9 December, 2022

Blog

Putin’s Pushback: The Context Of Russia’s Ukraine Move

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Context counts, and context means geography and history. The dramatic RussiaUkraine situation cannot be understood without a sense of history, by which I mean contemporary history, not the pre-revolutionary (pre-1917) history that was invoked by President Putin.

What contemporary history, that is to say, post-Cold War history shows is a combination of reckless adventurism and hypocrisy on the part of the West. Whatever one may think of Russia’s actions, they have been a defensive reaction to a trend that dates back to the turn of this century and Millennium.

Sri Lanka, like China and very much for the same reasons, is allergic to separatism and irredentism and stands for state sovereignty. That said, real world history cannot be ignored. Among those who accuse Russia of violating state sovereignty and supporting separatism by recognizing the breakaway enclaves of Donetsk and Luhansk are those who triggered the breakup of former Yugoslavia and its plunge into civil war by recognizing the claim to independence of Croatia and Slovenia.

Ambassador Jayatilleka talking to Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Deputy Defence Minister General Alexander Fomin.

Furthermore, the West violated a UN Security Council resolution and shepherded Kosovo to the status of an independent country.

The Kurdish areas of Iraq operated as a de facto separate state under Western military auspices as did the Kurdish areas of Syria until the Turks intervened militarily.

Russia never forgot how it was treated by the West in the post-Cold War period when it was friendliest towards the West, to the point of compliance. It is precisely during this period that Yugoslavia was bombed into separate countries. While the case of Bosnia could be counted as a legitimate humanitarian intervention, the case of the Kosovo war by the West was one of exaggeration and fake news.

Russia contributed by the nerveless Yeltsin administration caving into Madeleine Albright and advising Milosevic to give up fighting, while Fidel Castro had told him he now had an advantage because NATO, having failed to eliminate the well dug-in Serbian military through its air-war, now had to invade on the ground and could successfully be resisted. Russians were seared by the conduct of the West as well as by its own supine leadership, and swore that they would never go back to the Munich-like policy of appeasement of Yeltsin.

It is when Russia was best disposed towards the West that every Russian apprehension about its own security was brushed aside and the borders of NATO rolled-up towards the Russian border. Worse, this was the time that the West actually double-crossed Russia and the UN Security Council. It was not Putin but Medvedev who was President when Russia went along with the UN Security Council resolution on Libya, which was for the humanitarian relief of Benghazi. Instead, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power succeeded in overriding Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ advice and steamrollered the Obama administration into a regime -change action in Libya, culminating in the lynching of Ghaddafi which led to the exultant remark by Hillary Clinton, “we came, we saw, he died!”. President Obama has since said that Libya was the mistake he most regretted.

The US transgression of the UN Security Council Resolution and the double-cross of the Russians on Libya, pretty much finished the Medvedev Presidency and activated the return to highest office of a much tougher Putin.

The decision to support Syria’s Bashar Assad was taken because Russia saw how the destruction of states by western military intervention had led to the emergence of ISIS which threatened Russia itself and the stability it had achieved by defeating jihadism in Chechnya.

As the map showed the eastward shift of NATO driven by adventurists such as Georgia’s Mikhail Saakashvili, Putin took the decision to secure the pro-Russian regions as a buffer and balancer. This was also the case after the bloodily violent upheaval in the Ukraine, involving openly pro-Nazi militia, and the ouster of a democratically-elected President who had decided on an economic deal with Russia instead of the EU. US Ambassador Victoria Nuland’s communications encouraging of regime-change is in the public domain. Putin’s Crimea move and the support of Russian-speaking irredentist movements in the Donbass was a response.

In short, the map does not show Russia moving towards the West but a hostile military alliance NATO moving towards Russia, even in periods where Russia had a policy and leaders soft on the West. Putin’s latest move is tactically offensive but strategically defensive. It is not the initiation of a process but a response to it. Putin didn’t start it. He means to contain it.

*Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka was Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary to the Russian Federation 

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Latest comments

  • 14
    6

    Finally it seems DJ has moved from Sorry Lanka politics to Russia- Ukraine conflict, or is it an opportunity to showcase his acquaintance with Russian Defence Ministry ??

    • 18
      2

      It is strange that Dr.DJ, who claims to know so much about history, has forgotten that Putin used the same arguments to annex parts of Ukraine that Hitler used to annex part of Czechoslovakia. In that case the people he was saving were Germans.
      What would Dr.DJ say if India decided to annex our NE on the grounds that it and India were in the same empire before 1948, and is ethnically similar?
      Russia has lost its cla to moral superiority. So sad.

      • 12
        5

        Russia is acting in clever manner to circumvent international law. First they took over Crimea, which cannot be called wrong because Crimea a Russian territory was conceded to Ukraine by Kuruchev on friendly basis and now Ukraine has betrayed that goodwill by trying to join NATO. Next they helped Ukrainians sympathetic to Russia to take possession of part of the territory as independent from rest of Ukraine. Next Russia recognized this territory as a nation. Finally they will provoke Ukraine to attack this territory, and when this happens the people of breakaway territory will summon Russian troops for help, which will make Russian invasion legitimate. India should follow this example, by firstly taking over Kachchativu which was conceded on friendly basis and now Srilanka has betrayed that goodwill by toying with China. Next they should get Tamils to declare independence, and when Srilanka troops unleash violence, ask them to call for help from India. This will make Indian invasion and annexation legal. Unfortunately India does not have this cleverness or bravery to exert its authority, unlike Russia.

