U.S. imperialism is not behind the conflict.
By Lawrence S. Wittner |
Although supporters of the Russian invasion, occupation, and annexation of Ukraine blame “U.S. imperialism” for the Ukraine War, the U.S. role has been relatively minor. The major actors have been Ukrainians, striving for independence, and Russians, striving to end it.
For centuries, a great many Ukrainians, chafing under Czarist and, later, Soviet rule, longed for national independence. This rejection of Russian domination―based in part on Stalin’s extermination of four million Ukrainians through starvation―was confirmed in 1991 when the leaders of the disintegrating Soviet Union authorized a plebiscite. In the voting, more than 90 percent of Ukrainian participants opted for independence rather than membership in the new Russian Federation. Accordingly, Ukraine was recognized by Russia and the rest of the world as an independent, sovereign nation.
This agreement on Ukraine’s sovereignty was firmed up by the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, under which the Russian, U.S., and British governments pledged to respect its independence and borders. For its part, Ukraine agreed to, and did, turn over its very substantial nuclear arsenal to Russia.
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