Sunday, 2 March 2014

Ukraine and Yugoslavia

The comparison between Ukraine and the collapse of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s isn't too far from reality. The parallels are slowly beginning to emerge in Ukraine. Yugoslav leaders and politicians used nationalism to their advantage with the aid of media propaganda while demonizing their internal and foreign enemies. Slobadan Milosevic and leaders of Republika Srpska installed nationalist leaders and officials in government to strength their stronghold on their positions and assure their supporters and the larger public that nationalism equals national unity and strength. The new Ukrainian government has also allowed leaders and members from Svoboda and Pravy Sector to hold high offices and have seats in Parliament. As President Turchynov struggles to keep Ukraine calm, he has appeared to overlook the anti-Semitic and anti-Russian violence from small but growing Neo Nazi political parties and groups in Maidan and elsewhere. The Neo Nazis have aimed their violent threats against Ukrainian Jews who were once one of the largest Jewish communities in Eastern Europe after Poland's large Jewish community. Today, Ukrainian Jews are a minority whose community has survived peacefully within the country for decades after the Holocaust and World War II. Despite keeping to themselves, Jews along with some Russian speakers are viewed as scapegoats (fed by old anti-Semitic and anti-Soviet stereotypes) by the less open minded Pravy Sector/Svoboda members and supporters. The outright violence against Russian symbols, influences and protesters (who are Ukrainians) in East Ukraine, Crimea and in Kiev and Western Ukraine. Ukrainian soldiers being trapped inside their bases while Russian soldiers spread out across Crimean cities has further confirmed the Neo Nazis fear of a Russian takeover or war on lines of South Ossetia or something worst. For the Maidan protesters like the Yugoslavs no one outside Yugoslavia or Ukraine could control their destiny other than themselves. Even Poland who has quietly watched the events unfolded in Ukraine has also experience anti-Russian protests. Russia is well aware that its army or actions are not welcomed by the Kiev government or its supporters. The media frenzy set up by the United States and its allies has exacerbated the anger toward Russian interests among Neo Nazi groups, Pro- Western Maidan protesters and Ukrainians who are apolitical but are determined to shape Ukraine's future on their own.

Ukraine not united in anti-Russian sentiment

The Death Of Yugoslavia: Enter Nationalism BBC


1991 Yugoslavia: Roots of War

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