Skip to comments.If Crimea rejoins Russia, itís only the latest twist in 1,000 years of European border shifts
Posted on 03/18/2014 6:28:26 PM PDT by gwjack
The borders of Europe have been static since the breakups of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, and the reunification of Germany, but look set to shift shortly, if the Duma in Moscow ratifies the stated desire of a Crimean majority to quit Ukraine for Russia. But a broader perspective, taking into account the past 1,000 years of European history, shows that change on the continent has been a near-constant.
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If you moved Poland back to its pre-WW2 borders, Germany gets back Silesia, Poland gets back west Ukraine, and Russia gets eastern Ukraine.
Oops. Ukraine odd man out.
Well during the war, the Ukrainians could have chosen to fight with the Poles, instead of slaughtering her women and children in the thousands.
I miss the old Austro-Hungarian empire.
I miss the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
It’s a neat name!
And Winged Hussars looked totally bad ass.
Great look at the present! Just who is looking at the future? I”d guess that the answer is nobody!
Welcome to our future of the unknown with crazy leaders and even crazier outcomes.
Russia’s claim on Crimea is stronger than a lot of invasions.
1. It has a 200+ year history in the area, since Crimea is a warm water Black Sea port. Far more history than some invasions and pretenses.
2. It had a military presence there even after the independence of Ukraine as its own country. Sevastopol was one of the largest naval ports they had, period. The Mediterranean port is has in Syria is one of the others, hence Russia siding with the Syrian dictator in its civil war.
3. Around 60% of the population is ethnic Russian. That’s a stronger basis than they had for trying (and failing) to take over the “stans” like Uzbekistan.
4. Putin reunifying his people and strategic territories. His people both support this action and they support him. His people support him more for defending their interests than if he kowtowed to the West.
5. There is debate that taking over Crimea is a middle finger to the West in return for the West led revolution in Ukraine. So this is a political retribution that is also in their longer term political interest.
6. A lot of pipelines go through Crimea, and Russia is a petroleum exporter.
you must be pretty old..
Instructive film on Netflix called Putins Kiss.
While they still have a long way to go, Russia IS coming back and wed better be ready!
I’m like Patton. :)
So as through a glass, and darkly
The age long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
Many names, but always me.
Ukraine has had 20 years to get its act together. It has been in a state for chaos for years, and Putin didn't act until Ukraine's latest coup made the place even more chaotic.
Certainly Russia has been meddling in Ukraine, but not enough to excuse Ukraine for not building up their own country. They blew it.
Wow, love it that you blame the Ukrainians for their problems! Are you Russian?
Please, get a grip!
It is idiotic to blame the people as they individually have little say in the process. Only if they mass on the borders and demand rights does anything change, and it usually takes loss of life for that. Is that what you wish?
Maybe you are so use to a Democratic lifestyle that you don’t understand the desire for freedom in other countries.
No, I am American. Are you Ukrainian?
No, but I did expect a more sympathetic response from you. These folks are fighting for their freedom and some here seem to think that it is a trivial thing.
Meme-building, already posted:
...Map of Europe 1000 AD to present with timeline [Borders Animated 1140-2011 in 3 minutes]
Posted on 3/17/2014 8:43:33 PM by SoFloFreeper
They are not a homogeneous group; they have large and different political and ethnic factions, and they are fighting among themselves.
I don't like Putin, but let's face it, the boundaries over there are artificial.
And I do blame the Ukraine for not making significant progress toward building a unified country in the 20 years they've had, if they were to demonstrate they are a real country, and not just lines on the map left over from the break-up of the USSR.
Remember they got Western Ukraine by kicking out the Poles who lived there for centuries.
Ah, but they "deserved" it. /sarc
Stalin called the shots there....Poles and Ukrainians had no say.
I don’t want to blame any innocent individuals. I never liked collective guilt.
Well, I guess it depends upon who you are talking to doesn’t it? I don’t really disagree with what you are saying but it is one of the arguments of those that might disagree - not all people agree or wish to be a part of the Soviet Union. So yes, they will be fighting amongst themselves.
The problem with that is that those that do not wish to be part of the Soviet Union will be forced. It matters not that the majority might wish to be Soviet but that the minority wish to NOT be.
Yes all Country boundaries are artificial if you use your point. That is why today we actually look at the borders and decide how to respond. When borders change through military action, we should be concerned.
Sorry, but you seem to be an old fashioned fellow that thinks that countries can decide for themselves who and what lands belong to them. I thought that was something that was decided through peaceful negotiations these days.
Seems that the Soviets continue to think in the past...while we dither as usual. Things seem to never change. I’d guess that as usual, changes only occur through military actions and these changes will occur as expected without outside intervention. Too bad that it will eventually become another major problem or War.
And not everyone who lived in the former East Germany wanted to unite with West Germany.
True, but ask them today. Sometimes freedom has to be available to be appreciated.
Some preferred the certainly and sense of security that Communism brought them, to the uncertainty that sometimes comes with freedom....Heck, look at this country today? Millions here would gladly give up their freedom for a government check.
Have to say you’re right there! That is exactly why we are heading toward an unknown form of Government. When the majority can vote themselves money from the minority, we are lost! It can and is happening here today.
The only downside is Russia is now on the hook for billions of roubles to upgrade pensions, pay higher wages and improve Crimea’s Soviet-era infrastructure.
Its going to be an expensive running tab for years to come.
But the important thing is, is there a real country inside those borders? And I think that that is not the case with Ukraine, similar to a lot of countries in that other trouble spot the Middle East which were carved up out of the Ottoman empire after WW1, and has led to a lot of the instability over there as well.