        • 4
          2

          What Russia does is wrong.

          This is what India did to SL.

          Ukraine president is very wise. He has promised to arm all civilians willing to defend Ukraine. 17% Ukraine civilians are ethnic Russians.

          Shame SL never had such a wise president.

          • 1
            4

            “Ukraine president is very wise”
            G, Have you checked out his wisdom?

            • 3
              0

              Stereo Type questions “have you checked out his wisdom??” Today news, Ukraine President Zelenskyy turned down U.S offer to flee Kyiv saying “need ammunition not a ride “. If it was Putin, he would have left by now. In his own admission, post Soviet collapse, when several thousand enraged demonstrators rampaged through the city, Putin dumped KGB office and ran for his own life.

              • 0
                3

                I must concede that you are a greater stand-up comedian than the wise guy
                who has been stood up by the US & NATO

                • 4
                  0

                  And you are a greater hypocrite living in a well.

          • 2
            0

            GATAM

            “Ukraine president is very wise.”

            Nopes.
            You are very very very wrong.
            Mao, Siri Mao, Pol Pot, Abimael Guzmán, …. were the only wise people we have had.

        • 0
          0

          This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

          For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

          • 1
            0

            Jamis Muthu Banda
            Tamil Speaking Sinhalam

            Try typing a, b, c, d, e, f, ……
            A for apple
            B for BS
            C ….
            D ….

            ETHICAL CONUNDRUMS

            Is it really feasible that a chimpanzee with a typewriter and an infinite amount of time will be able to produce the complete works of Shakespeare?
            The Guardian
            https://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,5753,-1350,00.html

            • 0
              0

              Native,
              That’s very interesting. But what a waste of paper .

      • 3
        5

        OC
        The parallel is weak. Let us be objective.
        Did any part of Czechoslovakia declare independence at any stage to justify German occupation?
        The two Donbas provinces had been effectively independent states sine the regime change of 2014.
        The only discomfort that DJ will suffer will be when parallels are drawn between minority issues in Ukraine and Sri Lanka. (But sadly for the SL Tamil nationalists, Tamilnadu is no Russia and NE is no Donbas.

        • 3
          1

          SJ,
          Perhaps there was no declaration of independence, but most Sudeten Germans weren’t that unhappy with German occupation. That led to them being expelled post-1945. I expect Russians in Donbass aren’t exactly sad to see Russian soldiers either.
          The breakup of multi-ethnic empires causes many problems.
          I am sure DJ will find suitable quotes from Lenin or Gramsci to justify whatever position he takes up.

          • 1
            3

            OC
            Crimea responded to a coup in the aftermath of which Ukraine removed Russian as an official language.
            There was anti-Russian feeling stirred by neo-Nazi elements sharing power after the regime change.
            We need to be careful about parallels.
            DJ of course has license to make parallels of skew lines.
            Do not contest that right– you will deny him the freedom of speech.

        • 1
          4

          OC
          Much has happened in Ukraine that our media do not report.
          Or they report what the Western media filter for them.
          Comparison with Hitler based on one episode is dangerous. Cannot we make such parallels for a whole string of American presidents. What is the difference in principle between annexation and placing a country under one’s dominance by “regime change” a la Americana?

          • 3
            0

            When you can get unfiltered media reports from TASS, RIA and ex girlfriends of Putin, I am sure you must be aware of things which many of us do not bother.

            • 0
              3

              Tass cannot be worse than the likes of NYT, the Post and WSJ.
              There is no pretense of ‘neutrality’.
              *
              Dr no-0, things that do not bother you interest the intelligent.
              Stick to you well.

          • 3
            0

            S.J,
            “What is the difference in principle between annexation and placing a country under one’s dominance by “regime change” a la Americana?”
            That’s exactly what I’m getting at. Both are equally reprehensible.
            But I am a realist, and accept that’s how the world works, lofty principles notwithstanding.

            • 3
              0

              OC according to Professor the difference between annexation,dominance, puppet government are same as between Chairman , President and His Highness AH.

      • 1
        1

        old codger

        maybe that must be the reason for india abstaining when the vote was taken in the UN security council telling russia to butt out of ukraine.India must be having longterm plans to take over the north and east of the country.

        • 3
          0

          Shankar,
          India is caught between a rock and a hard place. As with all other states, including us, self-interest takes precedence over high principles.
          This Indian commentary will interest you:
          https://youtu.be/tAVV8aPsr88
          There are limits to sovereignty when one lives next to a giant, as Ukraine has found. In 1987, Sri Lanka learned a lesson too, but some seem to have forgotten.

          • 0
            0

            old codger

            i am not convinced from that link that just like russia vis a vis ukraine,that india will not invade the northeast if it feels threatened by china just 17 nautical miles away from it arse. Sri lanka has to go slow with china if it wants to avoid a invasion like that of ukraine one day.

