Another Browncast is up. You can listen on Libsyn, Apple, Spotify, and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above!
In this episode Amey, Conrad and I (Omar Ali) talk to Karol Karpinski about the crisis, and particularly about the Eastern European perspective on it. This is sort of the counterpoint to our earlier recording with Major Amin (where he presented the hard Russian Nationalist viewpoint on the crisis). As usual, add your comments.. We hope to record another episode dedicated specifically to the question of sanctions; what is being done, how effective are they, and so on.
3 thoughts on “Russian Invasion of Ukraine, part 1”
Good to get the Polish perspective on the conflict, and especially, on what Ukraine is like and what Ukrainians think.
I’m still a bit confused though. Until 2014, if election results meant anything at all, the county seemed evenly divided between Russophiles and Western-oriented (or at least independent-minded) people. And from everything I read after that, the Crimeans wanted to separate from Ukraine and be part of Russia. Also, the separatists in Donbas seemed to have popular support as opposed to being stooges of the Kremlin. Were all those news reports wrong? Because what I got from this conversation was that Ukrainian nationalism and Europhilia is favored by everyone, even in the east.
(Not to nitpick, but the Conrad guy seemed to be monopolizing the conversation. He talked for like 75% of the podcast.)
Ukraine was divided and quite Russophile right up until 2014, the public opinion surveys are pretty convincing about that. Public opinion has turned strongly against Russia after the 2014 annexation of Crimea an Donbass civil war, and *especially* in the aftermath of the bloody February 2022 invasion. I don’t think there’s any coming back from this, for the short to medium term Ukrainians is going to be solidly anti-Russia.
From what I understand about the Pro-Russian sentiments in parts of Ukraine, it’s often a cultural thing. A lot of Ukrainians even in Kyiv speak Russian and of course the older people grew up in the Soviet Union & share a lot of history.
Imagine the English were a totalitarian dictatorship, meddling in Irish elections, turning off energy supplies while there was extreme cold in winter and putting in their own favourite candidate for a president – the Irish might one day protest like the Ukrainians did on the Maidan square.
Years before Donbas, Russia did a similar thing in Georgia. He gave people Russian passports, aggravated any pro-russian sentiments and sponsored previously non existent or small seperatist movements.
Then he sent in troops to “protect” and “liberate” the russian citizens he had just created by handing out passports.
It is true, Ukraine had a political divide, so do most countries, especially liberal ones allowed to even have an opposition.
A political divide may show there are problems to solve, but it does not normally mean you want your country broken up, or annexed by another state who have a history of torture, assassinations and a mafia style leadership.
Here in western EU Putin managed to spread a lot of his narrative, blowing up “neonazi” involvement and seperatist sentiment to obfuscate his role in the civil war he sponsored, discredit Ukraine and make Zelensky look bad. (By the way, Putin pays and supports neonazi groups and right wing movements in Germany and other European countries. This is not a rumour, this is just matter of fact common knowledge and has been going on for years and years! )
But even our social democrat German ex-chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was turned into a highly effective lobbyist for Putin. Finland, Poland and other eastern European countries were much clearer, and kept warning us. We should have listened.
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