Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Ukraine Story

One of those short history lessons....about stuff we just plain forgot.

Around 1910.....the Ukraine (at least part of it)....was part of the Hapsburg Empire (Austria-Hungary).  Roughly five million folks were residents of the "Western Ukraine".

As World War I developed....this little country ended up dissolving away, and independence was declared.  It became the Western Ukrainian People's Republic.  Yeah.....sort of Communist Party-driven.

This brief episode lasted roughly two years.....then the region dissolved away to becoming the Galician Soviet Socialist Republic (GSSR).

The GSSR lasted about 75 days.....more or less.....before it turned into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The GSSR effectively ran itself via a central committee operation, which was headed up by this character....Vladimir Zatonsky.  The best that we can say....is that Vladimir was a revolutionary type guy....highly educated....and was active in anything that said socialist.  After the GSSR period....Vladimir got appointed to head up the head guy of the Ukrainian Soviet Encyclopedia.  Yeah, it was probably a dead-end job but he was the head guy, and that's what counts.

I should note here....Vladimir went through a eighteen-year period of success as an encyclopedia editor, and somewhere in the late 1930s....he's dragged off from a theater movie.....accused of being a spy for Poland.  No one says if this was true or not.....but a court case ensued seven months later.  The case opened and closed in twenty minutes...verdict?  Ten years in prison.  A couple hours later....he was dragged out of jail and executed (there's a question over this and whether the judge was involved or if this was decreed out of Moscow).

So, here's the thing.  If you had some map that existed in 1800 of Ukraine.....it just wouldn't look like today's Ukraine.  And this is mostly because of the business of country transformation that went on and on in the 1800s, and the Soviet rebirthing process of the past hundred years.

What is Ukraine?  Well....that's debatable.

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