I’ll be the first to admit that aside from banging a couple of uke skanks, I essentially know sweet fuck all about the country / culture / history, I know for a fact that I do not know enough to hold a worthwhile opinion.
Nevertheless, I apparently know a shit load more than just about everyone in the west, in the MSM, and in politics.
“Ukraine” is as much “*a* country” as the old USSR was *a* country.
Just as there are geological tectonic zones, so there are cultural, racial, religious, historical and national ones. For the rest of this piece, when I say tectonic, it is these latter ones I refer to.
Ukraine sits on top of a particularly active human tectonic zone, to the west is the european zone, which is itself fractured into, at the very least, slavic in the north, romanian / bulgarian in the middle and greek / turk in the south, and to the east is fractured into russ and arab/kazakh, and as if that wasn’t enough, to the south there is the crimea.
It’s a bit like declaring Yellowstone as a national park, and claiming that it is thus preserved somehow, and safe and natural and immune from change, all the while studiously ignoring the super caldera that sits just below the surface.
The other problem is geographical, if you are playing sim city 2014 and want to build any kind of infrastructure going east to west in the northern hemisphere, you’re going to go through Ukraine.
You can argue all you want about who *should* be there, all that matters is who is there now, but one thing those who are “there” now, but never used to be, eg most Ukranians, USAians, Oztralians, Kiwis, etc etc etc etc never actually understand is the mindset of those who have been “there” for centuries.
Hang with *those* indigenous peoples, and they all have the same thing, sooner or later they will start talking about that “bloody foreigner”, who has lived in the village for 40 years, and who was born 20 years before that, 3 miles away… that’s enough to make you a bloody foreigner.
Add political and economic motives to start drawing lines in the ground and you get your tectonic zone activity bubbling up ready for “the big one”
My Romanian advert has not had a single reply, not a sniff, nothing, because it doesn’t matter of you have been there 40 years, or 400, it is home, and you aren’t going to abandon it until there is not enough food or shelter to go around, and dying in the next week or two becomes a real possibility, and you won’t be trawling dating sites looking for a way out when that happens.
But the flipside of the 40/400 years is this, the people you are busy calling foreigners don’t always come from that far away, and if you go there, you are the foreigner, or you’re neither, like my mate who used to claim he had dual nationality, both a Yorkshireman (his dad) and a Lancashireman (his mum) so if you pick a fight, you find lots of people quite close by who identify enough with one party or another to join in.
This if course was always the problem with starting a war in the Crimea, or Northern Europe, it spread.
The accuracy and quality of reporting on the current situation in that region is frankly on a par with past reporting on the lead up to WW1 and WW2 and several other major conflicts, all the important tectonic issues are simply glossed over and ignored, and all we see is people bleeding through bandages and burning flags and grim faces.
In Latitude terms, Ukraine has Kiev in the north, which is slightly further south than London, and Sevastopol in the south, which is slightly further north than Marsailles, and while Berlin to Paris is 600 miles as the army marches, Ukraine to Austria is only 500.
The Romans could march that in 12 days.
If you look at the Roman territories 2,000 years ago, they went further east than Ukraine, but stayed just below it, along that tectonic line I mentioned, and above that, well, it was fucking barbarian tribes innit. eg already FUBAR by the Mongol hordes….
Go back another 2,300 years before the Romans to Sargon of akkad, arguably the first great empire the world ever saw, same tectonic border.
Byzantines, same tectonic shit.
The horizontal line dividing north and south tectonic regions has been pretty stable for the past 5,000 years, eg all of recorded human history.
The vertical line dividing east and west tectonic regions is a fucking moving target of a fracture zone, and has been for the past 5,000 years, eg all of recorded human history.
Do I think I can predict WW3 starting, fuck no, I got no more idea than anyone else, I just know it is a fucking tinderbox, and has been throughout human history.
I wouldn’t go fracking in Yellowstone either…lol
It’s fucking 1,700 miles away, and there is the small matter of the English/French Channel, that’s close enough for me.
Go on, look at a world map, then start colouring in trouble spots, say 1990 onwards, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey, Azerbaijan, tell me ain’t tectonic.