(A) Ukrainians wanted the west to go away, but they had no political means of dividing the country because of the vast (Russian paid for) corruption to weaken the country so that it would have to fall into the russian sphere of influence. In 2010–2013 division was a prominent topic of conversation – and would have (as would have american north south division) been in the best interests of both peoples. The east was the source of political divisiveness, and were the source of much of the corruption, and even more of the ‘gangsters’. (In ukraine (where I live), we talk about people from that part of the country like americans talk about people from “Trailer Parks’. )
(B) there is nothing more profitable than a small private country – especially one that will pay you to preserve instability. It is not in their interests to join either Ukraine or Russia, but retain power over the long term. Many businesses, and peoples homes, and property and cars – everything – has been stolen.
(C) It is one of the poorest parts of the country since the collapse of the soviet union and ukraine is too poor to pay pensions or to pay to modernize the region. Russia on the other hand has promised reinvestment, payment of reasonable pensions, and unification with friends and family across the (rather frontier) border.
(D) Russia has only one warm water port and that’s the black sea, and Cyprus. The political division has always been the russian territories where russia built much of her military manufacturing (hence why the white trucks came to cart all the machine tools and dies away under the cover of ‘humanitarian aid’. But instead of simply openly declaring that crimea was a russian war booty, teh donbas a war booty she had invested heavily in, and donbas a strategic rail and road route to their own warm water port, they made up fictional stories about little green men and ‘civilians’
Meanwhile ukrainian young men volunteered in droves and fought with their own equipment, to prevent further russian ‘little green men’ from invading further.
Ukrainians can join the poles in prosperity or they can join the russians. They chose the poles. And this is the bset option (empirically).
So meanwhile russia keeps ukraine poor and unable to obtain investment because of risk, in the hope she can be recaptured. And she restores her black sea fleet as best she can despite her economy being only that of italy.
Um. Russian propagandism, historical revisionism, and failure to admit the damage they have done being what it is, the simple truth is that you can determine a people by the language they speak. All of Ukraine, and most of southern russia spoke ukrainian before the bolshevik revolution and the holodomor, the gulags, the deportations, and the murders. Muscovy has built a nice fiction but she has incrementally conquered and replaced the territory of the Golden Horde, and this included the genocide against the scandinavians and the Ukrainians.
It was pretty stupid really.
The east wanted to leaave,
The west wanted to be rid of them.
Everyone else wanted to join the poles in post-russian recovery.
And the only people stopping them are the russians.
I mean, if you think CNN is ‘fake news’ RT is the world champion of Fake news. At least the chinese only suppress information. Russians simply tell appealing lies that somehow appeal to the strange slavic need for conspiracy theories.
Anyway. It’s all economics an power, and ukrainians live on 200 a day because russians can’t look in the mirror and say “Wow we turned the world to a toilet of violence for a century or more , and through our efforts at communism are responsible for over 100m dead – and the germans were absolutely right about us. And we will believe any nonsense that prevents us from looking in that mirror and seeing who we really are.”