Would eastern and western Ukraine be better off going their separate ways?
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  Would eastern and western Ukraine be better off going their separate ways?
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Question: Would eastern and western Ukraine be better off going their separate ways?
#1
Yes
 
#2
No
 
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Total Voters: 87

Author Topic: Would eastern and western Ukraine be better off going their separate ways?  (Read 16563 times)
Joe Republic
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« on: February 23, 2014, 05:20:19 PM »
« edited: February 23, 2014, 05:31:21 PM by Joe Republic »

That way, the west can comfortably join the EU, and the east can become the Democratic Republic of Putinistan or whatever.





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politicus
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2014, 05:29:12 PM »

Depends how it is divided, but I tend to think so. All though regarding the southern regions it would be problematic for Ukraine to lose so much of the Black Sea coastline.

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Rocky Rockefeller
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2014, 05:40:50 PM »

Crimea should be returned to Russia, but I'm not entirely convinced that the East and West can't reconcile their differences. A little diversity is good for a country.
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Vega
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2014, 06:09:22 PM »

Yes.
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muon2
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2014, 06:16:07 PM »

Ukraine, like many of the former Soviet republics, was an artificial construct of the USSR. The Crimea and Black Sea coast was not historically Ukrainian, but instead shifted from Tatar to Russian in the late 18th century. Note that much of modern Ukraine was for a long time under Polish rule, and only became whole to the west after WWII.



The coast was attached to Ukraine for administrative purposes when Ukraine became part of the USSR. When the USSR collapsed the existing pieces of the union became independent countries, even when there was no historical basis for many of those states with those borders. The language map below shows the percent native Ukrainian speakers and is indicative of the historical Ukraine.


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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2014, 06:36:44 PM »

No.
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Nathan
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2014, 06:40:55 PM »

I could see an argument for adjusting the borders in the east and giving up the Crimea, but not for outright splitting the country as it currently exists down the middle.
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Zanas
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2014, 06:42:41 PM »

The answer is no. And the good answer is obviously : electoral or linguistics maps don't make all, you know. There really isn't much of an Eastern or a Western Ukraine, in reality. As in solid nations that would make for solid states.
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Franknburger
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2014, 06:43:54 PM »

The idea that more borders could solve problems has already too often proven fatal in European history. Ireland, former Yugoslavia (especially Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo), also Czechoslovakia with the Sudeten Germans, are only a few points in case to demonstrate that each new border tends to bring forward the next minority-majority issue, just on a reduced geographical scale. You can then continue territorial split-ups ad infinite, or solve the issue once and for all through ethnic cleansing. Neither is a particular good solution to me.

Instead of creating another border, both Ukraine's western and eastern borders need to become more permeable. Finding a workable solution for this will be politically and technically challenging, since it is closely interlinked with the overall relation between the EU and Russia/ Belarus, but is definitely worth a substantial effort. Any discussion of potentially splitting up Ukraine just distracts from the real task at hand.  
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Famous Mortimer
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2014, 06:48:04 PM »

They need real left-right politics rather than regional infighting. I'm sure it will eventually happen after the EU sponsored shock therapy to come.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2014, 06:48:16 PM »

The idea that more borders could solve problems has already too often proven fatal in European history. Ireland, former Yugoslavia (especially Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo), also Czechoslovakia with the Sudeten Germans, are only a few points in case to demonstrate that each new border tends to bring forward the next minority-majority issue, just on a reduced geographical scale.

Indeed. Free Carpathian Ruthenia from the domination of Western Ukraine!, etc.
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muon2
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2014, 07:12:51 PM »

The defense of the current borders seems to ignore the much more important geopolitical reality. Russia conquered the Crimea to gain access to the Black Sea. They built their southern naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea. Until the Russian Revolution no one would have thought of Crimea as part of Ukraine and even today there are few Ukrainians there. When the USSR collapsed Ukraine inherited Crimea through its USSR administrative borders, borders that had only existed for about 80 years.

I have a hard time seeing a scenario where Russia can risk one of their most important military assets having anything other than clear control by Russia. This should have been resolved in 1991 at the collapse of the USSR, and indeed the subject of Sevastopol came up among some experts back then. But the chaos of the collapse and the West's joy at the end of the Russian communist state set aside any thought of allowing Ukraine to gain independence through a rational new set of boundaries. Russia was left with a lease agreement that I think will continue to chafe until this issue is permanently resolved.
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Famous Mortimer
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2014, 07:17:51 PM »

Russia will lease the base indefinitely. Every Ukrainian government, regardless of orientation, will allow them to do it. Why wouldn't they? They're all White Christians. Half of Ukraine speaks the same language. There is no reason for these countries to be locked in enmity. Sure, they might shake their fists at each other once in a while but anyone with the political savvy to make it to the top of Ukrainian politics knows they have to live and let live.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2014, 07:22:09 PM »

Plenty of American military bases in countries that are not America (like the one I reside in), despite the Cold War having ended.
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I Will Not Be Wrong
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2014, 07:26:02 PM »

I'm going to assume western Ukraine is more fiscally conservative, and eastern Ukraine is more socially conservative?
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2014, 07:27:57 PM »

Shut up.
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Nathan
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2014, 07:36:39 PM »

I'm going to assume western Ukraine is more fiscally conservative, and eastern Ukraine is more socially conservative?

Western Ukraine is fiscally conservative but socially liberal whereas eastern Ukraine is split between constitutional conservatives, bold progressive voices, and straight-talking mavericks with independent streaks a mile wide. Geopolitics 101, my friend.
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muon2
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2014, 07:38:31 PM »

Plenty of American military bases in countries that are not America (like the one I reside in), despite the Cold War having ended.

