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My guess it it has something to do with Ukraine's oil pipelines and Western Agri-business oligarchs want to get the land that once was the breadbasket of Europe. These logical reason may be enough, but there seems to be an emotional aspect to the Ukrainian Nationalism that all nationalisms do not evoke. I have longer wondered at how the government policy has been anti-Russian even after the break up of the Soviet Union. I thought we were supposed to hate the Russians for being Communist. Since the break up ( with the exception of the Yeltsin years, where our media and government was fine with wide spread official looting) it has seemed the American Right retained a reflex anti Russo orientation.
Russia itself is a conglomeration of empires. I wonder if the Ukrainian nationalists know the earliest, post Viking Russia was called Kievan Rus because it was based in Kiev, a city that dates to the 5th century. It is also true that Crimea was part of Russia for a couple three hundred years but it has been part of Ukraine for long periods also. Why this nationalist urge, mostly based in the Kiev region, has our support when we ignore other national claims with as good or better claims to nationhood. It is interesting that the Tatars are the descendents of the Golden Hordes that once ruled all of Central Asia. Just what is a Russia without empire? Borders before Ivan the great? Before Ivan the Terrible? After Empress Catherine? Each enlarged Russia greatly.Our opposition to seizing land by conquest is quite selective. It is not clear to me who qualifies, except the quality of one's Washington Lobby would be a good clue.