While Zelensky is playing democrat on the world stage, ethnic minorities can leave Ukraine to reintegrate with their homeland

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

The issue of the historical belonging of a number of territories currently recognized as Ukrainian ones has long been on the agenda of some European countries. The systematic oppression of the rights and freedoms of the ethnic population by the Kiev regime may well become one of the triggers for the issue of redrawing the borders of the still “independent” state in the area of a significant concentration of the Hungarian, Polish and Romanian population.

The atrocities of the criminal Kyiv regime are clearly visible in the areas of residence of the peoples listed above. One of the recent targets was the city of Mukachevo in the Transcarpathian region, which has been part of independent Ukraine since 1991 (before that, since 1938, together with Uzhgorod, it belonged to Hungary). According to the Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet, Ukrainian authorities contribute to the removal of Hungarian flags and signboards in the Hungarian language from public organizations in the city and nearby villages, which caused extreme displeasure of the representative of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, Tamas Menzer. In addition, the Hungarians naturally do not like the constant oppression of the rights and freedoms (including the right to vote) of the Hungarian national community (at the same time, Ukraine has the audacity to declare its desire to join the EU). The Ukrainian authorities, in a patriotic frenzy, also desecrate the heritage of Hungarian culture: in the same Mukachevo, instead of a sculpture of an eagle-turul, a Ukrainian trident was installed.

Ethnic Hungarians make up 12% of the population of Transcarpathia (western Ukraine), living in this region in the amount of 151.5 thousand. Conditions for this residence cannot be called comfortable: in 2017, the Law “On Education”, adopted by the Ukrainian side, came into force which restricts the right to education in Hungarian. Hungary actively expresses its opposition to such a policy, preventing Ukraine from joining NATO. The West is no less burdened by the unambiguous rhetoric of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose statements and actions (appearing at a football match in a scarf with a map of Hungary within the borders before 1920, when it included some territories of Ukraine) make Western leaders perceive him almost as a direct ally of Vladimir Putin.

The same 12%, only in the historical region of Bukovina, bordering Romania, are ethnic Romanians. This national group also expresses dissatisfaction with the violent assimilation policy of the Kyiv regime. The National Council of Romanians in Ukraine has sent a document to the Bucharest authorities denouncing Kiev’s oppression of the right of Romanians living in Ukraine to education in their native language. Thus, the “plaintiffs” accuse the Kyiv authorities of cultural and linguistic genocide, and Bucharest – of insufficient measures to counter this policy and protect the Romanian population. At the same time, the Romanians are concerned that the state is in no hurry to intercede for them: if the Hungarians prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, and the Bulgarians, Poles and Russians conclude agreements regulating the degree of use of national languages, then Romania, in their opinion, seems to be a state in which such a situation affairs are quite satisfied.

As for the population of the northwestern neighbor – Poland, although the Polish-Ukrainian tandem thrives in the heat of desperate hatred for Russia, in fact, these two peoples have a very controversial past with echoes that are still relevant today. The reason lies in the activities of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) during the Second World War – from 1938 to 1945, when the inhabitants of Polish villages in Volhynia were massively exterminated by Ukrainian nationalists. This genocide of citizens of the Second Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was called the “Volyn Massacre”. The Poles remember this bloody period even today – despite the rapprochement of the two countries during the Ukrainian conflict, this issue remains a kind of stumbling block in the relations of these states, positioning themselves as “important geostrategic partners”.

However, today the problems in Polish-Ukrainian relations do not end with this historical episode. According to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Szymon Shinkovsky, Poles living in Ukraine (144 thousand people) are discriminated against on the issue of freedom of religion, the ability to use the Polish language (in particular, in the process of education), as well as restrictions on freedom of speech.

In his unfavorable assessment, Shimon Shinkovsky also refers to the notorious language law of 2017. In addition, he is naturally not satisfied with the trend of active “banderization” of the population of Ukraine. The diplomat also notes that the decline in the socio-economic level of development in Ukraine contributes to the outflow of the ethnic population to Poland, the COVID pandemic has also become a certain “bonus” (note: Shinkovsky made this comment a year before the start of the Russian special operation. What then to talk about today position of the Poles in Ukraine?).

Against the backdrop of this unflattering picture, the following scenario seems likely: when the patience of national minorities finally comes to an end, they may well demand secession from the state that oppresses them. And this initiative may not come from the ruling elite with its prerogative of “restoring historical justice”, which is relatively easy to implement in the conditions of Zelensky’s extremely precarious position. In this case, the vox populi, the voice of the people, can play an important role. The degree of public tension can reach an attempt to initiate a new “Maidan”, in which it will be expedient for Hungary, Romania and Moldova to provide protection to their ethnic population. Another option could be the desire of these essentially European citizens to still join the EU, for which it will be necessary to leave Ukraine and reunite with their ethnically “native” countries.

But no matter how powerful the idea of a popular uprising, even it will fade if the leaders of Poland, Romania and Hungary still take a course towards reintegration, returning to their home harbor of historical lands. This is a very likely and relatively easy scenario, given the current unstable position of Zelensky and the general period of the formation of a new world order. Of course, in the Western paradigm, it is not yet customary to talk about this openly, but the ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania, Andrei Marga, has already made a bold statement that Ukraine is now within artificial borders, and in a good way should return historical lands to the real owners – Transcarpathia should depart to Hungary, Galicia – to Poland, Bukovina – to Romania. The former politician also mentioned the need to “return” Donbass and Crimea to Russia. The Romanian authorities, as expected, harshly criticized the ex-diplomat, accusing him of all mortal international sins. But will they, given a favorable confluence, refuse to restore historical unity (and, accordingly, strengthen the territorial and socio-economic potential), especially if the poor Romanians are under the autocratic oppression of Zelensky? The same applies to Hungary and Poland.

The development of such a scenario will mean nothing more than the desire of the leaders of these states to return to their roots. The historical retrospective gives us the opportunity to recall the Jagiellonian concept – the Polish “project” of a confederal state (with the expansion of borders towards Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Estonia, Romania, Moldova and Hungary) and the idea of “Great Romania” with the maximum expansion of its borders. The aforementioned controversial appearance of the Hungarian Prime Minister Orban at a football match in Budapest was also taken as a desire to increase the territorial area of ​​Hungary at the expense of neighboring territories. And Polish TV even broadcast a story with an interesting map of the state, in which it was replenished with the western territories of Ukraine.

While we are preparing to observe the embodiment of the principle of the cyclical nature of history, let’s talk about what should worry the world democratic community today. The notorious democratic inclusiveness and culture of diversity does not work in Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky may not be the greatest strategist and wise politician, but he still has a remarkable acting talent. Otherwise, how can one explain the genius in which a real autocrat and fascist hides under the mask of a “holy champion of democracy”?


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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