Russia – Ukraine war entered its seventh month and Ukraine’s grit , determination , resilience is almost a sphinx like enigma
The whole world rallying behind Ukraine ,though , grappling with the consequences of war ,somewhere proved that the price of Sovereignty is immeasurable .
As I delved deeper into this war of unequal powers ,I came across ,some very intriguing but relevant information that I would like to share with you in my next few blogs .
“UKRAINA ” translated in both Polish and Russian “Means on the Edge” or “Borderland” ironically has been devoid of its own natural “Geographical Borders “.
Anne Applebaum , in her book , “The Red Famine “ , points out that though Carpathian Mountains are present in the southwest of the country , rest of the borders are wide open ,with gentle forests and fields in the North west and Steppe in the East .
The absence of natural borders ,was always , an open invitation ,to the enemy armies in the medieval times and Ukraine , was ,split between Russia , Poland ,Austria ,Czechoslovakia and Romania since the mid 17 the century to the 20 th century till the collapse of republic of Soviet Union .
No wonder , it took ,so long for Ukraine to become a Sovereign State .
Anna Reid , in her , book on Ukraine ,Borderland “ observed that its geographical location, not only, gave it an inheritance of “Legacy Of Violence “ but also, an Ambiguous sense of National identity .
Collapse of Soviet Union in 1991 , threw all the newly formed Republics of Russia ,completely off balance , including Ukraine
All the neighboring countries , Poles, Hungarians , Czechs and Balts were joining the European Union but Ukrainians did not know where they belonged or where they wanted to belong ?
Overpowering influence of Russia , shared history with rival powers and a fuzzy national identity did not make the decision easier for Ukraine
On the other hand , Russia , could never get Ukraine , out of its mind .
1.It evoked memories of Eastern Slav’s first state” Kyvian Rus”
2.Its the second most populous state
3.It guarded the Union’s western Frontier .
4.It produced the third of Soviet Union’s steel and half of its ore and half of its sugar
5.It had the “black earth ” , fabled for fertility and was the “Bread Basket ” of the world
In the initial years , in the 1991 ,The West ,did not realize the importance of Ukraine .Western Soviet ologists widely predicted that Ukraine would soon be a part of Russia .
They made Ukraine sign a “Tripartite Agreement ” with Russia and America , in which Ukraine had to send its nuclear warheads for dismantling to Russia , in exchange for nuclear fuel
But by 1994 , West knew that Ukraine had a major role to play in keeping Russia democratic and Ukraine became the fourth largest recipient of American aid
Though Kuchma , the then President , was warming up to West and rest if the world , but Ukraine’s fate was still ,too tightly intertwined with Russia
Entry into the European club or NATO membership was only a wishful thinking
We will continue this interesting conversation about Ukraine in our next blog
Hope you all have a safe week ahead