The Ukraine war seen in historical context, from a Nordic point of view.

Introducion.

Here I will see the Ukraine war in historical context, from a Nordic perspective.  Yes, why not, when we descend from the Nordic Vikings? What’s the significance of the Christian Church here?

By Koryakov Yuri – Own Work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1553941

From cold to hot war.

Kissinger is one of the main advocates of the U.S. for trade with China. In fact, he said global order is more important than American patriotism and loyalty. He did not want to enter Ukraine into NATO, for he did not want it to tool to suppress Russia or other countries in the east, but to be a bridge between east and west. The United States and the West laid on a different line and then there was war. So what then? Kissinger suggests for Ukraine to negotiate, perhaps they must give away to Crimea and Donetsk.

But isn’t it primarily the people in these regions who should be allowed to make that decision? With a referendum. If the result is about 50% it may not matter, if it is overwhelming more to one side, it may be decisive. But when it´s already war, it is no longer that easy. Then great political interests also play a role.

Professor Bent Jensen has been leader for the Center for Cold-War-investigation in Denmark. Here he refers to Henry Kissinger: “The West must understand that for Russia, Ukraine is not just a foreign state, for it was here with Kiev as the capital that Russia’s history began. » The he refers to  Kiev Rus in the Viking Age. Well, it matters too. But newer history is that in 1771, Russia seized Crimea, was about to loose it in the Crimean War, lost it temporary in the world wars, but lost it quietly and peacefully under the Soviet Union in 1954.

Russia lost Crimea quietly and peacefully under the Soviet Union.

Nina Krutsjon descend from Nikita Krutsjov.  She tells that Stalin was leading a centralization policy that was an accident for Ukraine, but that Krutshov was leading a decentralization policy in which he transferred Crimea to Ukraine.  She claims that Putin is leading a politics of centralization reminiscent of Stalinism. I think this article teaches us much, so I quote from

https://www.nrk.no/urix/khrusjtsjovs-barnebarn-om-krim-1.11607566?fbclid=IwAR1q2xpdm2jCj2PBiTXFUvx7l6IJf6kgqYhcBGfPAI3cpfJN8ukI9lOPfIQ :

Her grandfather  gave Crimea to Ukraine

WASHINGTON D.C. (NRK): Professor Nina Khrushchev believes Crimea will again be Russian after tomorrow’s referendum. But she is proud that her grandfather gave the peninsula to Ukraine in 1954.

Published 15 March 2014 at 11:12 Updated 15 March 2014 at 12:17

The article is several years old.

“My grandfather loved Ukraine and probably thought the Ukrainians had suffered enough in the Stalin era,” explains Nina Khrushchev.

She is essentially the great-granddaughter of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, but when her grandfather fell at the front in 1943, Khrushchev adopted Nina’s two-year-old mother. Therefore, the man who led the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 was Nina’s grandfather.

Read: Ukraine and theHistorian’s Hatred

Bit the guests in the legs

GRANDFATHER: Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who was the grandfather of Nina Khrushchev, had a close relationship with Ukraine.

PHOTO: NTB SCANPIX

“He let me do what I wanted to do when I was a kid. “My mother could be furious, but my grandfather just said, let her go,” Khrushchev says of her grandfather, who let her sit under the table when he had big lunches with important guests.

There, little Nina sat and bit the guests at the ankles.

“He was the only one who thought it was cute,” Khrushchev says  with a smile.

NRK meets her on the premises of a research institute in Washington, D.C. Where the professor at the University of New School in New York has come to talk about a book she has written about her own family.

She is an active public debater and has spent much of her time in the US media since the uprising in Ukraine began. Long before the fall of the Yanukovych regime, Nina Khrushchev warned that Russian forces would enter Crimea. And she was right.

Now she is sure that Crimea will again become Russian.

“Russia may also settle in the border areas where there is a lot of important industry. It remains to be seen what will happen,” she said.

