Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Ukraine Parliament Fight—Reasons Behind The Fight

Above is a picture of the fight in the Ukrainian parliament yesterday.

These folks were hitting each other and hurling eggs and smoke bombs in the parliament chamber.

What were they fighting over?

They were fighting over the future of a Russian naval base in Ukraine. The debate was over an extension of the lease that allows the base to remain in Ukraine.

In exchange for use of the base, Russia is cutting the price of natural gas it exports to Ukraine.

Here is a useful story from The Montreal Gazette explaining the dispute.

Would you want a naval base from another nation in your country?  Especially a naval base belonging to very large, powerful and often unpleasant neighbor.

While the fight is the of kind entertainment I want with my democracy, the history between Russia and Ukraine is not so funny.

Here is a 2009 Time magazine article about the intertwined history of Russia and Ukraine.

This connected history directly relates to the Russian concern that Ukraine will fall into the orbit of the west and away from the influence of Russia.

Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union before the U.S.S.R  broke apart.

Here is an overview of Ukraine from the BBC.

From this overview—

“A significant minority of the population of Ukraine are Russians or use Russian as their first language. Russian influence is particularly strong in the industrialised east, as well as in Crimea, an autonomous republic on the Black Sea which was part of Russia until 1954. The Russian Black Sea Fleet is based there.”

You see right there that a situation like that is trouble waiting to happen.

Here is a history of Ukraine.

While the fight in the Ukraine parliament is silly, the tensions behind the fight divide Ukraine society right down the middle.

In addition, many nations that border Russia face the same type of issues over to what extent Russian influence should be permitted, and concern over what Russia will do if ignored.

(Below–The Black Sea in Ukraine. Looks nice. Here are facts about the Black Sea.)

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April 28, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. My grandparents are survivors of the 1932-33 man-made famine in Ukraine (inflicted by the Russian government) , that the 2009 Times magazine article mentions. They have chilling accounts of survival. Ukraine has a very deep, rich history & culture. When it was part of the former U.S.S.R, it was often confused as Russia. Being of Ukrainian descent, I was taught early on, that I was Ukrainian, not Russian. Ukrainians tried to preserve as much of their culture as they could. It seems as though, although Ukraine is an independent country, the fight continues.

    Comment by Lyuba Halkyn | April 29, 2010

  2. Crimea, along the Black Sea, is a part of Ukraine that I would love to visit. Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, is the most beautiful European city that I have ever seen.

    Comment by Lyuba Halkyn | April 29, 2010

  3. “In exchange for use of the base, Russia is cutting the price of natural gas it exports to Ukraine.”

    And if the lease isn’t renewed then Russia just cuts the gas off to Ukraine period.

    Thanks, I had seen the video of the fight but didn’t know the background.

    Comment by citizenx | April 29, 2010

  4. Lyuba–As a co-poster on the blog with myself, you can write all you want about Ukraine. Thanks for your comments here.

    Citizen X–Thanks for your ongoing comments and support of the blog.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | April 29, 2010


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