      • 3
        0

        old codger

        “What would Dr.DJ say if India decided to annex our NE on the grounds that it and India were in the same empire before 1948, and is ethnically similar?”

        Dayan usually takes 64 positions all at the same time.
        As far as Hindians are concerned Sri Lanka is the Sinhala state of Hindia. North East will form part of former Chola/Pandyan kingdoms. (As far as SJ is concerned Sri Lanka ought to become part of peacefully rising Middle Kingdom)

        China and Israel have used grabbing neighbours’ land piece by piece as part of their expansion strategy. Why not Russia, in the name of its own security, grab a small piece, consolidate, then grab another piece, consolidate, ultimately grab the entire country for its own security, ….

        I could see all these in my Crystal Ball …….

        Are we talking about morality?
        I believe its all about “our interest in your country as if you do not have interest in your own country” This is only possible if you possess long stick.
        Ultimately hypocrisy prevails.

    • 3
      0

      DJ just curious, was any of your acquaintance from Defence Ministry aware or tell you about the invasion ?? Apparently Russian Delegate presiding UN security Council meeting was unaware his country had invaded Ukraine until it was told so by visibly shaken Ukrainian counterpart.

  • 10
    2

    dayan

    1.hitler took austria.Putin took crimea.

    2.hitler took the sudetanland of czeckoslovakia..putin attacks the donbas region of ukraine.

    3.hitler attacked czeckoklovakia. Putin will attack ukraine.

    4.hitler then attacked all the other countries in western and northern europe and conquered them all excepts sweden and switzerland which he left as neuatral states.Putin will attack the rest of eastern europe than joined the EU in a blitzrieg attack quick and fast as hitler did.

    5.then hitler turned his sights on britain.Then on he started to make mistakes.enraged by one night bombing of berlin he told te luftwaffe to stop bombing the british airfields and keep on bombing the londo population.This enabled the RAAF to recover and win the battle of britain in the skies.Can you imagine the cool and calm putin getting emotional and enraged like hitler and make such a mistake.

    • 6
      2

      contd

      6.then hitler attacked russia.Stalin was caught with his pants down.initially more than a million russian soldiers surrendered.Hitler wasted 3 months to conquer the tough greeks and balkans which had chased out his buddy mussolini whih was again a emotional decision.Those 3 months delay in the russian campaign barbarossa cost him the war with the german mechanised brigade blitzkrieg tactics getting booged down in the snow and the german soldiers with ill equiped winter clothing getting frosbitten and dying.Furthermore hitler got the 6th army trapped in stalingrad which was of no strategic value at all except having stalins name which was enough for hitler to attack it.He should have sent it to the southern caucases and get all the oil fields instead.

      putin knows if not for these mistakes hitler would have had a german empire third in size only to the british and mongolian empires at their peak and would have been hailed as one of the greatest leaders in history.So waht if putin copies hitler but without making hitlers mistakes.After all russia is the 2nd best military power in the world.Also it has nuclear weapons and nobody can set foot into russia the way germany was invaded by the allies and russians.
      A good gamble and worth the pay off .Thats putin’s thinkng.He is agreater leader than hitler.

      • 2
        1

        Ukraine’s president’s decision to arm all willing civilians to defend Ukraine is a very wise move. SL should have done the same thing when under attack from India and Indian backed rebels.

        17% of Ukraine population is ethnic Russian and over 16% of SL population is Tamils.

        This was the strategy used by Switzerland to stop Hitler. Shame SL leaders didn’t use it.

    • 2
      3

      “hitler took austria.Putin took crimea”
      Was there a referendum in Austria? There was one in Crimea with an overwhelming vote to leave and to join Russia.
      *
      “.putin attacks the donbas region “
      Really? It was Ukraine that attaked Donbas.
      *
      “Putin will attack ukraine.”
      He will not, because he has secured Russia’s border with recognition of two new states.
      *
      4 & 5: your imagination is playing tricks.
      Calm down.
      Make a list of armed aggressions since the Cold War.

      • 0
        0

        SJ

        austrians are german speaking people.Historically they are german.Hitler was a austrian.As for 4 and 5 that will take time till the oil and gas pipeline through siberia to china is complete and china has the best military in th world and makes a play for taiwan.Then putin will simultaneously make a play for eastern europe that joined nato and EU.Putin has to wait for china to make te move first because the tail can’t wag the dog.Only a two pronged attack by china and russia will divide the US forces.

        • 0
          0

          sj
          also though i gave britain as a example in point 5,it will not be britain but germany especially the eastern part that putin will attack.

          • 0
            2

            Do not let your imagination run riot.
            Putin is a little cleverer than many here like to concede.

            • 0
              0

              nothing to do with imagination and everything to do with history repeating itself.

              maybe putin tried to be too clever because the ukraine unlike czecklovakia against hitler is putting up a good fight and the allies instaed of doing nothing when hitler invaded the czecks is giving russia the hardest time with the maximum sancrions.Now they have even taken away the ability for russian banks to use the SWIFT system.This will reduce russia’s ability to conduct foreign trade by at least 30%.Russia might become bankrupt just like sri lanks.

