Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ukraine: In Russia's Shadow

Ukraine is home to almost 8 million ethnic Russians who live mostly in the eastern coal and iron ore rich part of the country and in the Crimea. Their ancestors were settled there to replace the 10 million Ukrainians that Stalin killed off in the 1930s. This is why their sense of Ukrainian nationalism is so weak.
Read full article:

Why do Russians see Ukraine as theirs?
"It’s partly because both nations trace their roots back to the first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus, which stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea from the 9th century to the mid-13th century. This medieval empire was founded, oddly enough, by Vikings—“Rus” is the Slavic word given to the red-haired Scandinavians—who swept down from the north in the 9th century, conquered the local Slavic tribes, and established their capital at Kiev. The kingdom converted to Eastern Orthodox Christianity in 988, laying the foundation of the modern Russian church. A French bishop sent to Ukraine reported, “This land is more unified, happier, stronger, and more civilized than France herself.” But in the 13th century Kiev was devastated by Mongol invaders, and power shifted north to a small Rus trading outpost called Moscow....."