The death toll is high enough. It need never have begun.
Before a long and bloody civil war breaks out, it is time to consider introducing the outlines of a real solution to the Ukrainian issue, rather than continuing to impose more big-power self-serving agendas, which has been Ukraine’s legacy for a century. The vital and relevant background of the divergent political and cultural realities which have ALWAYS existed in the territory known as Ukraine, must be satisfied for all such parties – Galicians, Ukrainians and Novorossiyans. Because there are THREE Ukraines, which have never been, nor ever will be, “united”.
The most critical part of this crisis, Alexander Dugin has accurately noted, is an extension of a century-long struggle for a local identity, emanating from Western Ukraine. Since independence, it is that Western influence, Galicia and Lviv, which has been trying to expand its rump territory into a “Greater Ukraine” identity into the East, which is, and always has been, “The Ukraine”, and “Greater Russia” (or at least since Catherine the Great, Novorossiya). Repeated Galician insistence on gradually expanding their political domination of the Eastern Oblasts , (or at least resistance to any Russian-oriented political control) is the basis of the conflict, and it has been for 100 years. It was the same during the Bolshevik era, during WW2, during the Stalin Era, and post-independence, all of which have involved ethnic intolerance, hatred, and mass ethnic killings.
When EU would not permit the creation of a Ukrainian “duality”, with membership in both the EU and EURASIA, Baroness Ashton’s “either-or” ultimatum forced the disruption of the precarious experiment in national balance. Ukrainian divisiveness did not start on the Maidan. The Maidan’s anti-corruption protest, with US incitement, became an ultimatum to the entire country to capitulate to the ultra-nationalist point of view, including abandonment of the Constitution, and the dual nature of Ukraine itself. If we dare to admit the truth, the Galicians are the separatists-secessionists from the previously democratic status quo.
Being shuttled and abused between Poland, Germany and the Soviet Union, for over a century, Galicia/Lviv also have a right of self-determination (despite their retro-fascist tendencies). Unfortunately , those tendencies include unjustified territorial expansion, and no longer wanting to share any power with anyone with Russian affinities. The struggle has been conveniently “framed” by US and EU media as “Donbass separatists,” because it suits the Western political hysteria-mantra, their hegemonic oil and gas interests, and Russian containment strategy. It is a completely distorted propaganda fabrication. Worse, it perpetuates the MYTH of a United Ukraine. Bombing and shelling Donbass has proven that to be a fraud. Moreover, it has forever alienated everyone with Russian cultural identity, whatever nationality they may consider themselves.
Why did the coup happen then? (besides the obvious American interference?) The originally scheduled election of 2015 would have had the same results as previous ones – electoral dominance by Donbass. Rather than seceding, and declaring their own independence via referendum and likely US/EU support, US-backed Galicians opted for a manufactured coup, infiltrating a legitimate anti-corruption Maidan protest. They were inadvertently abetted by a heavy-handed and inept Yanukovych, who failed multiple opportunities to control events, and failed to realize the futility of maintaining “Ukrainian Unity” with a group that wanted it only on their own terms. While the “true” capital of the ultra-nationalists is Lviv, as long as the interim government operates from Kiev, it is difficult to clarify public perception to allow the inevitable long term political solution.
The electoral equation is the same reason Russia has been pushing the Minsk Protocol terms. As part of Ukraine, Donbass and Russian ethnics can vote control of the national agenda based on population – overwhelmingly in the East, and as a plurality in much of Ukraine proper (former Novorossiya). Seceding now leaves “Greater Ukraine” in the hands of the Galician ultra-nationalist minority, without the benefit of ANY electoral process, and possible imposition of martial law over everything BUT Donbass.
The only real solution is allowing the exercise of self-determination to happen, without superpowers, or Normandy Group imposition. As with every election since independence, the Ukrainians will confirm their three cultural and political entities: Galicia, Ukraine and Novorossiya. Each should be allowed the government and affiliations it wants. It is time for EU, US and UK to either accept the concept of democracy, or declare it, and themselves, to be frauds. What happens in Ukraine will define the entire 21st Century.
The US agenda has been clear from the beginning. Continue to expand NATO, threatening Russian security, betting that Russia will concede, rather than risk war. Concede what? Superpower status, access to Russian natural resources by EUSUK corporations and banks, subjugation to US military and economic hegemony, and bolstering the failing US petrodollar. Surrender – with or without a direct hot war, or through a series of peripheral proxy wars, particularly in CIS Muslim provinces and republics. From Sikes-Picot to Lloyd George and Churchill, superpowers drawing lines on maps to suit their own interests has caused innumerable wars, Ukraine being only the most recent.
Ukraine cannot continue to be fraudulently portrayed as Eastern separatism and Russian intervention. The real solution is to allow Lviv and Galicia to formalize THEIR independence, secede from a “corrupt, illegal, chaotic, bankrupt Kiev government” and let All Three Ukraines finally achieve the self determination they have always wanted. The same as the Crimeans wanted and got theirs. The current center will likely vote to remain “Ukraine,” but Poroshenko-Turgynov’s ATO civilian terror bombing has irreversibly created a new national identity, Novorossiya (whether Putin, Merkel, or Obama like it or not.) To determine the borders of this new nation, one need only look at past election results to get a likely configuration. It would expand beyond the LPR/DPR oblasts to include Kharkov to the Northeast and Odessa to the south and west to Romania. While this unfortunately land locks Kiev-Ukraine, that is the price of war and demographics. It is also the most secure outcome for Russia.
Keeping Galicia as part of central Ukraine also may be a lost cause, for both sides, certainly a potential disaster for legitimate non-fascist government, and functional economy in Ukraine proper. Frankly, Galicia might be better served if it voted to join Poland, Hungary or Slovakia, or segmented, however decided by their own local preference.
Conclusion: A negotiated Czech-Slovak-style split into three independent States is the best proposal for long term resolution and SOLUTION. United Ukraine means a dysfunctional State, certain civil war, and many dead Galicians, Ukrainians, Novorossiyans, and perhaps Europeans.
It is time for Merkel, Obama and Putin to allow the Ukrainian people to tell them what they want. Ukrainians themselves know the real solution. They know who they want as their countrymen. They have always voted that way. It is time NOT to be greedy for territory, but for stability and peace.
It can be done, and the final result is almost obvious, unless true peace is not an option acceptable to the US and EU. ~ Daniel ODonoju