Monday, May 12, 2014

Six Mistakes the West Has Made (and Continues to Make) in Ukraine | The National Interest

ODESSA, Ukraine - If the West appears confused by Russian actions in Ukraine and unable to find an adequate response to the crisis, it is because from the outset, it has misread the situation, transforming an essentially domestic dispute into one that threatens the security architecture of Europe. While all sides have contributed to the current debacle, six widely held assumptions have played an inordinate role in shaping Western discourse about Ukraine. These will need to be corrected before any real progress can be made.

1. The Ukrainians are one people, united in their support of change: This is a familiar refrain among Western politicians, yet anyone familiar with Ukrainian history knows that its borders have changed many times in the past century. As a result, millions of people without any ethnic, cultural, or linguistic attachment to Ukraine wound up in its present borders. Since 1991, the most visible division has been between Western Ukrainians, many of whom seek a Ukraine culturally and politically distinct from Russia, and Eastern Ukrainians, who want to live in a Ukraine that is independent, but that also maintains close spiritual, cultural, and economic ties to Russia. The fact that Western governments have identified the national aspirations of Ukraine with those of the Western regions of the country puts them at odds with half the country. Even if the Western regions prevail over the Eastern regions in the current struggle, choosing sides in this way has generated anti-Western sentiment in the East that is likely to linger for years to come.

2. Supporting the Euromaidan’s ouster of president Yanukovych: (more)

3. Failing to stand behind the February 21 agreement: (more)

4. Ignoring the rise of the Radical Right: (more)

5. Labeling protesters in the East and South “pro-Russian” and “separatists.”: (more)

6. Blaming Russia for Ukraine’s problems: (more)

Complete story at - Six Mistakes the West Has Made (and Continues to Make) in Ukraine | The National InterestCC Photo Google Image Search Source is ic pics livejournal com  Subject is ukraine 2014

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