These Times

The War for Ukraine: How History Came Roaring Back

February 13, 2024


In the wake of Putin’s fast and loose interview with Tucker Carlson, Tom and Helen turn to the history of Ukrainian independence, and ask what it means for the future of Ukraine, Europe and NATO…


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J├╝rg Gassmann
J├╝rg Gassmann
2 months ago

Just to clarify: Russia (as well as all the former Soviet republics) are all members of the Partnership for Peace, as well as the neutral states Ireland, Switzerland, and Austria.
It was established by the EU that it was Georgia that started the war in August 2008, not Russia.
Ukraine never had nuclear weapons – it would be like saying Germany is a nuclear power because US nuclear weapons are stationed in Germany. All nuclear weapons in Ukraine were Soviet, and Russia was the successor to the Soviet Union. There is absolutely no way the US would have condoned Ukraine independence if Ukraine had become a nuclear power. This is a complete red herring.
The EU-Ukraine association agreement Yanukovich turned down was extremely unfavourable to Ukraine. The EU was obliging Ukraine to sever all trade ties to Russia, which was a large client for Ukrainian industrial machinery for which there was no market in the EU, and at the same time, the EU severely restricted Ukrainian agricultural exports to the EU, the Ukraine’s key other export commodity. Russia was open for a three-way agreement, but the EU put Ukraine to an ultimatum. The dismal development of the Ukraine economy since 2014 proves that Yanukovich was right.
Yanukovich did not just “leave” in 2014 – he was toppled in a Western-sponsored, Ukrainian far-right coup. You must be honest about this.
You correctly mention that Crimea declared independence in January 1991, before Ukraine declared independence, and that Ukraine violently suppressed Crimean independence in 1995. Then you blithely move on to the received narrative of Russian “annexation” of Crimea in 2014, without picking up the thread.

Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
2 months ago

It would have been nice to read a transcript, based on the very interesting comment that starts “Just to clarify”. It takes 10 minutes at most to read the transcript of an hour long chat. Some people don’t have that time.