Read: Demonstrating Against Lavrov in London

Walk away Crimea in silence.

Nikita Khrushchev had a close relationship with Ukraine throughout his life. When he was young, he was a miner there. He spoke Ukrainian and his wife was from Ukraine.

In the 1930s, people in Ukraine suffered terribly under Stalin’s regime. The Republic was supposed to be responsible for the food production of large parts of the Soviet Union, but the people of Ukraine had to starve themselves. Ukraine was also severely destroyed in the war years, and when Stalin died in 1953 and Khrushchev took over, it was natural for him to give the Crimean peninsula back to Ukraine.

It was best that way,” said Khrushchev, who also pointed out that the Russian Republic had no physical border with Crimea.

“He wanted to decentralize the Soviet Union more, and this was one of the first measures,” explains Nina Khrushchev. It was not a big deal back then since the Soviet Union was a country, and the newspaper Pravda only offered a note on the incident.

Putin destroys Russia

Nina Khrushchev has inherited her grandfather’s temperament and is not afraid to say exactly what she thinks of President Putin.

“He has brought Russia back a long way. He centralizes where Russians have long tried to decentralize. He consolidates power and destroys the democratic institutions that have been built up.

Khrushchev goes so far as to claim that Putin is even trying to restore dictator Stalin.

“In 2009, one of the major metro stations in Moscow was refurbished in a Stalinist style with a gold lettering inscription paying tribute to Stalin. I react strongly to these things,” she explains.

Visa denial for all Russians.

Like most people, Nina Khrushchev does not doubt the outcome of the referendum in Crimea tomorrow. She believes that the US and the EU must cooperate on strict sanctions against Russia if it annexes the peninsula and may also settle elsewhere in Ukraine.

Read: No one will recognise the result of the referendum in Crimea

– Grant visa denial to all Russians to both the US and the EU. If 140 million people are refused entry to the United States or on a skiing holiday in the Alps, I think Putin’s popularity will quickly fall in Russia. It is such measures that will help, along with economic sanctions,” concludes the US-Russian professor who moved to the US in 1991.

Olav Tryggvason grew up in “Gardarriket”, Kiev Rus, accompanied the German-Roman emperor against Denmark.  Still he raided like a Viking, but in  England he repented to Christ and wanted to unify Norway into a kingdom with Christianity.

The Gardar Kingdom (Kyev Rus) encompassed territory in Ukraine, White Russia, Russia and Poland, the major cities were Kiev and Novgorod. It was likely founded by Swedish Vikings in about 800.  The Nordic Vikings had good relationship with the Gardar Kingdom.

https://snl.no/Gardarike

The people of the Gardar Kingdom were a mixture of Nordic, Finnish, Baltic and Slavic peoples. Russian and Russia comes from “rhos”, which is a romanization of the Greek word for Gardar.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rus%27_people

When Harald Fairhair became old, there was a dispute between his sons, the eldest of them, Eirik, wanted the whole kingdom unified, so he got war with some of his brothers and killed five of them, therefore he got the nickname Blood-axe. But if his brother, Håkon, came home from England and gained the upper hand, so Eirik had to escape. Haakon was called Haakon the Good.

Harald 2. Graycloak Eirikson was a son of Eirik Bloodaxe and he won over Håkon the Good and took power. He murdered the father of Olav Tryggvason before he was born, so his mother, Astrid, fled away, maybe to Orkney, likely to Sweden, but the written histories agree that Astrid eventually came to in Gardar kingdom, because her brother was in service to Vladimir the Great of Kiev. Here Olav grew up.

