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Ukranian association agreement to the EU rejected by the Dutch

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Sep 2011, 13:51
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Post 07 Apr 2016, 00:10
Yeah I got a message the moment exit polls were counted. Honestly I was personally hoping to get a visa-free pass to Europe, which I heard was part of the deal; otherwise I haven't really been keeping up and am not quite sure what all of this means, besides the fact that the treaty really had nothing to do with Ukraine joining the EU or NATO in the first place, and was in practicality just a free trade agreement, with the added bonus of visa-free passes to Ukrainian citizens.

Did you personally vote?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2006, 02:14
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Post 07 Apr 2016, 20:51
Don't lose your hopes. Votes mean nothing to the EU bureaucracy.


"Where Argentina goes, Latin America will go".
Leonid Brezhnev

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Oct 2004, 15:15
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Post 07 Apr 2016, 21:16
Yeqon wrote:
Yeah I got a message the moment exit polls were counted. Honestly I was personally hoping to get a visa-free pass to Europe, which I heard was part of the deal; otherwise I haven't really been keeping up and am not quite sure what all of this means, besides the fact that the treaty really had nothing to do with Ukraine joining the EU or NATO in the first place, and was in practicality just a free trade agreement, with the added bonus of visa-free passes to Ukrainian citizens.

Did you personally vote?


I hope you'll be able to travel to the EU visa-free in the near future. I voted against as well though. Not to worry, I also think the treaty will simply go through with some superficial changes. All other EU member states have already ratified, after all.

It's true that the treaty itself is not about formal membership. In fact, several EU countries are saying that the association agreement should be the limit of our relations with Ukraine, and that membership should never be on the cards. But of all the association agreements that the EU has, this one is certainly very close to membership. It's not just free trade, but also political and military cooperation. So it's certainly part of the aggressive expansionist policy of the EU towards the formerly Russian sphere of influence. And I think a lot of people opposed it on that basis. The agreement is, after all, the one that Yanukovych decided to withdraw from, sparking the Euromaidan movement. Its ratification now at least symbolically sanctifies everything that's happened since.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
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Post 07 Apr 2016, 22:03
Yeqon, the association agreement, and Dutch voters' rejection of it, has nothing to do with Kiev's promises of visa-free travel to Europe, although I can see the convenience of Ukrainian media touting this line from now on.

The truth is that association was, first and foremost about opening Ukraine's markets for European companies - political and economic expansionism, as No 14 put it. Visa free travel is a separate thing altogether, and Brussels retreated from promising Ukraine this perk back in late 2014; in fact, since last year, the number of requirements Ukraine has to fulfill has grown from 4 to something like 22; they started off with basic and logical things like biometric passports (which Ukrainians got early last year). Now, Brussels lists 'corruption' as one of the indicators preventing visa-free travel from being implemented. I'm sure the smoldering conflict in eastern Ukraine can't help either, with Europe (logically) fearing that millions of Ukrainians would run to Europe and stay there if given the chance.

In short, Ukrainians were lied to, big time, and now some Western countries, including Berlin and Washington, want to wash their hands of this experiment, but can't because they don't want complete chaos or growing Russian influence. This means a terrible status quo where Ukraine is slowly sucked dry economically, demographically, and politically, and the prospects for rebuilding the country become more and more grim.

As for Dutch voters, good on them. Post-Maidan Kiev's 'European experiment' didn't work out, and never could; if this helps in any way to bring an end to the horrible situation that has emerged in Ukraine, great.

The only problem is that for now, unless they're hiding in the shadows like the Bolsheviks did, it's difficult to spot a real, significant opposition group able to take over from the bandits in power. The Party of Regions was smashed, its remnants forming the largely toothless Opposition Bloc. The communists have been purged both politically and physically; other strong potential leaders, with a few exceptions, have disappeared - it's easy to do when you have literal armies of street thugs given the power to act without punishment to put down opposition. Russia also isn't helping as much as they could, and how could they, when United Russia is basically a Party of Regions-lite, and shady liberal Vladislav Surkov has been charged with coordinating Moscow's relations with the Donbass republics? Russia probably doesn't want to see the rise of a Lukashenko-like strongman who would challenge Russia's wishes just as much as he does the West; even worse would be the rise of a leftist movement which could become contagious and threaten Russia's economic elite. All in all it's a pretty depressing situation, and something that almost drives me to drink, frankly, since Ukrainians are closer to the Russians than almost any other people.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Sep 2011, 13:51
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Post 08 Apr 2016, 00:06
No 14 wrote:
I hope you'll be able to travel to the EU visa-free in the near future.
Bah. It's simply a matter of convenience for me. I can in fact travel to Europe any time I want; visa-free just makes it easier.

I'm an optimistic man, and I always search for the benefits and opportunities within bad situations. I was always against the deal, still I was thinking that if it went through maybe I'd get something out of it.

No 14 wrote:
I voted against as well though.
No doubt it was the right choice. I hardly think opening up free trade with the EU will help the majority of Ukrainian working people. This whole facade has only made things a lot worse thus far.

soviet78 wrote:
The communists have been purged both politically and physically.
We will have our vengeance. Everyday the government is losing legitimacy. The president is making statements defending his offshore accounts; and his approval ratings are now lower than the former ousted president.


soviet78 wrote:
All in all it's a pretty depressing situation, and something that almost drives me to drink, frankly, since Ukrainians are closer to the Russians than almost any other people.
Nah take it easy. Things ain't all that bad yet.

