Times Examiner Facebook Logo

Sunday, May 26, 2024 - 07:06 PM


First Published in 1994


Tucker Carson’s Interview of Vladimir Putin - Part 2 of a Series

Russian Ethnic dominance in Eastern and Southern Ukraine

Russian Ethnic dominance in Eastern and Southern Ukraine.

Commentary: Only 60 percent of the citizens of pre-2014 Ukraine consider Ukrainian their native language. About 25 percent are ethnic Russians, and another 15 percent are of mixed Russian-Ukrainian culture. Three of 27 Ukrainian oblasts are for political purposes 80 to 90 percent Russian: Donetsk, Lugansk and Crimea/Sevastopol. Six more are 60 to 74 percent Russian. These are all connected in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine and include two of Ukraine’s largest cities, Kharkiv and Odessa, and the entire Ukrainian coast of the Black Sea. These have been culturally, ethnically, and linguistically Russian for centuries, yet all but Crimea/Sevastopol were arbitrarily made part of the Ukrainian SSR in 1922. Crimea/Sevastopol was in an arbitrary political deal given to Ukraine by Khrushchev in 1954. It is less than 15 percent Ukrainian and has never been more than 25 percent Ukrainian. It has crucial military and naval importance to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Following a bloody February 2014 presidential coup in Ukraine, backed by the U.S. State Department, CIA, and British MI6, the Russian ethnic minority was subjected to severe cultural and ethnic cleansing to erase Russian cultural and political influence in Ukraine. This caused a civil war that was still ongoing, when Putin decided to intervene against Ukrainian military actions against Donetsk and Lugansk militias and civilian centers. Moreover, Putin and almost all Russian Federation leaders, motivated by Russian national security concerns, strongly opposed Ukraine becoming a member of NATO.

Note again: Quick Russian translation into English often has some rough grammatical edges, which can lead to misinterpretation, misunderstanding, and vulnerability to bias.  

Continued from Part 1:  [Brackets will be used for my internal explanatory notes.]

Vladimir Putin: The southern part of the Russian lands, including Kyiv, began to gradually gravitate towards another “magnet”--towards the center that was taking shape in Europe. This was the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It was even called Lithuanian-Russian, because Russians made up a significant part of this state. They spoke Old Russian and were Orthodox. But then a unification occurred--the union of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland. A few years later, another union was signed in the spiritual sphere, and some Orthodox priests submitted to the authority of the Pope. Thus, these lands became part of the Polish-Lithuanian state.

But for decades, the Poles have been engaged in the Polonization of this part of the population: they introduced their language there; they began to introduce the idea that these are not entirely Russians, that since they live on the edge, they are Ukrainians. Initially, the word “Ukrainian” meant that a person lives on the outskirts of the state, “at the edge,” or is engaged in border service.  In fact. it did not mean any particular ethnic group.

So the Poles did everything they could to polish [make more Polish] and, in principle, treated this part of the Russian lands quite harshly, if not cruelly. All this led to the fact that this part of the Russian lands began to fight for their rights. And they wrote letters to Warsaw, demanding that their rights be respected, so that people would be sent here, including to Kyiv... [See below, Sending rulers that respected  local culture, language, and Orthodox Christianity.]

Tucker Carlson: I beg your pardon; can you tell us what period… I am losing track of where in history we are.

Vladimir Putin: It was in the 13th century. [1200 to 1299 AD]

Now I will tell what happened later and give the dates so that there is no confusion. And in 1654, even a bit earlier, the people who were in control of the authority over that part of the Russian lands, addressed Warsaw, I repeat, demanding their rights be observed that they send to them rulers of Russian origin and Orthodox faith. When Warsaw did not answer them and in fact rejected their demands, they turned to Moscow so that Moscow took them away.

So that you don't think that I am inventing things… I'll give you these documents…

Tucker Carlson: It doesn’t sound like you are inventing it, but I am not sure why it’s relevant to what’s happened two years ago.