Indeed, after the break-up of the USSR, the new boundaries were very artificial. So it was up to those new countries to pull themselves together and make a real go of it. Some of them have. I don't mind if the Ukraine keeps its borders (as if it's up to me!), but I'm not going to call them "freedom fighters," or think that its boundaries represent a real, united country. It doesn't.
I wish there were a rule of law among nations that allowed these issues to be settled peacefully and equitably. There's not. That's why we need to be sure we ourselves have a strong defense and strong borders. Our own porous borders concern me a lot more than Ukraine's. If that's old-fashioned, so be it.
Actually, well said Muddog! I do wish though that people would have more say in their own fate which seems impossible in some countries. I think that we would have a better outcome here but that might be just imagination on my part.
After all if I look at the political landscape, it seems that the have nots are outvoting the haves so we may very well be another Country in the next few years, much like the Soviet Union or maybe Mexico (Venezuela, hope not).
Thanks Deagle. You make good points too.
There were no perfect border to be found in most cases--in a few areas people in a disputed area were allowed to choose which country they would belong to after WWI, but some of those were questionable, and the victorious powers like Italy got chunks of land where their people were a small minority.
Soviets took that area in 1939, when they joined Hitler in carving up Poland, according to the “Secret Protocol” of the Non-Aggression Pact.
I’m bitterly disappointed at the response to this from the FR crowd. There was a treaty. Ukraine virtually disarmed itself in return for specific, precise, no-bull agreement that Russia WOULD NOT interfere in Ukraine. The people on here seem to be suggesting that there is no rule of law, that there is no Right, only Might. Have we no principles of conduct? Is this just a “screw freedom, screw self-determination, screw whatever we agreed to—take what you can get and beat your chest about it” crowd? This country became great because of the predominance of the Rule of Law, and the right and prevalent practicability of acquiring and holding onto property. People prosper when we move beyond Viking mentality. Do you people actually think this is ok? Because it isn’t.
What Treaty, that ridiculous piece of paper Clinton signed in 1994?
But ukrainians and Poles differentiated in language (as per what I've seen Ukrainians has a basis in the old Ruthenian language and has a lot of Polish loanwords)
Ok, I deviated -- the thing about Poland's Kresy is that it was the last of the great multi-national areas with Poles, non-Polonized Jews, Ruthenians (Belarussians, Ukrainians, Boyks, Łemkos, Hutsuls), Armenians, Germans and with Catholics, Orthodox, Mennonites and also Jewish secularists, orthodox, Hassids, Karaites, Litvaks and also Muslim Tartars
So, while it was "Poland", it was really part of the grand Piłsudski idea to re-create the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth (a multi-national state)
If the Ukrainians and BElarussians and Lithuanians had agreed to this and the Polish Dmowski party not beeen so "Poland for the poles", then this united entity would have been able to stand up to Germany and Russia far better
instead the Lithuanians were pretty anti-polish, as were, even more so, the Ukrainians
These two seemed to see Polishness as a soft threat to their cultures (which it was) instead of seeing that there were the Nazis and Soviets who would slaughter their bodies...
On this I agree totally, if only Pilsudski survived to 1939. One of the curious things I noticed.....Hitler actually attended Pilsudski's funeral...and one of the first things he did when he invaded in 1939, was to post an honor guard at Pilsudski's grave. Perhaps he saw in Pilsudski a like-minded hater of Russians and Bolshevism, but I hardly could imagine Pilsudski liking Hitler all that much.
The northern part of East Prussia, which still belongs to Russia, had as its capital Kaliningrad, named for one of Stalin's underlings. It used to be called Koenigsburg, which was founded in 1254 and named for a Slavic king, Ottakar of Bohemia. It was famous for being the home of Immanuel Kant and for the problem of its bridges.
Wow. Big similarity between the ethnic disunity you describe in pre-WW2 Poland, and Ukraine today.
I prefer "Krolewiec."
Pilsudski had the right idea of creating a recreation -- it's a pity his międzymorze idea failed due to nationalists from Poland, lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus
The Austro-Hungarian Empire would have been better if they managed to made it the United states of Central Europe -- Archduke Ferdinand's idea
But WWI was inevitable from the point when Austria, Prussia and Russia divided the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. The PLC served as a great buffer state.
Well the one silver lining was that as harsh as the ethnic cleansing was, it did avoid the same problems that plagued Europe before the war.
Poland was virtually all Polish, the Germans were out of Czechoslovakia, Ukrainians were in the Ukrainian SSR.
I think Joseph II made a mistake when when he abandoned Latin as the common administrative language of the Holy Roman Empire in the 1780s. One common language that didn't discriminate against any ethnic group would've avoided some of the later problems, especially with Hungarian being so difficult, and the Hungarians using it as a weapon against minorities in the areas dominated by Hungary.
(I believe though Latin was still used in the Hungarian part until the 1840s.)
the amount of stuff I don't know is huge -- the amount of stuff I don't know about history specifically is also large.
About the Austro-Hungarian split, from what I've read it's not only the language (have you heard hungarian? it sounds like nothing on this planet!), but also that other minorities were not given a chance to get their own kingdoms in the empire
There are some online Hungarian language courses — would you like links to them?
Thanks for the offered links. I think though that if I were to study another language, it'd be Latin or classical Greek.
My knowledge of Hungarian is limited to Zsa Zsa's "dahlink." :^)
I have a Hungarian-English Phrasebook.....
"My hovercraft is full of eels."
Uncle Tonoose rides again!
I don’t know Greek, but tried to learn Latin (gave up when I had to focus on Polish when I moved here) — I strongly recommend that language — once you learn Latin, learning Italian or Spanish or French or Romanian is easy and it also gives you insights even into German and Polish (due to cases)