Borysfen Intel

Ukraine in the “Geopolitical Centrifuge”

February 14, 2014
<p>Ukraine in the “Geopolitical Centrifuge”</p>

Sergei Rudyuk, East Central and Southern Europe Programme Manager


The tumultuous political events in Ukraine have caused a mixed reaction from the public in neighboring countries. Friends of the Ukrainian people immediately supported Ukrainians' aspiration for freedom and democracy. And such noble deeds can only be welcomed.

However, in some neighboring countries there are also those for whom this political crisis was a favorable opportunity for intervention into internal affairs of Ukraine. They dream about the split of the Ukrainian society, division and distribution of the territory of the Ukrainian state between neighbors. Such a proposal the epatage Russian writer and former leader of the Russian National Bolshevik Party Eduard Limonov on the 1st of December 2013 addressed in social networks the leadership of the Russian Federation. Twelve days later, he repeated the same calls already from the pages of the newspaper “Izvestia”. Hurrying up the official Kremlin, Limonov is hysterically screaming, “Do not dance away your chance, pumpkin heads!”

It seems that among the top leadership of Russia “pumpkin heads” did turn up. Soon Advisor to the Presidential Sergei Glazyev, whose sphere of responsibility includes the issues of relations between Russia and Ukraine, appeared in the press with outrageous statements. He, in particular, called for “deep federalization” of Ukraine and convergence of its South-Eastern part with the Customs Union. That is, S. Glazyev put forward the idea of a sort of “dual” Ukraine — pro-European West and pro-Russian South-East.

If you apply to Glazyev's geopolitical project terminology of psychiatry, we'll get a dual personality, that is — schizophrenia. We can assume that the Presidential Advisor has this mental phenomenon. Even in his interview with “Kommersant” he mentions it at least five times. I wonder where Glaziev got such a deep knowledge of psychiatry? Did he not learn it, where E. Limonov did, when in 1960 the latter was treated for a long time in a psychiatric hospital?

E. Limonov told about his time in “asylum” in the book “The young rascal”. Similar title would be appropriate for the collection of Glazyev's recent statements regarding Ukrainian theme, but with additional notes “... in geopolitics”.

The real geopolitics, without psychiatry, is as follows.

The territory of Ukraine is not an ethnic Russians' territory, and they are not entitled to rule it about. Ukraine is Ukrainians' ethnic territory. Indigenous and state-creative ethnos of Ukraine is Ukrainian ethnos — different from the Russians in anthropological features and in its own original culture. The modern state of Ukraine is built on the Ukrainians' ethnic territory in the result of the Ukrainian nation's realization of the right of nations to self-determination, as recognized by international Law.

Ukraine is a full-fledged subject of international Law. It is not a “country with limited sovereignty”. It is not a protectorate or mandated territory of the Russian Federation. Therefore, the proposal to negotiate about the future of Ukraine in the format “EU — Ukraine — Russian Federation” is unacceptable for the Ukrainian side.

State of Ukraine, according to the Act of August 24, 1991, is based on a thousand-year old tradition of the state of the Ukrainian people. This tradition includes Kyiv Princely State of the 9th- 13th centuries, which the Russian school of history, for political reasons, calls the initial stage of the Russian statehood. However, this statement does not stand up to scientific criticism and is just a working thesis of the Russian political propaganda.


In 1169 the troops of Vladimir-Moscow Prince Andrey Bogolyubskiy captured and destroyed the capital of the Princely Ukraine, the city of Kyiv.

The beginning of the Russian state is the dependent on Kyiv and later gaining its independence Vladimir-Moscow Principality of the 9th-15th centuries. Famous Ukrainian historian and the first President of the independent Ukrainian People's Republic (1917–1920) Mykhaylo Hrushevskyi in 1904 stated that “... Vladimir-Moscow State had not been a successor of Kyiv, it had grown on its own roots, Kyiv's relationship to it can be compared, for example, with the relationship of the Roman state to its Gallic provinces, not with the continuity of the two periods in the political and cultural life of France”.