          • 1
            0

            shankar

            Putin is a little cleverer because he does not have to mind public opinion.
            For some people iron fists are preferable to softly softly democratic approach.
            They love watching unnecessary suffering of the people, justify fascism, …. hate human rights, ….

        • 0
          2

          Did Austrians invite Hitler to invade?
          Do not make parallels of skew lines.

          • 0
            0

            sj

            they did line the streets cheering hitler when he went through vienna on his motorcade.The fact that he was a austrian,now leading germany would have been a factor for them to be proud of.

  • 9
    9

    The West has always been the manipulator, aggressor and manufacturer of misinformed consent of their people against boogies. This has been evident in the many theatres of war that the West intervened in or created with manufactured evidence and fake pretexts from Vietnam and the Indochina areas to Middle Eastern ones, all of which lay in ruins after being thus “liberated” by massive bombardment and annihilation of their populations. Putin must reverse the gears of NATO and roll back their influence in Russia’s neighborhood.

    • 0
      0

      lasantha

      i used to wonder about vietnam too.Why the hell did US get embroiled in a third world country like that and look like a bully to the rest of the world,but then i look at south korea now and think if maccarthur had not fought the north koreans and chinese what would be the plight of the south koreans.They would have not been such a prosperous and modern and the most wired country in the world.They would be suffering like the north koreans who sometimes have had to eat grass.US would have also released that potential within the vietnamese to achieve great things if they had won the vietnam war.So i don’t their quest to stop communism from spreading was a bad thing.

      • 0
        2

        S
        That is what happens when you ignore history.
        The US has since early 20th Century was an aspiring colonial power.Its reach went outside Central and South America.
        Check when took Cuba, and when the Philippines.
        It was among the 9 colonial powers that dominated China.
        After WWI it got rich at the expense of powers that fought the war. It made money out of the war.
        When did it enter WWII? Had the Japanese kept their cool, the US would have won WWII without firing a shot.
        Really it is not the US as much as US imperialism.

      • 0
        0

        US and friends invade. It is not comparable to the invasion into Tibet, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine and the other dictators & communists’ invasions. I am not to defend the war crimes anybody committed. But unpleasantly, the wars will be wanted there for a coming feature to save democracy, after a failed but proper diplomatic negotiation on the disagreements. Reality of Putin and some others, not just starting, but confirm the need of war. Seeing the pictures coming out of Ukraine, your wish may be to abolish wars. War may “could not be out done”; but easily could be fought more and more, less often. Lives may end up scarified not to protect the narrow borders, but broader ideas of Democracy, Independence & Freedom. War is similar to the Thief and Police game. Thief strikes first & then the police attack. Our point is dictatorship or communism cannot be natured with fake talks of Context or History or any other rhetoric. More the civilization grows, the dramatization in thief and police games may lose the attraction, but the game will not be abandoned entirely in the near future. Hypocrite & Ignoramus are siblings of the same mother. They both needed to each other for their survivability. If no hypocrite, there would not be the imbeciles. “Thief pretends like philanthropist and the demolisher of temples preaches like sage”.

      • 0
        0

        Valluvar said, “It might have fallen out of any great one mind’s mouth but shifting the fact & truth out of that saying is only your mind’s duty. If you have lent yourself to a hypocrite, you choose the role of ignoramus, willingly. A teacher cannot prevent that from you. The midwife cannot bear the child for the mother; it’s the mother who has to do that. The Kalingathu Parani says the celebration day for ghosts, vampires, foxes, vultures and thus evils’s celebration day is when the corps fall in the war front. Don’t become a victim; but fight and be victorious. Fight not just for you, but for those who abandoned as less useful, too. The best gift in all gifts you can give one anytime is redeeming the ones’ freedom. If Thero or Saddampi see you can protect their prey, you become the first enemy, & draw more of their attention than their prey.
        Uluththal Saddampi has a PhD in talking nastiness from the University of Putin. The narcissist, in that deed, is a brother to Thero & he dreams that he knocks everybody to their knees with his imbecile, sophomoric sarcasm. He labels & plots against every person but grumbles if he encounters a Valavanukku Vallavan, who returns those back to him. He is one worth being ignored always.

    • 3
      2

      LP
      Putin cannot reverse some things. He can only apply the brake. That he did effectively.
      The US needs no help to destroy itself. It has humiliated itself with all its recent bullying that did not work.

  • 6
    6

    Dayan, at first I thought it was another piece of nonsense, as you have been prone to write. After quite a while, you have written something sensible. Thanks.

  • 17
    4

    Rascally DJ,

    Everything Putin has said and done over the past 15 years has been to make Ukraine a vassal state.
    His articles, TV statements, and his private conversations with EU leaders all make this abundantly clear. NATO’s eastward expansion is just a pretext for him. Putin fancies himself as Peter the Great, with Hitlerian instincts.

    Russia is going to face a quagmire like the one it faced in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Its people will face economic devastation. NATO will get a new sense of purpose. Germany will find alternative energy sources and move away from energy dependence on Russia. Russian imperialism is far worse than Western imperialism; the Slavic Russian thugs are notorious for their torture, rape, etc.

