Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Syria Shows What Ukraine’s Fate Could have Been had Yanukovich Cracked Down, Rudenya Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 7 – Syria, Ukrainian journalist Yury Rudeniya says, “is the alternative history of Ukraine,” of what would have happened had Viktor Yanukovich crushed the Maidan early on, just as “Ukraine is an alternative history of Syria,” of what might have occurred has Bashar Asad “not unleashed terror” against his own people.

            The consequences in the latter case might have been that Asad “would have lost power,” and that Syria might “have lost part of its territory,” But the outcome would not have been “the catastrophe that is taking place before our eyes.”  This is “a history lesson on a grand scale” (

            “Bashar Asad,” Rudenya argues, “is a Yanukovich” who was not afraid to act and did so forcefully. “When protest demonstrations were only beginning, he gave the order to open fire.” The result is a civil war with more than 100,000 dead. Had Yanukovich acted the same way, the losses in Ukraine would have been even larger.

            Moreover, the journalist says, “no one would have stopped Russia’s invasion,” and as a result, Ukraine would have suffered “at one and the same time,” a civil war, an occupation, and parts of the country “fighting among each other.”

            “Syria’s Alawites are our Donetsk residents,” Rudenya continues. “The other Shiites are the Russian-speaking separatists. The Sunnis are the main mass of Ukrainian citizens. And the Kurds are the Crimean Tatars.”  Just imagine, he says, what would have happened had Yanukovich started down this road: “We were one step from it.”

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