Ever since Bogdan Chmelnicki’s marauding cossacks destroyed the consolidated Polish/Lithuanian state, everyone in Eastern Europe has been subjugated to Russia, the only other big fish in the tank. Poland is now independent, as is Lithuania and the rest of the Baltic states. I can sympathize with the Ukrain’s desire to remain so as well. But there still is one big fish in the tank. EU has its faults, but it’s outside the tank. When you’re a little fish, the guy outside with the net and the little bowl of water might be preferable to the big fish.
Greatest tragedy in European history was the fall of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.