Outsiders have difficulty ascertaining precisely what is happening militarily in the separatist regions of Ukraine. This is no less true for demographics. Unquestionably, hundreds of thousands of the residents of the separatist territories of eastern Ukraine have been internally displaced – accommodated somewhere further West within the country. Anecdotal tales of families from the Donbas and Crimea resettled in Kyiv, the Carpathians and other areas have been common for over a year. What is less clear is the degree to which – on the eastern (Russian) side – displacement and resettlement are part of a more systematic, deliberate demographic policy. It has to be remembered that the question of ethnicity in Ukraine is opaque: many identifying themselves as ethnic Ukrainians are lifelong Russian-speakers. Among these, many residents of eastern Ukraine sympathized more with Moscow as their ‘center’ of cultural and civilizational identity than with Kyiv. Unfortunately, given Moscow’s history of moving indigenous populations, cultural sympathy does not guarantee one’s place of residence forever. Ethnic Ukrainian Russian-speakers in the separatist ‘people’s republics’ could easily find themselves deported into the vast Russian heartland as the Kremlin ‘Russifies’ those regions already under de facto Russian control.
This scenario is implied unambiguously by a Ukrainian journalist and blogger named Pyotr Oleshchuk on his facebook page, and reposted on the Politolog.net site of activist Sergey Naumovich. It bears reading and pondering for what it implies about the extent to which Russia has progressed in terms of its treatment of ethnic minorities since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
8 June 2015 ~ Politolog.net
What do you think is happening right now in Crimea and the Donbas, if you discard all the tinsel?
What’s happening is the biggest ethnic cleansing of the 21st century – comparable to the cleansings of the past. We are talking here about millions of displaced persons! It is ethnic cleansing: the destruction of the whole Ukrainian (and, in this case, also the Crimean Tatar) population. And this is in the heart of Europe…
I often encounter the opinion that, after all, the USSR collapsed. The Russians simply picked up and left Eastern Europe. The United States did not recognize the accession of the Baltic countries [to the Soviet Union], and they became independent. And all of this is extrapolated to Crimea. They’re moving away from there too.
But there is one problem. They did not leave Lithuania or Latvia because the States demanded that they do so. Rather, it was because a fairly strong nation remained there. And the nation fought for itself – and won.
But the Russians are still in Königsberg. Why is that? Because there are no native people left there. They were all eliminated or deported.
Kaliningrad will never again be Königsberg, no matter how many centuries it existed as a German city in the past. If Russians have learned one thing, it is that the most reliable method of building an empire is by ethnic cleansing. Destroy an ethnos, and no one will ever bring a claim against you for having taken something from them. ‘The dead don’t bite.’
All the geopolitical ‘successes’ of Russia over the last century have been built on ethnic cleansing. What made ‘independent Abkhazia’ possible? Correct: the elimination and deportation all local Georgians.
And this is nothing new. Have you ever wondered who populated Siberia and the Volga region before the Russians? After all, this area wasn’t a desert, was it? Where have all the different nationalities gone? Oh yes, there they went. Some (such as the ‘Volga Finns’ of ancient lore) assimilated. Others were destroyed. There are no princely descendants of tribal chiefs. Siberia would become inherently Russian.
And in the Donbas and Crimea it is simply necessary to deepen the process that which was not fully completed under Stalin.
Destroy everything that is ethnically native. Move there. Build a military outpost.
They always operate this way. They destroy and expel as soon as they enter onto someone else’s land.
It is enough to destroy 10 per cent, and the other 90 will flee by themselves. The objective has been achieved. You can move there.
And then – liberate, or don’t liberate…