brother” nation’s wounds can last for pages).
But – absolutely unexplained – we, Ukrainians, do not hate Russians. Couple radical politicians trying to speculate on hatred for Russians are marginal ones, and don’t have wide support.
The country’s problems are not national\minority’s hostility, but corruption – and here EU did a really bad job – millions and millions’ of people (Ukrainians, Russians, Belorussians, Jews, and Tatars) had been struggling for three months against a corrupt tyrant, that wanted to clash the county’s population in a bloody war just to keep his stolen billions and toilet-of-gold. Although Ukraine has shown it’s will to follow EU values, Europe didn’t support us except of mumbling that it was “deeply concerned”.
Surprisingly, history doesn’t teach Europe anything – despite talks of “high democratic values” Europe didn’t do anything to stop Third Reich in 1938 and Russia in 1968 from conquering Czechoslovakia; neither did Europe react properly when Hitler and Stalin invaded and divided Poland in 1939.
Polish troops get alarmed these days because Poland has good memory – they understand – if Putin get’s Crimea, he’ll try to bite of a good part of Ukraine. And if he succeeds, he’ll dream of Poland.
I’m 30. I’ve lived in Ukraine almost all of my life except of couple years travelling and studying abroad.
I’ve been wounded by a grenade two weeks ago in the assault when Yanukovich police decided to make the last desperate attempt to sink #Maidan protest in its own blood. My cousin had been wounded the same night with three bullets – he was saved from almost beneath the feet of attacking “Berkut” spetsnaz by a Russian guy from Rostov-na-Donu – the city where Yanukovich gave his shameful press-conference after fleeing from Ukraine. The Rostovian guy later said, that he had come to fight for Ukrainian independence.
My family is of mixed Ukrainian-Russian origin, my grandparents have fought Nazis in WW2, my mother was among Ukrainian writers and intellectuals who did their best to preserve Ukrainian language and culture under tremendous oppression of Soviet regime.
My 66-year-old father speaks Russian and he still, as through all his adult life, works as an engineer, building anti-aircraft and anti-missile radars for warships.
Neither he, nor other Russian’s and Russian-speaking Ukrainians (most of my friends in Kyiv and in East are like that) are not oppressed here because of their language. Politicians like Yanukovich have tried to manipulate this topic, but the people in Ukraine have showed themselves too peaceful to get deceived in this way,
On the other hand, Ukrainians in Russia are really oppressed because of language –there’s a several million diaspora of Ukrainians in Russia and they don’t have any Ukrainian schools. Do we have the right to fire missiles and send our tanks to Russia because of that?
Ukrainians have never thought we have.
Now the Black Sea warships under Russian flag with anti-missile radars my dad has built are aiming and are near to fire at warships under Ukrainian flag with anti-missile radars my dad has built.
Is this nightmare just a bad dream?
In just three days cold and rational Putin has lost his heroic and sexual aura in the eyes of those Russian-speaking Ukrainians that used to admire Vladimir – he has transformed into a crazy old Soviet-style maniac with lots of nukes, bringing two neighbouring countries into meaningless war just because of his imperial ambitions.
The fight is very near: none of Ukrainian troops in Crimea have surrendered despite all the disinformation, bribing, and threats – even those who identify themselves as Russians. It will be easy for both sides to kill each other – we have lots of common weapons, same-caliber bullets and shells, all of Ukrainian troops perfectly understand Russian.
Politically and economically Ukraine doesn’t need Crimea much – it’s often pro-communist population always votes just as politicians using “divide to rule” want it. But now even hypno-frogged by Russian media Crimeans do understand that Russian troops are not to protect, but to kill. Crimeans have all of a sudden understood that the only thing they’ll get from Russian “protection and liberation” is war and chaos like in Chechnya or Abkhazia.
We, Ukrainians do pray for peace these days, but we are also mobilizing for a war. If Putin doesn’t draw back, he has good chances to crush us, and if USA and EU don’t help us stop him, in couple years masked men with AK-100s will be found in Germany putting Russian flags on buildings and “protecting” oppressed Russian-speaking Germans.
Europe, do you want that?
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