Home Page

carol gould

Join our email list for updates.




We hope that you'll feel our website is worthy enough to contribute a few pounds to the bandwidth bills.



Whither Ukraine?
Last uploaded : Thursday 23rd Apr 2015 at 18:01
Contributed by : Carol Gould



So where are we in mid-April, over a month since the excellent March 12th meeting at the House of Lords hosted by The Lord Laird and the Foundation for International Collaboration?

As I write this I read reports of clashes in east Ukraine outside the rebel stronghold of Donetsk despite the February 15th Minsk peace deal hammered out in all-night sessions that seem an eternity ago. As recently as April 14th heavy shelling was heard hours after Russia and Ukraine called for the cessation of use of smaller-calibre weapons. Donetsk News Agency, known for its pro-Russian leanings, reported one rebel dead and five injured. And so, it goes on. The fighting has centred on the ruins of Donetsk airport and the village of Shyrokyne to the south. Since April 2013 over six-thousand people have died in this conflict.

The gathering at the House of Lords brought together representatives of Ukraine and of Chatham House. What was most beneficial about the event was that the situation was explained to an audience not 100% familiar with the intricacies of this tragic conflict. It was asserted that Russian regular forces are at war with Ukraine; an important aspect of the February Minsk agreement was that Ukraine needs to control its own borders.

Andrew Wood, a former UK ambassador to Russia, quipped ‘It has been asked, what is the difference between Putin and God?’ and reflected on the misfortune of a civil war between two Slavic nations. He added that it is Russia’s intention to reduce Ukraine to chaos and that Putin’s aim is to remain in power and to suppress opposition and the 2011-12 protest movement. Former Ambassador Wood also paid tribute to the ‘brave Ukrainian army’ which, he stressed, has insufficient equipment.

The Ukrainian representative pointed out that some in the West do not understand that Russia sees the West as ‘double-dealing and not to be trusted.’ Russia, in essence, harbours many grievances against the West and in the context of this conflict is acting out its aggressive intentions, Minsk agreement or not. It is a kind of ‘proxy war…’

The representative from Chatham House added that Ukraine has always been a nation devoted to having good relations with its neighbours. The Orange Revolution, she said, must not be taken in its stride. Roger Prentis, who chaired the event, noted that the issues -- discussed with great passion on this occasion -- could be deemed a self-fulfilling prophecy. We were reminded that Ukraine’s history, going back to the 16th century, has been of cherishing history.

Despite the conflict costing Ukraine Ł3 million a day and four-thousand enterprises being taken by Russia the Ukrainian speakers emphasised their belief that they hoped for a better future.

A worrying story but peppered with glimmers of hope…

Carol Gould



Read more Editorials    go >>



Web Design - Web Designers
© current viewpoint .com

All Rights reserved.
No copying of any text or images allowed in any form digitally or otherwise,
without the prior written consent of the copyright holders.