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Author Topic: Russia-Ukraine gas crisis  (Read 3508 times) Average Rating: 0
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Antiochian
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« on: January 01, 2006, 09:07:51 PM »

The relations between these two - formerly close - Orthodox nations seems to be taking one wrong turn after the other.

But can we be upset at Russia's recent actions?

Ukraine underwent a US-backed and organised anti-Russian "revolution" and wishes to establish "normal" relations with Russia. If that is the case, then it should put up being treated like a "normal" state, exempt from any special benefits. Russia has the right to raise the price immediately.

Ukraine should realise that they will always be family to Russia, always dependent on special relations with Moscow. But they should also take into account that they are the smaller brother in this familial affair. The Ukrainians should think twice before they accept lucrative American dollars to turn against their brother.

What are the roles of the Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox churches in this mess?



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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2006, 09:45:42 PM »

What nonsense. Most Ukrainians don't feel any special relation to Russia anymore, so why will they "always be family" to Russia? A great deal of Ukraine was under Polish for more of the modern era than Russia.

And Ukrainians aren't in this for American dollars. The Americans might have financied the revolution, but what Ukrainians want most is closer ties with Western Europe (which has its own uneasy relationship with America). I think that is something of a mistake, because it will result in a great amount of cultural homogenisation, but so would staying under Russia's influence. It would be nice to see an isolationist Ukraine, but that isn't economically feasible at this time.
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2006, 10:40:49 PM »

What's more nonsense is seeing Ukraine turn against its Orthodox brethren to join a Western Europe they share little with, and it seems you agree with me on this point.

Are the Ukrainians not of Slavic origin like the Russians? You admit that Ukraine has to choose one of the two neighbours, why not a country they share common cultural and ethnic links with?

Well if they want to turn their backs on Russia, then they should pay the price.

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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2006, 02:10:31 AM »

Antiochian,

     I agree, except for the fact that I think your putting to much emphasis on the Ukraine being "an Orthodox nation".  While the country is "officially" about 80% Orthodox, that number is split amongst three Orthodox Churches, only one of which is in communion with Orthodoxy.

     Further, that portion of the population which is "Orthodox" is to a certain extent, only nominally Orthodox.  Like many Serbs, the communists beat the religion out of the people.  Also like Serbia, there is somewhat of resurgence of the Church, but I don't think "Orthodoxy" is the most important thing to the average Ukrainian.  Many still view Russia as an imperial power and look to the West as a way of improving their lives.

    Personally, I think this is hogwash but still is the reality.  As for the Ukrainians being Slavs... absolutely true... but so are Croats, and just look at how good Serbs and Croats get along!  Wink
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2006, 12:37:52 AM »

The Ukrainians are sick of playing "little brother" to Putin's Russia. They have their own heritage, their own language, their own culture. They are not Russians. At least the winning party doesn't like to be associated with the Russian gov't (Eastern Ukraine wouldn't mind it as much). Some countries like to be independent. This might sound like a strange notion to some, who perhaps got used to some big brother taking care of their affairs.

Putin shouldn't act like a bully, that's the bottom line. He just shot himself in the foot, not just with the Ukrainians but also with the Europeans. Congrats!

On the other hand, Ukrainians should expect some reprecussions from "daring" to be democratic.

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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2006, 06:03:33 AM »

The Ukrainians are sick of playing "little brother" to Putin's Russia. They have their own heritage, their own language, their own culture. They are not Russians. At least the winning party doesn't like to be associated with the Russian gov't (Eastern Ukraine wouldn't mind it as much). Some countries like to be independent. This might sound like a strange notion to some, who perhaps got used to some big brother taking care of their affairs.

Putin shouldn't act like a bully, that's the bottom line. He just shot himself in the foot, not just with the Ukrainians but also with the Europeans. Congrats!

On the other hand, Ukrainians should expect some reprecussions from "daring" to be democratic.

