Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Kyiv Seeking to Use Ukrainian ‘Blue Wedge’ Against Both Russia and Kazakhstan, Moscow Writer Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 22 – Over the last two decades, Moscow authors have frequently expressed concern that Kyiv is seeking to put what Ukrainians call “wedges,” the various regions of the Russian Federation with Ukrainian populations. Most of their attention focuses on the “green wedge” of Ukrainians in the Russian Far East.

            (On the wedge issue, see,,, and

            Now, according to VPO Analytics commentator Vyacheslav Gulevich, Kyiv is using the wedge issue not only against the Russian Federation but against Kazakhstan as well, supposedly promoting the “blue” wedge lying along the Russian-Kazakh border as shown on a map he provides (

            Gulevich draws on the writings of Ukrainians from before World War II to make his argument that Kyiv today wants to create an empire of its own, that Ukrainians view Russians as an incompletely formed nation, and that Kyiv has a very negative view of Central Asians and Caucasians and is not their ally against Moscow as Ukrainian officials insist.

            That some Ukrainians have talked about the wedges, including the blue one, is true; but that they have the views that the Moscow commentator ascribes to them or that they seek to create a Ukrainian empire built from remnants of the Russian Federation or other former Soviet republics is not.

            That charge can with far more justice be labelled against the Russian government of Vladimir Putin, and Gulevich’s article is a classic example of projection of one’s own ideas and intentions on others, lightly covered with what some will accept as a scholarly presentation of fact.

            But his article is important other ways: It highlights the fact that some in Moscow really are concerned about the Ukrainian wedges and not just the well-known one in the Russian Far East and that they want both to exploit their existence ideologically and crack down on these regions before they emerge as a problem. 

            Most immediately, it reflects Moscow’s concerns that Kazakhstan is increasingly turning away from Russia and becoming what some have described as a second Ukraine ( and

            And it may represent as well new Russian discussions that Khrushchev planned to annex part of northern Kazakhstan to the RSFSR but was prevented from doing so by Kazakh opposition (, another example of where Soviet-era border changes continue to echo.

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