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Russia Versus Ukraine- The Unending Battle Of Brothers- By Okey Ewah

Before 1917, Russia was an empire & was ruled by powerful monarchs called the Tsars /Czars. These Tsars were brutal Emperors just like the British Kings and Queens of those days.

The Russians invaded and annexed other territories around them including annexing Poland in 1772. Poland even vanished from the map of Europe until 1918. This will be a discussion for another day. But the point here is that Russia was an empire that had redrawn the maps of Europe several times in the past.

In 1917 came the Russian Revolution. Radical leftist revolutionaries called the Bolsheviks overthrew Russia’s Emperor, Czar Nicholas II. The Bolsheviks established a socialist state in the territory that was once the Russian Empire. A long and bloody civil war followed.

The Bolsheviks formed the Red Army & defeated the White Army in Russia. This white army represented a large group of loosely allied forces including monarchists, capitalists and supporters of other forms of socialism.

Ukraine before 1917 was a mixture of different ethnic nationalities (including the Polish, the Latvians, the Russians etc). Ukraine had been controlled by Poland. However, after the Partitions of Poland (1772–1795) by Russia, Austria and Prussia, the Russian Empire and Habsburg Austria also took control of all the territories that constitute the present day Ukraine for over one hundred years.

While the Russian Bolsheviks were fighting a civil war in 1917 in Russia, the Ukrainians also formed their own Bolsheviks and fought their own oppressors.

Both the Bolsheviks of Russia and the Bolsheviks of Ukraine won their respective civil wars and killed any body who opposed them. Very brutal people!

In 1922, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Transcaucasia (modern day Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan) signed a treaty to form the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

The newly established USSR appointed Vladimir Lenin (the head of Russian Bolsheviks) as its first president.

Other Republics later joined the USSR & they became 15 in total. They included: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Out of these Republics there was no doubt who was boss-it was Russia!

In 1924, Vladimir Lenin died. Joseph Stalin from Georgia rose to power & became the 2nd president of the USSR. He was a brutal dictator who ruled by terror with a series of brutal policies, which left millions of his own citizens dead.

Stalin eliminated all likely opposition to his leadership by terrorizing Communist Party officials and the public through his secret police.

During the height of Stalin’s terror campaign, a period between 1936 and 1938 known as the Great Purge, an estimated 600,000 Soviet citizens were executed. Millions more were deported, or imprisoned in forced labor camps known as Gulags. Are you getting the picture? These are brutal people. Ukraine knows this very well.

By the end of World War II in 1945, the uncomfortable wartime alliance between the USSR and the United States and Great Britain began to crumble.

The USSR by 1948 had installed communist-leaning governments in Eastern European countries.

The Americans and the British feared the spread of communism into Western Europe and worldwide, so in 1949, the U.S., Canada and its European allies formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This was a political show of force against the USSR and its allies.

On 29 August 1949, the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test, hence according them the status of a nuclear super power. Its nuclear sites would later be situated in the Russian and Ukraine Republics only.

In response to NATO, the USSR (led by Russia and Ukraine) in 1955 consolidated power among Eastern bloc countries under a rival alliance called the Warsaw Pact, setting off the Cold War.

After Joseph Stalin’s death in 1953, Nikita Khrushchev (another Russian Boshevik) rose to power. He oversaw the development of USSR’s space programmes. Again, being a Russian Mr Khruschchev ensured that the infrastructure was concentrated in the borders of his Russian Republic. This was concentration of power similar to what the Hausa/Fulanis have been doing in Nigeria.

1964, Khrushchev was replaced with Leonid Brezhnev (Ukrainian born) as USSR leader. He ruled till 1982 when he died.

1982, Yuri Andropov (another Russian) took over leadership for 2 years.

By February 1984, Konstantin Chernenko (another Russian) took over for 1 year before handing over to Mikhail Gorbachev (a Russian) in March 1985.

In 1986, one of the USSR’s nuclear reactors in Chernobyl Ukraine exploded and caused nuclear disaster. It was shut down(though not completely).

Gorbachev ruled USSR until 1991 when it collapsed.
He resigned as leader of the USSR on Christmas day in 1991. The Soviet Union ceased to exist on December 31, 1991. America and the West had won the cold War.

The birth of a new relationship.
Following the end of USSR, Russia and Ukraine therefore became independent nations again. Both had their nuclear weapons alongside a couple of other former USSR Republics.

Boris Yeltsin became leader of Russian Republic from 1992. Russia was then weak, but still saw himself as a big boy who had been badly wounded.
Their younger brother, Ukraine was there to nurse their own wounds as well as Russia’s. Their leaders worked closely together and worked with the West on needs-led basis.

In 1994, the West with Russia convinced Ukraine & other former soviet republics to give up their nuclear arsenals with a guarantee from Russia that she (Russia) would defend Ukraine and such Republics against any attacks from external aggressors, after all they had been closely intertwined for centuries.
Ukraine agreed to the nuclear deal forgetting their history with Russia. Big mistake!

Anyway, this security agreement called Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances was signed at a conference in Budapest, Hungary on 5 December 1994 to provide security assurances to Ukraine by its signatories-Russia, the US and the UK.

Years later, Ukraine applied to join NATO. This is like leaving your husband of many years for another man. Your husband would fight to keep you.
Remember, NATO is like a rival club to the Warsaw Pact that I had talked about earlier on. Russia and Ukraine under the USSR had spearheaded this Warsaw Pact. Now Ukraine wants to jump into the hands of NATO & Russia says NO!, we have been in this together, so you are not going anywhere. This is what I believe is happening between Russia and Ukraine.

This problem is partly due to Vladimir Putin who has the Russian Bolshevik’s mentality and who still believes in the USSR ideology. He came to power in 2000 & has since refused to go. He has been very bitter about the collapse of the USSR & the subsequent decline of Russia’s influence. He has always been working to make Russia great again. To achieve this, he would need the support of territories around Russia. Ukraine definitely is within his sphere of influence and Putin would not let Ukraine fall to the West.

He has maintained the same stronghold on Georgia and other Caucasus’ Republics including Armenia, Azerbaijan, and South Ossetia.

This is the reality of Putin, Russia and Ukraine. The West can’t do anything much about it.

Every thing you are hearing from the western media is all noise making.

Sorry my sister, this is a very long answer to your simple question, but I hope it will help throw more light into the complexity of the Russian/Ukrainian crisis.

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