As long as Ukraine doesn't become part of that genocidal organisation NATO, and never loses its visa-free status with Russia, then I'm generally OK.
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Post 08 Apr 2016, 05:40
Yeqon, you're ultimately going to have to make a choice as to what your identity is and where you choose to reside. If you're an ethnic Russian, there's not much point heading West. If you're a Pole, it just seems to me that you're better off heading to Warszawa or Gdansk. Why make things harder for yourself if you have other options?
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Post 08 Apr 2016, 15:37
Comrade Gulper wrote:
...there's not much point heading West.
I think people here might have gotten the wrong impression about me wanting a visa-free regime with Europe. The only reason I'd like one is for my personal convenience whenever I feel like spending a vacation in Europe; but I've never had the slightest inclination of actually residing there.

London is perhaps the only exception where I wouldn't mind living for several years because people speak almost exclusively in my first language there, which would be exceptionally convenient for me seeing as I've had to spend my entire adult life mostly speaking in languages other than English. Being brought up and educated primarily in English, you can't help but feel a certain something, a familiarity of sorts for the country that has produced greats like Shakespeare, Donne, Shelley etc. Also, Nigeria's a former British colony.

Plus my father's a British national of Lebanese/Maronite origins who identifies primarily as a pan-Arab Levantine.

Finally, London is, well London after all; a city of immense beauty and culture, to which I'd imagine would cater to my tastes quite well.

Quote:
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!


I was conceived in Vienna. That's just an extra fun fact about Europe.


America is the only other western country that I'd given consideration to because once again, English; but more importantly because I have Ukrainian/Jewish relatives who'd emigrated there after the fall of the USSR. They've been asking me to join them in Philadelphia ever since I graduated from med-school. They do pretty well for themselves in the diamond and restaurant businesses (despite the fact that the first generation emigrant, my grand-uncle/grandmother's brother still doesn't speak a word of English even after living there for more than 20 years) and have offered to help me with all the paper work, to which I have thus far refused.


Comrade Gulper wrote:
Yeqon, you're ultimately going to have to make a choice as to what your identity is and where you choose to reside.
Hardly. I'd identify with the country I was born into, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Seeing as that union no longer exists, I identify as a de-facto internationalist, a de-jure cosmopolitan.

Comrade Gulper wrote:
If you're an ethnic Russian, there's not much point heading West. If you're a Pole, it just seems to me that you're better off heading to Warszawa or Gdansk.
I have no Russian roots whatsoever. My mother is a mix of Ukrainian and Polish who considers herself a typical Russian speaking Kievite, with her mother being purely of Polish descent, although even she's never resided there. The only reason I'd ever consider paying Poland a visit would be at my grand-mother's insistence I meet up and perhaps marry a pretty Polish girl that she's been trying to hook me up with, who's somehow a friend or very distant relative of the family.

Otherwise I really don't have any real connection to Poland. I don't speak a word of Polish, and besides the fact that they're a Slavic country albeit western, who's communists have played significant roles in the birth, development, and defence of the Soviet Union, I'm not sure that I even care much for it beyond a general empathy I have towards all humans.

Moving to Russia on the other hand makes overwhelmingly more sense, seeing as it was once my country. Beyond that, moving to Poland or any other EU country would be a long and arduous task, whereby moving to Russia is simply a matter of literally walking in there and paying a small working permit fee, and I speak Russian.

I also inevitably cherish a sense of loyalty towards Russians, due to the inherent cultural and historic links Russians have to Ukrainians, and more so because of the sacrifices made in defending each other, our socialist cause and mother land. My great-grandfather's bones still lie somewhere along the river volga.


Nevertheless, my final point is that in today's world, financial pragmatism and personal lifestyle are the most important factors in choosing where I reside, whereby ethnicity and identity play close to no roles in my choices. Why limit oneself to a certain group of people when you can have the world?

Lenin always did say that nationalists were suckers.



Ehehehe, sorry London.


Comrade Gulper wrote:
Also, there are organic cultural and sociopolitical constructs just as surely as there are merely temporary contrivances.

What do you base this categorisation upon? What specifically makes one country organic and another artificially temporary? When you say temporary, do you mean that as opposed to being permanent, as in a permanent country? I tried looking some of this up and found something about an Organic Theory of the State; but I'm sure that's not what you're talking about.

In other places I found a simple definition whereby organic pertains to a country founded by the indigenous people, as opposed to artificial whereby the people are immigrants. Is that how you define it?

You can be frank and use the Ukraine-Russia example.


soviet78 wrote:
...since Ukrainians are closer to the Russians than almost any other people.


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Post 08 Apr 2016, 19:22
Yeqon wrote:
In other places I found a simple definition whereby organic pertains to a country founded by the indigenous people, as opposed to artificial whereby the people are immigrants. Is that how you define it?

Yes. Which is exactly why, even after the dissolution of the USSR, there is still a Russia, a Kazakhstan, an Estonia, etc. (Leave out the right wing blather that some idiots choose to attach to this theory. I'm not talking about a "volkisch" state.)

