Russian War against Ukrain

Sardar Nadeem Khan2022/07/06 00:01

In this post we are going to tell a bit about what happened in Ukraine b4 WWI broke out. The war that ended up creating the Russian wasn’t all about Ukrainian independence, nor was it a mere “political war” as we understand them. It was more of an ideological struggle within Russia’s society itself, and a conscious effort to maintain the balance of power inside its territory. The goal for this post to make an attempt at telling some history through a different perspective.

Russian War against Ukrain

The Soviet Union did indeed have territorial claims over most of the former Eastern European countries. These were territories which were historically part of the Roman empire, the ancient Germanic tribes, or even the northern tribes. They could claim these lands for themselves if they wanted, provided they didn’t use these lands in war. The only way that they could use their own territory was in ways which weren’t against international law, as it would be illegal to attack. That doesn’t mean much without any real justification either; no country can actually claim ownership over a natural resource. So while it may seem like there is a great deal of tension between Russian and Ukraine in the early years after WWI, it really does not take long before they come to terms on those historical facts which they both share. This doesn’t imply that the Ukrainians were wrong in whatever they were doing, on the contrary, it just implies that the Russians don’t fully realize the scope of their own ambitions when it comes to territorial relations. In some sense, the Germans had already done what they needed to do to reclaim parts of Europe by 1918, and so they had already set their eyes on liberating themselves from Russian oppression. That was the first hint they gave themselves of Russian influence beyond the Crimea.

In some respects, the conflict of 1853-1856 was just another continuation of the battles of the Polish-Lithuanian rivalry from centuries prior. Germany had done exactly that before 1914. As they both sought to expand through new conquests around Ukraine, they faced the same kind of opposition from the Slavic peoples. One reason for this, however, was because the Slavs had always enjoyed their dominance within Russia, and a lot of these settlements in Ukraine simply did not meet the basic criteria for modern settlement. It took a huge amount of bloodshed for Ukrainian forces to win back Ukrainian lands after 1915, and then lost it all by 1916. Since the area had a large Jewish population, as well as the Ukrainian peasantry, this sort of government by force would have been just unthinkable to them. Even with that, Ukrainian elites still saw the need for Ukrainian sovereignty and wanted to keep it for themselves. After the annexation of Crimea by Russia, Ukrainian nobility started to rise up in support of Ukrainian nationalism. Because of this, several Ukrainian princes thought starting wars against Russia would be a perfect opportunity to finally get their hands on Ukraine; they thought of a united Ukrainian nation in the wake of the Crimean War, a strong Ukrainian state across Europe as the strongest army in the world.

This sort of idea quickly backfired; Ukrainian soldiers were quickly put under Russian rule, Russian units made up at least half of the total army, and the entire military leadership began to favor Russian expansionism. Ukrainian peasants were devastated. Many Ukrainian lords even formed alliances with anti-Russian, pro-Russian fighters who later joined the Ukrainian People’s Army, thus solidifying their position within the Russian armed forces. With these factors, Russian rulers eventually felt sure enough to give Ukrainian nobles the chance to unite their nationalities. To create one unified Ukrainian nation would take considerable time, and so Ukrainian noblemen gathered together and decided to start fighting in a single front. By the end of 1917, Ukrainian troops had completely surrounded Russian troops along the border of Odessa (where the Battle of Korshynskyy ensued) but still did not break the line of battle. Over the course of two months, many Ukrainian lands were conquered and Ukrainian soldiers suffered horrendous losses. Just before the winter of 1918, Ukrainian forces began pushing Russia back towards Kiev, and soon after January 9-10 Ukrainian troops were able to push through the eastern side of the city and secure control over Petrograd and Leningrad. Soon after that, Ukrainian armies managed to gain control of Moscow, forcing their opponents in the vicinity to retreat back to the north. Eventually, the Ukrainian army managed to cut off all access roads into Russian territory and seize control of Moscow. While all this might have looked fairly straightforward for the Ukrainians, many Ukrainian leaders were very aware of their mistakes, and so they retreated southward and took refuge in Budapest. And just like last time, by now the Ukrainian National Congress had accepted the Ukrainian Government and was ready to accept the transition without delay. They even tried to buy the right to govern Ukrainian affairs, although sadly the Ukrainian politicians and officials who were selling it never made any money. Still, no matter how hard the Russian forces fought, they failed to break the Ukrainian front and were eventually defeated. That was one major turning point in the Ukrainian Revolution, and it was only possible due to the political decisions that had earlier taken place.

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