Wednesday 23 February 2022

Russians in Ukraine


I was told by a senior British diplomat in Moscow in 2015 that the Russians in Donetsk and Lugansk don't care about being in Ukraine or Russia, but just wanted to be left alone.

In 2014 I thought Putin expected them to be happy about being liberated from Ukraine. I know no evidence that they were.

Had they been this might have tempted him to (get his proxies to) take more Ukrainian territory then.

When I first visited Kiev, in March 2006, the Ukrainians I met were all enthusiastic about the 2004 revolution and proud Ukrainians but none of them spoke Ukrainian. 'That's just spoken by people in the villages', one told me. This is changing. Nation building is taking place, thanks to Mr. Putin.

This map might be helpful, gentle reader.

This map from CNN in 2014 gives another impression.

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