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Think the leaders on both sides no longer really have full control. The weird thing is that Kiev linguistically and culturally is one of the more Russian parts of Ukraine. The real hotbeds of nationalism are further west and the government has totally lost control there. If they tried to regain it by force you are quickly looking at a European version of Syria.

lol wut

Erm yes, because as we all know, vague 'nationalism' is firmly at the centre of the dispute, and only true, Western-orientated groups can claim to be Ukrainian nationalists! Similarly, the 'west' of Ukraine is obviously 'Ukrainian nationalist' despite the existence there of hundreds of thousands of non-Ukrainian national groups sidelined by the cosy narrative.

And yes, the parallels with Syria are uncanny. Well, except from the existence in Syria an entire zone of porous borders allowing regional groups to flood into the conflict on all sides, the rebellion of one-third of the army to join the opposite faction, and the easy supply of heavy weapons such as mortars and automatic guns as opposed to the Ukrainian anti-government arsenal of stones, petrol bombs and a medieval catapult.

Almost as laughable and piss-poor an assessment of the situation as the usual gold from our resident Lviv correspondent.

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a medieval catapult.

This has been far and away the highlight of the riots for me. I seem to remember some channel 4 programme where they spent weeks and months trying to build a trebuchet, only for the various parts of it to disintegrate as soon as they used it.

A bunch of black bloc turn up and have one functioning and launching molotovs. Tony Robinson is full of shite.

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Fifty policeman are reported as having been captured by protesters/opposition in Kiev.

Can you still call them protesters if they are capturing armed policeman? :unsure2:

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anyboday care to explain what the ins and outs are here from what I found out the west of Ukraine is pro eu and in the majority whereas east are in minority and in russia's back pockets ?

That's more or less how it stacks up. West and centre were part of Poland in medieval times and are different culturally from south and east which were not and are more Russified. Former part is pro-EU latter part lean more to Russia. Elections usually close with a few regions that can swing either way determining the outcome. Opposition was throwing the toys out of the pram because an agreement to align with the EU in economic terms was ditched at the last minute by the president who is from the east. Things have now escalated from there to the brink of civil war. Western part, unlike Kiev, has slipped out of the control of the government. People there fought Stalin's Red Army for about a decade post-WWII, so unlikely to meekly accept a swing towards Russia through armed force.

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That's more or less how it stacks up. West and centre were part of Poland in medieval times and are different culturally from south and east which were not and are more Russified. Former part is pro-EU latter part lean more to Russia. Elections usually close with a few regions that can swing either way determining the outcome. Opposition was throwing the toys out of the pram because an agreement to align with the EU in economic terms was ditched at the last minute by the president who is from the east. Things have now escalated from there to the brink of civil war. Western part, unlike Kiev, has slipped out of the control of the government. People there fought Stalin's Red Army for about a decade post-WWII, so unlikely to meekly accept a swing towards Russia through armed force.

the all important question? wit sides proddy and wit sides catholic mate ?

Nah in all seriousness cheers for the information mate , sounds like you know your stuff.

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the all important question? wit sides proddy and wit sides catholic mate ?

Nah in all seriousness cheers for the information mate , sounds like you know your stuff.

Before looking it up I would have said the former Polish part would have been nominally Roman Catholic and the eastern bit Russian Orthodox. However, Wikepedia says - "The majority of Ukrainians are not affiliated with any organized religion, and a significant portion of the population is atheistic. Estimates compiled by the independent Razumkov Centre in a nationwide survey in 2006 found that 75.2 percent of the respondents believe in God and 22 percent said they did not believe in God. 37.4 percent said that they attended church on regular basis.[228]

Among Ukrainians who are affiliated with an organized religion, the most common religion in Ukraine is Orthodox Christianity, currently split between three Church bodies: the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church autonomous church body under the Patriarch of Moscow, and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.[229]

220px-Ukraine_religion_2006_Razumkov_cen
magnify-clip.png
"What religious group do you belong to?" Sociology poll by Razumkov Centre about the religious situation in Ukraine (2006)
Atheist or do not belong to any church
UOC – Kiev Patriarchate
UOC – Moscow Patriarchate
UAOC
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church

A distant second by the number of the followers is the Eastern Rite Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which practices a similar liturgical and spiritual tradition as Eastern Orthodoxy, but is incommunion with the Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church and recognises the primacy of the Pope as head of the Church.[231]

Additionally, there are 863 Latin Rite Catholic communities, and 474 clergy members serving some one million Latin Rite Catholics in Ukraine.[229] The group forms some 2.19 percent of the population and consists mainly of ethnic Poles and Hungarians, who live predominantly in the western regions of the country.

