For those who dislike politics, look away now

One of the ironies here is that the Donbas hadn’t really been Ukraine ‘territory’ anyway - separatists were fighting a war of independence there, with their own territory, government and other state apparatus for many previous years.

Western media always describes them as ‘Russian-backed separatists’ - technically true, but also carrying the suggestion that the separatist movement is only driven by Russia - which is not true (either in Donbas or Crimea).

It will end, I strongly suspect, precisely with Donbas’ ‘independence’ under Russia’s wing. Precisely, that is, back where it actually started (except for the intervening deaths, injuries and destruction).

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Me too. And I think that could have been negotiated before the war started. No, I am sure that could have been negotiated before the war started. There is no excuse for Putin’s aggression and atrocities but the “West’s” diplomatic failure and dare one say Bush’s sabre rattling on NATO membership has IMHO us where we are. Donbas was lost before the war began. Now Western interest is dwindling and I’m not sure just how badly this will end. So many deaths, so much misery and all for SFA.

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Absolutely John.

I’m torn on this subject, and I did suggest quite a long while ago on this forum that perhaps the solution to Donbas would be an agreement to stop hostilities with forces withdrawn on both sides while an internationally monitored referendum was held.

But the problem with both that and Crimea is history, and the fluid and everchanging borders over hundreds of years. Putin makes the point that Crimea was Russian and that it was given away without reason other than short termism, and his point has value. Up to a point. It was Russian, but it wasn’t always Russian, it was previously Turkish (Ottoman) and also settled by the Hordes from the east.

Like the Falklands and, perhaps Scotland, the only way to determine who should ‘own’ them is by the choice, in a very large majority, of the current population. In other words history shouldn’t matter, what matters is the opinion and desire of the people who live there now, not of those, long dead, who invaded them back in the mists of time.

Of course that doesn’t give justice to large minorities whose ancestors always existed in a certain place, if it did, Europe would be flooded with Americans of all hues from pole to pole returning to leave their ‘countries’ to the ‘Indians’. But nothing is perfect.

I am still waiting for Aquitaine to be returned to the English. :roll_eyes: :rofl: and for the Normans to be driven out of England. :cry:

In other words, pick your own point in history and then exercise your prejudices.

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We have a Ukrainian mother and adult daughter living with us since Easter (in London). They are ethnic Russians with Russian as their first language. Sabrina (24 , who went to university in Shanghai and also speaks good English) nearly exploded when we watched Putin telling the UN head that they were protect ing and liberating ethnic Russians ! They left the Donbas region when their town was bombed. Putin suggested the bombs were Ukrainian, Sabrina ’ knows’ they were Russian.
'We didn’t need liberating. We have Russian language schools, no-one is suppressing the language. ’
They see themselves as Ukrainian . She tells me many people have hidden their Ukrainian passports to stop ‘russians’ destroying them. Many have been forced to take Russian passports and her aunt was taken unwillingly to Russia.
Her comment on Putin’s words were ‘bullshit’.

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How would they feel about a, properly run and moderated, referendum, Nici? I would be very interested to know as I have heard elsewhere that not all Russian speakers want to be joined to Russia.

Can you see Putin letting the Donbas have a properly run and moderated referendum with his history of interfering in elections elsewhere?

Frankly no, but I was putting it forward as a desirable option. Stranger things have happened though and one way or another he may not be long there, who knows? How many thought in the days of the Soviet Union that so many so called Soviet republics would become free and democratic?

Well done you. I can’t imagine how horrible it must be to have to leave everyone and everything behind and flee for one’s life. How quickly things can descend into chaos. It’s one of the major reasons I hate to see politicians making ill considered or rash comments. I worry every time Johnson or Truss opens their mouths. I’ve actually taken to fast forwarding the W@1 and PM when Johnson starts speaking.

I guess it is no surprise that Putin is lying and pushing his own version of reality, the terrible thing is that so many Russians believe him. I guess we’re all just pawns in a propaganda game.

Stalin reincarted.

Why? Didn’t belong to them pre Aliénor d’Aquitaine marrying Henry Plantagenet.

Did you miss that bit, Vero :wink: :rofl:

Which point do you chose? :thinking:

But seriously, that is my point really, you can pick your starting point to prove anything you want, Putin chooses somewhere after the Ottomans and before Kruschev.

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I waited till I had talked to Sabrina before replying. She hadn’t thought about a referendum or had heard any suggestion of one. She wants to remain Ukrainian but would support a referendum, though I got the impression she thought it really unnecessary.
Having arrived on 15 April, Sabrina landed a well paid office job yesterday. Due in part to her ability to speak Chinese as well as English, Ukrainian and Russian! The company have an office in Shanghai. Her mother speaks almost no English and our interactions with the job centre depend so much on who she sees each week. The first visit the advisor wanted her to get a valuation on her property in the Dombas!

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That is really good news Nici, but sadly not all the incomers will be so well qualified, I can’t imagine myself being dumped on the job market in Ukraine one day, with only the possible notice being the 24th of February. I at least when I came here had French as a 2nd language and a skill that was required and was in work almost immediately. But it wasn’t forced on me, totally planned.

As regards a referendum, if it could be run efficiently and fairly, a big IF, it might at least force Putin and those he purports to be his allies in the Donbas to put their money where their mouth is.

I saw an interesting interview with a commander of Ukrainians in that area who is not only a Russian speaker but Russian born and a powerful advocate of the Donbas being Ukrainian and himself also. A similar one was conducted with a Moscow born immigrant who was captured by the Russians and later returned to Ukraine in a prisoner swap, so, like your Sabrina, speaking Russian does not make you a separatist. The latter man announced his intention of going back into the fight for Ukrainian independance with full restitution of territory.

That is good news, but so typical of British bureaucracy, so ignorant!

Don’t read this unless you want to be really depressed…

There is no immediate sign of Russia pulling out of Ukraine and that’s hardly surprising, because the sanctions have had the perverse effect of driving up the cost of Russia’s oil and gas exports, massively boosting its trade balance… In the first four months of 2022, Putin could boast a current account surplus of $96bn (£76bn) – more than treble the figure for the same period of 2021. When the EU announced its partial ban on Russian oil exports earlier this week, the cost of crude oil on the global markets rose, providing the Kremlin with another financial windfall. Russia is finding no difficulty finding alternative markets for its energy.