"Ukraine" is ultimately going the way of Yugoslavia. It won't be a separate country in 20 years, which is exactly why it makes sense to choose one or the other of its DNA building blocks.

Also, when I said it makes no sense to go West, I meant to the Maidan, not Western Europe. I should have been more specific there.

I honestly wish you the best of luck, and hope that you find somewhere to settle down and call home. Being "cosmopolitan" beats being "provincial", but it's also nice to have somewhere you can depend on to be there even if you stray far from it. Such places are becoming fewer by the day.

Philadelphia is not a bad city to be. It's the city my relatives ended up in after choosing the USA over Australia. I grew up there. There's a (formerly large but still somewhat significant) Russian and Ukrainian presence in the city. You'll find the majority of the older folks to be quite conservative (although the ones I knew as a child must be gone by now) and most of the younger ones fully Americanized (except the ones who have gone into the Orthodox or Catholic church).

Philadelphia also has very European weather patterns. 3 months of summer, 1 spring, 1 fall, and the rest is winter.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Sep 2011, 13:51
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Post 10 Apr 2016, 18:24
Ukrainians are by today's standards very much an indigenous people. (I underline by today's standards to stress the fact that by turning back the clock, no people are indigenous seeing as the history of Homo Sapiens has always been one of constant exploration and migration.) Ukrainians are one of the direct descendants of the Kievan Rus' and still reside within the area which once made up that federation. They have gone through a similar series of trials and tribulations as have the Russians and Belorussians, culminating in them developing their own variation of the Old East Slavic language which was primarily used by the people of the Kievan Rus; as well as their own ever so slightly different culture.

Comrade Gulper wrote:
"Ukraine" means "border land"
Yes. Originally it was meant to designate a part of the Kievan Rus, since "край" means edge or border, with Украина thus meaning borderland. With time the name started to designate the area under which one of the descendants of Kievan Rus were residing, with today the Ukrainian word країна meaning country. So Україна simply means our country.

Regardless, how is any of this significant?

What's in a name?

The word Russia comes from the word Rus, which is an old Slavic word for Swedes; seeing as one of the theories as to the origins of Eastern Slavs claims that a group of Vikings settled in the area, eventually forming the Rus' people. America is named after the Italian Amerigo Vespucci.

Yet it can't be argued that America belongs to Italy or that Russia belongs to Scandinavia.

A country's name can never be grounds for setting borders, neither can the fact that different parts of today's Ukraine once belonged to different empires. Significant parts of what is today's Russia originally belonged to the Mongol Empire. Russia also had to bit by bit colonise and grab previously unchartered territory to become what it is today.

If we were to take into account how many times modern day Ukraine's lands were occupied by foreign forces, then deciding which of today's countries is the rightful heir to these lands becomes a matter of personal choice, whereby you simply choose a specific point in history as proof to that claim.

Such thinking has no place within the confines of historical fact.

The history of humanity is one of constant border shifts and changes, and Ukraine is no exception. The reason it took Ukrainians longer to gain independence than other ethnic groups in the area is simply a matter of circumstance, whereby Ukrainians were always located at the cross roads between Europe and Asia, smack down in the middle of giant opposing empires, and that fact is no less true today. This nevertheless doesn't mean that Ukrainians aren't a distinct ethnic people, who are part of a greater whole.

Furthermore, Ukrainians have tried for centuries to liberate themselves, and had even somewhat succeeded for a while in setting up a semi-independent Ukrainian Cossack State, under the leadership of Bohdan Khmelnytsky with Kiev as the capital in the XVII century, and whereby the official language was the Ukrainian vernacular, which was being spoken by the residents of the area for centuries.

OP-Bagration wrote:
Bourgeois ideology tend to analyse everything in terms of ethnicity (the notion was criticised by many scholars such as Weber), and it often replaces the term "race". But actually most of those divisions are fake and exacerbated by imperialist policies. So there is no issue with ethnicity, the issue is you and how you see things.

Needless to say incessant discussions on ethnicities do not fit well with Marxist ideologies. They would better suit neo-nazi or zionist ones, and make more sense among the PoFo crowd.

Lenin wasn't even an ethnic Russian, but a mix of German, Swedish, Jewish, Chuvash, and Mongol Oirats.

Comrade Gulper wrote:
"Ukraine" is ultimately going the way of Yugoslavia.
Hardly. Ukraine is rather homogenous, as opposed to Russia for example which is the most ethnically heterogenous post-soviet state.

Ukraine is in fact one of the last former soviet states to suffer from a separatist problem. Russia had their wars with Chechnya resulting in tens of thousands of casualties; Georgia's is with Abkhazia and Ossetia, Moldova's is with Transnistria, Azerbaijan and Armenia have got theirs in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the central Asian former soviet republics have had several wars between themselves.

So the way I see it Ukraine is in fact still ahead of the game; and Yugoslavia's example is completely incompatible with Ukraine's.

The fact of the matter is that at the end of the day, no matter what one's position is on the question of Ukraine's historical identity, today the largest internationally recognised fully geographically European country is Ukraine, and that's even without the Crimea and Donbass Republics. Through centuries of perseverance and great sacrifice Ukrainians have earned what they have, a fact everyone has to reckon with because it carries profound geo-political and practical implications. All of the soviet leaders starting with Lenin recognised and contributed to Ukraine's ever expanding borders, all of which was quite justified considering the state of affairs at the times.

