The right wing elements in the Ukraine that have radicalized its direction come primarily from the western Ukraine province of Galicia which makes up 12% of the Ukrainian population. Galicia was part of Kiev Rus 1.000 years ago. It has been under Polish or Austro-Hungarian rule until liberated from Polish rule by the Red Army in 1939 and remains part of Ukraine to this day. To better understand Galicians, one needs to review their history over the past 100 years. At the end of WWI, Poland came back into being after disappearing in the 1700’s. The Curzon Line was established to demark the border between Poland and the Ukraine with Galicia being part of the Ukraine. That came to an end when Poland under Marshall Pilsudski attacked during the Russian Revolution and took over Galicia in 1918. Between 1918 and 1939 Galician’s were ruled by a Polish fascist military dictatorship. The Galician’s were repressed to the point that they killed the Polish Interior minister and other Polish officials. The Poles were sending 100’s of thousands of Poles into Galicia with the intent of expelling every Ukrainian from Galicia. Ethnic cleansing in today’s terminology. The Ukrainian/Galician conflict with Poles is centuries old. A group of people known as the SZLACHTA ( wealthy Polish landlords) contributed to much of this conflict. When they ruled they described it as the “PARADISE of NOBILITY and JEWS “. When Galicia was liberated from Polish rule in 1939 by the Red Army the SZLACHTA were eliminated forever.
In the 3 year period from the summers of 1941 to 1944 when Galicia was under German occupation there was much turmoil. A small group of the Galician population led by Stefan Bandera collaborated with the Germans with the intent of getting rid of the Poles and establishing an independent Ukraine. Bandera and other collaborating leaders were sons of Ukrainian Catholic priests. The Uniate Catholic church was imposed on the Ukraine in 1596 by the Polish overlords. Their liturgy was identical to the Orthodox , the priests were allowed to marry but they must submit to the Pope of Rome. When the Red Army liberated Galicia in 1944, the Uniate Catholic Church was no longer mandated and the Galician population became Orthodox just as they were in the time of Kiev Rus about 1,000 years ago. It is from this origin that the radical Ukrainian came into being. In the recent election in which Poroshenko was elected president, the 2 most radical political parties each got 1% of the popular vote. Even the population of Galicia that these parties originated from did not support them. The majority of the Galician population is Orthodox. The present government of Ukraine is a fascist/ Nazi dictatorship backed by mobs who love Bandera and his fascist/ Nazi ideology. After WWII and the resulting devastation in which 10’s of millions were killed how can Europe and the U.S. tolerate such a fascist/Nazi government?
When Yanukovych refused to sign the agreement to join the E.U. and took the offer from Putin he was immediately attacked and was deposed by a well-organized mob. The Western (mainly the U.S.) powers made it clear that Ukraine must join the E.U. Why does the E.U. want the Ukraine? For their resources and possible eventual joining NATO. The E.U. is in financial difficulties. E.U. members Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain are labeled PIGS. That label says it all. These countries are in trouble. The Ukrainian radicals have expressed certain wishes for their country, namely that it be a European Christian country free of foreign influence . How can you be a member of the E.U. and get these results? Their dislike of Russians needs to be moderated. Who but the Russians came to Ukraine’s rescue over the centuries against their enemies: Poland, Germany, Sweden, Turks and Tatars? The very thought of joining NATO could bring on WWIII. Who in their right mind wants this to happen?
What the E.U. will impose on Ukraine as a member needs to be watched very carefully. Joining the E.U. is not a permanent commitment. If the E.U. does not fit Ukraine’s needs they should exit. Ukrainians need to get over their petty differences with Russia, be it religion, language, and any past misunderstandings. Much bigger issues are facing both countries. They need to be brothers and cooperate with each other rather than adversaries. They need to remember and honor their common history and heritage over the centuries.
The logical alliance would be with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). This would be a union of 220,000,000 people covering an area of 8,000,000 square miles with about 90% of the population being Slavic Orthodox with scores of minorities that can blend in well.
- A well educated homogenous population.
- The largest reserves of oil and natural gas in the world
- Self-sufficient with vast mineral resources of all kinds
- About 80% of the world’s “black earth “ soil.
- Defense that includes thousands of nuclear weapons. Neither Poland nor Germany will ever cross the Ukrainian border again.
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