Ukraine map

The End of Ukraine

Whatever journalist / opposition activist Myroslava Petsa may think, I see nothing wrong at all in working with Russia Today. In Euromaidan, their coverage and reportage has been consistently high quality – both in breaking, content and objectivity against a wall of opposition propaganda.

That said, I do want to give credit where due, having had a right go at the Kyiv Post’s Chris Miller, and Maxim Eristavi, of Golos 106FM, the pair have actually decided to do a little real journalism of late, rather than just recycling tweets from Euromaidan’s very own damsel-in-distress-but-actually-loving-it, Kateryna Kruk -

Euromaidan journalism (2)

Of course, whatever it does, Lviv is always right, far right -

Euromaidan journalism

Katya is becoming aware of her rep as a proppa-monger though -

Euromaidan journalism1

While Maxim has actually put out some objective coverage -

Euromaidan journalism1Chris, meanwhile, gave mention to the 10 police officers killed in February 18th clashes with protesters -

Euromaidan journalism (3)

Myroslava hasn’t quite got the memo, and keeps on going on extensive retweet-athons of pro-Euromaidan rhetoric-

Euromaidan journalism (1)

Passing on that the police apparently shot themselves, a comment patently ludicrous but one she lets stand without any correction -

Euromaidan journalism (4)So, when someone as irrevocably stymied as Myroslava has a go at me for working with Russia Today, I’ll even take that as a compliment -

Russia Today

Anyway, in the interview, which when it’s up on YouTube I’ll post up, I stated that Ukraine, as we know it, is over. And that’s true. Ukraine can never return to as it was. Less than 2 years after the young country pulled off a pretty triumphant Euro 2012, it’s over for Europe’s 2nd largest nation. Kiev will be brought into control in time, the reparation operation will take months, perhaps years, but Kiev will be back, the capital could even be so under Yanukovych.

However Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, historically 3 of the main cities in former region of Galicia, these days the seats of ultra-nationalist Svoboda’s vote – they are never coming back. While police in Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil reportedly let protesters roll over their administrative buildings last month, and have now switched sides to the protesters, their ‘leader’ Lviv has openly declared independence from Yanukovych, with a statement issued by new executive committee head, Petro Kolodiy -

“The regime has begun active military action against people. Dozens of people have been killed in Kiev and hundreds have been wounded. Fulfilling the will of society, the executive committee of the Lviv region’s council, the People’s Rada, is assuming full responsibility for the fate of the region and its citizens.” 

The question is where would the break-up be. Back at the end of January, as regional municipal buildings were being stormed, maps were being thrown up on the internet. And just as almost every story or comment about Ukraine of recent days seems to begin with a variation of ‘no words / no comment‘, back then, every map was the one you needed to understand everything -

Ukraine map1

Ukraine map

Of course what the maps almost entreated you to do was take one look and deduce it was east versus west. Yet, just below Lviv, sits the Zakarpatskaya region, which returns a 31% vote for Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, 10% more than the Kiev region and only 10% less than Kharkivskaya, which borders Russia even.

In any case, a separation does now seem inevitable, even Colin Freeman, Chief Correspondent for the Sunday Telegraph, has written – “All the signals for break-up are there.” And it’s going to be painful, it’s going to be painful because all of Ukraine loves Lviv. Ask a LvivUkrainian from any part of the nation of over 600,000 sq km and the answer will come back more often than not, though often in the Russian form ‘Lvov’. It’s easy to understand why Ukrainians love Lvi/ov – in a nation which it can be hard for its denizens to leave due to passport, 77% of Ukrainians have never been abroad, Lviv is a beacon. It’s leaving Ukraine without leaving Ukraine.

In visiting Lviv, Ukrainians even from an east otherwise greatly affronted by the statuic veneration of a figure such as Stepan Bandera, who fought against their Red Army, are prepared to live and let, and just enjoy the charms, famous coffee of the city of over 700,000 (the area, including Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil regions, is some 5 million). But Lviv is now not prepared to accept ‘their’ government in return. If much of Euromaidan has been a Lviv-led struggle to impose their own politics on the entire country, the logical, inevitable conclusion is now to let Lviv and its brethren leave.

Yet, just ask the former Yugoslav Republic. When break-ups start, they tend to have trouble stopping. Ukraine in a tidy 2 parts is a myth – Crimea, already autonomous has been making increasing noises about full independence. So it’s not going to be a clean surgical extraction. Rather it’s going to be a bloody wrenching apart of parts which, in their heart, have some love for each other, but as one body, can no longer go on.

The break-up of Ukraine will be tough. After the bloodiest day in Ukraine’s history, it’s necessary. Ukraine has turned in on itself, there’s no turning back, it’s tearing itself apart.

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6 thoughts on “The End of Ukraine”

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