Today Ukraine has its fair share of problems, but they shall be overcome. Even though the Maidan Revolution was infected by unnecessary Russophobic sentiment with fascist and neo-nazi parties at the vanguard, the Ukrainian people have proven to be anything but fascist. Through the ballot box they have voted out the Right Sector and Svoboda parties, whereby they now hold less than 10 Verkhovna Rada seats in between them, i.e. 2%.

Fascist parties within the European Union like France's Front National, Denmark's Dansk Folkeparti, Austria's FPO, Hungary's Jobbik, and Greece's Golden Dawn have all enjoyed far more success, with some winning more than 25% during the last European parliamentary elections.

Recently, due to our Dutch comrades voting against the Association Agreement, the Ukrainian masses who have been brainwashed by western liberals as well as the president who thanks to the leaked panama papers is having the worst week of his life, have been hit by a powerful and sudden reality check. Their sudden consternation is just the first step in realising that improvement in one's country comes through pragmatism, diligence, tolerance, and hard work; and not through liberal pipe-dreams. It's about time pro-western Ukrainians realised that Europeans have their own set of problems, and that they don't spend all their time just worrying about the plight of Ukrainians.

Breaking Good News: Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk resigns.

Hell, it's about time. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Quote:
I honestly wish you the best of luck.
Much obliged.

Quote:
...and hope that you find somewhere to settle down and call home.
Home?!

Quote:
Being "cosmopolitan" beats being "provincial".
The inherent drive to explore beyond the regions of one's residence was one of the main advantages Homo Sapiens had over the Neanderthals. Neanderthals would only migrate if the environment around them was not suited to sustaining life. Humans on the other hand would sacrifice members of the group over and over in search of the unknown, without any guarantee of benefit. It is one of the defining aspects of the human race. That's why even today we humans spend a huge amount of our resources and energy in studying theoretical principles which seemingly have no practical benefits whatsoever. It is this curiosity for the unknown that has driven us to colonize the entire globe and drive all other competition into extinction.

So you see it can be argued that even from a purely biological point of view, cosmopolitanism is superior to nationalism, in contradiction to what the Nazis used to espouse.

Quote:
Philadelphia is not a bad city to be.


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Post 10 Apr 2016, 23:15
Love the post, Yeqon. I'm always baffled by any accusation of "false nationhood," whether it's Palestinians or Ukrainians, Americans or... okay, I was going to say Italians, but they're internally fractured enough that they might fit better as a nation-in-progress outside of Central Italy.

Is nationhood not, first and foremost, a matter of identity? If a large group of people identify with a given national idea, and have a culture, they are a nation. That they were part of some other cultural/linguistic group 1000, or even 100, years ago is completely irrelevant.

Also, Philadelphia is nice. Generally the Northeast gets worse the further south you go, peaking in dumpiness in Baltimore and then getting nice again once you hit DC's Maryland suburbs, with its Virginia suburbs being New England-quality in terms of standard of living. Philadelphia is no exception, it's usually seen as a second-rate New York. But it's far from a bad city. It's as clean as the urban Tri-State area gets, most of it is safe, it has plenty of job opportunities, it has pop culture relevance. It has yummy cheesesteaks.
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Post 11 Apr 2016, 00:58
Philadelphia is actually a bit cleaner and safer these days then when I was a child growing up there. Parts of it (especially the neighborhood I specifically grew up in) have been completely rebuilt. The down side of this improvement is "gentrification" (i.e., the spread of bourgeois douchebaggery to areas that formerly never suffered from it).

I prefer to be on the Western side of the country because of climate and health issues.

Strangelove is right about Baltimore...good Christ, what a dump! Even without the current round of race riots, it's becoming the blight patch of the Eastern coast, and is swiftly depopulating in a manner that suggests it may become a ghost town like Detroit in the very near future. A real shame, because Maryland is a great and historic state.

About the Ukraine, if you really want to see yourself as separate, I suppose it doesn't hurt me to indulge you. To me, it's the difference between French and Quebec French, but do what thou wilt.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Post 11 Apr 2016, 11:17
Yeqon, as a Russian (and Chuvash, but that's another story), I must say that I completely understand your indignation with the idea that Ukraine is somehow 'artificial' - it always makes me cringe a bit when Russians say something to that effect. However, it's also important to understand that in most cases, Russians that say this do so with a sense of love -i.e. 'we are so close historically and culturally that even the idea of a separate Ukrainian nation, much less a country, is absurd'.

At the same time, as you know, there is a concept for using the word 'Russian' not in the ethnic sense, but in the civilizational one (much like 'American' is used in the US, I guess). This is based in the fact that even in imperial times, Russians never put the ethnic factor above other considerations during periods of expansion, whether by conquest or voluntary association. As smaller nations joined, they were never liquidated or even assimilated, but rather 'absorbed' into a larger entity where they continued to maintain their own cultural distinctions, including language. This, in fact, is the reality that the founders of the Soviet Union faced when creating their new state out of the old Russian empire, leading to the complicated arrangement of national republics and autonomous regions.