But none of those were historically part of America and got chopped off due some internally drawn boundary. The one notable exception would be Guantanamo Bay, which the US gained in the Spanish-American war prior to Cuban independence. I don't see any scenario where the US would let Cuba exert any real sovereignty there, either.
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2014, 07:40:47 PM »

I'm going to assume western Ukraine is more fiscally conservative, and eastern Ukraine is more socially conservative?

Western Ukraine is fiscally conservative but socially liberal whereas eastern Ukraine is split between constitutional conservatives, bold progressive voices, and straight-talking mavericks with independent streaks a mile wide. Geopolitics 101, my friend.
Thanks, Smiley
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Nathan
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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2014, 07:42:31 PM »

I'm going to assume western Ukraine is more fiscally conservative, and eastern Ukraine is more socially conservative?

Western Ukraine is fiscally conservative but socially liberal whereas eastern Ukraine is split between constitutional conservatives, bold progressive voices, and straight-talking mavericks with independent streaks a mile wide. Geopolitics 101, my friend.
Thanks, Smiley

Yanukovych was thought to be one of the straight-talking mavericks, but turned out to be more of a PORINO.
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Franknburger
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« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2014, 08:08:54 PM »

I'm going to assume western Ukraine is more fiscally conservative, and eastern Ukraine is more socially conservative?

Western Ukraine is fiscally conservative but socially liberal whereas eastern Ukraine is split between constitutional conservatives, bold progressive voices, and straight-talking mavericks with independent streaks a mile wide. Geopolitics 101, my friend.

Remember, however, that in a post-socialist context, fiscal conservatism is less about "I want to keep my hard-earned money to myself instead of it being spent on people that are too lazy to work", and more about "I prefer to have my hard-earned money with myself in order to grow my small business, instead of handing it to a government that is obviously corrupt and incapable of getting problems solved - asides, there are already more local officials asking me for bribes than I am able to pay."
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Nathan
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« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2014, 08:25:53 PM »

I'm going to assume western Ukraine is more fiscally conservative, and eastern Ukraine is more socially conservative?

Western Ukraine is fiscally conservative but socially liberal whereas eastern Ukraine is split between constitutional conservatives, bold progressive voices, and straight-talking mavericks with independent streaks a mile wide. Geopolitics 101, my friend.

Remember, however, that in a post-socialist context, fiscal conservatism is less about "I want to keep my hard-earned money to myself instead of it being spent on people that are too lazy to work", and more about "I prefer to have my hard-earned money with myself in order to grow my small business, instead of handing it to a government that is obviously corrupt and incapable of getting problems solved - asides, there are already more local officials asking me for bribes than I am able to pay."

Oh, absolutely. It's hard to blame that line of thinking, really, even from a very leftist point of view. (And thank you for turning this thread around to the serious again. I wasn't sure how much longer I was willing to keep up that bullsh[Inks] for.)
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ag
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« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2014, 10:02:21 PM »

Actually, it is precisely Ukrainian "diversity" that prevents it from becoming a Russia. The country simply has no unified elite, so the local elites are always competing between each other. And competition is a great force for the Good Smiley

Ukraine should, probably, become a much looser state. Since "federalization" seems to have nasty connotations there, I would propose to use the Spanish example and call it "autonomization". Clearly, a situation in which the President appoints local governors (who are not responsible to the local legislatures) is ridiculous under the circumstances. Such a governor cannot really be effective, if he is opposed to by most of his population. Yanukovich´s Western governors were humiliated and forced to resign in public when the trouble started. They were completely impotent in the face of an uprising (and, I suspect, long before that). Similarly, of course, a pro-Western governor in Donetsk would have little authority that would not collapse at the first sign of trouble (mercifully, at least Crimea has an elected government of its own, as it is already autonomous).

So, if anybody were to ask me (which nobody will), I would advise a major devolving of the authority to the regional level. But not anything like dissolution - it is precisely having to work together that keeps the bastards honest.

In any case, we should not kid ourselves. Eastern Ukraine will be quickly swallowed by its neighbor further East. It is not that people in Kharkiv or Donetsk have that much in common with those in Moscow (in fact, they do not). And they will be a lot unhappier under Russian domination than they are now, as part of Ukraine. But Russia will be forever interfering, until a pretext is found to annex.
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ag
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« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2014, 10:11:16 PM »

The defense of the current borders seems to ignore the much more important geopolitical reality. Russia conquered the Crimea to gain access to the Black Sea.

Things have changed a lot over the centuries. Even the Russian borders.

Black see is, effectively, an inland lake. The navy (whatever it is) is locked in it and would be quickly neutralized in any conceivable conflict in which it might be of use (to put it bluntly, if there is any major war, Montreux conventions will be the first ones to be broken - Russian navy is not getting past Istanbul, period). That is, as you say, a "geopolitical reality". And for anything minor there is always the Novorossiysk - good enough to attack Georgia, which is the only place that can be attacked by Russia´s Black Sea navy outside a major war.
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ag
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« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2014, 10:14:32 PM »

I'm going to assume western Ukraine is more fiscally conservative, and eastern Ukraine is more socially conservative?

Western Ukraine is fiscally conservative but socially liberal whereas eastern Ukraine is split between constitutional conservatives, bold progressive voices, and straight-talking mavericks with independent streaks a mile wide. Geopolitics 101, my friend.
Thanks, Smiley

Yanukovych was thought to be one of the straight-talking mavericks, but turned out to be more of a PORINO.

Yanukovich was always known to be a common thief. "Straight-talking" is a bit of an exaggeration - his capacity for human speech is rather limited (I mean, he is not Brezhnev, but it is hard to imagine him saying anything that anyone may find exciting).
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