    Ex-Rajapaksa apologists who covered up grave war crimes in SL becoming Putin apologists is not at all surprising.

    • 2
      3

      I wonder who has been doing all the mass killings in the recent years across Asia?
      Sorry, it seems too soon after the drubbing in Afghanistan for the US to use Ukraine to provoke trouble..

    • 2
      2

      Putin is a war criminal now. He invaded independent Ukraine. Totally wrong.

      Ukraine’s president has wisely started giving weapons to civilians who are not pro-Russian but pro-Ukrainian. Excellent strategy. Sri Lanka must have done the same thing when India invaded in 1987. Both Ukraine and SL have a large ethnically Russian and Indian minorities.

      • 2
        2

        Sri Lanka invited India for a job which it did not do too well.
        There were some naughty people in the north & east and in the south.
        *
        “Both Ukraine and SL have a large ethnically Russian and Indian minorities.”
        Interesting. I know only of a Russian minority in the Ukraine no Indians. But the 0.1% Hindus there are “Hare Krishna” folk.
        Sri Lanka does not have even Arab minorities. Although I agree that there are many of partly Arab descent.

    • 2
      0

      Agnos

      “Russia is going to face a quagmire like the one it faced in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Its people will face economic devastation.”

      In the meantime both west and Russia will destroy Ukraine completely as what has been happening in Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq, ….

      Mind you both Ukraine and Russia helped Tamils and Sinhalese to collectively destroy Sri Lanka. Some Tamils believe Karma is catching up. Sinhalese don’t give damn because they are forced to live in the dark ages.

      Just now I received a whats app message which reads as follows:
      Sri Lanka, the first country to achieve Zero Carbon Emission – No Oil, No Gas, No Electricity.
      Truly Dark Ages.

  • 1
    4

    Oh Yes! Context!

    Ukraine may disintegrate like former Soviet Union and former Yugoslavia

    • 0
      0

      sri krish

      it won’t disintegrate, but it can become part of the new soviet union.Puti is very nostalgic for that era to come again and is very sad as most russians are for gorbachev to allow to disintegrate the soviet union.His plan is to renew it again.

    • 2
      0

      Why should it disintegrate? The ethnic Russian majority or Russian speaking majority Crimean peninsular is now part of Russia and only in the far east Donestk region you get a sizeable amount of ethnic Russians, Russiophile or Russian speakers( ethnic Russians and Ukrainians who now speak Russian instead of Ukrainian. Historically most major cities in Ukraine including Kyiv had a Russian majority, with even the Ukrainians forced to speak Russian to get by during the Czarist Russian and Soviet era. Like in many strategic non-Russian republics, like Ukraine, the Baltic states, and Kazhagastan ethnic Russians were deliberately settled on a large scale Amounting to half the population in many of these republics. This was a deliberate ploy in case of the anti-Russian uprising and independence like what inevitably happened, these ethnic Russian settlers and other Russiophiles amongst the locals to be used, against these states, like what is now happening in Ukraine. The Sinhalese are following the same tactics in the northeast. Especially in the east, using the recently settled Sinhalese settlers to deny the native Tamils their rights. China in Tibet and Uighur areas. Israel in the Palestinian west bank.

      • 2
        0

        Coming back to Ukraine other than in the extreme east of the very eastern Donestk/Donbas and Luhansk regions the Ukrainian and Ukrainian speakers are the majority in all other regions, now including most major cities, in the west of the country, you will hardly find ethnic Russians, however around 17-18% of the population of Ukraine identity themselves as ethnic Russians. Either Russian-born or Ukrainians of Russian heritage. The Crimean peninsular and Sebastopol were their stronghold but now this has become part of Russia, therefor the percentage must be far less and the rest are largely found in the extreme easter Donbas/Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Een here they are only in the extreme east of these regions but Russia is now trying to claim the entire region as an independent country and use this as a springboard to take over the rest of Ukraine or make it a vassal state of Russia. Historical ancient Rus originated in Kyiv and most Russians still consider Ukraine as part of their historical homeland and do not recognize the Ukrainian language or ethnicity, as you saw Putin ranting. However, Ukrainian is now a very distinct language that is close but different from Russian and is far closer to old Slavonic than modern Russian that has a lot of Turkic and Mongol origin words, as many of these people have been assimilated into the modern Russian ethnicity.

        • 2
          0

          The western part of Ukraine, especially the western 1/3 was part of the Austro Hungarian empire including Lviv and then a large part of it was part of Poland until after the first world war and this again included Lviv. It was known as Lwow in Polish and Lemberg during the Austro-Hungarian era. At the onset of World War II, part of Polish territory that was ethnically Ukranian was incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The central and eastern parts of Ukraine were under Czarist Russian and then after the fall of the Czar under Soviet control. This is the reason many western Ukrainians are very western in their outlook and very west leaning. Whilst most Ukrainians 78% belong to the Orthodox sect in the west you get many Catholics too. Greek or Byzantine rights Catholics mostly but also Latin rite Catholics.

  • 3
    3

    Putin is just like Lanka politicians . He is working on his own agenda whereas people believe it’s Russian agenda.Just like Rajapaksas he is entertaining masses so that they are diverted, expecting in return life time presidency for getting back the lost land.