In any case, for many Russians, describing Ukrainians as 'Russian' is meant to indicate 'these are our guys', and not 'Russia stronk and puny Ukrainian not real nation'. I think this is important given our common roots (Kievan Rus). Nevertheless, whenever I speak on the subject I use the awkward but more neutral construct of 'our common East Slavic civilization', by which I want to take account of the fact that there are differences between the three East Slavic nations, which are not a bad thing, but only made us stronger in their own time. But this can only be the case if we are all together. There are some nationalists in Russia today who say that Russia can be a superpower without Ukraine, to which my reply is that they should read Brzezinski, who correctly said that without Ukraine, Russia can be a regional power, but not a superpower.

Regarding the Ukrainian language, there is some debate now about how much it is actually representative of the language originally spoken by Ukrainians in previous centuries. I'm not a philologist so please correct me if you know better, but there are discussions suggesting that the language which Russians speak today is actually much closer to the language spoken by the East Slavic tribes in Kievan Rus than contemporary Ukrainian. In any case, given how similar the Russian and Ukrainian languages are, I almost feel that they are dialects of one another, rather than separate languages.

Finally, regarding Order's comment about Ukraine going the way of Yugoslavia, this is something that worries me a great deal as well actually, and I'll tell you why: it's not about ethnic heterogeneity, but about the fact that Western imperial interests have sunk their claws so deep into a country with roots in Eastern Slavdom that they threaten to tear it apart, much like the did Yugoslavia. Will eastern and southeastern Ukrainians (including the cities of the country's second, third and fourth largest cities) really be able to reconcile being torn away from the East Slavic civilization to which they contributed so much? Are they ready to throw away the achievements of millions of Ukrainians that helped make the USSR the superpower that it was, for the sake of integration with a West that doesn't care about them? I just don't think so.

As to the Ukrainian peoples' anti-fascist tendencies, that is certainly the case, but you have to remember that an entire generation of young people now has been raised on textbooks written by Canadian and American Ukrainian Banderites who escaped Europe after the Second World War. They infected the minds of many people, convincing them that the 100,000 traitors who fought for the fascists were the heroes, rather than the 6 million (!) Ukrainians who fought in the Red Army. The ultra-right's parliamentary representation may be small, but their influence far outweighs their numbers, given their armed battalions (most of which are now integrated into the Ministry of Internal Affairs); moreover, in many ways, their poisonous ideology is factually the state ideology. It's enough to remember their main slogan: 'Glory to Ukraine - to the Heroes Glory!', a fascist slogan rebranded to become the slogan of the 2014 coup.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Post 12 Apr 2016, 10:22
Interesting discussion about Ukrainian nationhood up here. I must confess my ignorance about this subject, but I am glad that the actions of the communists in the Netherlands around the referendum have consistently emphasised "Solidarity with the Ukrainian working class and the persecuted communists", rather than giving some kind of pro-Russian or pro-Novorussian narrative. It is the self-determination of the Ukrainian people that will eventually decide what the future of their nation will be, and in what borders.

In the debates leading up to the referendum, it became clear to me that this is hardly an automatism. I listened to a speech by an ex-communist scholar who is now part of a peace movement with a clear pro-Putin slant (although his greatest Russian hero is not Putin, but Gorbachev). He used this map of Ukraine as the background of his speech:

Image


According to the speaker, all the pink parts (and the Crimea) are essentially "Russian" Ukraine, as opposed to "Ukrainian" Ukraine. The whole point of this was basically to deny the existence of Ukrainian nationhood except for a rump consisting of the northern and western half. Everything else is simply "Russian". The audience consisted mainly of Ukrainian students who disputed the accuracy of this map. I don't know anything about that, but it is crystal clear to me that this is too simple. There is clearly a lot of support for federalisation in the east, but separatism or the desire to join with Russia has only really taken off in the present-day conflict zones. Of course, the repression by the Ukrainian state also plays a role in this.

The problem with this ex-communist professor (who also had to confess to his Ukrainian audience that he really doesn't know all that much about Ukraine) is that he basically reduces nationhood to a purely ethno-linguistic concept. He wants to turn the actually rather unclear cultural divide of Ukraine into a solid border between the Ukrainian and the Russian states. He is less interested in the opinions of the people there, people who may very well have massive problems with the Ukrainian state, but who still aren't clamouring to become Russian subjects.

And as mentioned before, if we take race, ethnicity, culture, and/or language as the sole defining attribute of nationhood, that creates a great many problems for communists. It would essentially force us to support just about any imperialist intrigue if it matches with some phoney borderline on a dubious map. Maybe we should support the Flemish fascists, who want to separate from the "artificial construct" called Belgium. Maybe we should positively review Hitler's and Mussolini's plan to partition Switzerland in the event of an Axis victory. Maybe Donald Trump is on to something with his wall... Maybe we should accept that the conflict in the Middle East is simply a consequence of the "Sunni-Shia divide", and we should accept the imperialist intrigue aimed at splitting Syria and Iraq into sectarian statelets. Surely this can't be right.
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Post 12 Apr 2016, 11:37
The map tells the tale. The extreme western half of Ukraine came at the expense of Poland in the wake of WWII. Poland was then given territory in the west, including Danzig, as compensation which, of course, came at the expense of Germany.

Crimea was given to Ukraine by Khrushchev for reasons best known to himself, and never had any business leaving the RSFSR. So most of the West is really Polish and would probably prefer to revert back to Polish sovereignty, while the East will most likely be annexed to Russia within 20 years (willingly in some cases, possibly not in others).