Keisar Otto 2nd of the German-Roman Empire made a Christian army expedition to the Nordic countries and joined Olav Tryggvasson in the team. They met the armies of the Danish king Harald Blåtann and Håkon Jarl of Noreg. At first they did not manage to break through, but then they sailed around Jutland and won a great battle. King, earl and army were made Christians. But late, Håkon returns to the old religion.

https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eirik_Blod%C3%B8ks

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olaf_Tryggvason

Later Olav Trygvasson still raided like a Viking, but in England he repented to Christianity. Then he went back to Norway and wante to unify it to one kingdom under Christianity or maybe we should see with Christianity. That suited the English king, but he came in conflict with the Danish king and Olav lost the battle.

https://snl.no/Olav_Tryggvason

Novgorod.

Novgorod originated at a trade hub and is one of the oldest cities in Russia, first joining the GardarRiket, but then it became the capitol of “Novgorod kingdom” from 1136 to 1478, with its republican rule.

From https://snl.no/Novgorod_-_by :

In historical sources, Novgorod is mentioned for the first time in 859. In 862, the varjagen (weatheringRurik ruled, but until the 12th century the  city mostly belonged to the Kiev Empire.  From the  12th century, Novgorod’s importance grew, and it ruled over large areas to the east and north, all the way up to the White Sea. Trade and culture relations with the Nordic countries were lively. The westward trade was used by the Goths, later by the Hanseatic League. In the 14th century, the city is said to have had 200 churches and 40,000–80,000 inhabitants.

Novgorod resisted both German and Swedish attacks, avoiding the Tatar invasion, but was increasingly threatened by Moscow, which had emerged within Novgorod’s colonial territory. In 1478  , Ivan 3 conquered the  city and deprived it of independence. In 1570, the city was ravaged by Ivan the Cruel, and from 1611 to 1617 it was occupied by the Swedes. Many historical memorials were destroyed during World War II.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novgorod_Republic

Kyiv Russia, alias Gardariket.

Here we learn a little more about the Kyiv Empire (Kyiv-Russia). It must be the same as the Gardar Kingdom.  According to the chronicle, the Finnish and Slavic tribes of northern Russia  asked the Skandinavian, Rurik, to come and rule over them, because the land was large and rich, but there was no order.

I quote from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kievan_Rus%27 :

Kievan Rus’, sometimes Kyivan Rus’,[2][3][4][5] (Old East Slavic: Роусь, romanized: Rusĭ, or роусьскаѧ землѧ, romanized: rusĭskaę zemlę, lit. ’Rus’ land’; Old NorseGarðaríki)[6][7] was a state in Eastern and Northern Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century.[8][9] Encompassing a variety of polities and peoples, including East SlavicNorse,[10][11] and Finnic, it was ruled by the Rurik dynasty, founded by the Varangian prince Rurik.[9] The modern nations of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine all claim Kievan Rus’ as their cultural ancestors,[12] with Belarus and Russia deriving their names from it. At its greatest extent in the mid-11th century, Kievan Rus’ stretched from the White Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south and from the headwaters of the Vistula in the west to the Taman Peninsula in the east,[13][14] uniting the East Slavic tribes.[8]

According to the Primary Chronicle, the first ruler to start uniting East Slavic lands into what would become Kievan Rus’ was Prince Oleg (879–912). He extended his control from Novgorod south along the Dnieper river valley to protect trade from Khazar incursions from the east,[8] and moved his capital to the more strategic KievSviatoslav I (943–972) achieved the first major expansion of Kievan Rus’ territorial control, fighting a war of conquest against the KhazarsVladimir the Great (980–1015) introduced Christianity with his own baptism and, by decree, extended it to all inhabitants of Kiev and beyond. Kievan Rus’ reached its greatest extent under Yaroslav the Wise (1019–1054); his sons assembled and issued its first written legal code, the Russkaya Pravda, shortly after his death.[15]

The state began to decline in the late 11th century, gradually disintegrating into various rival regional powers throughout the 12th century.[16] It was further weakened by external factors, such as the decline of the Byzantine Empire, its major economic partner, and the accompanying diminution of trade routes through its territory.[17] It finally fell to the Mongol invasion of the 1240s, though the Rurik dynasty would continue to rule parts of Rus’ until the 14th century in the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia and until the 16th century after the establishment of the Tsardom of Russia.[18]

Posts in the debate.

