Editorial by Economist Marc Rouset in Boulevard Voltaire
Back from Kiev and Odessa, we can say that utter calm prevails in Ukraine, except for the bloody armed conflict in Donetsk. But beware of the water that sleeps.
Ukraine is bankrupt and its current corrupt rulers that came to power following the Maidan Square coup d’état — that the CIA was behind, as Putin said during his long interview with the famous American journalist Oliver Stone in 2017, and as brought out in a Mediapart forum also in 2017 — lead a disgruntled country where the majority of inhabitants are pro-Russian, in a geopolitical US-Polish impasse.
All Ukrainians without exception speak and understand Russian, which is the dominant language in major cities such as Kharkiv, Kiev, and Odessa. Until the Tartar-Mongol invasions of the thirteenth century, Russian, Belarussian and Ukrainian formed only one common language. Ukrainian, very close to Russian, is written with the same Cyrillic alphabet. In fact, only Galicia, for a long time Polish or Austro-Hungarian, looks further west than east.
Russia was born with the Kievan Rus (882-1169) when the prince Varg Oleg, from Novgorod, seizes Kiev in 882 to form one of the largest States of Europe in Xe century, from the Baltic to the black Sea. Russia becomes Orthodox Christian during the conversion, in 988, of Prince Vladimir from the Kievan Rus Kiev at Kherson, in the south of Ukraine. Today, Ukraine is a predominantly orthodox country.
Ukraine flipped to the Russian side during the Bohemian Khmelnytsky revolt of Zaporozh against Polish rule when it decided to join forces with Russia in 1654 and when in at Poltova in 1709 the 45,000 men of Peter the Great crushed, the troops of the Zaporozhian Cossack Mazepa, who had allied with the army of Charles XII of Sweden. Odessa was founded by Catherine II in place of a Turkish fortress conquered by the Russians in 1792.
As for Crimea, it has always been Russian since the Crimean khanate was defeated in 1774 by the Russian troops of Catherine II. It was only Ukrainian in the USSR when Khrushchev in 1954 decided to donate Crimea to Ukraine to celebrate 300 years of the military pact signed by Bohdan Khmelnytsky.
Ukraine, notwithstanding its Russian origin, was therefore under Russian sovereignty for three centuries, from 1654 to 1991. Only the collapse of the USSR led to the creation of Ukraine as an independent state.
Gogol, Bulgakov, Prokofiev, whom everybody regards as Russians, are in fact of Ukrainian origin. For Gogol, who never supported a Ukrainian patriotic idea, Cossacks are not the expression of Ukrainian patriotism but of the Russian spirit.
Faced with China in Siberia, facing the Muslim world of Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Turkey, Western Europe needs a watchdog of 200 million people in the East, which can only be Russia including Ukraine and Belarus again. Ukraine, whether Poland, NATO, the United States like it or not, is Russian and must become Russian again!