3/19/2022 - Politics and Society

Brief history of the relationship between Ukraine and Russia: Part 1

By Clara Esposito Lav

Brief history of the relationship between Ukraine and Russia: Part 1

Serhy Yekelchyk is a professor of historyGerman and Slavic Studies at the University of Victoria. He specializes in Ukrainian history and Russian-Ukranian relations. In addition, he is the author ofUkraine: What everyone needs to know (2020).

I will follow and briefly summarize an article that wrote last January, highlighting and explaining key moments to understand today's conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Since the theme of interest is extremely extensive and complex, I will publish it in quotas that can be read independently. But one reads as a whole, finally show the larger picture of the history of the relationship between Russia and Ukraine very briefly.

First of all, we must see where we are in Europe. Ukraine is in Eastern Europe between Russia and the EU/Nato Member States Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. Ukraine also limits Belarus in the north and Moldova in the south. Interestingly, Ukraine shares a border with Russia.

Secondly, it is essential to understand that Russia and Ukraine are two different and independent countries, which emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. However, as the former Soviet republic, Ukraine has deep social, cultural and economic relations with Russia. It is in fact a historically complicated matter.

Thus, to put in context the Russia-Ukraine crisis of today, the historian S. Yekelchyk traced nine landmark moments in the history of the relationship between countries...

Century IX: Kyivan Rus (big medieval state)

"At the end of the 9th century, a Norsemen group called Rus (pronounced "Roos") established control over the eastern Slavic communities in what is now northwest of Russia and then moved by the Dnieper River to make the city of Kiev. "

Over time, the elite of Norsemen soon took over the local Slavic population, referring to itself as the people of Rus, or Rusyns. At that time, "the heart of the state of Rus was currently the center of Ukraine". I would do a lot to see Moscow established in the 12th century on a far-reaching northeast border.

Most Rusyns spoke of a series of Eastern Slavic dialects of which the Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian languages would develop.Later, in the mid-13th century, the loose federation of the principalities of Rus was conquered by the Mongol empire as they advanced to the West.

[caption id="attachment_ 4085" align="aligncenter" width="577"]10th Century map of Europe showing the Russian of Kiev expansion Map of the century X of Europe showing the expansion Rus of Kyiv (source: Freemanpedia)[/caption]

1654:The Treaty of Pereisaslav

Taking advantage of the decline in the late 14th century of the Mongol power, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (later united with Poland) and the Great Principality of Moscow divided the lands of the former Rus.

In addition, a new social group of Ukrainian Cossacks developed on the southern border of Poland to defend the land against the Crimean Tatar and the Turkish rediscovery. These Ukrainian Cossacks were a group of free people, many of them peasant fugitives serfs, who kept the eastern border of southern Poland.

In the early 17th century, the Orthodox Christian population of the Ukrainian lands had been victimized by the Catholic religious policies of Poland and the expansion of serfdom. In 1648, a Cossack rebellion led by a military leader, Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky (1595–1657), provoked and became a massive social and religious war against the Polish government. The conflict led to the creation of Hetmanate, a nominally autonomous state under the Polish but independent Kingdom. In his search for allies against Poland, Khmelnytsky was betrayed several times by the Crimean Tatars and knew for a fact that he could not rely on Ottoman protection. In view of the situation, the locus leader ultimately requested assistance and protection of the Orthodox Russian Tsar, which materialized in the Treaty of Pereislav of 1654.

At that time, 'Ukraine' as a concept already existed, but the residents continued to call "the same 'Rusyns' as it refers to the future Russians as 'Muscovites'".

Serhy Yekelchyk emphasizes that the exact meaning of "protection" continues to be discussed today as the following Russian policies finally led to the absorption of the Russian empire from the Cossack lands. Especially after Hetman Ivan Mazepa's attempt (1639–1709) failed in 1709 to break with Moscow. When the tsar of Russia lost aid to Ukraine against Poland, the Cossacks allied with Sweden in 1708 against Russia. At the end of the war, Russia emerged victoriously and crushed the petty hope of an independent state. After that, there was a period of purges and later a russification of Ukrainian lands since 1720.

1876:Law Ems

Since 1720, an oxidation process began with the tsar Peter I (1672-1725). In 1764, the Tsarina Catherine II (1729-1796) abolished the Hetmanate to finally eliminate the last remains of Ukrainian autonomy, ordering the Russian army to destroy the Algoca fortress in the Dnieper. In addition, during the partitions of Poland in the late 18th century, Catherine acquired a large part of Ukrainian lands that Poland had maintained after 1654. Yekelchyk explains that Cossack officers could claim noble status whenever they could provide the pertinent roles, but the Ukrainian peasants were enriched with time.

Under the influence of pan-European romanticism in the 19th century, the new interest in Ukrainian and folklore history developed among intellectuals, since the institutional legacy of Hetmanate was being dismantled. "During the 1840s, the national bard of Ukraine, Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), published poems in the Ukrainian language and co-founded a secret political society that discussed a free Slavic federation and the abolition of bondage." However, worrying Russian authorities were forced to ban the publication of the educational literature written in the Ukrainian language in 1863. Moreover, in 1876, Tsar Alexander II (1818-1881) signed the Act of Ems, which prohibited all publication in the Ukrainian language.

As the empire continued to promote assimilation to Russian culture, awarding the "loikas" and simultaneously discriminating the Polished Ukrainians, Ukrainian patriots began to use "Ukraine" as an ethnic denomination to mean their difference from the Russians. Those not considered loyal lost their work, were arrested or exiled.

■a href="http://storage.googleapis.com/finguru_static/pqnbz_032753ad1a/pqnbz_032753ad1a.htmlw more history in Part 2: Ukrainian-Russian relationship in the 20th and 21st Century won/strong confidential

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clara esposito

Clara Esposito Lav

Hola, me llamo Clara! Soy historiadora y me interesan tópicos muy diversos, sobre todo por mi amor a viajar y conocer diferentes culturas, lugares y novedades. Todo ello me lleva a pasar horas investigando y leyendo un poco de todo! Be my guests ;)

Hi, I'm Clara! I'm a historian with diverse interests who loves to travel and get to know different cultures, places, and trends. I usually spend long hours researching and reading! Be my guests ;)

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