    • 1
      3

      Like US politicians?
      Like Mr Modi?

      • 0
        0

        Like you ?

  • 0
    0

    So it seems that Putin wants to create his own kind of NATO (Pan Russian Trade Organization PRTO)…..no, not really; he wants to conquer and rule- NATO being a monetary treaty of independent sovereign nations. NATO came rather effortlessly after WW2. PRTO takes too much effort and killing.

  • 1
    3

    Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka has merely reported history. We should read it and educate ourselves. Yes, it challenges the dominant Western mainstream media propaganda that plagues our minds, the one-sided view we have been blissfully happy with. But be daring. Jettison the rubbish and look afresh at reality.

  • 3
    0

    Don’t get swayed by the photo. Dayan must be telling them how black tea is manufactured in Sri Lanka, something Russians love to drink [other than Vodka]. Otherwise Russian defense minister et al are not such idiots at all to have all ears to DJ on anything else.

  • 6
    3

    Dayan Jayatilleka = Karl Marx+ Lenin+ Mao+ Castro+ Einstein+ Napoleon+ NM+SA Wicks+ Wijeweera+ Premadasa+ Prabakaran

    an incomparable comedian !

  • 1
    3

    Ukraine president says they will provide weapons to all Ukraine civilians who are willing to defend Ukraine. A fantastic strategy. Sri Lanka should have done the same thing in 1987 when India invaded. 17% of Ukraine’s population are ethnic Russians and 18.5% of Sri Lanka’s population in 1987 were Tamilians.

    • 3
      1

      Vast difference. The vast majority of the island’s Tamils are native and indigenous and the northeast of the island has always been Tamil and their homeland not Sinhalese land. On the contrary, the Russian population in Ukraine is not native but settlers and colonists deliberately planted by the Russian state from Czarist times to the later communist Soviet era, especially in strategic areas and important cities to change the demography and control the native Ukrainians. Just like the way the Sri Lankan state has planted and settled Sinhalese in the north and east, especially in the east, since independence, especially in the last 40 years. Now targeting ancient Hindu temples, using fake history and the Archeological Department and the armed forces To deliberately change the demography and to suppress the Tamils and make them a voiceless minority in their own land, destroy their religion and heritage, history and culture. Do not distort history for your anti-Tamil agenda.

  • 1
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    Whatever is said or done, the attack on Ukraine was premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified by Russia. It should have been settled through negotiation. We only hope there should be an end to this war. Ukranians do not want to be with Russia which is very clear. It is a sovereign country. How will Russia answer for such destruction of lives and property. If Russia blocks southern part of Ukraine along with Crimea, Ukraine becomes a landlocked State which is very unfair. After all it is Ukraine’s discretion to join the NATO for its security. It is only India which can negotiate with Russia to stop the war. We will have to wait and watch how Modi and Jaishankar will handle Russia for a negotiated settlement with Ukraine. If Russia conquers Ukraine, Europe will be in trouble. As it is Germany and France will have to join India to compel Russia to end the war.

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      India will do no such thing, Russia has always been their old ally. You are living in a dream world thinking India will help the Eelam Tamil. They will never, other than voicing useless platitudes. They have and will always help the racist Sinhalese state. Even the Hindu BJP, as they wrongly think it is more beneficial, despite Sri Lanka constantly backstabbing them, the west, and running to China and Pakistan. They will never learn their lesson, as many powerful people in Delhi are not sympathetic to the Tamils.

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        SSS

        i disagree with you that india will never help the tamils.India will help the tamils only if the tamils interest and india’s interest co incide.So unlike what prabhaharan did tamils have to see that their interests coincide with india interest.

        The most prominent interst that inda has at the moment is its security.All this time they were not interested in their security in the south until the chinese got a foothold into sri lanka.So let us see whther our so called clever tamil leader lawyers(how come always all the leaders are lawyers?) can utilise that securty concern of india and show it that if it supports the tamils,the tamils will also support its security.

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      AR
      Have you heard of the Minsk accord of 2014?

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    I wrote the comment posted below two days ago, but forgot to send it. It is too late now, Russia has already started the war against the ‘lonely’ Ukraine.
    Afghanistan’s final saga proved to the world that President Biden is for peace, not for war.
    For the first time in American history, citizens there got a President who hates war which is a great consolation for the peace lovers and nature lovers in the world!!!!
    According to a survey conducted by ‘The Washington Post’ since 2016 reveals that citizens in Donbass are not very concerned about which country they belong to. Apparently, their concern is ‘bread and butter’ and good salaries. Which country is more capable of fulfilling their wishes? Ukraine or Russia????? We all know the answer.
    .
    The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/02/17/russia-wants-recognize-independence-two-eastern-ukraine-republics-what-do-people-there-think/
    .
    What is NATO’s concern; human lives or arms sales???? As we all know, it is the latter!