Ukraine is free to go whatever way the wish to go politically and likewise Russia is free to charge whatever price they want for their Natural Gas. Furthermove, this is hardly extortionism, Russia is only wanting to charge Ukraine the market price. Russia subsidizes gas prices for countries that are effectively her satellites, if Ukraine wants to be a satellite they can get the subsidized rates, if they dont they can pay market price...you can't have your cake and eat it to, they need to make up their mind as to what their priorities are.
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2006, 09:05:13 AM »

May I make some observations.

One, a fourfold price hike three months before the Ukraine goes to the elections? And in winter?. And after the candidate previously prefered by Putin was rejected by the population.

The Ukraine wants like some of its neighbours to look to the EU and to share in the comparative wealth of Western Europe. Western Europe too has been courting the Ukraine.

The fourfold price demand and then the cutting off of supplies to the Ukraine has sent tremors across Europe and bolstered the argument of some for a rejection of dependence on outside and possible unreliable supplies in favour, rather, of nuclear power. Indeed the argument for nuclear looked distinctly shakey until now.

The UK, previously self sufficient in natural gas now imports some 10 percent from Norway. UK supplies are not threatened but the price across Europe is being increasingly hiked and affects British domestic and business gas and electricity prices (a lot of UK power stations use gas to generate electricity).

No, Russia is using its' weight to bully a neighbour. And having shown it will do it once to the Ukraine others too need to very careful of Russia's politico-economic strategy. A European dependence on Russia is not a healthy one and she needs to make herself independent of unreliable and unstable regimes supplying essentials on one hand and bullying nations on the other. I hope Europe does go for the nuclear option and Russia finds her customer base rather smaller than it had hoped.
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SouthSerb99
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2006, 09:53:51 AM »

Ukraine is free to go whatever way the wish to go politically and likewise Russia is free to charge whatever price they want for their Natural Gas. Furthermove, this is hardly extortionism, Russia is only wanting to charge Ukraine the market price. Russia subsidizes gas prices for countries that are effectively her satellites, if Ukraine wants to be a satellite they can get the subsidized rates, if they dont they can pay market price...you can't have your cake and eat it to, they need to make up their mind as to what their priorities are.

Hey GiC, am I allowed to say, I'm totally in agreement with you? lol  Wink

May I offer a bit of a different opinion (and quite possibly more paranoid version) of what Parc and Stephen have said.

I do not view this as Russian imperialism at all.  I think that is the "Western" media spin on it.  I believe when communism fell in Eastern Europe, the West saw Orthodoxy as the bond that could keep Eastern Europe unified (something the West has never been fond of).  If you look at the western policies towards Eastern European countries, I think they have manipulated many situations to create artificial divisions between people and nations that should be natural allies.

The Ukraine is a classic example of this.  While I agre with Parc, that every nation should have the right to self determination, why has the government in Kiev bent over backwards to accomodated the west at the expense of its relationship with Russia.

In an age when Europe is promoting removing borders along ethnic lines, "the west" is promoting divisions between Russians and Ukrainians.  Look at a map of Eastern Europe and how many divisions have been created between Orthodox brothers.  Russia vs. Ukraine, Serbia vs. Montenegro, Serbia vs. Macedonia, Russia vs. Belorussia, Greece vs. Macedonia, Bulgaria vs. Macedonia etc...

Some of these divisions might be insignificant today, but then trend has been that the divisions grow, rather than decrease with time.

Again, in my opinion the Ukraine, should naturally look to better relations with Russia for a variety of reasons (geography, language, culture, religion etc) before they look west.  I really don't buy the "imperialistic Russia" stuff.  I think that is just more western propaganda to convince the masses of something which is in the western interest.
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2006, 11:25:01 AM »

Frankly,  I'm heard persons of Ukrainian origin say things that give me the impression *they* did not look on Russia as "close" but more like a country that just took over and made itself boss.

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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2006, 01:45:01 PM »

In an age when Europe is promoting removing borders along ethnic lines, "the west" is promoting divisions between Russians and Ukrainians.  Look at a map of Eastern Europe and how many divisions have been created between Orthodox brothers.  Russia vs. Ukraine, Serbia vs. Montenegro, Serbia vs. Macedonia, Russia vs. Belorussia, Greece vs. Macedonia, Bulgaria vs. Macedonia etc...

