I was born in what most believe to be the post Cold War era, in 1992. However, most argue (as I once did in a university assignment), the Cold War has never ended, only thawed to a sustainable degree.
Since Yanukovych rejected the EU for closer ties with Russia a few months ago, the response we have seen was perhaps inevitable. However, we may see the smiles on the faces of the protestors, now that their vilified leader is now deposed. But what is next for the ex Soviet state?
Ukraine has a past of being divided, and only became a unified nation as a Soviet Republic in the 19th century, and only an independent nation-state in 1991. It took just 13 years for the Orange Revolution, which heralded Yushchenko and Tymoshenko as it’s heros.
Yet, here we are. Only another 10 years have past, and the hugely divided nation is once again upturned. Yanukovych is ousted, (in what his Eastern supporters portray as an illegal coup), Tymoshenko is released two years into her seven year sentence, but looking a far cry from the woman we last saw.
One thing is for sure, this nation is hugely divided, and it is a deep seated divide. One which could have drastic consequences for the country, it’s people and perhaps the world.
The west is pro-EU, the East is staunch Yanukovych and supports more alignment to Putin’s Russia, in a Soviet satellite relationship. This will effect any future elections somewhat more than people think, and will definitely not result in huge landslides, for either side. Looking more extremely, could this even result in a split nation, totally divided by opinion, driven to the drastic decision to severe into two?
My ‘harking’ to the stagnant days of the Cold War was not without substance. As you can see by my title, I fully believe this is a unique situation that Ukraine, and Europe has found itself in. If the nation does become so violently split in it’s political allegiance, then what becomes of the thaw?
Will the iron curtain, (albeit a lot, lot smaller) begin to freeze once more?