By Jan Oberg
I’m no expert on Ukraine, haven’t even visited it. Like millions of other citizens, I rely on media reports to understand at least some of what looks like potentially very serious developments.
Why do I feel so frustrated at what I get? Why do I have so many questions still after weeks of coverage? And how much will fellow-citizens who have just a few minutes per day to acquaint themselves with issues such as this understand (except that Putin is a bad guy)?
It’s a conflict, isn’t it?
I would like to know what are the internal Ukrainian dimensions, the regional East-West European and EU/NATO aspects and what has all this to do with global developments e.g. U.S. foreign policy, NATO’s expansion since the end of the Cold War, strategic interests of Russia and Russia-NATO relations. And where is China and BRICS countries in all this?
Internally, I’d like to learn about the ethnic composition and geography, the role of Russians and – not the least the Jews – and the historic relations between Russia and Ukraine.
In a shorter perspective, when did the West begin to see Ukraine as an interesting country? Why did George Bush Sr. and James Baker promise Mikhail Gorbachev that the West would never expand up to Russia’s border – and anyhow NATO began being an issue in Ukraine in 1995.
It would be great to learn from media about how – as everywhere else – economic mismanagement and overall crisis caused both neo-Nazism, rampant anti-Semitism and general dissatisfaction? And why is it that anti-Semitism is covered so little anywhere in the Western press
How come that important background aspects like these so easily translate into simplifying anti- versus pro-Russian attitudes?Read More »