You are blaming the West for the current unease between Russia and Ukraine?! Even before the West was involved here, many Ukrainians bore harsh feelings towards Russia because of Stalin's engineered famine in the 1930s, or the prohibition of the Ukrainian language in the age of the monarchy. Russia has done enough to irk Ukraine without any sinister plots by the West.

And I'll repeat what a poster above said: Ukraine is now hardly an Orthodox country. I travel there fairly often (will be in Kyiv again on Friday), and I know no one under the age of 70 who is churchgoing. Most of the young people hate Christianity with a passion, considering it an outdated faith that is the cause of many of the world's problems. So, saying that there should be love between Ukraine and Russia just because they historically were Orthodox is a great misunderstanding of the current situation.

And Russia too has problems with Orthodoxy at the moment. How can one call it an Orthodox country when so many people have the same dislike of the faith as in Ukraine? Furthermore, Putin is a poor reflection of our faith, and his administration is being very harmful to the minority peoples of Russia (I'm thinking especially of the Mari), which the Church historically has protected and recognised as valuable.
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2006, 02:52:13 PM »

To talk of Orthodox countries, other than in an historical sense, feels a little fanciful. The Warsaw pact countries largely had religious life and religious activity curtailed, harassed and sidelined (if not worse). Religious education of children and young people forbidden and often compulsory lessons in atheism, etc.

True in some countries you appear to have to scratch a little less deep than others in order to find echoes of that history. There has been a tussle between two great powers - The USA and the Soviet Union, and latterly the EU has offered poor Eastern European nations a greater prospect of prosperity, and probably a certain sense of 'protection' from a larger neighbour, whose interests may not always be seen as either brotherly or benign. Western Ukraine has a large Catholic population too.

I seem to recall Colin Powell making it clear to Russia that certain action by Russia in respect of the Ukraine would be considered 'as being against the interests of the United States'. These power blocs all have their own agendas, and I would subscribe to the notion of deliberate Western 'spoiling' in relation to the former Soviet satelites. After all in would hardly be seen as being in Western Europes' favour to have a resurgent Russian 'power' bloc on its' doorstep after the bitter experience of the Soviet and Warsaw pact era. Equally Russians might well feel uncomfortable if not downright alarmed to have NATO and the EU advancing ever closer to the very borders of the Motherland.

As a previous poster has pointed out some Ukrainians and others will remember all too well the heavy hand of not just Stalin but those following him, and a wish to be seen as independent therefore understandable. Sadly the price may then be to end up as part and parcel of someone else's 'great game'.
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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2006, 03:07:32 PM »

 I quote SouthSerb 99:

"I do not view this as Russian imperialism at all.  I think that is the "Western" media spin on it.  I believe when communism fell in Eastern Europe, the West saw Orthodoxy as the bond that could keep Eastern Europe unified (something the West has never been fond of).  If you look at the western policies towards Eastern European countries, I think they have manipulated many situations to create artificial divisions between people and nations that should be natural allies."


Personally, as an Eastern European and Orthodox, I've felt "bonding" between myself and another Orthodox of a different nationality. But if someone who was Orthodox was invading my country and forcing me to think like they do...well, you see where I'm going with this.

The truth is that some Orthodox countries see their relationship with Russia differently. Some need Russia more than others. For example, Romanians and western Ukrainians, though Orthodox, never had a great love for their "big brother." It's their right.

I also disagree with others who say that Ukraine is not Orthodox. Please don't use Kiev as an example in this argument. Kiev is a huge modern city with different standards of spirituality. I lived in western Ukraine for two years continuously and extensively visited the countryside. In my town and all around, the churches were always active and very much the center of the community. That's my personal opinion, of course, backed up by experience.


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SouthSerb99
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2006, 03:14:15 PM »

You are blaming the West for the current unease between Russia and Ukraine?!

Yes, because I believe the *current* tension, to be the result of U.S. style political campaigns, that were largely financed by Western interests and promote division in a country that shouldn't be divided.

Heck, there has even been some talk about the secession of Eastern Ukraine.  I think the idea is crazy.

