Last time we checked, a gift is a gift and a treaty is a treaty. Some of our Russian friends have forgotten this and it wouldn’t surprise me if at some point the Russian government may suffer from similar memory lapses to wit that there is active talk of splitting Ukraine into broken off segments.
Can you spell Yugoslavia?
Next look at the map below. This map shows how over time the territory of Ukraine was expanded, listing when and by whom. The implication by some is that Ukraine is lucky to have the borders she has and perhaps now is time for Ukraine to give it back.
There are even some who want Mr. Putin’s Russian Army to roll in and take back what they feel rightfully belongs to Russia, as if those territories should have never been given to Ukraine in the first place.
The map label includes a line from the Ukrainian national anthem, ще не вмерла україна (Ukraine has not yet perished). Frankly, that may become a concern at some point but it really shouldn’t.
We suspect that our Russian friends would suffer from cardiac arrest if China suddenly wanted to revive Siberian border disputes, or if Sweden decided that the vast territory now called Saint Petersburg needed to be brought back into their fold.
Using the same logic of some in Russia, then if Ukraine needs to cede back territory, then so should Russia. We could begin with Karelia going back to Finland and for the fun of it how about relinquishing Kaliningrad or perhaps the Kuril Islands?
History is a bitch sometimes and the fact is that Russian and Soviet leaders played games with Ukrainian borders to suit their needs at the time. Now it is time to stop the loose and silly talk of what does or does not belong to Ukraine. The Soviet Union collapsed and while there were disputes, for the most part the Republics have held onto their borders except for Georgia and Moldova.
Russia has no right to expand her borders at Ukraine’s expense. Stop complaining about Crimea and Sevastopol. If you don’t like the southern borders of Ukraine then give it back to Greece, Turkey or any of the other kingdoms who had it long before Russia. If you never meant to lose it, then shame on you for letting Russian leaders give it away–you are heirs to the Russian Federation and thus it is as much your fault as theirs.
If a Tsar or Communist Party Secretary wasn’t keen enough to understand that history erases borders every few hundred years, then shame on them for giving it away in the first place.
I know how vocal this subject will sound to some of my friends–Подумайте о скрежете ногтей по доске. Unless you are willing to give back some of your territory as well, don’t lecture Ukrainians and the rest of the world on the subject of border history.