In other words, the fact that the territory of modern France in the old days was part of the Roman Empire, cannot serve as the basis for the present government of France to consider Italy its sphere of influence and to claim from the international community a right to determine the foreign policy of the Italian State or to include its entire territory, or some part of it into the Republic of France.

Similarly, the fact of Russia's for 300 years having been part of the Mongol Genghis' state with its capital in Beijing today is not the basis for the Republic of China's leadership to seek the inclusion of the Russian Federation or any part of it, for example, the former Siberian Khanate, into the Chinese state.

The fact that some regions of Ukraine throughout their history for certain period of time had been part of foreign countries as a result of conquest or some diplomatic combinations, does not give a basis for territorial claims to Ukraine on the part of historical successors of those states. Indeed, modern international Law does not recognize the right of conquest. And international treaties of the 17th- 18th centuries had long since become the domain of archives.

One of the consequences of Ukrainian lands' having been for years part of the foreign countries, is that in Ukraine, apart from ethnic Ukrainians, who make up the vast majority of the state's population, there live representatives of other nations, in particular, Russians. By their origin all Russians in Ukraine are emigrants from different waves of emigration. They had been moved to Ukraine during the Russian Empire and during the Soviet era, without asking the consent of the indigenous ethnos. Thus, after the World War II, Stalin's regime, in a criminal way from the point of view of the international Law, deported en masse “to not too distant places” of the Russian Federation indigenous residents of Western regions of the so-called “Ukrainian SSR” and the Crimea, and in their place were settled Russians from Russia.

About reasons for such relocation, wrote in his book “The Emperor” medieval Italian writer and politician Niccolo Machiavelli. That is, they had to serve as a support to the Russian colonial regime. That's how in the Ukrainian South and East there appeared a certain number of ethnic Russians, mainly in industrial and administrative centers.

Changes in the national composition of the population of Kiev from 1874 to 1923 *

Year of population census

Total population

as a percentage (%)

thousands of people
























































* From the book: M. Shapoval, Great Revolution and the Ukrainian Liberation Program. — Prague, Moscow, “Free Union”, 1928.

Based on the official statistics, ethnic Russians do not dominate in number in any region of Ukraine. Living on the territory of ethnic Ukrainians, being a minority in relation to indigenous people, these people, according to international Law, cannot claim to territorial autonomy, especially in the federal relation to the whole of Ukraine.

The vast majority of Russians — Ukrainian citizens are aware of this. Ukraine has become for them a home and they, along with the indigenous people and other nationalities, are working in the name of development of their new homeland. However, among them happen those who having not accepted the idea of Ukraine's independence, agreed to Ukrainian citizenship exclusively due to material considerations, hoping for the imminent collapse of the Ukrainian state and the resumption of the Russian authorities in the Ukrainian lands. If they do not like the Ukrainian language and Ukrainian culture, Ukrainian laws and Ukrainian bread, then the only legal solution is voluntary waiver of these people from the Ukrainian citizenship and immigration to Russia or any other, which will agree to take them, country. And it will be on their part, at least, a decent deed.

After all, according to the Ukrainian-Russian interstate agreements since the Soviet collapse, these people automatically, by the fact of their residence alone, that is in violation of generally accepted international practice standards of naturalization, received Ukrainian citizenship with all the rights that follow from this. For this Russians–Ukrainian citizens should be grateful to Ukrainians. After all, it all could have been different, for example, like in the Baltic countries. And it would have been logical, taking into consideration the role played by Russian settlers in Ukraine, especially veterans of punitive and other power structures of Russia (USSR).

At the same time it should be remembered that Russian emigrants along with civil rights also received responsibilities before the Ukrainian state. Among them — obligation to respect the rights of the indigenous Ukrainian ethnos, to respect his language and culture, to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. That is, to be patriots of the State of which they are citizens. And so it would have happened.

