Fact: South Ossetian paramilitaries have carried out a genocide of Georgians after 08.08.08, while Russian "peacekeepers" stationed in the region looked the other way. Not any different from Kosovo, really, except for a higher body count from victors' justice.
Now go suck Vova's khuy.
I'm Russian. I just happen to not be blind to the history of my own country.
Yes, Stalin himself was a Georgian. That did not prevent him from turning the USSR into a Russian nation-empire.
Genocide did happen, it just happened to be a genocide of Georgians by Ossetians, rather than the other way around.
The new Ukrainian government did not try to pull anything like that, it didn't even threaten or gave any hint of such. That's why Russian claims that occupation of Crimea is to "protect the local population" are so obviously full of BS - protect from whom?
Soviet Regime had statesmen of local nationalities in pretty much all regions and communistic movement is international by definition. Soviet Union is built by rebels of all nationalities.
Circa Lenin, it was true - that guy was an aggressive anti-nationalist.
But then, something happened.
"I should like to propose a toast to the health of our Soviet people, and in the first place, the Russian people. I drink in the first place to the health of the Russian people because it is the most outstanding nation of all the nations forming the Soviet Union. I propose a toast to the health of the Russian people because it has won in this war universal recognition as the leading force of the Soviet Union among all the peoples of our country. I propose a toast to the health of the Russian people not only because it is the leading people, but also because it possesses a clear mind, a staunch character, and patience."
- Joseph Stalin
That's definitely a part of it, but Yeltsin was a product of his environment. And so was his entourage.
Really, what the system needed at the time was a complete reboot: any person who held any position of authority in the communist government allowed to hold any government office under the new regime. Many Eastern European countries implemented something like that, and ended up much better off. As Vaclav Havel said, "better five years of mistakes than fifty years of sabotage".
You're missing my point. People born on Ukraine DID contribute to empire building, participated in common state.
Sure, and people born in Algiers did contribute to the French Empire. So what? It was still not their empire, they were the exploited in it, not the beneficiaries.
But the time of empires has passed. And nobody will actually try to pull it off. Neither Russia nor Ukraine.
Now go tell that to Putin. And all the retards on the streets of Moscow who are cheering him, and asking for more (I heard Transnistria is next?).
There were no shots fired, so it's not a war - yet. It may still become one.
And don't think that if it comes to that, it'll be like Ossetia. For one thing, many politicians in the West are now re-evaluating their stance on Ossetia as there is growing realization that not reacting to that was what made Russia more bold in this current crisis. For another, unlike Ossetia, Ukraine borders EU. The West will likely swallow the annexation of Crimea (not recognize it, of course, and there will be sanctions and all that), but if Russian tanks were to roll further, this will be met in force. The lessons of WW2 were learned well, and at a too high a price, to permit stepping over that line again.
I bet they weren't as long they were in Poland or Lithuania or whatever.
They weren't what? Being the beneficiaries? In the Poland, no, they were not. In the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, they actually were, because they constituted the majority of the population after being conquered, and in a matter of decades became to dominate, to the point where GDL's code of laws would be written in a dialect of East Slavic that'll later become Ukrainian and Belarusian; and Slavic elite - boyars, wealthy landowners etc - merged into (and largely overwhelmed) the Lithuanian one in the state.
But I simply don't see how they would be any different than any other territories in either Russian Empire or Soviet Union. Both of those states were to large degree nation agnostic.
Seriously? You'd have to be Russian to claim that, since it was only nation agnostic for that one particular nation.
Russian Empire was explicitly Ukrainophobic, to the point of denying the existence of Ukrainians as a separate nation with their own language outright, all while actively trying to eradicate it. Heck, Ukraine was already feeling oppressed a few decades after signing Pereyaslav Rada.
Soviets under Lenin initially reversed that process and encouraged nation-building (so long as the economic system would remain communist). But Stalin quickly put an end to that, with Ukrainian language and writing system being "depolonized" (really, russified), Ukrainian intellectual elites being persecuted, and Ukrainian churches not associated with Russia (i.e. anything other than Russian Orthodox Church - such as Greek Catholic uniates and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church) closed down.
