Volume 2, Number 1
While watching the violence on television and seeing people dying for freedom in Ukraine, I felt these citizens have a right to choose their own destiny. Freedom always comes at a bloody cost. Recently, a Russian official on Charlie Rose’s Show, made a false statement, when he said that Ukraine had a 1000 year connection with Russia. From the 14th until the 18th centuries, much, if not most, of Ukraine was part of Lithuania, (later the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth dominated by Poland.) The western part stayed Polish until the partitions at the end of the 1700’s; and the far western part became part of Poland again after World War One, until Stalin and the Soviets seized it in 1939, as part of their bargain with Hitler and his Nazis, which were their allies at that time.
This is the reason for the great divide among the people of Ukraine. The western part feels more of a connection with the west, and wishes to join the European Union for economic development; while the people in the east are more pro-Russian.
The Soviets moved Russian citizens into non-Russian areas, such as the Baltics, Ukraine, etc., so that there would be less of a chance of a revolt.
Librarian, City Colleges of Chicago, USA
In 1932-33, Stalin and the Soviets starved to death seven million of their citizens, primarily Ukrainians, while they dumped 1.7 million tons of grain on western markets for needed hard cash. Nearly 1 in 4 rural Ukrainians perished as a direct result.
1. President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is rebuilding the Soviet Empire.
2. He invaded Georgia for the same separatist reasons.
3. Major gas pipelines run through Ukraine to the West, and southern Mediterranean to take the Russian gas from Siberia to market. President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin will not lose control of this cash cow.
4. Invading Georgia convinced him that the West: Nato, EU, and the USA, will not do anything if he invades Ukraine to keep it in the Russian sphere. The USA will only send a few “harsh diplomatic notes.”
5. Sevastopol in the Crimean peninsula is the headquarters of the Russian Southern Fleet in the Black Sea. It is the only warm port and year-round naval access to the world that Russia has. Therefore, President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin will never let this region out of his direct control.
Frank Thomas Buzzard
Top left: Ukraine's Russian-speakers in blue. Top right: Major ethnic and linguistic groups. Bottom left: 2004 presidential election results. Bottom right: 2010 presidential results. The western half of the country voted overwhelmingly against Yanukovcyh; that's also where, until very recently, most of the protests have been.