[Marxism] The settlers/colonizers of Eastern Ukraine

Sergii Kutnii mnkutster at gmail.com
Mon May 5 07:28:57 MDT 2014

The population of SE Ukraine was created by colonization indeed. We
can speak of 3 distinct waves:

1) agrarian colonization of the steppes in the late XVIII - early XIX
century immediately after Russian conquest of Crimean Khanate;

2) industrialization-related colonization in the late XIX - mid-XX
century that created major urban centers;

3) re-settling of Crimea after forceful displacement of most
non-slavic ethnic groups by Stalin in the late 40s.

I would say that SE Ukraine is analogous not to Ireland or Algeria but
to some parts of the US - especially the states carved out from the
Northwest Territory where similar processes were almost synchronous.

Before the first wave of colonization the steppes had only sparse
nomadic Tatar population rulled by Crimean Khans. The Tatars were
partly assimilated, partly forced to emigrate to Turkey whch now has a
significant Crimean Tatar minority.

The Slavic settlers arrived from both central Ukraine and Russia -
this happened further to the east too, and significant Ukrainian
population still lives in southern Russia and northern Kazakhstan. The
Russian-Ukrainian border roughly corresponds to the borderline between
predominantly Russian and predominantly Ukrainian population.

Relation between Russians and Ukrainians in SE Ukraine thus are more
like WASPs against Catholics in the US than Anglo-Irish vs. Celts in
Ireland and Crimean Tatars play the role of Native Americans.

And American analogy is also helpful in understanding the linguistic
question in the south-eastern Ukrainian cities - all communities speak
a specific variant of Russian with significant Ukrainian influence but
maintain their identity - the same way as almost everyone speaks
American English in the US while keeping their roots. The only
difference is that the rural population speaks mostly Ukrainian.

The Ukrainian-Irish parallel is more valid for Central and Western Ukraine.

On 5/5/14, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:
> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> ======================================================================
> On 5/4/14 6:06 PM, Stiofan OBuadhaigh wrote:
>> Lou, given that you believe the Russian speaking regions of Ukraine
>> were created by a policy of colonization and that those populations
>> in Ukraine that speak Russian are "settlers," when did this policy of
>> social engineering take place? Given the mix of peoples and cultures
>> in Eastern Europe, I am having a difficult time seeing the
>> populations of SE Ukraine as analagous to the French in Algeria, the
>> Scots-Irish in Ulster, or the Boers of South Africa.
> I actually disagree with the Links commenter's characterization of the
> Donetsk pro-Russian segment of the population as anything like Pied
> Noirs or the Ulster Protestants.
> But the analogy with Ireland holds on all other grounds. Here's Lenin:
> What are you, Kerensky, Tsereteli, Chernov, Skobelev, if not “tamed
> socialists”? Did you raise the question of the Russian Ireland and the
> Russian Algeria, i.e., of Turkestan, Armenia, Ukraine, Finland, etc.,
> before the government of the “Russian bourgeoisie now in power”? When
> did you raise this question? Why don’t you tell the Russian “people”
> about it? Why don’t you qualify as “sleight of hand” the Russian
> Narodniks’ and Mensheviks’ blather about “peace without annexations” in
> the Soviet, in the government and before the people, without raising,
> clearly and unambiguously, the question of all Russian annexations of
> the same type as Ireland and Algeria?
> http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/jun/01b.htm
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