Integration for Ukraine

Ukraine is divided into many dimensions. One part of the country seceded and joined Russian Federation (with its strong support); and two separatist regions declared independence (not recognised by anyone, even Russia). Ukraine is divided by languages – half of the population speaks Russian, half Ukrainian on a daily basis. Even if the spread of Russian language is decreasing (also due to the detachment of Crimea and Donbas region), the language plays a significant role in the country. There are still places in Ukraine, although to the limited extent where people do not understand Ukrainian, i.e. the official language of the country and prefer to follow news from Moscow. It is interesting to note the president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko uses Russian in everyday speeches. Ukraine is also divided politically by existence of many groups have not a shared vision for the country. From communists to extreme rights which are far more extreme than French Front National. The tragic imagines of fights in the Ukrainian Parliament demonstrate that the democracy is very young, far from mature in this country.

The 2014 war and onward conflict came asno surprise for this country. The state had been powder keg. It was a result of a misleading policy of the political establishment since 1991, the year of Ukrainian independence. The politicians from all groups – Eastern and Western oriented were extremely corrupt at all level of the government. People in Ukraine lost their confidence towards the institution of the state. Some of them emigrated, looking for better conditions, mostly to Poland and Russia. The war has however changed the dimensions. The politicians realised eventually, that they could not rule the country without sharing benefits and providing decent jobs opportunities. They understood that the state is stable only if the society is wealthy.  The war has been a shock for the old, traditional establishment – many oligarchs, including Ahmadev (the so called Prince of Donbas), lost their power and influence. The Party of Regions almost ceased to exist. Ukrainian society chose the West-oriented Europe.

Beyond doubt, there is a place for Ukraine in the United Europe; it is just a question of time that Ukraine needs to transform and the EU to be connected.

The remaining question is how to deal with two separatists regions of Donbass. There are two policies that the Ukrainian government tests. The first one – to introduce a complete blockade of Luhansk and Donieck. There are voices from the political enjoinment calling for punishment of the regions.  Hitting the separatists where it hurts most- by cutting electricity supplies, watering down economic chains and as a consequence destroying interpersonal relations. The second way is to enhance cooperation. For the reasons have been stated above – civilian in Donbass were frustrated with the State policy since independence. Many of their relatives emigrated to Russia seeking (and obtaining) better future. It should not be forgotten that the population was also indoctrinated for decades that Soviet Union (closely identify with Moscow) as the most glorious country in the world.

The people in Donbass shall not be forgotten or punished for their choices due to the faulty and misguided policy of the Ukrainian state between 1991 – 2014. Undoubtedly, the separation was an effect of Russian interference but strong civil society believing in its country and trusting the government will never separate. Nowadays, the Ukraine must show a helping hand towards the East regions. Ukraine needs to prove that the path is undertaken by the government, that the new policy orientation is the best for the country. Only through integration, the regions, and more importantly people can regain trust and join Ukraine one day.

Ukraine, seek first to understand, then to be understood.

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