Experts are alarmed by Putin's "surreal" version of Ukrainian history

Analyse: One historian stated that saying "another country doesn't exist" is something we should pay attention to as it often precedes atrocious acts.

Experts are alarmed by Putin's "surreal" version of Ukrainian history

Even experienced Kremlinologists were shocked by the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s belligerent tone. He offered a monologue about why Ukraine does not have a right to exist.

Putin officially recognized two regions of eastern Ukraine in a long televised speech Monday. He called them the "Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic". Later, he ordered troops to cross the border under the pretense of being "peacekeepers."

Putin did not try to conceal his motives.

According to him, Ukraine was "historically Russian land" and had been stolen from the Russian empire. It has since fallen into corrupt "puppets", controlled by the West. Russian President reiterated his claim that Ukraine was subjecting Russian speakers to "genocide" - an assertion for which there isn't any evidence and which international monitors on ground reject.

After promising to begin with "a few words about this issue's history", he then gave a long revisionist account in the which he claimed Ukraine was only a part of the old Russian empire. He claimed that the modern-day nation was artificially created by Vladimir Lenin, Soviet leader after 1917's Communist revolution.

He said that Ukrainians have been toppling statues of Lenin, which some experienced observers in Ukraine interpreted as a threat to their country's foundation for existence.

He said, "You want decommunization?" "Very well. "Very well.
Although Ukraine is plagued by corruption and is ruled by a neo Nazi far right, it is a democracy. The picture on the ground is complex. In 2014, a popular uprising overthrew the pro-Russian leader and most Ukrainians now support Western integration.
polls indicate.

All in all, Putin's brief summary of Ukraine's history was dismissed by historians as inaccurate and revanchist and amounts to "a screed ahistorical grievances", Garry Kasparov tweeted.

Timothy Snyder, Yale University history professor, told MSNBC Monday that Putin was "surreal"

He said that it was very strange to hear a distant dictator declare that the thing didn't exist, when you're surrounded with the realities of Ukrainian history. He is clearly wrong.

After the fall of Communism, Ukraine became a modern independent country in 1991. It was no longer a Soviet republic.

Snyder explained that Lenin didn't create Ukraine. However, he did recognize that there was an existing national identity and that he needed to address it.

Snyder stated that Ukrainian nationalism dates back 100 years prior to the founding of the Soviet Union. Some elements of Ukrainian history date back to the Middle Ages.

He said, "This type of language, that an other nation doesn't exist is something we should pay attention to because often precedes atrocious acts."

The U.S Embassy in Kyiv shared a meme Tuesday based on the fact Kyiv predates Moscow.

It is unclear what these actions could be. Russian troops will be restricted to the Moscow-backed regions of the country's eastern, which is widely regarded as a violation international law. Or is this the beginning of a larger war against the rest?

Dmitri Trnin, director at the Carnegie Moscow Center, believes there will not be a major war.

This is something that many other experts disagree with. If Russia wanted to be in control of a region it has been occupying for many years, why would it mass over 150,000 troops at Ukraine's borders and incur Western sanctions?

tweetedMichael Kofman (a senior scientist at CNA), a non-profit research and analysis organisation based in Virginia.

This is complicated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2014.

Masked commandos took control of key sites on Ukraine's peninsula of Crimea in February that year. Putin and his officials later admitted that these "little green men", although initially denied, were Russian forces. After a widely discredited referendum, Moscow annexed Crimea.

While the separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk control Donetsk, they are nothing more than Russian proxies , according to independent analysts using open source intelligence and Western intelligence assessments.

They claim that the Kremlin has supported these separatists for many years with weapons, funds, and troops, as well as weapons such the Buk missile launcher which downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in July 2014. . Russia has denied that this is true.

It is significant, however, that Russia now makes open statements about its involvement. Moscow could claim that Kyiv is attacking the region with missiles, which it has been claiming in recent days. This would effectively make it accuse Russia of firing at Russian forces. There is very little evidence that Ukraine has done this.

Important was also Putin's Tuesday announcement that he recognized Donetsk, Luhansk beyond the borders of separatists and into territory still under Ukrainian sovereignty -- creating another territorial conflict.

The United States and its European allies have strongly condemned Putin's statements, and promised sanctions. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated that he would stop the Nord Stream 2 gas pipe between Russia and Germany. It was not called an invasion at first.

A senior U.S. administration official said Monday that Russian troops entering Donbass wouldn't be an unusual move. "Russia has been a presence in the Donbass for eight years."

Two administration officials spoke to NBC News Tuesday that the White House had changed its language and called the Russian deployment of troops an "invasion".

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