Bent Jensen’s post was shared on an FB page and I participated in the debate.  Here is some of my comments.

Comparing Ukraine to the Nordic countries.

There are many who compare Ukraine with Norway and the Nordic countries. But it seems to me that this is not particularly advanced or comparing policy. The Nordic countries became Protestant, primarily affected by our neighboring countries. Evangelical preaching took root and taught us to use the peaceful methods and the methods of the new natural science were also peaceful. So in Norway, we got national independence, nearly whitout war. It ran out of the political situation, so we have to honor our neighbours for it too, especially England. This we saw also in the second world war.

If we had understood it and appreciated it better, we might have been better able to give good advice, to guide Ukraine and others to freedom and national independence, with democratization. It’s my heart’s first choice and it’s very good for me, but it’s far from obvious that I´ll manage it.

When that is said, I would like to remind you that there are many who, on the contrary, will oppose the nation-state and end it, instead of developing it further. They seem to envisa globalism taking over, but it mostly serves as a damning utopia. Nevertheless, it seems to contradict such developments in Ukraine.

It’s not that easy to compare Norway and Ukraine. In 1814, Norway was a piece in political game, and we may be pleased that it went as well. The Russians took Crimea in 1771, Sevastopol in Crimea fell in the Crimean War (1855), but not so great consequences nonetheless, the Russians still inhabited Crimea. They lost Crimea in the first and second world wars, but won it back. Crimea was transferred quietly to Ukraine in the Soviet Union in 1954.

Crimean war.

When we compare Ukraine with the Nordic countries, we must also acknowledge the difference. So let’s take a look at the historical background. Khrutsjov gave Crimea back to Ukraine, while the country was the Soviet Union, so it happened quietly. He was from Ukraine and waged decentralizing politics, as a counter to Stalin’s centralism. His great-granddaughter told us about this and claims that Putin is leading a centralizing policy.

In  the 2014 Crimea referendum, after Russarane had invaded, there was overwhelming majority for it to be Russian, but not everyone accepted the referendum.  https://www.dagbladet.no/…/referendum-in-time…/61486486

Russarane took Crimea in 1771. Dei lost it for a while during the World Wars, but won it back. In the Crimean war there was a dispute over the peninsula, it was a great war where nations grouped according to the Roman Catholic church and the Orthodox Church, I quote from https://snl.no/Krimkrigen :

“The weapon used by Napoleon 3 and the French government was a prolonged conflict between two important Christian churches in Ottoman Palestine: the nativity church in Bethlehem and  the tomb in Jerusalem. For centuries, there had  been fighting between Catholic and Orthodox priests for control. By the middle of the 18th century, France had been appointed protector of all Catholic subjects by the Ottoman Sultan, while Russia had been granted  the same status to the Orthodox subjects. In 1853, French authorities,  with the help of gunboat diplomacy, forced the Ottoman sultan Abdulmejid to make concessions to the Catholic priests in the church dispute.

Russia’s Tsar Nicholas 1, a deeply religious man, reacted strongly, since in Russian eyes this  was a violation of the Russian-Ottoman Peace Treaty of 1774. He sent Russian army corps against the Ottoman vassal principality of Moldavia and Valakia (Danube Duchy) in response, demanding that Russia be appointed protector of all twelve million Orthodox inhabitants  of  the Ottoman Empire. In response, the French and British authorities sent  naval forces into the Black Sea to support the Ottomans, persuading the Sultan to reject the Russian demands. In July 1853  , Nicholas 1 ordered the Russian forces to occupy Moldavia and Valakia;  the Ottomans declared war on the Russians in response and counterattacked.”

Both the Orthodox and Catholic churches have fortifyed themselves in Ukraine and we clearly notice conflict between religious interests in this war. But then it depends on how much we put in it as well.

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