Multiculturalism has failed everywhere in the world it has been tried, and at any time in history it has been tried. The Soviet Union forcibly moved large numbers of ethnic Russians into it’s Baltic and Eastern European Republics. Today, there is conflict between these Russians and the native populations all over. In Moldova, the Russian area wants to secede. In Georgia, we say a recent genocidal war against the ethnic Russian minority. In Estonia, Russians and Estonians are in constant opposition.
Now the Ukraine is being ripped apart along ethnic lines. The Western Ukraine, which is the most Ukrainian, is in open rebellion.
In the Ukraine, Estonia, and probably elsewhere, the ethnic Russian community is the base for Communist parties. Not necessarily because they believe in communism, but because they are nostalgic for when their ethnic group was top dog in the region. The ethnic Russian newcomers held the majority of the government jobs before the collapse of the Soviet Union. The other ethnic groups view the Russian minorities as their former oppressors.
I’m not arguing necessarily that Ukraine should split up. I am saying, however, that were it to split, were something like that to occur, and especially if those three problematic provinces—the two in the [eastern region of the] Donbas, Luhansk and Donetsk, and arguably even the Crimea– were to leave, Ukraine frankly would be better off. Not because there is some kind of instinctive incapacity on the part of Ukraine to be a diverse country, that’s precisely one of the points that the article makes—that every country in the world is diverse, it has divisions between east, west, north, south, and so forth. So in that sense Ukraine’s vaunted east-west division is not that unusual.
But the fact of the matter is that the Donbas is an economic black hole; it is a drain on Ukraine’s resources, it happens to be home to the most retrograde part of the population, not because they are Russians or Russian speakers, but because they are the equivalent of American southerners who supported racism and Jim Crow [laws]. And last but not least it is home to the Party of Regions and the Communist Party, that’s where their bases are.
So objectively if one were to imagine Ukraine without these two or three provinces, the economy would automatically improve, the politics would automatically improve, Ukraine would automatically become more democratic, richer, more prosperous, and stable. I also think that despite the fact that members of the Party of Regions or the Yanukovych regime or regional leaders from these areas—with the exception perhaps of Crimea—are constantly threatening to secede, I don’t think that they seriously mean it.