It's ultimately a geopolitical issue. Unfortunately, popular sovereignty isn't worth much without 20-30 divisions to back it up.
Last edited by Comrade Gulper on 12 Apr 2016, 18:03, edited 1 time in total.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Post 12 Apr 2016, 13:31
The West isn't polish at all bro
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Post 12 Apr 2016, 18:05
Conscript wrote:
The West isn't polish at all bro

West of Ukraine, not the West of Europe.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Post 12 Apr 2016, 18:20
Comrade Gulper wrote:
About the Ukraine, if you really want to see yourself as separate, I suppose it doesn't hurt me to indulge you.
It's not that I see Ukrainians as being separate from Russians, or least of all would actually want to, so much as I see them as a variation of a common whole, a refraction of the same original white light (Rus') if you wish, who are in turn part of the entire range of the electro-magnetic spectrum (humanity).

Just as the different colours of the rainbow are more beautiful than the white light they come from, I see ethnic and cultural diversity as something equally as beautiful, an extension of the individual self, encompassing the freedom of artistic expression inherent within the human condition.

Regardless, this doesn't mean that I'd oppose unifying the Slavs under a single banner again were the circumstances favourable.

MissStrangelove wrote:
Love the post, Yeqon. I'm always baffled by any accusation of "false nationhood," whether it's Palestinians or Ukrainians, Americans or... okay, I was going to say Italians, but they're internally fractured enough that they might fit better as a nation-in-progress outside of Central Italy.

Is nationhood not, first and foremost, a matter of identity? If a large group of people identify with a given national idea, and have a culture, they are a nation. That they were part of some other cultural/linguistic group 1000, or even 100, years ago is completely irrelevant.
Personally, I've always believed nations founded upon ideals rather than ethnicity to be superior, even though they are what people call artificial.

America is one important example with aspects that I'm quite jealous of. I'm largely ignorant on American history, but I can't help but think that holding the union together at all costs during the civil war to be its greatest and proudest achievement.

Also, I've heard that not a single part of the American constitution is incompatible with a socialist society. Is that true?

soviet78 wrote:
Yeqon, as a Russian (and Chuvash, but that's another story), I must say that I completely understand your indignation with the idea that Ukraine is somehow 'artificial' - it always makes me cringe a bit when Russians say something to that effect. However, it's also important to understand that in most cases, Russians that say this do so with a sense of love -i.e. 'we are so close historically and culturally that even the idea of a separate Ukrainian nation, much less a country, is absurd'.
Classifying nations into artificial and organic ones is practically useless, and is theoretically very weak.

I'm not debating the fact that Ukraine was never a separate nation until now. I'm challenging the notion that Ukrainians aren't an ethnic designation at all, and that the idea of a Ukrainian nationhood is something entirely made up just yesterday.

I'm trying to be as intellectually honest as possible here. The main reason I'm putting up the effort is because I've always respected this site in maintaining a relatively unbiased intellectual standard, not because all of this offends my sensibilities in any way.

I'm also debating this undergraduate argument used over and over especially on forums assuming that because the word "Ukraine" comes from the old Slavic word for "borderland", it automatically equates it to historically being part of Russia or Poland; whereby this designation was never used to refer to Ukraine as a borderland to either Russia or Poland, but to a part of the Kievan Rus', which over the centuries was used in a number of different ways to refer to different lands.

All someone has to do is spend just 10 minutes researching all of this online to realise what a daft assumption this is, and I feel rather embarrassed having to actually bring this up here out of all places.

Comrade Gulper wrote:
^ That's what I'm arguing against.

Map of the Ukrainian Cossack State in 1654 (against the backdrop of the contemporary Ukraine).

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When Bohdan Khmelnytsky set up the first Ukrainian Cossack State, the foundation upon which the modern Ukrainian nation has been built, he did so swearing allegiance to the Tsar in exchange for autonomy and military assistance in battling the Poles for their liberation. Ukrainians themselves chose to incorporate themselves for the first time since the fall of the Kievan Rus' back into Eastern Slavdom, whereby all the lands and descendants of the Kievan Rus' were reunited under the banner of the Russian Empire. In return, Ukrainians were given autonomy to govern themselves, whereby the Ukrainian vernacular would for the first time be used in official documents.

Ukrainians fought ferociously to attain this level of autonomy against many opposing foes, and with Russia's help were successful. Since then Ukrainians have had to bear the brunt defending Russians in every major conflict that has arisen between Western Empires and Eastern Slavdom; and in my view have thus very much earned their special status among the Rus' people.

Russians were the first people to recognise Ukraine as a legitimate nation, albeit never separate from the greater whole until now. The soviets went even further in adopting an ever increasing expansionist policy for Ukrainians, until every last plot of land whereby a significant Ukrainian population resided, be they in the majority or minority, was assimilated into the Ukrainian nation, which was in turn part of the greater soviet whole.

