The ignorance of history when it comes to Ukraine and Russia is shocking. It also is dangerous. The American public is being fed a boatload of horse manure designed to inflame public opinion and build support for military intervention that has nothing to do with U.S. national security. In the Deep State narrative Russia is Evil and Ukraine is Good.
Did you know that Ukraine was part of Russia for more than 300 years?
The Pereyaslav Council (Ukrainian: Перея́славська рáда, romanized: Pereiaslavska Rada, Russian: Переясла́вская рáда), was an official meeting that convened for ceremonial pledge of allegiance by Cossacks to the Tsar of Russia in the town of Pereyaslav (now Pereiaslav in central Ukraine) in January 1654. The ceremony took place concurrently with ongoing negotiations that started on the initiative of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky to address the issue of the Cossack Hetmanate with the ongoing Khmelnytsky Uprising against Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and which concluded the Treaty of Pereyaslav (also known as March Articles or Pereyaslav Agreement). The treaty itself was finalized in Moscow in April 1654 (in March by old style calendar).
What about Crimea?
Crimea became part of the Russian Empire in 1783, when the Crimean Khanate was annexed, then became part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic until 1954. . . .
In 1954, the Crimean Oblast was transferred from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Ukraine’s union with Russia. The action was attributed to Nikita Khrushchev, then-First Secretary of the Communist Party.
Crimea is populated by an ethnic Russian majority and a minority of both ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, and thus demographically possessed one of Ukraine’s largest ethnically Russian populations.
I am not ignoring that bad blood that exists between Russia and Ukraine as a result of the 1917 Revolution and the brutality of the Stalin regime. The Holodomor remains a festering wound for Ukrainian Russian relations:
The Holodomor, also known as the Terror-Famine or the Great Famine, was a famine in Soviet Ukraine from 1932 to 1933 that killed millions of Ukrainians. It was a large part of the wider Soviet famine of 1932–1933. The term Holodomor emphasises the famine’s man-made and allegedly intentional aspects such as rejection of outside aid, confiscation of all household foodstuffs and restriction of population movement. . . .
According to the findings of the Court of Appeal of Kyiv in 2010, the demographic losses due to the famine amounted to 10 million, with 3.9 million direct famine deaths, and a further 6.1 million birth deficits.
Whether the Holodomor was genocide is still the subject of academic debate, as are the causes of the famine and intentionality of the deaths. Some scholars believe that the famine was planned by Joseph Stalin to eliminate a Ukrainian independence movement. Others suggest that the man-made famine was a consequence of Soviet industrialisation.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is classic irredentism–i.e., a political policy directed toward the incorporation of irredentas within the boundaries of their historically or ethnically related political unit. An irredenta is a territory historically or ethnically related to one political unit but under the political control of another.
You can ignore Russia’s 370-year relationship with Ukraine and pretend it does not matter. But I think it is relevant. And do not forget the Jews. They settled in Ukraine starting in the 11th Century. That 1000 year history was almost completely exterminated by the Nazis during World War II.
All of these historical events are still playing a role in current events. In Western Ukraine, for example, the Azov battalion–a Neo-Nazi paramilitary organization that celebrates Adolf Hitler. Here they are burying a “hero of Ukraine.”
This is not Russian talking points. These are facts. It is verifiable history. Before cheerleading one side or the other I want to encourage you to do some reading on your own.