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Ukraine: Actually it's About the Poles

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As the situation on Europe's Eastern frontier degenerates predictably, awareness of the millennial violent history between Poles and Ukrainians is indispensable to any understanding. The phrase 'they share a long history' does not come close to elucidating what is happening today.

Actually, the phrase most often heard is that Ukrainians and Russians share a long history, and this illustrates the fact that even news analysts haven't a clue as to what is motivating the protagonists in this drama. Americans who have spent time among Western Euro-peans notice the vastly greater awareness individuals have of their country's past than they do.  When it comes to Eastern Europe, you can safely double that.

As Ukrainians of East and West duke it out over their country's future, a tortured debate in the Polish parliament has just culminated with a vote to qualify a World War II massacre of Poles by Ukrainains as 'ethnic cleansing with genocidal elements'. The massacre took place in Volyn in the summer of 1943, under the leadership of a Ukrainian fighting force under the Neo-Nazi Ukrainian Nationalist Stepan Bandera who is the hero of the Right Sector now in charge of security under the putsch government in Kiev.[tag]

From 2014_04_160009 - Russia reacts angrily to the moon
2014_04_160009 - Russia reacts angrily to the moon
(image by Gwydion M. Williams)

This was not the yearly remembrance, which occurs in July, but was directly related to the current situation in Ukraine, in which the Polish government continues to play a double role that goes back hundreds of years: seeking to once again hold sway over its Eastern lands, backed by a globalizing West eager to exploit them and represented for the cause by the EU.

 In its coverage of the vote, RT pointed out that a few years ago the then presidents of the two countries had declared the issue laid to rest, but that subsequently, the Ukrainian government had erected monuments to Bandera and his organization.

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And yet, this relatively recent history does not explain Poland's current role in the Ukrainian drama: it is related to the tug of war between Poles and Ukrainians for sovereignty over the lands that lie between the contemporary Russian and Polish that began in the tenth century.  I'm not going to detail that history here, it's easily available on Wikipedia, starting with Kievan Rus and following the links.

Doing that will help explain why globalization's plans for Ukraine are getting bogged down.

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Born in Philadelphia, I spent most of my adolescent and adult years in Europe. I began my journalistic career at the French News Agency in Rome, spent two years in Cuba finding out whether the Barbados were Communists before they made the revolution ('Cuba 1964: When the Revolution was Young'). After spending half a decade in Eastern Europe, and a decade in the U.S., studying Global Survival and writing speeches in the Carter State Department, I wrote the only book that foresaw (more...)

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You hit it on the head again! Lithuania and Latvia... by George Eliason on Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 at 6:27:21 AM
Indeed, and I guess that's why the U.S. media keep... by Deena Stryker on Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 at 8:27:39 AM
I'm starting to wonder if the Russian army got lo... by George Eliason on Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 at 8:59:59 PM
Right! Are they allowed to wear great beards? ... by Deena Stryker on Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 at 7:54:02 AM
Here's your proof. by George Eliason on Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 at 9:29:15 PM
I wonder if there is any honour left in Poland, or... by Paul Repstock on Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 at 10:26:40 PM
Sorry to hijack your article Deena, but Eliason's ... by Paul Repstock on Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 at 10:50:21 PM
How very convenient it would be for everyone; If "... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 at 12:43:29 AM
Not laid on Poland's doorstep, but they play a lar... by George Eliason on Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 at 12:56:12 AM
I have no real doubts about the involvement of Don... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 at 1:41:04 AM
Its not the people. Tusk is being investigated. Lo... by George Eliason on Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 at 2:11:24 AM
Please ignore my mistaken identification of Donald... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 at 2:16:20 AM
No offense, Paul, on the contrary, I'm glad you fu... by Deena Stryker on Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 at 8:15:04 AM
Poland has also a very  unfortunate  tra... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:15:13 AM
Thanks for adding this valuable information, which... by Deena Stryker on Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 at 10:48:26 AM