As I already said, I undoubtedly believe Ukrainians have the right to determine their own future, but there are also logical consquences of those decisions.  Distancing themselves from Moscow and losing their gas subisdy, seems like a rather logical consequence, no?  I mean, I (reluctantly) pay market price for oil, don't you?
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2006, 03:19:30 PM »

I also disagree with others who say that Ukraine is not Orthodox. Please don't use Kiev as an example in this argument. Kiev is a huge modern city with different standards of spirituality. I lived in western Ukraine for two years continuously and extensively visited the countryside. In my town and all around, the churches were always active and very much the center of the community. That's my personal opinion, of course, backed up by experience.

I certainly cannot argue with your personal experience (having lived in western Ukraine for two years), but my statment was made based upon the Ukrainian immigrants I have met (over the past 10 years) along with news stories I've read (which generally focus on Kiev).

I also think most of the Eastern European countries are in a similar position with regards to the Church.

CRCulver,

Just curious for why you think "so many people" dislike Orthodoxy in the Ukraine and Russia?  I think this is quite different than being "indifferent" towards the Church.
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2006, 04:29:41 PM »

Just curious for why you think "so many people" dislike Orthodoxy in the Ukraine and Russia?  I think this is quite different than being "indifferent" towards the Church.

Because I constantly hear from my Ukrainian and Russian friends that I must have something wrong with my head believing in something as "ridiculous" as Christianity.
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« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2006, 07:24:55 PM »

If this is happening, might it not be because of decades of scurrilous and vorciferous anti-religious propaganda?
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« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2006, 08:11:47 PM »

[Because I constantly hear from my Ukrainian and Russian friends that I must have something wrong with my head believing in something as "ridiculous" as Christianity.]

Sounds like you are traveling around with the wrong class of immigrants. Besides, how many of them come from a jewish background as opposed to a christian back groung?  The one's that I have met are very respectful of the church and its contents.  Whether they are believers or not.

You might want to acquire a copy of the 'Return Of The Tikhvin Icon'  to see the reverence the average Russian has for the church. 

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« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2006, 11:30:34 PM »

... the Ukraine being "an Orthodox nation".  While the country is "officially" about 80% Orthodox, that number is split amongst three Orthodox Churches, only one of which is in communion with Orthodoxy.

For some reason, I was under the impression that the majority of the population of Ukraine were of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church - how interesting!

I learn something new every day!  Cheesy

ps- I was told by a Ukrainian fellow that when referring to Ukraine as a country, not to use "the" before it - as in "the Ukraine" - as it is an independant nation, not a part of Russia. Just figured I'd warn ya in case you came across a feisty Ukrainian someday and used the "the" when referring to his homeland.  Wink
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« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2006, 11:50:52 PM »

For some reason, I was under the impression that the majority of the population of Ukraine were of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church - how interesting!

I learn something new every day!ÂÂ  Cheesy

ps- I was told by a Ukrainian fellow that when referring to Ukraine as a country, not to use "the" before it - as in "the Ukraine" - as it is an independant nation, not a part of Russia. Just figured I'd warn ya in case you came across a feisty Ukrainian someday and used the "the" when referring to his homeland.ÂÂ  Wink

Hmmm,  I guess I live in United States not "the" United States?  I think the ukies are a little too sensitive here.

What difference does it make?  kyiv vs kiev,  lyvov vs lyviv ------ I mean really silly.'

But hey thats just me.   Roll Eyes

JoeS


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« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2006, 01:10:40 AM »

Hmmm,ÂÂ  I guess I live in United States not "the" United States?ÂÂ  I think the ukies are a little too sensitive here.

Actually 'The' United States is appropriate, because it technically refers to a reigon that is identified by a federation of states, likewise 'The' European Union, 'The' Soviet Union, or 'The' Roman Empire...all essentially supernational orginazations. As opposed to England, France, Rome, Russia, Virginia, California, etc. which are all Proper place names. Saying 'The' Ukraine refers to Ukraine as a reigon and not as a nation, historically implying that it is simply an area that is part of a greater empire, namely the Russian Empire, it may be a bit sensitive, but there can be strong political and historical connotations associated with how nations or reigons are addressed.
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« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2006, 01:38:07 AM »

What nonsense. Most Ukrainians don't feel any special relation to Russia anymore, so why will they "always be family" to Russia? A great deal of Ukraine was under Polish for more of the modern era than Russia.