That's absurd. When Germany took over Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, it was definitely an invasion, and everyone treated it as such - yet, at the same time, Sudeten Germans were the "fifth column" that enabled it.
The reason why Crimea rebelled (before Russian troops entered) is because there was a power vacuum due to the events in the capital, and the secessionist forces seized the opportunity. Partly this was also due to to the propaganda in these regions presenting Maidan as "fascist", which caused widespread fears of said fascists among the population at large.
Kievan Rus was a thousand years ago, and the then-single nation has split into three separate and distinct ones, with common roots, yes, but their own culture and language and destiny. USSR was created by and dominated by the Russian nation, and Ukrainians (and Belorussians) were not the beneficiaries of it. Ditto for Imperial Russia.
By the way, this whole notion of Ukrainians and Belorussians as "brotherly peoples" - and then the corresponding jump to "we should all be in a single country" (which, somehow, always ends up centered on and around Russia) - is one of the cornerstones of Russian imperialism for the last 300 years or so.
Yes, they did. The difference is that they don't have the history of empire-building, and so they can't look back at some mythical times of plenty and glory - and when they look at the USSR, even if you would convince them that they were better off economically, they were still a vassal nation - the empire was not theirs.
Well, those people weren't really "subjugated" before. The only real point of contention there was the language issue, and situation with Russian language in Ukraine is complex - but they're far better off there than, say, English speakers in Quebec.
Basically, the constitution defines Ukrainian as a state language, and Russian as "the protected language of inter-national communication", and it explicitly protects "the freedom to speak Russian". In practice, almost everyone in Eastern Ukraine, and a good part (depending on who you ask, the majority) of central Ukraine actually speak Russian in everyday life, even when they state that their native language is Ukrainian. Almost all newspapers and books are published in Russian. TV news are mostly Ukrainian (but there are Russian channels, too), but most movies are in Russian. Most schools do teach Russian, even those where Ukrainian is a primary education language.
Russian in education is probably the area where most concerns manifest. There are Russian schools, but many argue that there's not enough of them given the number of Russian speakers (but, OTOH, Crimea has barely any Ukrainian schools, despite having 25% of population self-identify as Ukrainian - but Crimea is kinda special, being an autonomous republic with its own unique status). Ditto for Russian universities.
The talk about making Russian the official state language alongside Ukrainian, much like in Ireland or Canada, is occasionally floated, but that would mainly affect businesses (which have to submit tax reports etc in Ukrainian today). In theory, regional governments are supposed to operate in official language, but in practice those in Eastern Ukraine has been using Russian pretty much exclusively anyway...
As for compromise, I think that it was entirely possible before the occupation of Crimea. There were a lot of Russian speakers on Maidan, and that was appreciated - for example, in Lvov, which is considered the heartland and hotbed of western Ukrainian nationalism, they had a "speak Russian for a day" event as a sign of respect, and that was supported by Right Sector and other nationalist groups.
Generally speaking, you should understand that the new government is not actually all that nationalist. The actual nationalist parties are Svoboda and Right Sector. Svoboda has 3 ministers in the new government out of 18, Right Sector has none. Most of the new government is Batkivshchina, which is more pro-Western/European than it is nationalist.
The problem is that the invasion has upset the balance. Basically, the extreme nationalists that claimed that ethnic Russians are the "fifth column" paving the way for Russian occupation of Ukraine can now nod at Crimea as testament to their words. If Russia pushes on, I'm afraid that Ukrainian nationalists will rapidly radicalize, and will start actually persecuting ethnic Russians as intrinsic enemies of their budding nation-state. That region has seen ethnic violence for the sake of nation-building on a large scale before (most recently, Volyn Massacre), so yet another one would be nothing new. And, of course, ethnic Russians in southeastern and central parts would also radicalize in response to that, just as Poles did in Volyn. So this has all chances of blowing up into full-fledged everyone-on-everyone genocide along the same lines as Yugoslavia - assuming, of course, it doesn't blow up even further into a major war between Russia and NATO/EU.