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      (This is my comment wrote on 22/02/2022)
      .
      Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka
      Your article tells the other side of the story which is omitted by others.
      The top two arms sellers in the world; the USA and Russia are signaling war. What does that mean in Astrology?
      The dwarf planet Pluto returned to the US after 248 years on 22/02/2022. Dwarf Pluto is the slow motion, miniature Mars; the planet of war and death, which means, if there is a war, it will remain a very long time. (Inspired by an article published in ‘New York Times’.)
      According to US Intelligence, if there is a war between Russia and Ukraine, approximately 25,000 – 50,000 civilians will be killed/wounded and roughly 1.5 million Ukranians will be displaced!!!! (Hello to the UN and the UNHRC!!!). In addition to that, 3,000 – 10,000 Russian soldiers and 5,000 – 25,000 Ukrainian troops will be killed/wounded. The number of casualties from NATO’s side was not given. I guess it is zero.
      If the Ukrainian President is wise, he will enter into a truce with Russia.

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      Oooooops, in my first comment, the words “According to” should be omitted and the sentence should start with “A survey conducted by ‘The Washington Post’ ……..”

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        Another Oooops in my second comment. The date 22/02/2022 is the date of the article published in ‘New York Times’. I wrote my comment one day after, i.e. 23/02/2022.
        Anyway, I think nobody bothers, but the date is very significant, especially 10.30 p.m. on that day was written as at 22:22 on 22/02/2022 which is called a ‘palindromic date’. We will never get a date like that as 33/03/2033 does not exist.
        President Putin declared operations against Ukraine on 21/02/2022. Was it a coincidence?
        Will 22/02/2022 mark the beginning of the dreaded WWIII?

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      Yes, the ethnic Russian settlers and the Russianized or now Russian-speaking Ukrainians who are largely in the majority only in the extreme east of the Donbas region do not care or want to be part of mother Russia, however, the Ukrainian speakers do care and want to be part of Ukraine and they are the majority in the large western part of the Donbas region. Just look at the cease-fire line in the Donbas region. The separatists have total control of the Russian-speaking majority areas in the far east of Donbas and the Ukrainian government control of Ukrainian majority areas in, which is the very large part of western Donbas. The percentage of Russian speakers may be higher than the Ukrainian speakers on the whole of Donbas but they are concentrated only in the extreme east of the region, within that region that the separatists controlled. Russia can have that region which is very small if they want to but they cannot have the very large chunk of Donbas which is under the Ukrainian government or was until now and predominantly Ukrainian speaking. They are unfairly claiming the entire Donbas region as well as large parts of eastern Ukraine that they have no right to.

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        Settling ethnic Russians on Ukrainian land when they had the power to and now using them, as an excuse, inciting them and creating an excuse to invade and take large chunks of eastern Ukraine that they have no right to.
        It is not only for security reasons but even for food. The flat steppes of the Ukraine plains are very fertile. It is called the breadbasket of Europe or even the world and produced 1/3 of the world’s wheat production. This was one of the major reasons large chunks of Ukrainian land were given to the Russian aristocracy during Czarist Russia and Russians were settled there in their millions. You mark and see the prices of wheat and bread will start to rise with this war. Kyiv is where old Rus culture originated, which later split into Russian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian. therefore Russians have this nostalgia, where their language and people originated, and will always want to keep Ukraine under their control. They always called Ukraine little Rus or little Russia.

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          “They always called Ukraine little Rus or little Russia.”
          Any idea why?

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      “We all know the answer.”
      Do we?
      You should read a better newspaper.

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        Trying to be sarcastic and clever and end up looking silly. Please google and read before making a comment and looking silly

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Russia

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          “They always called Ukraine little Rus or little Russia.”
          Being silly?– Tell the person who wanted to make a point of something impertinent to today’s events.

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          PK, trying to be sarcastic and clever and end up looking silly” is Prof KIA’s trademark.

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        SJ
        My comment under reference was about Donbass, not about Ukraine. Donbass is home to Russian speaking people and Russophones and the region is known as the industrial heartland that feeds the entire Ukraine. But, the survey mentioned in my comment reveals a different story. I gave my opinion on that scenario.

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          Sorry, it should read as “Donbass is home to ethnic Russians and Russophones ………..”

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    Russia rightly is paranoid about her security. Since the collapse of Soviet Union in 1991, NATO was expanding eastwards taking more and more allies of former Soviet Union in Eastern Europeand Ukaraine is supposed to be the next victim and Russia is being encircled by the West making Russia more and more concerned about her defense?
    Russia wanted to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO at any cost
    And hence the invasion of Ukraine.
    The context is the deciding factor. Equality of all nations big and small and state sovereignty are all secondary in this overriding concern..

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      Equality is not a simple equation when quantities do not match in scale or get mixed up with other variables.

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        SJ

        “Equality is not a simple equation when quantities do not match in scale or get mixed up with other variables.”