And Ukrainians aren't in this for American dollars. The Americans might have financied the revolution, but what Ukrainians want most is closer ties with Western Europe (which has its own uneasy relationship with America). I think that is something of a mistake, because it will result in a great amount of cultural homogenisation, but so would staying under Russia's influence. It would be nice to see an isolationist Ukraine, but that isn't economically feasible at this time.

Not to discredit your own extensive personal experience, but I feel quite confident in saying that Ukrainians in eastern Ukraine don't really feel at all different from Russians.  It is western Ukrainians who feel closer to other parts of Europe.  It is a fact that it is Russian that is spoken in Eastern Ukraine, and not Ukrainian.  I suppose that Kiev might be a place where the "two Ukraines" meet to some degree, but you must surely notice that there is a lot of Russian spoken on the streets of Kiev?

The majority of  the Ukrainian immigrants in North America came from the extreme western parts of Ukraine.  This area is certainly very different from Russia.  When the descendents of these Ukrainians speak of Ukraine, they sometimes  seem to rather presumptuously assume that the entire country hold their opinons concerning Ukrainian identity. 
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« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2006, 07:47:43 AM »

I'm more inclined to be supportive of SouthSerb's stance.

The Orthodox world has been turned against itself, to the delight of the West, are we going to continue blaming ourselves for it?

There is NATO to represent the West, there is the OIC to represent the Islamic world, what do we have?

The Soviet Union is gone, the Orthodox Church is recovering, and during that recovery it should exert some influence to repair relations damaged by Soviet brutality.

Now would be a great time to do that.
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« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2006, 12:05:27 PM »

[Because I constantly hear from my Ukrainian and Russian friends that I must have something wrong with my head believing in something as "ridiculous" as Christianity.]

Sounds like you are traveling around with the wrong class of immigrants.

I'm not talking about immigrants. I'm talking about Ukrainians and Russians in Ukraine and Russia, where I travel fairly often.


You might want to acquire a copy of the 'Return Of The Tikhvin Icon'  to see the reverence the average Russian has for the church.

I've heard people here say Orthodoxy is making a comeback in Russia, but with a population so huge the Church can gain new parishioners and seminarians without it touching the lives of most people. As I said, in these last five years that I've spent mostly in Eastern Europe, Orthodoxy draws no support from the young people I've met, but usually derision and hatred, and suggestions I'm mentally ill or stupid for believing in Christianity. The only exception is Romania, where I see churches always full of young people, glory to God.
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« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2006, 12:13:10 PM »

Not to discredit your own extensive personal experience, but I feel quite confident in saying that Ukrainians in eastern Ukraine don't really feel at all different from Russians.  It is western Ukrainians who feel closer to other parts of Europe.  It is a fact that it is Russian that is spoken in Eastern Ukraine, and not Ukrainian.  I suppose that Kiev might be a place where the "two Ukraines" meet to some degree, but you must surely notice that there is a lot of Russian spoken on the streets of Kiev?

Language doesn't really matter here. Americans speak English, so do we seek union with Canada or Britain? Not really. Most of the Ukrainians I know are Russian speakers, and while they appreciate being able to go to Moscow for good shopping, no one wants to maintain a close political relationship with Russia, and are just as desirous of the European Union as those in the West. I am speaking here of my peers (people under 30); older people might want to maintain ties with Russia, but the youth has already been attracted to Western Europe by travel or work there.

The only part of Ukraine I can imagine being overwhelmingly pro-Russia is the Crimean, since they for all intents and purposes live in Russia anyway.
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« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2006, 12:51:03 PM »

Most of the Ukrainians I know are Russian speakers, and while they appreciate being able to go to Moscow for good shopping, no one wants to maintain a close political relationship with Russia, and are just as desirous of the European Union as those in the West. I am speaking here of my peers (people under 30); older people might want to maintain ties with Russia, but the youth has already been attracted to Western Europe by travel or work there.

