October 27, 2016 -
By Eduard Popov for Fort Russ - translated by J. Arnoldski -
Last week, an event occurred capable of revolutionizing not only Ukraine, but all of Eastern and part of Central Europe. On October 20th, the Ukrainian parliament adopted the Declaration of Memory and Solidarity of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland and Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. This document condemned the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and modern Russian policy and remarked that “the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact concluded by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany led to the Second World War.”
Let’s set aside pseudo-scholarly interpretations of what is officially called the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact but is more famously known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This agreement was preceded by Western countries’ (England and France’s) unprecedented concessions to German Chancellor Adolf Hitler. These included the betrayal of Czechoslovakia by the Munich Agreement (which British Prime Minister Chamberlain praised as “peace for our time”) followed by the invasion of the country in late September 1938 by the troops of Hitler’s Germany, Poland, and Hungary. Stalin’s USSR (of which I am no supporter) consistently sought to create a common European system of defense against Hitler’s Germany in contrast to the USSR of Lenin and Trotsky which in the early 1920’s sought to bring revolutionary war to Europe. But England, the chief architect of interwar Europe, deliberately pushed Hitler to the East for the Third Reich and Soviet Union to collide.
As early as 1934, the foreign policy leaders of the Second Polish Republic had concluded a nonaggression pact with Germany 5 years before the analogous agreement concluded by the Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov, but refused to sign a nonaggression pact with the USSR. Poland paid for its anti-Soviet (in fact anti-Russian) policies and complicity in the occupation of Czechoslovakia with the loss of its independence and enormous human losses. England paid for such with a one-on-one war with Hitler’s Germany that lasted a whole year, during which only the insular island position of the English saved them from German occupation. Soviet Russia paid for this with the bloodiest war in its history, from which it emerged as the victor and liberator of all of Europe. The leaders of today’s Europe are not inclined to gratitude towards Russia for its historic mission and the millions of Russians who laid down their lives on the altar of European freedom.
Ukraine, a state which can count only a quarter century of existence, has no historical tradition, historical memory, nor strategic thinking. Thus, its current establishment is incapable of even thinking about the immediate consequences of its resolution on the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. And these consequences will be very bitter for Ukraine.
Today’s Poland is already talking about restitution, i.e., the return of Poles’ property in the Kresy, i.e., the eastern lands which belonged to Poland before the Second World War and amount to 5 regions of modern Ukraine (Galicia and Volyn) and Western Belarus and Lithuania. By condemning the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Ukraine is automatically condemning its sovereignty over 5 western regions therin recognized as illegally seized from Poland.
Not so long ago, Verkhovna Rada Speaker Parubiy called for a visa regime to be introduced with Russia, thereby depriving 5 million Ukrainian “guest workers” of bread and solid earnings. The consequences of the Rada’s resolution on October 20th go even further by questioning the territorial borders of contemporary Ukraine, of which President Putin once said half belong to Russia and half to Eastern Europe.
The condemnation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact done to curry favor with the Poles is not Ukraine shooting itself in the foot, but shooting itself in the head to spite its Russian neighbor.
Poles will undoubtedly take advantage of Ukrainians’ fantastic foolishness and will one day demand that their lands be returned, in particular Lvov, their “Cemetery of Eaglets” that is so sacred to Poles’ historical memory. They will also demand their territorial share of Czech Republic, the lands of Transcarpathian Rus that they lost in 1945 and are now Ukraine’s, Romanian Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina which were annexed in 1940 and transferred to Soviet Ukraine, and Hungary’s part of Transcarpathia, now also part of Ukraine. All of these lands were acquired by Ukraine thanks to Stalin’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs, Vyacheslav Molotov, who has now been condemned by the Verkhovna Rada as the initiator of the Second World War.
Ukraine’s state actors, being so devoid of any historical and state experience and tradition, do not bother to look so “far” (beyond their own noses) into the future. The issue of territorial claims being raised against Ukraine by its current allies in the West is only a matter of time. As long as the West needs Ukraine as a springboard for war against Russia, Ukraine’s sovereignty over its western territories criminally acquired thanks to Stalin and Molotov will not be challenged. But as soon as the situation changes, the West will suddenly “remember” the territory of Soviet Ukraine, which today’s successor state of Ukraine has called “the totalitarian USSR”, and demand that its historical debts be paid off.
This will concern not only Ukrainians, but also Belarusians, Poles, Czechs, Lithuanians, Romanians, and Russians. The Ukrainians have launched a domino effect whose consequences will be felt across all of Europe.
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