Saturday, February 22, 2014

 Can this become a 2nd "Velvet Revolution"?

"Prior to the twentieth century, there were no “Ukrainians” to speak of -- at least not in an official sense. Tsarist Russia built its national identity on the idea of Slavic unity, of which Ukraine was a fundamental and inseparable part. Russia still traces its Orthodox inheritance to Kievan Rus, the loose confederation of Slavic principalities that fell to the Mongols in the thirteenth century.

Given how divided Ukraine is on these issues -- and how incompatible Russia’s desires are with the European Union’s -- Ukraine ought to consider applying a precedent from elsewhere in eastern Europe: deciding the country’s fate by referendum. The 1993 partition of Czechoslovakia, the so-called velvet divorce, was a mostly amicable division that was ratified, and thus legitimized, by the country’s own citizens. "

[Foreign Affairs]

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