The History Behind the Conflict in the Ukraine (Part 2)

What has happened and is happening in the Ukraine comes out of the Communist play book under Stalin.  Make territorial claims or outrageous demands and then demonize those who oppose you.  Stalin used a variety of trumped up excuses to gain territory in Eastern Europe.  He even fought wars over what was clearly and historically Finnish territory.

In addition, Stalin rigged elections in Eastern Europe.  Stuffing the ballot box or just plain saying the Communist were the winners was typical of how Stalin justified taking over those nations that bordered Russia.

Fast forward!  Viktor Yanukovych, the pro- Russian Ukraine president who fled to Russia, was elected under suspicious circumstances.  In question were 900,000 ballots from the pro-Russian eastern section of the Ukraine in last fall’s election.  Putin was ecstatic about his election because the Ukraine is vital to the well-being of Russia because it is known as the “breadbasket of Russia.”

The Ukraine had a major problem when Yanukovych entered the presidency.  Debt!  The Communists command control of the economy (big government makes the decisions about how and where money is spent) created an economic fiasco. Ukraine is deeply in debt. The nation needs $35 billion in loans to meet minimum government obligations through 2015.

So the Ukrainians seeing the prosperity of Western Europe applied to join the European Union in 2012.  After gaining the presidency, Yanukovych reneged on the Ukraine-European Union Association agreement.  Instead, he went for an agreement fostered by Putin involving $15 billion. Ukrainians saw prosperity slipping away.

Adding to the distrust of Yanukovych was his arrest of a former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko ran against Yanukovych for the presidency.  Her crime was agreeing to an expensive contract for Russian natural gas. She was convicted.  It became known that she was severely beaten while in prison on Yanukovych’s orders.   This seemed like a return to their Communist past in the eyes of Western Ukrainians.  Yankukovych was Putin’s stooge.

Ukrainians took to the streets of Kiev to protest the dictatorship of Yanukovych.   They won despite the violence and Yanukovych fled to Russia.

Putin wants to form a new Soviet Union with him as supreme dictator.  A Russia-Ukraine-Belarus-Khazakhstan super state would give him the necessary resources and population to reemerge as a super power. This is also the desire of many Russians who pine to return to the good old days of Communist tyranny.  But the Ukrainians don’t want it and that is a problem for Putin.

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About camden41

Retired public school administrator Retired history professor: Taught Western Civilization, American Civil War, United States History, Economic History, Ancient & Medieval Foundations, American History Since 1945
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