Whether this is true or not (I really don't know either way), my point is that this feeling towards Russia, is not in the best interest of Ukraine and Orthodoxy.  Why would it be better to gravitate towards western Europe, whom they share no religious or cultural ties with.   To me, this is a principle problem amongst Orthodox nations.

The fall of communism has given us an opportunity to finally unify and expand our faith.  Instead, we (as always) gravitate towards division and distraction.  Don't hold the average Russian responsible for a godless Stalin.  Sorry, but I just can't agree with you on the point of "imperialist Russia".

Plain and simple, when Russia started "dealing" with their terrorists in Chechnya, they were terribly criticized as being the "same old Ruskies".  Remember, brutal Yeltsin, followed by brutal Putin?  Then 9/11 happens, and they are suddenly fighting the war on terror.  Only they were calling it the "war on terror", long before we were.

Perception is reality I suppose, I just can't understand for the life of me, why Orthodox nations love the green grass on the other side of the fence.
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« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2006, 02:46:31 PM »

[I've heard people here say Orthodoxy is making a comeback in Russia, but with a population so huge the Church can gain new parishioners and seminarians without it touching the lives of most people. As I said, in these last five years that I've spent mostly in Eastern Europe, Orthodoxy draws no support from the young people I've met, but usually derision and hatred, and suggestions I'm mentally ill or stupid for believing in Christianity. The only exception is Romania, where I see churches always full of young people, glory to God.]

Perhaps you should read the archives on the current growth statistics in Russia and compare them with what is going on concerning christians in the west -


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=4174.15

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« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2006, 04:10:31 PM »

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The fall of communism has given us an opportunity to finally unify and expand our faith.  Instead, we (as always) gravitate towards division and distraction.  Don't hold the average Russian responsible for a godless Stalin.

Ukrainians had problems with their big neighbour to the east long before Stalin. Read up on Taras Shevchenko, the Ukrainian national hero, who suffered terribly in the 19th century during the prohibition of Ukrainian language and traditional culture under the tsarist monarchy.

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Perception is reality I suppose, I just can't understand for the life of me, why Orthodox nations love the green grass on the other side of the fence.

Because they aren't "Orthodox nations" anymore, really. People like to show statistics here, but these statistics simply don't mean anything when in the average town of Russia or Ukraine you see only barely-visited churches and disenchanted youth interested in nothing but money and ocassionally generic "spirituality". I'll be in Ukraine again this weekend, and I already expected to get a lot of derision from my friends and friends' friends when I'm not available Sunday morning.
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« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2006, 05:15:21 PM »

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For some reason, I was under the impression that the majority of the population of Ukraine were of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church - how interesting!

Incorrect but I think commonly believed in America, which is understandable because

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The majority of the Ukrainian immigrants in North America came from the extreme western parts of Ukraine. This area is certainly very different from Russia. When the descendents of these Ukrainians speak of Ukraine, they sometimes seem to rather presumptuously assume that the entire country hold their opinons concerning Ukrainian identity.

That's old Polish Galicia (including L'vov), the longtime homeland of the UGCC where they are a majority.

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Not to discredit your own extensive personal experience, but I feel quite confident in saying that Ukrainians in eastern Ukraine don't really feel at all different from Russians. It is western Ukrainians who feel closer to other parts of Europe.  It is a fact that it is Russian that is spoken in Eastern Ukraine, and not Ukrainian. I suppose that Kiev might be a place where the "two Ukraines" meet to some degree, but you must surely notice that there is a lot of Russian spoken on the streets of Kiev?

That's been my impression based on knowing several people of varying ages from those parts.

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« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2006, 07:14:22 PM »

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Saying 'The' Ukraine refers to Ukraine as a reigon and not as a nation, historically implying that it is simply an area that is part of a greater empire, namely the Russian Empire, it may be a bit sensitive, but there can be strong political and historical connotations associated with how nations or reigons are addressed.