Unfortunately, the smooth integration of emigrants from Russia into the Ukrainian society was prevented, on the one hand, by inherited by many Russians of the older generation and cultivated during the Soviet era, Russian imperial chauvinism and unhealthy “messianism.” In our time, to its conservation and reproducing contributes the pseudoscientific thesis of a “decisive contribution of the Soviet Union to the victory over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945”. In practice, this thesis goes into pseudo-logical chain, “We have liberated you — you owe us — you should to endure us”. How consonant it sounds with the statement of Kaiser of Germany Wilhelm on the eve of the World War 1, “Where the German soldier set foot, where he shed his blood — there is our land!”

On the other hand, during the whole period of Ukraine's independence in its territory and in the information space can be observed subversive actions of the Russian special services, trying to use Ukrainian citizens of Russian origin to destabilize the political situation in Ukraine and to liquidate the independent state of the Ukrainian nation. In anti-Ukrainian propaganda are involved state bodies and senior Russian officials, including the President of the Russian Federation, and social structures: from the Russian Orthodox Church (the project “Russian world”) — to all kinds of special-interest clubs and “Congresses of Russian-speakers”. Russian business is not standing aside either. However, such activity is not a manifestation of Russian patriotism; it is a most common fascism...

In their actions to Ukrainian citizens of Russian origin, Putin is blindly copying Hitler, who on the eve of World War II was using Czechoslovak citizens of German origin (“Sudeten Germans”) in his imperialist plans. The Kremlin political strategists know, how “Sudeten Germans” had later to pay for their participation in Hitler's adventure. That is why so shocking is the cynicism with which Putin's regime for its man-hateful purposes is using Russians of Eastern and Southern regions of Ukraine. And not Russians alone.

Realizing that a relatively small number of Russians in Ukraine dramatically reduces the chances for the international legal implementation of regional separatism, Russian special services are trying to compensate for this drawback by creation of numerous pseudo-ethnic societies of “Rusyns” (Transcarpathia), “Russian-speakers”(Donbas, Crimea) and the like. All sorts of glazyevs spur them on to “deep federalization” of Ukraine.

However, this had already happened in 1917-1918. Then the communist government of Russia under the slogans of federalism had carried out an armed aggression against the independent Ukrainian People's Republic. M. Hrushevsky wrote about it as follows, “In the pursuit of the escapee from Moscow's slavery — the “khokhol” (Russian humiliating nickname for a Ukrainian), in the heat of struggle against him, Bolshevik leaders have unceremoniously dumped old slogans —“peoples' right to self-determination up to the complete separation” and turned into “federalists”- very original “federalists”, having set themselves the task to “unite democracy”, Great Russia's and Ukrainian ones, and obviously — any other of the former Russian Empire.

I do not know how the federalist idea will survive ​​this heavy blow, which Lenin and Trotsky are applying to it, calling themselves federalists. It will be very difficult for someone, at least for a while, to call himself a federalist, when Lenin and Trotsky consider themselves federalists, and under that “federalism” there is actually the worst, terrorist centralism.”

Citizens of the Ukrainian People's Republic — victims of a punitive body of the Russian occupiers — Cheka 

Citizens of the Ukrainian People's Republic — victims of a punitive body of the Russian occupiers — Cheka (later KGB). Kyiv, 1919. From the book: R. Kutsik People's War. — K., Ukrainian publishing alliance, 2011.

The same “federalism” is professed by Putin's regime. Therefore, the thesis of the Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation on the need for rapprochement of the South-Eastern part of Ukraine with the Customs Union looks provocative, and nothing else. Wouldn't the authorities of the subject of the Russian Federation identify Glazyev's actions as provocation if he suddenly offered a separative “rapprochement with the European Union”?

Unfortunately, these are Russian realities. After all, geographically Russia was in the past and still is today Asia, and politically — Asiatic despotism. The true geographical line between Europe and Asia is not the Ural Mountains and the Ural River, but the River Don.

