Please forgive my gallows humor there. I really do understand it is a frightening, serious situation, but as I don’t have any real control over what happens, I’ll whistle in the dark and hope that “wiser” heads than I will have the good sense not to start WWIII. Then again, the Joker in me would like to see a good bonfire……
Since this is simply the ramblings of the Tired Blogger What Blogs at Midnight, I’m not going to go too in depth in my analysis. I’m going to do a very brief relation of how Ukraine became a Soviet satellite, a brief history of Putin, and a brief relation of what is going on. Hands off my briefcase.
- 1) A Brief History of Ukraine
The area that is now Ukraine was once part of the territory of a fierce, nomadic people known as the Scythians. Little is known about them, as they had no alphabet, and the accounts of ancient Greeks and Romans gives us a lurid account of a bloodthirsty warrior race, a people to make the Klingons proud. I quote Herodotus in the next two paragraphs:
64 As to war, these are their customs. A Scythian drinks of the blood of the first man whom he has p263 overthrown. He carries to his king the heads of all whom he has slain in the battle; for he receives a share of the booty if he bring a head, but not otherwise. He scalps the head by making a cut round it by the ears, then grasping the scalp and shaking the head out. Then he scrapes out the flesh with the rib of an ox, and kneads the skin with his hands, and having made it supple he keeps it for a napkin, fastening it to the bridle of the horse which he himself rides, and taking pride in it; for he is judged the best man who has most scalps for napkins. Many Scythians even make garments for wear out of these scalps, sewing them together like coats of skin. Many too take off the skin, nails and all, from their dead enemies’ hands, and make thereof coverings for their quivers; it would seem that the human skin is thick and shining, of all skins, one may say, the brightest and whitest. There are many too that flay the skin from the whole body and carry it about on horseback stretched on a wooden frame.
65 The heads themselves, not of all but of their bitterest foes, they treat in this wise. Each saws off all the part beneath the eyebrows, and cleanses the rest. If he be a poor man, then he does but cover the outside with a piece of raw hide, and so makes use of it; but if he be rich, he covers the head with the raw hide, and gilds the inside of it and so uses it for a drinking‑cup. Such cups a man makes also of the head of his own kinsman with whom he has been at feud, and whom he has worsted in a suit before the king; and if guests whom he honours visit p265 him he will serve them with these heads, and show how the dead were his kinsfolk who made war upon him and were worsted by him; this they call manly valour.
This Aryan people was the inspiration for terror for some milennia. When Hitler was talking about Aryans, this was one of the people he was honoring.
Becoming a Part of the Evil Empire
I’m glossing over quite a bit here, as this is the Cliff’s Notes version of a tired blogger. Let’s just say there was plenty of warring, at one time what is now Ukraine was divided between a lot of people, the Golden Horde, Lithuania, Poland, and the Crimean Khanate being land claimers at one time or another.
About the same time as Russia’s famous revolution, a similar revolution was going on in the Ukraine, lasting from 1917 till 1921. At virtually exactly the same time, Ukraine was also at war with Russia (I can’t imagine how this is going to end up), and in 1921 the Bolshevik Red Army emerged victorious. The Ukraine established its own Socialist Republic, very nominally under its own control.
“During World War II the Ukrainian Insurgent Army fought for Ukrainian independence against both Germany and the Soviet Union.” Both Germany and the Ukrainian Insurgents were doomed to lose two front wars.
The Ukraine finally regained their independence in 1991 when the Soviet Union dissolved. Those were heady days I think I will never forget.
3) Current conflict with Russia
Cliff’s Notes version….essential, nearly every single nation that split from the Soviet sphere has entered NATO, a group of allies historically aligned against Russia. And since Putin has succeeded Yeltsin as the Russian President, it seems every few years there is some kind of tension between Russia and NATO, some form of saber rattling.
According to BBC “When Ukrainians deposed their pro-Russian president in early 2014, Russia annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimean peninsula and backed separatists who captured large swathes of eastern Ukraine. The rebels have fought the Ukrainian military ever since in a conflict that has claimed more than 14,000 lives.”
I doubt if many of us really remember what happened in Chechnya, but that is a post for another day.
In the end, we have to remember that Russia has long been masterful at playing the game. And we don’t always play the part of the good guys, nor do we always win. I hope that we don’t just let Russia move in and annex Ukraine, but I have to admit…I don’t know if I have the stones to fight in a third world war or not.
What do ya’ll think? Is there a right side in this mess? Should we be involved? Are sanctions ever a good idea, or do they just allow tyrants to teach their people to hate us? Please post your comments….oh….and as far as the detailed statue of Scythian gold above? For about fifteen years I assumed it was about a foot or two tall because of the detail….but it is not….