Vladimir Putin: But still, these are documents from the archives, copies. Here are letters from Bogdan Khmelnitsky, the man who then controlled the power in this part of the Russian lands that is now called Ukraine. He wrote to Warsaw demanding that their rights be upheld, and after being refused, he began to write letters to Moscow asking to take them under the strong hand of the Moscow Tsar. There are copies of these documents. I will leave them for your good memory. There is a translation into Russian, you can translate it into English later.

Russia would not agree to admit them straight away, assuming this would trigger a war with Poland. Nevertheless, in 1654, the Zemsky Sobor, which was a representative body of power of the Old Russian state, made the decision: those Old Russian lands became part of the Tsardom of Muscovy.

As expected, the war with Poland began. It lasted 13 years, and then a truce was concluded. In all, after that act of 1654, 32 years later, I think, a peace treaty with Poland was concluded, “the eternal peace,” as it said. And those lands, the whole left bank of the Dnieper, including Kiev, reverted to Russia, while the entire right bank of the Dnieper remained in possession of Poland.

Under the rule of Catherine the Great [ruled 1762-1796], Russia reclaimed all of its historical lands, including in the south and west. This all lasted until the Revolution. Before World War I,  [the] Austrian General Staff relied on the ideas of Ukrainianization and started actively promoting the ideas of Ukraine and the Ukrainianization. Their motive was obvious. Just before World War I they wanted to weaken the potential enemy and secure themselves favorable conditions in the border area. So the idea which had emerged in Poland that people residing in that territory were allegedly not really Russians, but rather belonged to a special ethnic group, Ukrainians, started being propagated by the Austrian General Staff.

As far back as the 19th century, theorists calling for Ukrainian independence appeared. All those, however, claimed that Ukraine should have a very good relationship with Russia. They insisted on that. After the 1917 Revolution, the Bolsheviks sought to restore the statehood, and the Civil War began, including the hostilities with Poland. In 1921, peace with Poland was proclaimed, and under that treaty, the right bank of the Dnieper River once again was given back to Poland.

In 1939, after Poland cooperated with Hitler — it did collaborate with Hitler, you know —Hitler offered Poland peace and a treaty of friendship and alliance - we have all the relevant documents in the archives, demanding in return that Poland give back to Germany the so-called Danzig Corridor, which connected the bulk of Germany with East Prussia and Konigsberg. After World War I this territory was transferred to Poland, and instead of Danzig, a city of Gdansk emerged. Hitler asked them to give it amicably, but they refused. Still they collaborated with Hitler and engaged together in the partitioning of Czechoslovakia.

Tucker Carlson: May I ask… You are making the case that Ukraine, certain parts of Ukraine, Eastern Ukraine, in fact, has been Russia for hundreds of years, why wouldn’t you just take it when you became President 24 years ago? You have nuclear weapons, they don’t. It’s actually your land. Why did you wait so long?

Vladimir Putin: I’ll tell you. I’m coming to that. This briefing is coming to an end. It might be boring, but it explains many things.

Tucker Carlson: It’s not boring.

Vladimir Putin: Good. Good. I am so gratified that you appreciate that. Thank you.

So before World War II, Poland collaborated with Hitler and although it did not yield to Hitler’s demands, it still participated in the partitioning of Czechoslovakia together with Hitler. As the Poles had not given the Danzig Corridor to Germany, and went too far, pushing Hitler to start World War II by attacking them. Why was it Poland against whom the war started on 1 September 1939? Poland turned out to be uncompromising, and Hitler had nothing to do but start implementing his plans with Poland.

By the way, the USSR — I have read some archive documents — behaved very honestly. It asked Poland’s permission to transit its troops through the Polish territory to help Czechoslovakia. But the then Polish foreign minister said that if the Soviet planes flew over Poland, they would be downed over the territory of Poland. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that the war began, and Poland fell prey to the policies it had pursued against Czechoslovakia, as under the well-known Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, part of that territory, including western Ukraine, was to be given to Russia. Thus Russia, which was then named the USSR, regained its historical lands.

