Friday, May 1, 2015

Russia Offers Ukraine Surrender Terms – Nuts!
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in what was carelessly disregarded by the news media and politicos as a mundane statement, last week offered Kyiv Russia’s terms for surrender after 15 months of waging an undeclared war in eastern Ukraine. Journalists, pundits and writers reported about Lavrov’s words but not their inherent meaning.
Lavrov demanded:
Ukraine’s neutrality
Ukraine must abandon unitary statehood
Ukraine must abandon Ukrainianization
While Lavrov didn’t directly state that these are Russia’s conditions for ending its hostilities toward Ukraine and Kyiv’s surrender, Russia’s clever and deceitful foreign minister said in an interview with the Russian radio station “Ekho Moskvy” these terms would keep his country and Ukraine on friendly terms. Interestingly, the point about Ukrainianization was overlooked by the mainstream media.
A website quoted Lavrov as making the following stipulations:
“Ukraine can exist only as a state that recognizes the diversity of its constituent regions and constituent cultures.”
“In order to do that, they must abandon the obstinacy with regard to compulsory preservation of Ukraine’s unitarity, which is called for again by the President (Petro) Poroshenko, and ministers of the Ukrainian government. To abandon what they call Ukrainization.”
It was important “to preserve Ukraine neutral, primarily, in military and political sense.”
Apparently once Ukraine adheres to this provisions, it would be kept “united and friendly” with respect to both Russia and Europe.
Western news media covered Lavrov’s remarks but avoided mentioning Russia’s disdain for Ukrainianization, which is the essential backbone of Ukraine’s policy to exist as an independent, sovereign, indivisible state like others on earth. Lavrov seemed to contradict himself when he said Russia does not favor Ukraine’s dismemberment but, on the other hand, insisted that Ukraine abandon unitary statehood.
In his interview, Lavrov also warned the United States and NATO that they should not make Ukraine anti-Russian, which he claimed has been mainstay of their foreign policy.
These three demands were not proposed by a low-level Russian bureaucrat but rather by one of the highest ranking Russian government officials who enjoys Putin’s confidence. They cannot be considered mere banter but only for what they truly are: Russia’s conditions for Ukraine’s surrender – surrender in a war that it did not declare, surrender in a war in which its army did not cross state borders, surrender in a war in which the enemy invader is pushing westward almost daily, bombarding and seizing Ukrainian cities, killing and terrorizing civilians.
Russia’s demands are meant to weaken Ukraine, deny it of its ancestral Ukrainian heritage, and turn it into a nameless piece of real estate on the border with Russia. A weak Ukraine will help Russia pursue its messianic policy of restoring the glory of mother Russia. A weak Ukraine will endanger peace and stability in Europe and the free world.
Lavrov’s terms reiterated Russia’s national mission of destroying Ukraine, which stems from the sacking of Kyiv by Andrei Bogolyubsky in 1169 and then Tsar Alexander II’s infamous Ems Ukaz of 1876, which outlawed everything Ukrainian and paved the way for the inhumane policy of Russification. This gross interference in the sovereign behavior of an independent state and violation of Ukraine’s human rights by a foreign state must be deplored by the international community and the United Nations.
After centuries of Russian subjugation, Ukraine finally after declaring its independence on August 24, 1991, and especially since Petro Poroshenko was elected president has been struggling to freely reassert its ancient Ukrainian heritage and language. This is being accomplished without persecuting non-Ukrainian ethnic groups in Ukraine like Russia is doing with non-Russian ethnic groups in Russia. The current Ukrainian government and presidential administration is also striving to build Ukraine into a strong commercial and military country, confident in its ability to safeguard its citizens, share its wellbeing with foreign trading partners, and withstand enemies’ overt attempts to re-subjugate it.
As for Russia’s terms for Ukraine’s surrender, Kyiv must reject them and the free world must endorse Ukraine’s warranted position. Kyiv’s response should be public and memorable.
History buffs will recall Gen. Anthony Clement McAuliffe, who was acting division commander of the 101st Airborne Division defending Bastogne, Belgium, during World War II’s Battle of the Bulge. When he received Nazi Germany’s surrender ultimatum, he simply replied “Nuts!” This became a symbol of America’s determination and courage under fire.

Ukraine must devise its own historic reply that will inspire future generations of Ukrainians to be determined and courageous under fire.