All the West's attempts to “reform” and “democratize” Russia ended in failure. And it is natural. Russia and its ruling elite cannot be other than they are today and their ancestors had been in the distant past. European travelers and diplomats left reminiscences about them. Thus, Yul Justus, who in 1709-1712 was Denmark's ambassador at the court of the tsar — “reformer" Peter I, wrote, “So, although currently in their behavior Russians are trying to follow, like monkeys, other nations, even though they get dressed in French clothes, though in appearance they are a little hewn, but a boor is still sitting inside them". Putin of today, with his desire to “soak in the toilet enemies of Russia", is not original. He is his own self.

Ukraine and Ukrainians both, in the past and today, belong to the European civilization. This is evidenced by the research of anthropologists, pointing out that Ukrainians are close relatives, especially to the Balkans and Western Slavs. This is evidenced by dynastic ties of the medieval Kyivan princes. This is evidenced by the surnames of students-Ukrainians on the lists of the oldest universities of Europe. This is evidenced by the Ukrainian song — romance by the national poet and philosopher of the eighteenth century Stepan Klimovskyi “Went Cossack beyond the Danube”, which the German know as “Der Kossak und sein Mädchen”, the English — as “The Cossac and his Love” (published in London in 1816, in 1815 in Philadelphia (USA), and the French in 1830 sang it,

“Ladieu des frances
Entends les clarions retentir:
Adieu Nadeje il faut partir”.

To the Europeanness of Ukraine also testify ages-long economic ties of Ukrainian businessmen with their European partners, which were broken through the means of administrative coercion by the Russian tsar Peter I’s government in the eighteenth century. There are many more arguments in favor of the logic of the majority of Ukrainians' European choice. But the most important is the one that Ukrainians on Independence Square demonstrate their overwhelming desire for freedom and refusal to be slaves of another Moscow Khan.

The Kremlin elite realizes that it cannot strangle Ukrainian liberation movement, if it is to rely on the support of progressive mankind. Lubyanka's veterans (KGB veterans) remember how difficult it was to overcome the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in 1944-1956. Therefore, the Kremlin is trying, on the one hand, to limit the impact on political processes in Ukraine of residents of the Western Ukrainian regions, traditionally gravitating towards Europe, and on the other — internationally isolate Ukraine in order to deal with unruly Ukrainians as they did after the First and Second world wars, using international conjuncture for their own favour. Hence all sorts of accusations against the West, being put forward by Glazyev and his ilk.

Sotnya of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army “Udarnyky-2” after the retreat from Ukraine to the American occupation zone in Germany

Sotnya of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army “Udarnyky-2” after the retreat from Ukraine to the American occupation zone in Germany (Passau, 1947). From the book: “The Army of the Immortal. Photos of rebels.” — Lviv, Moscow, “Mc”, 2006.

All Russia's diplomatic demarches on the Ukrainian question are groundless. In their just struggle, Ukrainians have the right to receive assistance from anyone who sees fit to provide it. After all, now through Ukraine passes the front to deter Russia's aggression. Ukrainians has once again found themselves in the way of the next Asian invasion to the West. Historical experience shows that after the fall of Ukraine, sooner or later would come the turn Poland, Romania, countries of Central Europe and the Balkans. Therefore, international solidarity with Ukraine is a vital necessity, not only for Ukraine.

Increasing aggressiveness of Russia poses a threat to the whole world. That is why politicians of the West should pay attention to the ideas of the classic of Ukrainian geopolitics of the 20th century, Yuri Lypa, which he wrote in 1941 in his book eloquently titled “Distribution of Russia". In it Yuriy Lypa points out that in the interests of security of mankind is to release of the Russian Federation's subjects from the dictates of the Kremlin, and political division of Russia into nation-states, which will not be threatening their neighbors, but will be engaged in peaceful creative labor for the sake of their fellow citizens.


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