After the victory in, what we call the Great Patriotic War--World War II, all those territories were ultimately enshrined as belonging to Russia, to the USSR. As for Poland, it received, apparently in compensation, western, originally German, territories - the eastern part of Germany, part of the lands, these are the western regions of Poland today.  Of course, Poland regained access to the Baltic sea, and Danzig, which was once again given its Polish name. So this was how this situation developed.

In 1922, when the USSR was being established, the Bolsheviks started building the USSR and established the Soviet Ukraine, which had never existed before.

Tucker Carlson: Right.

Vladimir Putin: Stalin insisted that those republics be included in the USSR as autonomous entities. For some inexplicable reason, Lenin, the founder of the Soviet state, insisted that they be entitled to withdraw from the USSR. And, again for some unknown reasons, he transferred to that newly established Soviet Republic of Ukraine some of the lands together with people living there, even though those lands had never been called Ukraine; and yet they were made part of that Soviet Republic of Ukraine. Those lands included the Black Sea region, which was received under Catherine the Great and which had no historical connection with Ukraine whatsoever.

Even if we go as far back as 1654, when these lands returned to the Russian Empire, that territory was the size of three to four regions of modern Ukraine, with no Black Sea region. That was completely out of the question.

Tucker Carlson: In 1654?

Vladimir Putin: Exactly.

Tucker Carlson: You have, I see, encyclopedic knowledge of this region. But why didn’t you make this case for the first 22 years as president, that Ukraine wasn’t a real country?

Vladimir Putin: The Soviet Ukraine was given a great deal of territory that had never belonged to it, including the Black Sea region. At some point, when Russia received them as an outcome of the Russo-Turkish wars, they were called “New Russia” or Novorossiya. But that does not matter. What matters is that Lenin, the founder of the Soviet State, established Ukraine that way. For decades, the Ukrainian Soviet Republic developed as part of the USSR, and for unknown reasons again, the Bolsheviks were engaged in Ukrainianization. It was not merely because the Soviet leadership was composed to a great extent of those originating from Ukraine. Rather, it was explained by the general policy of indigenization [giving more political power and cultural influence to local inhabitants] pursued by the Soviet Union. Same things were done in other Soviet republics. This involved promoting national languages and national cultures, which is not bad in principle. That is how the Soviet Ukraine was created. To be continued.

Commentary—Ukraine War Update: On February 27, Russian Minster of Defense Sergei Shoigu estimated that Ukraine had lost 444,000 servicemen since February 24, 2022, the beginning of Russia’s “Special Military Operation” and since the beginning of 2024 are losing an average of 800 per day. Russian estimates were based on radio interception of Ukrainian communications. According to retired U.S. Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor, this may be conservative. Macgregor estimates from many open sources that as many as 530,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or died of wounds. By contrast, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claims that  only about 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, and 411,000 Russians have been killed. In September, Macgregor estimated Russian deaths were probably around 40,000. Judging from secondary evidence— extreme Ukrainian shortage of manpower, more than 50,000 amputees, and an average soldier age of 43 (Time Magazine)—Zelensky’s estimates are desperate propaganda.

The reasons for disproportionate Ukrainian casualties are disproportionate Russian advantages in artillery numbers and logistics, industrial support, both defensive and offensive air and missile dominance, superior medical recovery and treatment of wounded, and Russia’s highly developed attrition warfare strategy.  Many retired U.S. military and CIA officers believe Ukraine’s military is near collapse.


Mike ScruggsMike Scruggs is the author of two books: The Un-Civil War: Shattering the Historical Myths; and Lessons from the Vietnam War: Truths the Media Never Told You, and over 600 articles on military history, national security, intelligent design, genealogical genetics, immigration, current political affairs, Islam, and the Middle East.

He holds a BS degree from the University of Georgia and an MBA from Stanford University. A former USAF intelligence officer and Air Commando, he is a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War, and holds the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and Air Medal. He is a retired First Vice President for a major national financial services firm and former Chairman of the Board of a classical Christian school.

Click the website below to order books. http://www.universalmediainc.org/books.htm.