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DavidV

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Reply with quote  #1 
Earlier in the year, voters in Latvia rejected giving official status to Russian in a referendum. Now in Ukraine such moves have caused a political firestorm in a polarised political climate:
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/14/world/europe/ukraine-protest/


The opposition in a fractured Parliament now seeking to impeach Yanukovych:
http://www.kmph.com/story/19033169/ukraine-opposition-sets-out-to-impeach-president

Broadly-speaking, I sympathise with anti-Yanukovych forces and their fears that this is a regime of traitors who are endangering Ukrainian democracy and sovereignty. Part of nationalism is the right to identity and independence. However, there is a much deeper historical and geopolitical aspect of this, as it is in the Baltic states. With nationalism comes a strong sense of Russophobia, shaped in no small part by the traumatic experiences of Soviet rule, that fact alone making it seemingly unfair. However, it must be remembered that the regimes in Ukraine and Belarus are very much allies of Putin. None of which are as bad as some other post-Soviet regimes like those of Azerbaijan and Central Asia, but still. Perhaps Ukrainians and Baltic peoples are right to be resentful that Russia has not fully come to terms with the Soviet past, that it has not been repudiated as shown by its official adherence to a dishonest view of history regarding both the Ukrainian famine and the annexation of the Baltic states.

Then the language issue. Are countries right to protect their national languages? Absolutely! But of regional identities and languages, another issue altogether, it is also desirable to respect that diveristy in local particularity. From my personal perspective, in my various causes, it's not unreasonable to state that Baltic, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Georgian, etc patriots share with Russian monarchists and other opposition movements a common disdain both of the Soviet legacy and of the Putin regime. Is this as important as historical differences? Interestingly, a 2010 conference was attended both by Russian monarchists and Belarusian pro-democracy oppositionists, which might mean more common ground than imagined.
Chevalier

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Reply with quote  #2 
Personally, I support Russian Pan-Nationalism; and regard the Ukraine as integral Russian territory. So I would like to see Russian being given official language status. But at the same time, I do sympathise with those who oppose it on the grounds of preserving Ukrainian sovereignty.
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DavidV

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Reply with quote  #3 
Well in Russia itself, Putin looks like he'll be resorting to harsher tactics as he's clearly going to face more resistance to his regime now. Meanwhile in neighbouring Belarus, this creative protest stunt:
clark

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Reply with quote  #4 
The language question is interesting in Ukraine, especially since half the country (geographically) speaks russian, and the other half speaks ukrainian. 

As for pan russian nationalism. I am glad you feel that you can decide who governs what people. Ukrainians are Ukrainians, not russians. Their languages are barely intelligible to eachother. Some parts of Ukraine have never even been under Muscovite control.
DutchMonarchist

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In The Russian Revolution: a people's tragedy Orlando Figes describes how the  language issue was already controversial around 1900. Legislation at that time forced railway station to only send messages in Russian, for example, which made it harder to travel for Ukrainians. Things like this were fuel for Ukrainian nationalism. I think the new legislation this thread is about is a good thing if it prevents Russians from suffering a similar fate right now.

The ideal situation in my eyes (although it is of course far from current reality) would be that Russian, Ukraine and other parts of the former Russian empire would be united in some sort of personal union with an emperor as the head. Trying to impose Russian culture on other countries should be avoided, but there's no reason to walk away from a shared history either. 
DavidV

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The westernmost regions of Ukraine which were part of the Kingdom of Galicia-Volhynia, then part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth before coming under Austrian rule. They then became part of independent Poland after 1918, and were absorbed into the Soviet Union as a result of the border changes of World War II. This region, Lvov and all, has a higher proportion of Ukrainian Catholics and schismatic Orthodox bodies, and is the hotbed of militant Ukrainian nationalism along with Russophobia. The far right All-Ukrainian Union "Freedom" (Svoboda) party did well in the 2010 local elections and might become a force in parliament when the next election is held.

On Belarus, Lukashenko is rumoured to be grooming his illegitimate eight-year old son as his heir, ahead of his legitimate children. He's already the mascot of the dictatorship if public appearances are anything to go by.
Chevalier

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clark
As for pan russian nationalism. I am glad you feel that you can decide who governs what people.


So am I. It brings me great joy.

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"The absolute ruler may be a Nero, but he is sometimes a Titus or Marcus Aurelius; the people is often Nero, but never Marcus Aurelius." -Antoine de Rivarol
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #8 
Crimea has autonomy and is majority Russian with a significant Tatar minority. The Tatars were one of many ethnic groups whose ranks were decimated by Stalin, like the Muslim peoples of the Caucasus were. Not that Russia had a squeaky clean record in this before then- there's a reason why there's more Circassians (Adyghe etc) living throughout the Middle East than in their homeland. Though something like half the entire Chechen ethnic group perished under Stalin.

The "too many chiefs" problem is one with party politics in Ukraine and within the opposition movements in Belarus, Georgia and Azerbaijan. And the current political firestorms in Ukraine should demonstrate a statutory lesson of the fallacies of such systems people are seemingly stuck with.
clark

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Reply with quote  #9 
As David points out, not even all of Ukraine was part of the Muscovite Empire. Simply put, if things went the way you would like Chevalier, the Greek Catholic Church would end up outlawed once again and ukrainian culture would be forced underground just like it was under the soviets and even under the Emperors. I think Dutchmonarchist's proposal would be ok, but I would much rather prefer Galicia and western Ukraine under their rightful monarch Emperor Karl II or as an independant united Ukraine free of Russian domination. 
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #10 
Realistically a restored Russian monarchy would not include any of Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states, Caucasus or Central Asia. See for those of us who desire (as we all) monarchist and Christian solidarity, some facts of history are still too awful, such as this and the Balkans, to get around.
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