Ukraine War Buries
Russian Dream of Pan-Slavic Unification (Polityka, Poland)
Ukraine war has buried the myth of a Slavic community of nations, a political
dream concocted by Tsarist Russia in order to consolidate its influence abroad.
The Russians cannot imagine Ukrainians going their own way - behaving like free
people guided by their own dreams and interests rather than Russian conceptions
A plan designed to eventually end the Ukraine-Russian war has just been
signed. It is a war that has buried the myth of a Slavic community of nations, a
political dream concocted by Tsarist Russia in order to consolidate its influence
abroad. [Essentially, this involves peoples who inhabit central, eastern and southeast
Europe]. Now it is the 21st century and Russians are killing Ukrainians,
supposedly its most fraternal "brotherly nation."
Other Slavic peoples - Serbs, Czechs, Bulgarians (as well as
non-Slavic Hungarians and Romanians) - cannot fail to avoid drawing political
conclusions from what the Russians are doing in Ukraine.
Russia's attitude toward Ukrainians is imperialist and
colonialist. For centuries, we, too, had a similar attitude, but since the
establishment of the Third Republic [end of communist period in 1989] we've altered
the way we think about our eastern neighbors. [Ukraine was part of the Kingdom
of Poland starting
in the 1600s].
The Russians cannot imagine Ukrainians going their own way -
behaving like free people guided by their own dreams and interests rather than Russian
conceptions of Ukraine.
When the Maidan protests
reinforced the Ukrainian body politic, Russians in Ukraine and Russia itself
declared a war against it. They killed, humiliated and prided themselves on their
crimes, calling them patriotic. Russian propaganda drilled into Russian minds
the notion that "Bandera's
followers" in east Ukraine were killing local Russians, so it was no
wonder that they rebelled.
[Editor's Note: Stepan
Bandera was a Ukrainian politician who took the opportunity of Germany's
1941 invasion of the USSR to push Ukrainians to declare independence. Needless
to say, the effort failed, but Bandera continues to be a rallying personality
for Ukrainian nationalists. To this day, Russia regards him and his followers
to be fascists, since they preferred the Nazis to the Soviets].
In similar style, Putin and his henchmen are trying shift
the blame for the murder of Ukrainians to NATO. Putin has declared that in east
Ukraine it is not only "Ukrainian fascists" doing the killing, but
NATO's "foreign legion."
Can agreements be made with someone like that? Can one have
confidence in his declarations about peace?
The West did not install a missile shield in Poland, did not
create a local NATO command in Poland and did not direct the rearmament of the
Ukrainian army. It is the escalation of Russian aggression that in the end will
force these measures on NATO. Putin is playing on divisions between the U.S.
and E.U. and within the E.U. itself – so far without much success. The West
understands that the war Russia triggered in Ukraine is a problem not only of
Ukraine but of Europe and the West.
There is a related discussion about whether Poland has been marginalized
politically by the European powers on the Ukrainian question. It hasn't been.
Leading Polish politicians have been consulted before the present and perhaps
last attempt to avoid an even larger-scale confrontation. First and foremost, we
refer to the current head of the European Council [and former Polish President]
Donald Tusk, who is thoroughly familiar with our region of Europe.
Posted by Worldmeets.US
The formula for the talks - Ukraine, Russia, Germany and
France - is open to question, but it is now a diplomatic fact beyond
discussion. Other formulas haven't worked. Will this one? I rather doubt it,
but politics is about the constant testing of different options.