Alexander Nepogodin: Modern Ukraine was built on an anti-Russia foundation

 … but a large part of the country refused to play along

Ukraine’s divisions will help Russia consolidate the territory it now controls. But there’s a lot of challenges ahead

As for Russian-speaking Ukrainians living in central and southeastern parts of Ukraine, they never thought of Russians as strangers or enemies, before the propaganda which followed the 2014 Maidan coup in Kiev. And the third group living in Ukraine consists of ethnic Russians. They are connected with the Russian-speaking Ukrainians by language and the historical narrative – both of these groups believe they fought on the right side of history when they defended the Soviet Union from the Nazis during World War II.

West Ukrainians have a rather different view, but they also believe their past to be virtuous. They say their ancestors didn’t fight for the Third Reich, but rather for an independent Ukraine, even if they were part of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (banned in Russia) which participated in the holocaust, helping to slaughter Jews.

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