Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Recommended Posts

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

Except for the Welsh, Scots and Irish in the UK (arguably Cornwall too), Bretons, Basques and arguably Alsatians in France, Catalans, Basques and no doubt a few other in Spain, Flemings/Walloons in tiny Belgium alone, Lombards and other northern Italians being fundamentally different to peasant southern Italy... we could go on but the bottom line is that your qualification, popular though it undoubtedly is, falls down like a house of cards under the slightest scrutiny. Where such a veneer of 'unity' still exists, it has done so by vicious suppression of other national identities, languages and, thankfully less common, ethnicities.

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.

Most countries were cobbled together under the same loose banner of 'national identity' as you just applied to western Europe. Hence Czechs and Slovaks were lumped together quite deliberately by its dominant national movement to shout down the substantial German minority (subsequently deported), the Romanian and Yugoslav states broadly corresponding to the maximum area inhabited by those claimed for their respective nations.

'Ethnic variance' is by no means unique to the east. You'd be as well saying Scotland/England couldn't function as independent countries because hundreds of thousands live on either side of the border.

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.

All boundaries are artificial and put in place by major world powers champ. The borders of these states are as cohesive as those of the west, largely 'thanks' to mass deportations, disruptions and the Jewish Holocaust in the middle of the last century. Hungarians and other revisionists can claim all they want about ethnic kin being trapped in neighbouring states: they have the option under EU freedom of movement to move to a Hungarian-speaking nation-state, as close as can be defined, yet none opt to do so.

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.

There is no significant Polish national movement in Ukraine, there is however a Rusyn one which has largely been suppressed by Ukrainian nation-state nationalism.

The bottom line is that a 'Yugoslav' national identity failed only to be replaced by nefarious other, some very clear-cut 'national' identities in its place. Croats have a state, Serbs have a state even though they'll whine about their defeat like the Hungarians, That is simply a reflection of power rather than some sort of unfixable, specifically 'Eastern' problem that couldn't happen in the west. States are simply weaker; economic integration is weaker. Ukraine is, unsurprisingly, again a borderland between two massive spheres of influence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think it was "failed entity" that Charles Haughey said in a similar sort of way to David Trimble's "pathetic sectarian monoculture" remark. The "statelet" label seems to be more a P&B thing. Has to be said that the Ukrainians seem to be going well beyond anything the people of Ulster have managed to do. Maybe Londonderry/Derry/Foyle Urban Conurbation/Stroke City got this bad in the early 20s, but I doubt it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

alsatian.jpg

Distinct lack of beret, black and white hooped jumper, onion necklace and bicycle, imo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the pictures and footage coming out are utterly terrifying. The Vice video is pretty mental looking:

That's quite tame compared to the footage on Ch.4 news. Looks like snipers have been taking head, chest and groin shots at protesters. The guy lying on the deck clutching his blood soaked crotch looks particularly painful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's quite tame compared to the footage on Ch.4 news. Looks like snipers have been taking head, chest and groin shots at protesters. The guy lying on the deck clutching his blood soaked crotch looks particularly painful.

Liveleak had some pretty bad stuff earlier, don't know if still up.

And Kiev paper site had a bullet proof vest some boy had died in, they are using (both sides) armour piercing bullets now, so it was as useful as both the Caldwells.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not only Ukraine who suddenly quit plans to forge closer links to the EU. It appears to be that other ex-Soviet states like Armenia(performed a U-turn too), Belarus and Moldova are pimping their arses to the highest bidder. Whether that will be Russia or the EU, who knows, seems the people aren't getting a say though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's not only Ukraine who suddenly quit plans to forge closer links to the EU. It appears to be that other ex-Soviet states like Armenia(performed a U-turn too), Belarus and Moldova are pimping their arses to the highest bidder. Whether that will be Russia or the EU, who knows, seems the people aren't getting a say though.

Well they needn't think they're coming here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not only Ukraine who suddenly quit plans to forge closer links to the EU. It appears to be that other ex-Soviet states like Armenia(performed a U-turn too), Belarus and Moldova are pimping their arses to the highest bidder. Whether that will be Russia or the EU, who knows, seems the people aren't getting a say though.

The 'People' did get a say though.........democratic elections since what, 2004? 5? It is just they elected someone who wants to be a dictator.

And not necessarily a bad thing. Democracy is Dictatorship for idiots with an education, still not an 'ideal' I would think.

The EU wants to rival the US, Russia wants their version to keep them in the Big League...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Newsnight had a good piece on this tonight with a former UK ambassador to Ukraine (a bit dull but knowledgable) and a former Kremlin advisor who was giving off a bit of a 'cold war vibe'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not too informed about either conflict, but there seems to be similarities between what's going on the Ukraine and Thailand. Accusations of electoral fraud, resistance to another election, middle classes doing the rioting*, working or rural classes keeping quiet, and billionaire manipulators staying in the background (not by choice in 2 cases, one in each). I hope they both sort out a compromise, but would bet on Thailand more likely to avoid a civil war than the Ukraine.

*GIRUY Fukuyama..

Edited by welshbairn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reports that protesters are shooting at riot police. Lviv police have arrived in Kiev and it's being reported that they have defected and the local autorities have declared independence from central government. The Kiev local authority resigned yesterday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Newsnight had a good piece on this tonight with a former UK ambassador to Ukraine (a bit dull but knowledgable) and a former Kremlin advisor who was giving off a bit of a 'cold war vibe'.

Sandwich thread for this pishe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...