Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Four models for Ukraine

Four models for Ukraine

It is getting increasingly annoying to watch the Ukrainian crisis. Its handling from the outside has from the start been marked by amateurism. And this continues today from all sides. Nobody seems to know what to do. Even though they do support different sides, it is not true that Obama, Merkel or Putin are plotting in deliberate ways to take over or invade Ukraine. All have talked themselves into positions difficult to escape and promised sanctions and actions which they dare not implement. All are in reality bewildered.

At least the following 4 models are logical:

1) Whole state Western dominance
Not viable. This is the present situation. It has been brought about partly by the one-sidedness of the EU. That it does not work is obvious: unrest, violence and separatism as seen in the votes n Eastern Ukraine. There is no doubt that Russia has contributed actively to the unrest. But it would be an error to think that without this factor everything would be fine, and the model would work. Too many Russian speakers would still resist. Even if some parts in the East split of, there will still be too many Russian-oriented people left in the country to be dominated. Continued unrest would follow.

2) Whole state Eastern dominance
As originally favored by Russia. It clearly did not work either. This is impossible now aswell. It would be the reverse of the present situation with the same result. The leaving of Crimea which has reduced the proportion of Russian speakers will also make this model less possible. The more areas separatists or Russia take away, the more Western dominated the rest of Ukraine will be.

So none of the above whole state solutions are viable. The two parts of the population are like two peoples. As said in earlier posts they come from different cultures or even civilizations. In a country with two distinct worlds one world can not just be subdued or assimilated.

What about the splitting of Ukraine into an Eastern and a Western state?

3) Two states
This may sound ideal as the two halves seem so incompatible. But where to put the border? The populations live so intermingled that there is no national border. This means that ethnic cleansings would be necessary. I will return to this below.

4) Balanced whole state
The aggreement from just before the pro-Western forces took over in Kiev, was of course the beginning of a such plan. The balanced state solution would have been difficult to implement, but it would have been the ideal if we had wanted to avoid the conflict and violence seen since then. A new version of this path is also the only way out of the present chaos. But this solution has not become easier under todays circumstances. The window for this solution is closing. Hatred is rising on both sides as we saw in Odessa. Both sides and their external supporters must deescalate militarily, verbally and symbolically.

Some examples of factors aggravating the antagonism:

- Julia Timosjenkos comments about killing Russian speakers were certainly not helpful and they were in an awful way carried out in the burning alive of separatists in Odessa.

- The Ukrainian goverments use of symbols from the Nazi-collaboration can only add to the fears in the East.

- Still calling this goverment fascists is absurd.

- And only seeing the Eastern separatists as terrorists is also absurd.

- The rebels shooting a city mayor in the back, torturing people and taking hostages can only increase hatred.

- The Kiev goverments use of paramilitaries and perhaps even American mercenaries works the same way.

- Russia should make no further incitements of unrest in Eastern Ukraine.

- Ukraine must stop or be forced to stop all military attacks in the East. These attacks can only aggravate the situation further.

- Both Russian and Western politicians and media ought to stop the cold war rhetoric which incites populations to black and white thinking as we saw in the embarrassing shouts against the innocent Russian girls singing in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Such factors make the balanced solution more and more difficult and should be stopped immediately. The actions carried out by Kiev also show that the planned presidential elections can NOT be regarded as a step toward the balanced whole state. Instead like the actions of the opponents they increase the antagonism. The solution with one whole balanced state must be worked out at once and quickly implemented.

If we do not act along these lines only the two states solution is left. If we let things reach this point, the World must aid with the separation to avoid variants of the uncontrolled post-Yugoslavian scenario. The present separatism in the East is the first step in an uncontrolled process. But also with an aided controlled separation scores of people may have to be moved. And the economic consequences would be enormous. Allready now the price in Dollars, Euro and Rubels for saving Ukraine is immense.

The cultural differences of course also work against the balanced whole state solution. Seeing a bearded woman winning the Eurovision Song Contest will not convince the people in Eastern Ukraine that they should join Western Europe! But the costs in human and economic terms resulting from a splitting up of Ukraine are too big. And right now the balanced whole state solution is still possible. Many Russian speakers still prefer a united Ukraine. That a united state should have large autonomy for the regions is obvious. This so much more because the country will contain people from two distinct cultures or we may say civilizations: The West and Russia.

I am convinced that the balanced whole state solution is the best for Ukraine. But it is also the best way to prevent the World from coming closer to a renewed Cold War with all its negative global consequences.

The people in Western and Eastern Ukraine can no longer be expected to reach reason on their own. A concerted action by the USA, the EU and Russia must FORCE them. The inner-Ukrainian talks planned by the OSCE are a step in the right direction. But the parties in Ukraine should not have the right to decide who of the opposite side are participating. All parties must participate.

To be more precise:
The elections planned this month are too early. The new inner-Ukrainian talks need much longer time than 10 days to reach a point where all parts of the country are ready and willing to participate in elections.

And as said. If everybody takes part in the talks, an agreement without pressure from the outside is unlikely.

The Ukrainian government denies the separatists access to the talks in Kiev. As could be expected.

Angela Merkel supports that the separatists can only participate if they renounce violence. It should be obvious that reconciliation talks without both parts can lead nowhere! And what is the difference between the separatists using weapons and the government using paramilitary groups?

Germany thus demonstrates a continuation of the naive one-sided EU-support for the pro-Western forces up to the revolution. This is a clear choice of the
Whole state Western dominance solution.

If this is the general attitude of the Western powers, and/or Russia continues its own opposite one-sidedness, civil war and ethnic cleansing are pre-programmed; we are on the way to the
Two states solution.

A fifth proposal letting Russia absorb the Eastern parts can be dismissed. It is not possible internationally. And Russia does not have the strength to stand against the int'l pressure if it wanted to ignore the World.