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Separatists declare new state in eastern Ukraine

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Separatists in the Ukraine have proclaimed a new state in areas they control and are preparing a constitution. Here

 

They may call it Malorossiya, which I have read means little Russia. 

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Malorossia was a province of Russian Empire and is generally considered offensive in Ukraine. It's like Bavarians declare a state with the name Krautland.

 

They have good supply of drugs there.

 

P.S. The term „separatists“ is incorrect. Separatists are in Catalonia, Scotland or (to less extent) in Bavaria. There is some piece of land with own cultural identity, and separatists think it should be independent. These guys are Russian imperialists who want restoration of USSR at least in part. The country they proclaimed includes whole Ukraine, and this is not their first move to annex whole Ukraine. They are not separatists.

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How would you compare it to Kosovo?   As far as I know, the Kosovars are basically Albanian, but Kosovo is not part of Albania (yet).  

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3 hours ago, yourkeau said:

Malorossia was a province of Russian Empire and is generally considered offensive in Ukraine. It's like Bavarians declare a state with the name Krautland.

 

Yes, I thought about this, too. The name is so politically provocative - in addition to lacking creativity so much that it sounds kitsch. Still, if there is a people there who want to live in a place with that name, who am I so to say anything. 

3 hours ago, yourkeau said:

P.S. The term „separatists“ is incorrect. Separatists are in Catalonia, Scotland or (to less extent) in Bavaria. There is some piece of land with own cultural identity, and separatists think it should be independent. These guys are Russian imperialists who want restoration of USSR at least in part. The country they proclaimed includes whole Ukraine, and this is not their first move to annex whole Ukraine. They are not separatists.

 

So yes, they are speaking about Russia's covert military involvement. But I would like to ask you because I don't know anything about this. Aren't there ethnic Russians there, or how long have they been there? The director of UK's Russia research centre says this is a grassroots thing, with people who have a pro-Russia sentiment. Where does this come from? 

 

I know you have ties with Ukraine btw, so if this is a sensitive topic, if you have relatives there and are worried in some way etc, please don't worry about replying now. I mean, I hope everything is OK for you. 

 

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11 hours ago, zeino said:

So yes, they are speaking about Russia's covert military involvement. But I would like to ask you because I don't know anything about this. Aren't there ethnic Russians there, or how long have they been there? The director of UK's Russia research centre says this is a grassroots thing, with people who have a pro-Russia sentiment. Where does this come from? 

Putin propaganda tried to portray this as an ethnic conflict which isn't there. Sure there are people with relatives in Russia or other former Soviet Republics, however they are not in any sense different from people without such relatives or from people whose native language is Hungarian or Polish. Ukraine is quite diverse, and most Ukrainians are bilingual (Russian/Ukrainian). You can compare this with Switzerland: French speaking Swiss is not French, German speaking Swiss is not German.

 

11 hours ago, zeino said:

I know you have ties with Ukraine btw, so if this is a sensitive topic, if you have relatives there and are worried in some way etc, please don't worry about replying now. I mean, I hope everything is OK for you. 

Ukraine is much bigger than Syria, so most refugees are internal. There a lot of them in my hometown these days (about 300 km to the front).

 

13 hours ago, SA618 said:

How would you compare it to Kosovo?   As far as I know, the Kosovars are basically Albanian, but Kosovo is not part of Albania (yet).  

Zero comparison. Russian propaganda tried to use Cyprus example rather than Kosovo. What they failed to understand is that Russian speakers and Ukrainian speakers are not different people, so they failed to create a war in the whole Russian speaking Ukraine.

 

They also accused Ukrainian government to be a fascist junta (which was the case in Cyprus war, except that fascists were in Greece, not Cyprus) who wants to do a genocide of Eastern Ukrainian people. That was official reason to start a war.

 

Kosovo scenario is used to annex Crimea instead. "The West could do it, why not we?".

 

And if you ask me, why? Why all of this? The answer: to prevent other Soviet republics from alliances with the West. "If you do this, we will do to you what we did to Ukraine and Georgia, and Moldova".

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1 hour ago, yourkeau said:

Putin propaganda tried to portray this as an ethnic conflict which isn't there. Sure there are people with relatives in Russia or other former Soviet Republics, however they are not in any sense different from people without such relatives or from people whose native language is Hungarian or Polish. Ukraine is quite diverse, and most Ukrainians are bilingual (Russian/Ukrainian). You can compare this with Switzerland: French speaking Swiss is not French, German speaking Swiss is not German.

 

TBH, I often think economy plays a bigger role in these things than ethnicity, or they should at least be considered together. People who have economically safe, secure lives with different life plans do not drop them quickly to go and join fighting. They more likely want to have their children educated, think of buying a holiday etc. Maybe they become ideological elites or something. So development or financial opportunities do play a role in shaping approaches to these things. Also, when there are new opportunities, a side trying to make use of conflict may try to increase pressure not to lose the previous control or power. I once read an analysis of this WWIII possibility, which analysed it on a double-axis of maneouvers (the Middle East and Russia's other "fronts", taking it all the way to Latvia and suggesting that it would down to Trump deciding whether Latvia should go to Russia or not. Given that a presidential term is 4 years, it's kinda scary. 

 

Other than that, language would be used in terms of first language / second language. Ethnicity or language is not the only factor in nation states anyway. 

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36 minutes ago, zeino said:

TBH, I often think economy plays a bigger role in these things than ethnicity, or they should at least be considered together. People who have economically safe, secure lives with different life plans do not drop them quickly to go and join fighting.

You're absolutely correct: this is a coal mining region which is suffering from great depression from the 1990s. During the Soviets this was the richest region because coal was what oil is today: source of much money. Because Soviet collapse and decline of coal importance happened simultaneously many people there believe that Soviet Union was good. The collapse of economy actually started in 1980s, and they actually voted for Ukraine independence in 1990, but forgot about it.

 

Unlike in Ruhrgebiet or Walonia/Belgium there was no modernization, and most mines were still subsidized by Ukrainian government. This region was like Sicily in Italy, fully under mafia control, with the difference that mafia had much influence in Ukrainian politics. Of course, local mafia didn't want any alliance with Russia, but they funded (pseudo)separatist movements to pressure central government. They shot themselves in the foot: when these people took control in 2014 with support of Russian ground forces, all industries of these mafia leaders were confiscated, they had to flee.

 

 

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