Ukraine’s Know-How Caught in East-West Tug-of-War

The threat of a renewed “Cold War” and a new “Berlin Wall” that will divide Europe from Asia is near, and the Western media is underestimating the significance of this threat. The new line of divide is Ukraine.
WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Feb. 7, 2014 - PRLog -- By Ihor Cap

The threat of a renewed “Cold War” and a new “Berlin Wall” that will divide Europe from Asia is near, and the Western media is underestimating the significance of this threat. The new line of divide is Ukraine.  Which side of the Ukrainian border the wall is to appear will be decided by the Western world. More and more though, it appears that it will be on the Polish-Ukrainian side of the border. Should this happen, democracy as we know it and its core public values will live under a constant umbrella of fear and deception.

On November 21, 2013,the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has yielded to the pressure and threats from Putin’s Russia. He postponed the signing of an agreement which would give the country Association status with the European Union (EU) along with many mutual economic benefits. As a result, hundreds of thousands frustrated Ukrainians hit the streets of the Ukrainian capital, the likes of which had not been seen since the Orange Revolution in 2004. They feel they are being sold out by the Ukrainian President, in spite of overwhelming public support favoring an alliance with the EU. Meanwhile, Putin is bullying Ukraine to join his Customs Union or Eurasian Union. The latter Unions are beginning to resemble a 21st century prototype of the Triple Alliance reminiscent of Nazi Germany, except today instead of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan we have Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. It’s a cause of anxiety for the Ukrainian people, for Artur Sakunts, the Chairman of “Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor” (see AlRagir am, October 28, 2013),and for the Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine.

The Russian bear is hungry and getting bolder still. It needs a passive and obedient Ukraine, a Europe that is confused and fearful, and a North American continent that is mollified by song and dance. The Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine is much concerned about this part of the world because the sum of these authoritarian countries with Ukraine will pose a serious challenge to the security of Europe and NATO aligned countries.

While many people are familiar with the stereotypical images of Ukrainian cuisine and high kicking folk dances, fewer people are aware that Ukraine was the world’s 3rd nuclear power, it was the main source of Soviet scientific achievements, and is currently a top 10 world’s arms suppliers of the menacing Ukrainian made T-64BM Bulat tanks, BM-30 Smerch ( heavy multiple rocket launchers (,  the world’s largest transport aircraft, and a variety of other  effective surface-to-air ( missile systems and anti-aircraft ( missile and artillery ( complexes.  Antonov (, KMDB (, Malyshev Factory (, RPC Fort (, Yuzhmash (, and the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau ( are the industrial engines manufacturing this complex series of hardware, weapons and other armoured fighting vehicles. Today, Ukraine is positively contributing its technical know-how to such peaceful experimental efforts like the European Super-Collider and Sea Launch. Ukraine is a candidate, Associate member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research or CERN (with accession in progress) and is playing an important role in a variety of commercial and hybrid spacecraft launches as part of Sea Launch LLC, a joint partnership formed between The Boeing Company (40 %), RSC Energia (25 %), Kvaerner (20%), and Yuzhmash and Yuzhnoye (15 %). Ukrainian Economist Volodymyr Lanovyi points to the numerous sophisticated technical projects Ukraine is currently involved in with its French, German and English business counterparts to jointly develop complex technical-machinery and electronic production of a military nature. Even the world’s largest transport aircraft (Antonov’s “Ruslan”) has piqued the interest of NATO, and Russia knows it (see Dmytro Tuzov’s interview with Volodymyr Lanovyi in Ukrainska Pravda, Dec. 23, 2013).  Ukraine can continue to serve as a source of knowledge, cooperation and growth with the Western world or be swallowed into the proverbial black hole of abyss and perform the will of its future Imperial tyrants.

The next few days, months, years will be crucial.  As Ukraine nears the finish line, the underlying issue is not getting the attention it needs. Our leaders are not aware of this imminent and apparent danger. Time is of the essence here. We need to ensure that democracy takes hold in Ukraine, because the Russians are doing everything in their power to make sure it does not.

Author: Ihor Cap is a Slavic Studies graduate from The University of Ottawa with a Specialization in Ukrainian Studies, and a Ph.D. graduate of The Florida State University.  Dr. Cap is a regular contributor to the website.

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Location:Winnipeg - Manitoba - Canada
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