Zusammenkunft und Spaltung

STANFORD – Die athletischen Leistungen der Olympiade von Sotschi und die majestätischen Darstellungen der russischen Geschichte und Kultur bei der Eröffnungs- und Schlusszeremonie wurden weltweit von Millionen Menschen verfolgt. Aber die Kosten waren enorm, die offensichtliche Korruption ernüchternd und der Kontrast zur Lage in der benachbarten Ukraine alarmierend.

Nach der Bewerbung um ein Assoziierungsabkommen mit der Europäischen Union entschied sich der ehemalige ukrainische Präsident Viktor Janukowitsch nach immensem Druck aus dem Kreml sowie versprochenen 15 Milliarden USD an Finanzhilfe statt dessen für engere Beziehungen zu Russland. Die Folge waren drei Monate andauernde Proteste und Aufstände. Der verschwenderische Janukowitsch wurde durch eine Parlamentsabstimmung entmachtet und floh nach Russland. Die Lage ist weiterhin wechselhaft und angespannt. Russische Truppen haben die Krim besetzt, und Politiker aus Europa und Amerika drohen Russland mit harten Sanktionen, sollte das Land die Souveränität der Ukraine nicht respektieren.

Aber die Uneinigkeit der Ukraine ist offensichtlich. Der östliche Landesteil hat enge sprachliche, kulturelle und wirtschaftliche Verbindungen zu Russland, während der Westen mehr in Richtung Kontinentaleuropa tendiert. Einige der ukrainischen Regionen waren historisch gesehen Teile Russlands, Polens oder des ottomanischen Weltreichs. Peter der Große, dessen Verwestlichung Russlands im achtzehnten Jahrhundert in Sotschi dargestellt wurde, kämpfte gegen die Krimtataren, deren Nachkommen zum großen Teil von Stalin in andere Teile der Sowjetunion deportiert wurden. Es gibt Befürchtungen, die Ukraine könnte auseinander brechen.

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