Beginning Over, 5. The Russians Love Their Children, Too.
This is becoming the literary lockdown. I've gotten through two Ian Rankin books, the last one of Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano, have started one by Donna Leon, with another of hers in the wings, and have dug out a couple I want to re-read. The spring cleaning can wait, I suppose.
My symptoms are of a disappearing cold. My nose has stopped running, and is simply a little itchy, with partial blockage when I lie down. The back of my throat still has some phlegm, which is the result of the infection being put down by my immune system. I can take deep breaths with no problem at all. I could very easily be out and about, but I can't, ethically. So, my walks will have to wait.
By the time I do get out, the buds will probably be swelling, and a leaf or two might have started to peep out. We have a fruit tree that has started to do just that, flower included. This has not been a harsh winter, at all. My hopes for a freak, late snowfall are fast disappearing in the warming sun.
In the rest of the world, the situation is much the same as it's been for the last months and years. The far right is gaining footholds where it shouldn't, and basic human rights are being pushed back everywhere, as they've always been. Of late, everyone is worried that there might be war once more on the European continent, between Ukraine and Russia. I'm not so worried.
There are ancient ties between Russia and Ukraine. Russia has always considered Ukraine her European bread basket, and ultimate empire. Ukraine has always considered itself as being a separate entity from Russia, despite the fact that modern Russia first emerged as a state in Kyiv, now Ukraine's capital.
Back when the first Russians were Viking invaders called Rus, occupying the area around Novgorod, where they intermarried with the local Slavs and Finns, Kyiv belonged to the Khaganate of Khazan, until the Rus invaded while on a trip south to attack Constantinople, and ended up establishing Kyiv as their own capital. After that, the Kievan Rus prospered, Kyiv being situated in a strategic trading spot. Constantinople, trying to keep on their good side, sent missionaries, who were welcomed, and the Russian Orthodox Church created, even if later things soured between the two empires from time to time. But, in the thirteenth century it fell to the Mongols, and the Rus established themselves further north in Novgorod and the newer city of Moscow. In the late fifteenth century, the Golden Horde was beaten back, and Kyiv, along with other territories of the area of Ukraine, came under the rule of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Russia considers the area of Ukraine, and especially the city of Kyiv, as her origin and birthright.
Vladimir Putin is a product of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union liked to be surrounded by friendly states, and set up the Warsaw Pact to make sure of it. Putin does not want Ukraine, sitting right on Russia's border, to have strong alliances with Western Europe, much less the United States. But, in these times of nuclear missiles, and the possibility of the destruction of the Earth in minutes, an all-out war is not something that anyone wants to happen, Putin included. The same thing happened with the Cuban missile crisis. Kennedy called Khruschev's bluff and won.
What might very well happen this time is an internal uprising of some kind in Ukraine, much like there was in its eastern provinces, which later joined Russia. Of course, it would most likely be orchestrated from Moscow. If something happens all by itself, Putin can easily say he didn't fire the first shot, saying beleaguered Russians or Ukrainians were asking for his help. NATO wouldn't attack, because Ukraine is not a member, and Putin would not have been at fault; it would have been an internal Ukrainian crisis. What will probably happen is that the West will try to cripple Russia financially. That, in turn, will probably lead Russia to sell weapons to terrorist groups to try to destabilize Western countries, and thereby procure some currencies, and wind up winning Round 1. So, the world will continue to spin as it always has.
Nice summary...much is missed by the US/UK media. The later is consumed with Borisgate.ReplyDelete
Thanks. Most countries are like people, and are content to contemplate their belly button, thinking it's the center of the world.Delete
Thanks for the history lesson!ReplyDelete
I enjoyed your summary here, Maria. I think you’re probably right!ReplyDelete