According to American Senator John McCain, "We are all Ukrainians now!"
Of course in the United States it is of comparatively little significance what you actually are while of eminent importance what someone calls you; we having long since given up achievement in lieu of imagery.
Therefore in interest of providing equal time to the maniacal below is a review of whether we are indeed Ukrainians, as well as proffering a consideration of what else we might be. Let us have a good look at ourselves…
In Ukraine itself the prole on the street seems to have mixed feeling about what he is. On the Western side of things there are Ukrainian "patriots" who include both neo-Nazis as well as Israeli Militia Commanders. Talk about a split personality. Meanwhile in the East many are calling upon Putin to occupy their homeland in order to protect the inhabitants. Not content to wait, Ukrainian refugees of Russian descent have already fled behind the lines of the purported "aggressor."
Apparently sailors or at least their commanding officers aboard the Hetman Sahaidachny, flagship of the Ukrainian navy, have refused to follow orders from Kiev. In fact, following NATO exercises the vessel literally flew the Russian banner. Does this mean even citizens are not countrymen, or merely that seamen have surrendered the privilege? It’s all quite murky.
Crimeans aren’t particularly certain of their own certification. They were Russians until 1954 when Khrushchev gave the peninsula to Ukraine; though at that time Ukraine was part of the U.S.S.R. which no one ever thought would break apart, so it was somewhat akin transferring your bank account to a favorite son who then runs away from home. After the recent ballot it seems they are soon to be Russians again.
Actually the whole country has a very limited pedigree as an independent state. It was part of the Russian Empire for centuries, from all of 1917 until 1922 a specified body (although even then of highly ambiguous borders), and afterward an administrative locality of the Soviet. The fact most people still refer to the territory as "the Ukraine" rather than simply "Ukraine" merely highlights what is implicit in the notion; it is more a region than a nationality.
Rather analogous to America’s own civil war, in the current struggle of sentience one side of Ukraine is home to the top economic drivers. Most natural resources are on that same half. In addition, strategic forces hubs and the more important nuclear facilities are also situated there.
What the other side has is the capital city, Chernobyl and a numerical majority (which evidently cannot vote collectively) spouting about "democracy" as they rush into the arms of Central Bankers and centralized EU power. For a purported singularity, things are pretty nicely divided.
So it seems not even all Ukrainians are "all Ukrainians now." Thankfully there are some (near) absolutes.
The Poles have positioned their armaments at the border, thus disqualifying them as Ukrainians at least to some extent. Ergo, if Poles are not Ukrainians and we are all Ukrainians then we all must not be Poles.
Likewise, Canada recalled its ambassador from Moscow over the crisis. This probably means at the bare minimum we are also not all Canadians (though some of us might be Quebecers, I’m not very clear on that point).
In a surprise development, the German position went from supporting the insurgents of Kiev to active opposition although Berlin still supports sanctions. Thus, although we all might have briefly been Germans, we are now all contrary. (In fairness, Germans are used to having the world up against them.)
Needless to say we have all been other nationalities before. Since only the millennium we have to varying degrees been Afghans, Iraqis, partial-Iranians, Syrians, Japanese (during meltdown season), Venezuelans, Egyptians, Egyptians-Redux and Georgians. I’d prefer we just be silent. Unfortunately those who represent us are anything but reticent to shout themselves into the affairs of others.
It was our State Department flunkies who rabble-roused by handing out tea and crumpets to Nazis in "Maiden Square." It was our Senators who sallied forth in our name to imply if not proclaim to every questionable character and would-be coup-plotter our military would back up their revolutionary violence. Even now it is our President insinuating dire consequences if a family squabble almost precisely one-half the globe away is not settled according to our reckoning.
Guy Somerset writes from somewhere in America. He is a lawyer by profession.