Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ukraine Unspun

The Purpose of Starting A Rumor About Ukraine Giving Territory To Poland

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk talks to reporters after leaving a European Union leaders summit in Brussels on March 21.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk talks to reporters after leaving a European Union leaders summit in Brussels on March 21.
Is Kyiv temporarily transferring three of its western regions to Poland to wait out the current crisis?

Almost certainly not. But that hasn't stopped the spread of the rumor on Russian gossip sites., the tabloid news site for which U.S. Senator John McCain wrote an anti-Putin opinion piece last year, splashes this headline:

"[Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy] Yatsenyuk Secretly Arranges For The Transfer Of Three Galician Regions To Poland."

Pravda cites Rex, a little-known pro-Kremlin "information agency," for this startling claim about the historical area in the northwest border region alongside Poland. 

Just for context, these are currently the top two headlines on the Rex website:

"Kyiv Nazis Will Avenge Crimea And Southeastern Ukraine"

"Yatsenyuk's Government Prepares Evacuation Of Lviv"

Despite the virulently anti-Kyiv tone, the site contends that it has access to the inner circle of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Here's the lede:

"An insider from Yulia Tymoshenko's inner circle reports that she has had private conversations with Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Yatsenyuk says he has become sick of the radicals -- especially [Right Sector leader Dmytro] Yarosh and [ultranationalist Oleksandr] Muzychko. He's scared of them and wants a way out of the situation. [He] has been forced to negotiate with Polish officials on the transfer to Poland of three Galician regions until the end of 2014, under the pretext of saving the population from a humanitarian catastrophe."  

The crux of the article appears to be the rather absurd premise that transferring Ukrainian regions to another country would pacify nationalists.

So why construct the labyrinthine story? Apparently to manufacture another instance of Western hypocrisy.

Crimea's Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov shared the story on Twitter with a simple "no comment," but the implication -- which both and Rex advanced -- was obvious:

Western leaders condemn Russia's annexation of Crimea but are silent about the possible shifting of borders in Ukraine's northwest.

It would be a good point if it had any basis in fact. There's no evidence that it does. 

--Glenn Kates

Tags: Crimean crisis

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Iryna Zarudna from: USA
March 21, 2014 17:14
From the beginning of Maydan problems I told my family and friends:divided Ukraine by river Zbruch is only way to resolve this problems. Ukrainian cannot ménage independent life, all kind presidents were corrupted, the same, as government. To save Ukraine as independent country it was only one way now:Obama had to move his military forces, protect Crimea and all Ukraine from invasion Russians. American citizen with Ukrainian background is big community in USA;all were begged him to do it. He could not because of EU pressure. All we realise it could be beginning of the Third WORLD War.Situation for Ukraine is helpless.Now, visiting my family and friends , I and my two adult daughters, will need to go to different countries?!
Putin and Russian military service should be stopped. Sooner or later he would be the one start the 3 World War.And warships, which France is building for Russia, one day will be fight with France people.
I will be happy if I am not right...For almost 50 years I went to Crimea resorts withaut any visa, was it Soviet Union or kids loved it...people, what happens? Now I realised, my daughter was right, when she emigrated to USA and then took us over hear , too.But my hart is bracken with Ukraine situation...
In Response

by: Anonymous
March 22, 2014 11:50
substantially you are speaking about kingdome of Galizia

And this isn"t nothing of new
Maidan was full of galizians
that are who lead this pseudo revolution
who are trying to take power
over all the country

so question is ,
is right that a so little part of ukraine take power over all ukraine ?

We know very well that galizian consider theyself as something of different from the rest of ukraine
They think that they are the only one authentic ukrainian people
truth is also that they wasn"t part of ukraina in ancient time
but part of Austrohungaric empire
Maybe that they are the pure ukrainians
as they like to think
But with this ukrainia that born on the bases of a different idea of multiethnicity
their ideal have nothing to do
This modern ukraina
don't born after wars of indirendence
or wars of conquest
leaded by galizians

this modern ucraina don't have an ethnicity that can revenge a moral primat over others for its contribute building ukraine

this ukraine isn't something of spontanius

this ukraine is a sort of pre assembled box

with a work of cut and past
of old stalinian soviet union


by: Anonymous
March 21, 2014 23:16
"""Why Would Ukraine Give Territory To Poland?"""


Because secret service of Poland were behind all this pseudo-revolution.

but someone here knows something about history
do you improvise as geopolitical commentators

There are centuries and centuries of History
telling us about a constant war
between Poland and Russia
for the conquest of the plains
where today there is Ucraina.

do you really think that only russa is imperialist ?
In Response

by: Anna Dulder from: California
March 22, 2014 16:28
Anonymous: is KGB paying for your posts? Tell your employer that nobody in civilized world sees sense in adding new lands anymore. Adding Ukrainian territory means talking responsibility for people who live there and dealing with their enormous problems, who would want this? Putin is insane wanting to expand Russia.
In Response

by: Anonymous
March 23, 2014 20:49
NO argument ?

In Response

by: james r. from: new castle pa., usa
March 24, 2014 01:34
Like yourself, I too am from the United States. However unlike you, I believe taking responsibility for peoples, and dealing with their problems is called leadership. If Putin were insane he would invade another country on trumped up intelligence about WMD's, or ordered over 300 drone strikes over the last 5 year, and killing 2,000 civilians in the process.
In Response

by: Anonymous
March 24, 2014 16:48
Anonymous? Why? Your comments are so ahead of our times, let us all know who are you chief, please
You seem to be so well informed.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
March 24, 2014 10:09
As a consequence of the February 2014 coup, Ukraine has become a failed state:
- no functioning govt that would exercise an efficient control of the national military;
- no letimacy of the de facto govt in the eyes of a significant segment of the population (consider those numerous protests in the East and South of the country that have occured over the last month);
- the security situation on the streets of the capital and many other cities is aggravated by the presence of numerous paramilitary armed groups who tend to impose the law of the jungle on the population;
- the economy is clearly on the pre-default stage, which results into an ever weaker national currency and ever stronger inflation rate etc etc etc.
So, in this situation no one should be surprised by the fact that neighbouring countries jump in with the purpose of annexing a region or two from what used to the Ukrainian state.
Just look at the similar case of Somalia for comparative purposes: after the death of the dictator Siad Barre in the early 1990s Somalia - similarly to today's Ukraine - has failed as a state. As a consequence, a number of countries - first the US, then Ethiopia, and later on Kenya - sent their troops to Somalia under a number of pretexts. The country itself in the meantime has desintegrated into a number of regions: Puntland, Somaliland, etc etc etc.
If you take Libya, you will see that something similar happened there as well.
So, in other words, we will most likely see the Ukrainian territory being split among neighbouring states in the medium-term: the process that has been started by the transfer of the Crimean Republic from Ukraine to Russia.

About #UkraineUnspun

The information war is in full swing in the tense standoff between Ukraine and Russia. In an attempt to present a clearer picture, #UkraineUnspun will unravel information coming from Russian and Ukrainian media, politicians and activists. Written by Glenn Kates and contributors from RFE/RL.

Follow the hashtag #UkraineUnspun on Twitter and let us know what we should be covering -- or to weigh in on any of our stories. Or write us at

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