January 24, 2022

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Threat of invasion: Can Russia and Ukraine become one nation? | Volodymyr Zelensky | Vladimir Putin | The world

“Russia was stolen” From their territories in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin wrote in a disturbing statement last July “On the Historical Unity of the Russians and the Ukrainians” -It can still be read on the Kremlin’s official website-. There he added “True sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only with cooperation ”.

How did these statements resonate in the ears of the Ukrainian people? How much support will the people of Ukraine have for the possibility of joining a powerful Russia, according to Putin, the “poorest country in Europe”? The Russian president, in his letter, longs for a historic period of regional unity. Are the Ukrainians, Belarusians and Russians as interconnected as the Scots, Welsh and English, creating one country?

Fears of a pro-Russian separatist war in the Ukrainian region of Donbass lie in the West., Which has been going on for eight years and has claimed 13,000 lives, is a testing ground for the advance of Moscow troops across Ukraine, as it did on the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

“Tomorrow is the threat of war today”Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky said that Kiev’s army “Fully ready” For war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the Russian Civil War Memorial on Unity Day in Sevastopol, Crimea last November

Despite being US president, Joe Biden, He warned Putin this week that there would be “strong measures” if Moscow began a military occupation outside its borders. “Industry” Y “Lead” Moscow has a different meaning than Washington and Kiev. The word “aggression” does not appear in the dictionary used by the Russian government to talk about Ukraine. He uses it only for what the Nazis and fascists did. From the early years of school, Russians learn their country “Liberation” Territories, never occupied by them.

In the same way, as Putin wrote in his statement, they consider the idea of ​​”border” “No historical basis” For “An idea of ​​the Ukrainian people as a nation separated from the Russians.” In fact, the word Ukraine means “border” in Russian, but they regarded it as a country that marked the boundaries of the empire with the rest of Europe.

According to Zbigniew Brzezinski, US National Security Adviser under Jimmy Carter (1977-1981). “Russia may be an empire or a democracy, but it cannot be both.”, And the question of moving the needle to one side or the other is always Ukraine, which was once Russia’s “grain” or “bakery”. At a time when the Russian president has openly stated his will, the imperialist industry is green “Practice with great love” To Ukraine.

But about that Unrequited love. A recent survey of the Levada Center, an independent company based in Moscow, showed late last year Only 5% of those interviewed in Ukraine supported the idea of ​​forming a single state with Russia And basically they are Ukrainians of Russian descent in the eastern part of the country. Two decades ago, this percentage reached 20% of Ukrainians.

This week the Kiev government uploaded a meme to its Twitter account, adding nearly half a million “likes” in a few days. There he classifies different types of pain and the most affected part of the head: migraine, high blood pressure and depression. But one thing that illuminates the whole head in red “I live near Russia.”

The long regional history is replete with moments when boundary lines were drawn, enlarged or obscured, causing headaches for the people of both countries.

The Ukrainians, Belarusians and Russians were all descendants of the ancient Kiev Rus (9th to 13th century), the largest state in Europe, with its capital in Kiev. Moscow was then an unimportant area far from the big city. Y It was Prince Vladimir the Great (988-1015) who initiated the Christianization of the entire empire and put an end to the idolatrous paganism of the Slavs. This is how the Russian Orthodox Church was born in what is now the Ukrainian capital. This is one of the strong points of the Russians in promoting their solidarity with Ukraine.

Baptism of Vladimir in Kiev Russell.  Painting by Victor Wasnetsov (1848-1926)
Baptism of Vladimir in Kiev Russell. Painting by Victor Wasnetsov (1848-1926)

The long regional history is replete with moments when boundary lines were drawn, enlarged or obscured, causing headaches for the people of both countries.

The Ukrainians, Belarusians and Russians were all descendants of the ancient Kiev Rus (9th to 13th century), the largest state in Europe, with its capital in Kiev. Moscow was then an unimportant area far from the big city. Y It was Prince Vladimir the Great (988-1015) who initiated the Christianization of the entire empire and put an end to the idolatrous paganism of the Slavs. This is how the Russian Orthodox Church was born in what is now the Ukrainian capital. This is one of the strong points of the Russians in promoting their solidarity with Ukraine.

But Ukraine’s greatest weakness is its economic status, which Putin seeks to exploit. In the end it would be a relief to be associated with Russia. This former Soviet republic, with a population as large as Argentina, is twice the size of the province of Buenos Aires. Nearly half of its population lives below the poverty line.

Putin wrote: “The scale of layoffs and, in general, the deterioration of the economy can be seen in such an indicator as power generation. Has halved in Ukraine for 30 years. Finally, according to the IMF, in 2019, before the corona virus epidemic, per capita GDP in Ukraine was less than $ 4,000. It is below the Republic of Albania, the Republic of Moldova and the unrecognized Kosovo. Ukraine is now the poorest country in Europe”.

Ukrainian soldiers march on a separatist line of pro-Russian rebels near Katarinivka in the Donetsk region of Ukraine.
Ukrainian soldiers march on a separatist line of pro-Russian rebels near Katarinivka in the Donetsk region of Ukraine.

To Tetiana Guide, Director of Communications for Truman Advisor to Ukraine, “The Russian threat is unfortunately something we are already accustomed to living with We do not reject the invasion. But Ukraine is going to resist. Political analyst LA NACION was reminded that the hashtag #UkrainiansWillResist (Ukrainians will oppose) is the most popular search on Facebook in the Ukrainian section today.

Guiduk concluded: “Russia invaded Ukrainian Crimea in 2014 and started a war against our country. There is no alternative explanation for this fact, because this is the modern history of Ukraine, to which we are all witnesses. Russia today is an occupying country”.

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