This soviet monument located a mere ten minute walk from the Maidan immortalises this very first union between Ukrainians and Russians that began in the XVII century, and which lasted until the fall of the USSR:

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Ukrainians as an ethnic group was never in doubt even when they were part of the Polish State for centuries, albeit they weren't known as Ukrainians back then but as Ruthenians.

soviet78 wrote:
Russians that say this do so with a sense of love...
I'm really the last person you should be explaining this to. Believe me brother, even when I'm in a public place in Kiev, I make it a strict rule to whoever's around me not to speak ill of the Russian people in my presence.

soviet78 wrote:
At the same time, as you know, there is a concept for using the word 'Russian' not in the ethnic sense, but in the civilizational one (much like 'American' is used in the US, I guess).
I've personally never had any problem with referring to all Eastern Slavs as Russians. It's actually quite appropriate when taking into account the literal meaning of the word which means "People of the Lands of Rus". The trend is still used among Eastern Slavs within and outside, whereby when meeting someone new and in doubt of their nationality, your first impulse would be to ask "Ты русский?"/"Are you Russian?"

When I studied in the American University of Beirut, I was one of only two freshman Slavs, the other being a Polish communist. I was always referred to as the Russian even though people knew I was from Kiev, and never once did I care to correct them insisting that I was Ukrainian.

In an even broader sense calling someone Russian could simply mean Russian speaking, whereby even non-Slavic soviet nationalities were referred to as Russians outside of the USSR.

Hell even on my birth certificate, it says that my mother is Russian.

soviet78 wrote:
This is based in the fact that even in imperial times, Russians never put the ethnic factor above other considerations during periods of expansion, whether by conquest or voluntary association. As smaller nations joined, they were never liquidated or even assimilated, but rather 'absorbed' into a larger entity where they continued to maintain their own cultural distinctions, including language.
I've never had a problem with Ukrainians historically being a part of the Russian Empire. Many great Russians of Ukrainian origin found tremendous success in adopting the Russian way of life, with two examples being Tchaikovsky and Gogol.

Admittedly I've never read any of Gogol's works yet. I am ashamed.

Ukrainians were even more successful as a part of soviet society in all realms of human development, not to mention even attaining enough positions within the top brass to effectively govern the whole union for decades.

soviet78 wrote:
I'm not a philologist so please correct me if you know better, but there are discussions suggesting that the language which Russians speak today is actually much closer to the language spoken by the East Slavic tribes in Kievan Rus than contemporary Ukrainian.
From what I've heard you're correct, because Ukrainian was influenced by the Polish language over the centuries.

soviet78 wrote:
In any case, given how similar the Russian and Ukrainian languages are, I almost feel that they are dialects of one another, rather than separate languages.
I agree.

soviet78 wrote:
As to the Ukrainian peoples' anti-fascist tendencies, that is certainly the case, but you have to remember that an entire generation of young people now has been raised on textbooks written by Canadian and American Ukrainian Banderites who escaped Europe after the Second World War. They infected the minds of many people, convincing them that the 100,000 traitors who fought for the fascists were the heroes, rather than the 6 million (!) Ukrainians who fought in the Red Army. The ultra-right's parliamentary representation may be small, but their influence far outweighs their numbers, given their armed battalions (most of which are now integrated into the Ministry of Internal Affairs); moreover, in many ways, their poisonous ideology is factually the state ideology. It's enough to remember their main slogan: 'Glory to Ukraine - to the Heroes Glory!', a fascist slogan rebranded to become the slogan of the 2014 coup.
Yes, this is all unfortunately true, but it doesn't mean the fascist minority who control much of the state will last long. In either case I have faith.

One of Ukraine's biggest problems is that because of corruption that never improved since the collapse of the USSR, the state has never been able to maintain a strong police and military force, thus making it too easy for a dedicated group of people with financial backing to organise revolutions and overthrow the state not once, but two times, even though they represent a minority of the total population. These people would have never been able to win through the ballot box, seeing as the majority of Ukrainians always voted for the pro-Russian side when given the choice, literally every single time; alas now they don't even have that choice.

Furthermore, I partly blame the Russian government for handling the situation sloppily. Putin had been out of touch with what was going on in Ukraine ever since the collapse of the union; demonstrated further in his desperate attempt to buy Ukrainian debt when it was already too late. Had the Russians invested more time and effort in Ukraine since the collapse, this whole situation just might have been averted.

No 14 wrote:
According to the speaker, all the pink parts (and the Crimea) are essentially "Russian" Ukraine, as opposed to "Ukrainian" Ukraine.
Correct. What is known as historical Novorossiya was never part of the original Ukrainian Cossack Hetmanate, as is demonstrated in the map I posted above.

Nevertheless, you dare question the judgment of the Bolsheviks under comrade Lenin?!

I support and am eternally grateful to the Russian people for their most generous offer at the behest of comrade Lenin.

Thank you comrade Lenin.

Comrade Gulper wrote:
Crimea was given to Ukraine by Khrushchev for reasons best known to himself, and never had any business leaving the RSFSR.
You dare question the judgement of comrade Khrushchev and the politburo?!

I support and am eternally grateful to the Russian people for their most generous lending of the Crimea at the behest of comrade Khrushchev, otherwise we wouldn't have had some of the best and grandest KaZantip parties in the history of mankind.

Thank you comrade Khrushchev.

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Conscript wrote:
The West isn't polish at all bro.
Of course it isn't. 15% of Poland's total population consisted of Ukrainians who resided in Galicia, making Galician Ukrainians the largest ethnic minority in Poland.

Who dares question the judgement of comrade Stalin?!