        Not true, try Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

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      Srikrish, It was a choice made by allies of former Soviet Union, who felt they have had enough, based on their previous WARSAW / cold war experience. Irony is that, though Ukraine had requested NATO membership years ago but the decision was deferred due to sensitiveness. You elsewhere pointed about Ukraine joining EU was a threat to Russia. Joining EU is not for security but more of economic and other benefits as a block. EU membership is a sovereign decision made by people and not by an individual, the same way UK got out of it. I agree that West could have done much better with their negotiations and diplomacy since 2014, in alleviating some of Russia’s security concerns. But their tough stand and “we are together approach ” was not at all helpful. But given Putin’s personality, it’s never easy for anyone to trust or work with him. Mind you, this is the guy just days before told ” heads of German and France “(in fact the whole world), that “he is not planning to invade Ukraine”. It is now obvious Putin wanted war more than anyone. Long lost pride (within Europe) is not a reason to invade an independent neighbor. Can India invade Lanka for allowing dink ding-dongs in ???

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    As expected by the world, but not expected by Ukraine, NATO didn’t come to Ukraine’s help. They abandoned Ukraine. But, Ukraininians are courageously fighting alone against mighty Russia. It is heart-rending to hear that civilians in Kyiv are determint to protect their country!!! I remember stories of our Sinhalese ancestors fighting against the mighty British Army.
    President Putin should stop his callous disregard for human lives and stop his brutal war against Ukraine.

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      Is this similar to SB getting pregnant after an abortion, and both are considered unethical. May be SB should go to Ukraine ( influential Rajapaksa family members with bank accounts are there to assist) in helping to defend Kiev. Can someone tell this clown Ukraine is not a member of NATO. I didn’t bother reading the rest.

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        chiv
        “Ukraine is not a member of NATO”? Ha ha when did you and NATO realize this? After the Russian invasion, right?
        Then, why did NATO, especially the US, provoke Russia on an hourly basis for almost two weeks, if they didn’t have any intention to send troops to Ukraine?
        The whole world witnessed how confident the Ukrainian President was before the Russian invasion.
        Now, the US has suggested Ukraine to have talks with Russia. Why didn’t they suggest the same before the Russian invasion?
        Why didn’t the US make it clear to the Ukrainian President before the Russian invasion that US troops will not fight against Russia on Ukraine’s behalf?
        Why didn’t NATO tell Ukraine beforehand that it is their war and that they have to fight it?
        (Having said that, I am glad the Russian invasion isn’t developing into a full blown war and I fervently hope that there will be a ceasefire soon.)
        How many Ukrainian Presidents ended up living in exile?

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          ???

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    Here are some reactions from SARC 1) India abstained from emergency security council meeting because of their age old foreign policy “do nothing , say nothing ,keep fingers crossed that we have not pissed anyone so that the world will continue to love us”. 2) Pakistan PM, a political clown, arrived in Russia just hours after invasion, on a pre-planned trip (not sure Putin bothered disclosing before departure) called the invasion “a exciting moment, what a time I have come”. 3) Lanka of course said we are powerless, no one is bothered to know our opinion,so we will maintain neutrality” 4) Bangladesh is smart, “why give opinion when no one has requested yet?”. 5) By the way Lankan politician Moragoda met leaders of right wing Hindu outfit RSS and had a lengthy discussion, was it about Ukraine crisis???

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      “Pakistan PM, a political clown”
      You got the identity wrong, the clown is Modi who was made laughing stock by a horde of peasants?

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      Add 6). SJ ‘ s comments on invasion.

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    In short, the map does not show Russia moving towards the West but a hostile military alliance NATO moving towards Russia, even in periods where Russia had a policy and leaders soft on the West Is there any explanation how the Eastern bloc countries’ became Stalin’s communists but none of the Western bloc even talked about Marx’s Socialism? Gorbachev & Medvedev signed treaties with the West. But Putin played the game of Don Stephen, Solomon West, Siri Ma O, Junius Richard, Thero De Silva………
    “Context counts, and context means geography and history. The dramatic Russia–Ukraine situation cannot be understood without a sense of history, by which I mean contemporary history, not the pre-revolutionary (pre-1917) history that was invoked by President Putin. “
    This is how Thero cut the Chunks of history to extract his purified Cuban Communism to prove his Mahavamsa’s 1500 years old bestiality & and Granma’s Atula story at his bed. In Langkang, UNHRC talks about the history of after the CFA 2002, was forged with the help of IC. But Thero explain colonialist by favoring Tamils provoked the Sinhala Buddhists to impose standardization, but it was the Tigers opportunistically started the war. Remember when India wanted annex the Tamils’ area with it, Thero took minister post from Indian agent Varathar?

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    It was a joke or jerk talk which Thero said that when Hillary killed Gadhafi, Obama was confessing it as his worst mistake. Stupid concoction, without understanding the context! Come on, Hillary was not the one who deposed Gadhafi, it was Sarkozy. What she meant when America went there (actually, America didn’t even go there), Gadhafi died, America was not in that fight. But Hillary’s talk of the death of Gaddafi had created beyond reasonable anti – American feeling. Jihadist took that as support for them. Ambassador Steven asked for more protection for the Embassy. It was not provided to him. After President Bush’s messing up, Obama drastically cut the defense expenses, closed foreign navy bases, reduced troops in the country, caused shut down defense production facilities, and minimized protection for external offices. Hillary was the Foreign Affairs minister that time. Republicans accused her of security deficiency in Benghazi. Obama tried to clear Hillary’s name with his talk. Cuban Communist’s “opportunistic talks are context and history talk”?

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