Ukraine

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If the country controlled by Kyiv didn’t fracture in 2014, when the government and army were weak, polarization was high, and Putin could have invaded with impunity, it won't. ~ Alexander J. Motyl

Ukraine (Ukrainian: Україна) is a country in Eastern Europe. Ukraine borders the Russian Federation to the east and northeast, Belarus to the northwest, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to the west, Romania and Moldova to the southwest, and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively. It has an area of 603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi), making it the largest country entirely within the European subcontinent.

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  • This ignorance of Ukraine has always been aggravating, but no one regarded it as a national security threat until the start of the Kremlin’s hybrid war against Ukraine. All that changed when “little green men” began appearing in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. It soon became clear that disinformation would play a key role in the Kremlin’s hybrid war, with Russia’s information offensive relying heavily on outside ignorance of Ukraine. Ukrainians watched in horror as the country’s complex relationship with its Tsarist and Soviet past was reduced to the tribal binary of Russian-speakers versus Ukrainian-speakers. Ukraine was depicted as a fascist junta, a Nazi dictatorship, and a failed state. These nightmarish visions gained remarkable levels of traction in the international media, largely because Ukraine was such an unknown quantity.

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  • If the country controlled by Kyiv didn’t fracture in 2014, when the government and army were weak, polarization was high, and Putin could have invaded with impunity, it won’t in 2016.

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  • Ukraine is showing Belarus an example of how one should fight for freedom. I am sure that our countries have a common future in Europe, where neither Ukrainians nor Belarusians will die.

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  • These days in Europe, many countries are sympathetic towards Ukraine and the situation here - of course, this touches a lot of people from different states. The fact that volunteers and government organizations work together on this and these kinds of humanitarian actions happen - is not unique, but it proves, that there are a lot of regular folks out there who care about Ukraine and its future

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  • Ukrainian society is less ambiguous today and Ukrainian identity is becoming increasingly civic rather than ethnic, and increasingly incompatible with a supra-ethnic, non-civic, quasi-religious, East Slavonic identity. While civic unity and civic identity are on the rise, Ukrainian attitudes toward Russians remain rather positive, in contrast to the highly negative Russian attitudes toward Ukrainians. First, Ukrainian media do not practice hate speech and propagandistic brainwashing on the scale of the Russian media. And second, Ukrainians are much less inclined to identify the people with the state; their loathing of Putin has not translated into a similar attitude toward common Russians. Many Ukrainians still want open borders and good relations with Russia, even though that’s increasingly impossible at a time of war.

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