Protestant Christians also form around 2.19 percent of the population. Protestant numbers have grown greatly since Ukrainian independence. The Evangelical Baptist Union of Ukraine is the largest group, with more than 150,000 members and about 3,000 clergy. The second largest Protestant church is the Ukrainian Church of Evangelical faith (Pentecostals) with 110,000 members and over 1,500 local churches and over 2,000 clergy, but there also exist other Pentecostal groups and unions and together all Pentecostals are over 300,000, with over 3,000 local churches. Also there are many Pentecostal high education schools such as the Lviv Theological Seminary and the Kiev Bible Institute. Other groups include Calvinists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Lutherans, Methodists and Seventh-day Adventists. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) is also present.[229]"

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Like most of central and eastern Europe todays Ukraine isn't a 'real' country and is the byproduct of failed empires and gerrymandering within the former Soviet Union.

I'm sure I've read somewhere that large parts of present Ukraine had no historic Ukrainian links at all and only became part of of the Ukraine in the 1950's as part of re-organizing the regions of the USSR.

As I think Vikington said there are some parallels with Syria as it's hard to pick a side in this conflict that isn't fairly repugnant. One one side a corrupt government representing a minority, on the other extreme right wing nationalists and people effectively brain washed by mythologized national history.

The combination of extreme nationalism and mythologized national history led to appalling consequences in the former Yugoslavia and that mustn't be allowed to happen in Europe again.

Even without out and out warfare one only has to look to Hungary to see an extreme right wing government in action.

Croatian and Ukrainian nationalists supported the Nazis during the second world war and were quite happy to do much of their dirty work for them and Hungary was the only ally the Nazi's still had when Hitler shot himself. In fact they fought on until the very end even after Germany had more or less given up. Clearly right wing extremist views linger on in these parts of the world.

We should be careful not view this conflict as Corrupt Government vs The People as the actual conflict is much more nuanced than that.

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The Roman Catholic minority will basically be Polish for the most part. A huge chunk of western Ukraine was in Poland pre-WWII, but most of the Poles were driven out and resettled in land that was taken from Germany post-WWII. The "Greek Catholics" are pro-Vatican but Orthodox in their liturgy. They tend to be the most hardcore about being anti-Russian and nationalist and are from the western part near the Polish border around the city of Lviv and as mentioned above a lot of them were in the SS during WWII. The Orthodox majority are split into pro-Kiev and pro-Moscow factions and that tends to follow the east-west divide to a significant extent. No easy good guy bad guy narrative on this. Yanukovych was democratically elected and I seriously doubt most western government would have put up with what has being going on in Kiev in recent months without sending in riot police at some point. Snipers on rooftops is totally out of order though and he has previous for electoral fraud, so not somebody that could be trusted to ever stick to any compromise agreement and play fair by democratic norms.

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Like most of central and eastern Europe todays Ukraine isn't a 'real' country and is the byproduct of failed empires and gerrymandering within the former Soviet Union.

As opposed to "real" countries which develop organically and not from 'failed empires'? Wut?

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Fifty policeman are reported as having been captured by protesters/opposition in Kiev.

Can you still call them protesters if they are capturing armed policeman? :unsure2:

22 people now dead according to the BBC. I think we've moved away from protesting and have arrived at the initial stages of rebellion IMO.

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The "Greek Catholics" are pro-Vatican but Orthodox in their liturgy. They tend to be the most hardcore about being anti-Russian and nationalist and are from the western part near the Polish border around the city of Lviv and as mentioned above a lot of them were in the SS during WWII.

Many of the 'Greek Catholics' do not consider themselves Ukrainian at all:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rusyns

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As opposed to "real" countries which develop organically and not from 'failed empires'? Wut?

Most Western European countries, have developed around a shared sense of ethnicity, shared language and a national identity.

Most Eastern European countries have been cobbled together from failed empires like the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and Soviet empires, often by people who had little understanding of the ethnic variance and history of the region or more sinisterly had ulterior political motives.

The borders of Romania or Hungary or Ukraine do not in any cohesive way define an area with a shared sense of ethnicity, shared language and national identity. They are artificial boundaries that have been put there mostly by the major world powers.

There is the Polish/Ukrainian/Russian divide in Ukraine, the Hungarian/Romanian divide in Romania, Turks in Bulgaria and Roma throughout the region. These sizeable minorities, and others, have often be repressed or mistreated and it has created a great deal of tension. Yugoslavia was the perfect example where the lack of a cohesive sense of nationhood turned over the years into a unimaginable hatred of each other.

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A British guy who owns a farm in the Ukraine stated his workers are getting paid by the West (he inferred the EU itself) to protest...

Link please......................

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A British guy who owns a farm in the Ukraine stated his workers are getting paid by the West (he inferred the EU itself) to protest...

Hiya, Vlad. How's the weather in Sochi today?

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So how long ago did Ukraine cease to be part of the Soviet Union?

Just so I know how many years before I need to think about boarding up my house if independence goes through.

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So how long ago did Ukraine cease to be part of the Soviet Union?

Just so I know how many years before I need to think about boarding up my house if independence goes through.

We'd need a sporting hero to lead the opposition. Andy Murray isn't much of a public speaker so I'd go for The Leith Lobanovsky, Mr John Yogi Hughes.

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