I support and am forever grateful to the Polish people for their most generous offer at the behest of comrade Stalin.

Thank you comrade Stalin.

I'd also like to thank all the other nations and countries who's former lands were partially annexed by the Ukrainian people.


All jokes aside though, all this was done in complete confidence that the bonds of our workers' union would never be broken, least of all, the union of the Ukrainian and Russian peoples as a single united entity.

The collapse of the union has been a tragedy.

Regardless the Russian people are my brothers, and I will always cherish our common Slavic ancestry.

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My laws shall act more pleasure than command,
And with my prick I'll govern all the land.
Loz
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Post 02 May 2016, 02:05
I've literally never heard people talk about Ukraine aside from Chernobyl, the football championship in 2008 or whenever or some WW1 battles our soldiers took part in before the 2014 happenings, and i'd bet Western Europeans are the same.
I have a feeling people stopped caring about it and don't ( or never did ) give a frag, as evidenced by the Dutch vote. Europeans just don't want to have to feed another 40 million people and a country that's closer to African than European standards. Ukraine is one of the worst examples of a true failed state, even worse than Moldova since Moldova didn't really have any industry or anything to begin with, unlike Ukraine. Nothing good awaits that country and the pro-Russian quasi states in Donbass in near or far future, it will just die a slow death with everyone trying to GTFO from that shithole with 100 euro salaries.

Quote:
Regardless, this doesn't mean that I'd oppose unifying the Slavs under a single banner again were the circumstances favourable.

And by that you mean Eastern Slavs. Even though panslavism was originally invented by Czechs and Croats, nowadays the only Slavic country that's somewhat friendly with Russia is Belarus, and Serbia where russophilia is still popular for some reason.
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Post 02 May 2016, 16:43
Loz wrote:
I've literally never heard people talk about Ukraine...
Perhaps, but that doesn't fit in with Ukraine being one of the most hotly debated subjects on the Siberian Fox network. The largest threads both here and on PoFo were about Ukraine. I'm assuming it's similar on RevLeft and other political forums. Plus when this whole Euro-Maidan thing started, most everybody in the world was talking about it. Posters ought to pay dividends to Ukrainians for having something to occupy their time with for so long.

Quote:
I have a feeling people stopped caring about it and don't ( or never did ) give a frag, as evidenced by the Dutch vote.
I agree, yet you were the one advocating Ukraine pushing to become a part of the EU.

Quote:
Europeans just don't want to have to feed another 40 million people.
Ukrainians aren't starving.

Loz wrote:
Ukraine is a country that's closer to African than European standards.
You've obviously never been to either Africa or Ukraine.

Quote:
Ukraine is one of the worst examples of a true failed state...
Sentimental nonsense. Libya and Iraq are failed states. You set the bar way too high.

Quote:
Nothing good awaits that country and the pro-Russian quasi states in Donbass in near or far future, it will just die a slow death with everyone trying to GTFO from that shithole with 100 euro salaries.
This doom and gloom mentality is something I deal with every single day. I'm a Lebanese-Ukrainian with a Nigerian pair of balls. I've had to put up with Ebola, Israeli bombardments, Syrian occupation, rampant crime and corruption, the crash of the Naira because of slumping oil prices, unclean water, lack of electricity, several riots, the constant threat of Islamism, terrorism, racism, millions of Syrian and Palestinian refugees, multiple beatings et cetera. The state of affairs in Ukraine is a cake-walk to me, and I can't wait until I'm in Kiev again less than thirty days from today.

Ukrainians have also proven to be some of the most resilient people of the past several centuries. My grandmother who's had to put up with Hitler's filth still goes to work every single day at age 83.

The Bolsheviks never adopted such a defeatist attitude even when the territories under their control were reduced to that of Muscovy.

Quote:
And by that you mean Eastern Slavs. Even though panslavism was originally invented by Czechs and Croats, nowadays the only Slavic country that's somewhat friendly with Russia is Belarus, and Serbia where russophilia is still popular for some reason.
Obviously I meant Eastern Slavs, since I'm talking about the question of Ukraine's ethnic identity and its Rus heritage. That doesn't mean I'd oppose Ukraine joining a Western Slavic union either were the circumstances favourable, and if such a union weren't forged at the expense of the proletariat within and without.

I personally have never used the actual words pan-Slavism to make my point, since I'm not sure as to whether it entails exclusive or overly nationalistic overtones. I support the forging of supranational unions as a first step in uniting the peoples of the world, or at the very least encouraging cooperation amongst different nationalities.

I've never even opposed Ukraine becoming a part of the EU on principle, but rather because I never saw any good coming out of it which would be beneficial to the Ukrainian proletariat; and the events that have unfolded have proven me to be exactly right time and time again.

Loz on Feb 21, 2014 wrote:
Why would you believe in Slavic unity and not European?
Yeqon on Feb 21, 2014 wrote:
Europe has a chance to prove what good it could do Ukraine. Only after we see the results will I tell you why I prefer Slavic unity as opposed to European.

Also, the European Union's handling of the refugee crisis among several other things have in fact proven them never to have been a true supranational union whereby the burdens and benefits are to be shared by all, but instead a group of competing economies working within a closed fenced free market, with some serious imperialist agendas.
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My laws shall act more pleasure than command,
And with my prick I'll govern all the land.
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