Sustaining Peace in a United and Sovereign Ukraine

It’s a time of renewal.  I’ve lit incense by my seed starts, and have opened up the big sliding doors to let the fresh air in.  The crocuses are beginning to poke their heads out of the soft black ground.  Every morning, I hear more new birds singing their revalies.  Spring is coming!  There is hope, but also concern.

I have spoken a little bit with Ukrainian permaculture activists in Ukraine.  They are currently praying for hope.  After months of protesting and successfully removing a corrupt president, they are finding themselves under attack from outside.  Putin, with his interests in Crimea’s warm water ports and Eastern Ukraine’s natural gas reserves, has gathered 6,000 Russian troops in Crimea, claiming the supposed need to “protect ethnic Russians.”  However, there have been no confirmed reports of violence against Russians in Ukraine.  New York Times accounts of pro-Russian protests in the East have had the highest number count of 60 participants.  Compare that with the thousands protesting in the Maidan.  In essence, Putin is taking this moment of vulnerable transition in Ukraine to manufacture conflict in the East and justify a Russian land grab.   When Ukraine gained its independence in 1992, it had inherited the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world, and had a lot of understandable animosity towards Russia.

However, having survived nuclear disasters in Chernobyl, Ukraine agreed to elminate its major nuclear reserves in exchange for security assurances from the United States, Russian, and Britain in a “Trilateral Statement,” signed in 1994.   http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2011/05/trilateral-process-pifer   Ukraine is now very vulnerable to attack by its former oppressors, and most Ukrainians (Ethnically Russian and Ethnically Ukrainian alike) view Putin’s actions as horrifyingly opportunistic and evil, and could spell the demise for all they have worked and hoped for.

Here is a statement from my friend Pavlo, who is ethnically Russian but has been protesting with the Maidan since September:   “Dear Christina, I think that all of us (Ukrainians, Russians, USA) have to demonstrate their disagreement with Putin’s policy wherever they are and in whatever way is possible for them. Abroad this is first of all demonstrating in front of embassies and asking the guarantors of Ukrainian sovereignty (one of them is USA) to take appropriate actions. This situation can be resolved only in diplomatic way and on the international level. We have to be strong and united. Pavlo.”    Please email or call your representatives to support a sovereign an united Ukraine.

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