Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ukraine Should Be Split In Two

Ukraine, particularly the capital Kiev, continues to be tormented with clashes between protesters and the police.

These protests started after Ukraine's government decided to reject an agreement with the EU and instead seek closer ties with Russia.

In most Western media outlets, this is portrayed as a struggle between the people and a dictator allied with Vladimir Putin. However, what they forget is that while, President Yanukovich  somewhat authoritarian, he is supported by a large part of the population.

More specifically, Yanukovich is very popular in the eastern and southern parts of the country, but very unpopular in the western and north central parts of Ukraine. This geographic divide is illustrated by this map showing his support in different parts of Ukraine (for a larger version of the image click on it) in the latest presidential election.

Yanukovich is supported by a majority in blue areas, and the darker the blue color is the larger the majority is while his opponent was supported by a majority in yellow and red areas, with the strongest majority being in the dark red areas.

The pro-Yanukovich areas are essentially the pro-Russian parts of Ukraine. Here the Russian language is largely prevalent with a significant part of the population considered to be "ethnic Russian". These regions also have strong trade ties with Russia.

The anti-Yanukovich areas are thus more or less anti-Russian. They speak only the Ukrainan language and have little or no ties with Russia-and wants to keep it that way,

If Yanukovich prevails, the pro-Russian parts of Ukraine will be pleased and the anti-Russian will feel oppressed. If the protesters wins, the anti-Russian parts will be pleased and the pro-Russian parts will feel oppressed.

The only sensible solution for this dilemma is to divide Ukraine. The western and north central parts will then be able to create a Western oriented state which is linguistically entirely Ukrainian while the southern and eastern parts can either merge with Russia or create a linguistically Russian state allied with Russia.

This solution isn't entirely unproblematic as there are areas which are themselves divided between anti- and pro-Russian supporters and as many Ukrainian nationalists insists that the country shouldn't be divided. But the current structure which will leave one half of the country feeling oppressed by the other half will continue to be a disaster.


Blogger oblom said...

That's your solution? Took you a long time to come up with this, didn't it? Why stop at Ukraine?Let's solve every multicultural region's problem with a chainsaw.

11:48 PM  
Blogger stefankarlsson said...

Oblom, because of your rude tone, I almost deleted your comment, but I'll let it pass this time.

As for the issue, I don't think all multilingual countries should be broken up. There are those that function fairly well, such as Switzerland.

But when it causes problems as big as in Ukraine, then secession is the best solution.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

If the Euro-Hooligans get early elections and the Ukranians do not vote for Europe - surely the riots will continue?

Perhaps neither the EU nor Russia want a strong independent and intact Ukraine?

4:15 PM  
Blogger burson said...

well in fact oblom, LET'S solve every problem with a chainsaw.the only ones who will suffer from that are really those who hold power as it will dwindle.Small is beautiful@Schumacher

12:48 PM  
Blogger burson said...

well in fact oblom,LET'S solve every multicultural region's problem with a chainsaw. only the tyrants will suffer.
also, what I think is worth noting is that the wester, pro yanukovich part of the country is way richer than the rest with industrial centers like dnitropetrovsk, kharkov, donetsk and the huge trade port odessa.
the opposition doesn't wont freedom, or democracy,they just want their cronies in power.
poor stupid people.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Iulii Selianko said...

The sense of current situation is weak and almost absent in this blog post. The only argument is about 'language' factor which is present in most of the european states. Splitting the state never gives stability to economic development. So, there is something wrong with Austrian economic theory which is supported by the author. It is very suspicious that the economist argue in favour of country destabilisation.

12:12 AM  
Blogger stefankarlsson said...

burson: there is no large income difference between the russified and the ukrainian parts of Ukraine.

eu-intel: First of all seceded states are often more succesful, just look at Singapore, or Luxembourg.

And secondly, in case you haven't noticed, Ukraine is already as destabilized as it can be short of a full scale civil war. It is the artificial unity state that is inherent unstable. Secession would create two more stable states.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Iulii Selianko said...

It is wrong to claim that there is an upcoming civil war. The main protest is against the usurpation of power by the President, lack of transparency within the authorities (Party of Regions' sold MPs, oligarchic circles linked to Yanukovich), corrupted police, corrupter courts, etc.). It is not the conflict between people in the West and in the East.

Spreading the call for country division is dangerous. Some competent bodies may interpret it as call for separatism. Blog responsibly.

11:08 AM  
Blogger stefankarlsson said...

Yes, Yanukovich and the people around him are no doubt corrupt, but it is wrong to say that his opponents oppose him because they oppose corruption because the opposition is corrupt too. And yes, competent bodies would clearly interpret what I've written as support for separatism. But considering the fact that separatism is the right thing to do for reasons that I have mentioned, that is "responsible blogging".

7:53 AM  
Blogger Allen said...

Mr. Karlsson,

I immediately though of this post when I saw this post ( URL below ). You have the voting map & this post has the economic maps showing the divide in the country.

7:06 PM  

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