Unfortunately, despite what Ukrainian nationalists say, "The Ukraine" makes a lot more sense in English than "Ukraine". Украина merely means "borderlands" -- it's a geographical region, that has been applied to other areas than the present-day Ukraine, and it was not until the 19th century that it began to be used to refer to a specific people. Insisting on "Ukraine" is like insisting on "Netherlands" or "Upper Peninsula".

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The only part of Ukraine I can imagine being overwhelmingly pro-Russia is the Crimean, since they for all intents and purposes live in Russia anyway.

And it was indeed part of Russia, until Khrushchev gave it to the Ukraine.
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« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2006, 09:24:18 PM »

Ukrainians had problems with their big neighbour to the east long before Stalin. Read up on Taras Shevchenko, the Ukrainian national hero, who suffered terribly in the 19th century during the prohibition of Ukrainian language and traditional culture under the tsarist monarchy.

Because they aren't "Orthodox nations" anymore, really. People like to show statistics here, but these statistics simply don't mean anything when in the average town of Russia or Ukraine you see only barely-visited churches and disenchanted youth interested in nothing but money and ocassionally generic "spirituality". I'll be in Ukraine again this weekend, and I already expected to get a lot of derision from my friends and friends' friends when I'm not available Sunday morning.

Sounds like America or western Europe!

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« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2006, 10:50:47 PM »

The majority of  the Ukrainian immigrants in North America came from the extreme western parts of Ukraine.

I think I should perhaps modify this and say that this WAS true for sure up to the 1940's, and much less so in the United States after this time.
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« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2006, 10:57:36 PM »

Language doesn't really matter here.

Say what you will.  It most certainly does matter.  Language is almost always inextiricably linked with cultural identity.
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« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2006, 11:00:09 PM »

The only part of Ukraine I can imagine being overwhelmingly pro-Russia is the Crimean, since they for all intents and purposes live in Russia anyway.

Fine.  It is a fact that eastern Ukraine does not see itself as being any diffferent from Russia.
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« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2006, 06:38:01 PM »

That's been my impression based on knowing several people of varying ages from those parts.
С новым годом.

I didn't notice your post before.  Sorry.  I'm glad someone's taking my side here!  Wink
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« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2006, 07:36:14 PM »

Fine.  It is a fact that eastern Ukraine does not see itself as being any diffferent from Russia.

No, it's not such a blanket fact. I know plenty of people from Kharkiv and points east who can't stand Russia and think Ukraine's lot lies with the European Union. Granted, in the east you can find people on both sides, but the amount of easterners leaving Ukraine for France, Spain, etc. instead of their large neighbour shows where the interests of the youth lies.
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« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2006, 11:37:36 PM »

Fine.ÂÂ  It is a fact that eastern Ukraine does not see itself as being any diffferent from Russia.


Our new priest is in his early thirities and was born and raised in Kiev.  He identifies as being one and the same with being Russian.  His mother is visiting and speaks Russian (as he does).  I asked him about the younger generation and his reply was that what is happening there is no different than what has already happened in the west.  One third of the youth are discovering there is more to life and end up in the church (as he has done).  One third are completely secular and addicted anything western.  And one third are still searching.

He said that the RCC and it's ARC are not very popular in eastern Ukraine and the Latin Rite is not that popular throughout all of Ukraine.

As far as religion is concerned he said that there are two types of believers.  The first are spiritual and understand what the word 'faith' means.  They are mostly within the UOC-MP.  The others see the church as a national identity with tradition taking precedence over doctrine.  They are the non-canonical Orthodox as well as the UGC's.  Claims it's had to have a theological conversation with the second group because all they want to talk about is (1)  How Baba makes Holy Supper and (2) How the Yolka is to be conducted.  Anything other than things like that are unimportant to them. 

He doesn't think the Unia will be successful in Eastern Ukraine because the people see right through them.  See them as confused people how don't know eactly what they are or what they are supposed to be.

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« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2006, 12:18:15 AM »

Fine.ÂÂ  It is a fact that eastern Ukraine does not see itself as being any diffferent from Russia.

Which is very understandable.  Nothing wrong here.

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