Thursday, September 14, 2023

When Ukrainian Forces Reach Russian Borders, They Shouldn’t Stop but Rather Advance into Historically Ukrainian Regions Inside Russia, Khmara Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 1 – Many Ukrainians say and even more people in the West insist that when the Ukrainian army manages to advance to what were the borders of the Russian Federation in 1991, it should stop. But that is a mistake, Stepan Khmara says. Instead, they should advance into historically Ukrainian regions now inside Russian borders.

            The former Soviet political prisoner and fighter for the independence of Ukraine who earlier served in the Verkhovna Rada and has been named a Hero of Ukraine acknowledges that “we don’t want what is someone else’s.” But he insists that border regions of the Russian Federation “where Ukrainians dominate ethnically” don’t fall into that category.

            “I don’t want us to annex non-Ukrainian territories because that would lead to destabilization but we must take our own back,” Khmara says (

            He argues that Russia has lost its right to hold these territories, a right that had been recognized in 1975 by the Helsinki Final Act, by invading Ukraine; and he names a number of territories along the eastern borders of his country as being properly part of Ukraine and places that should be within the Ukrainian state.

            Khmara does not touch on the larger and much more sensitive issue of the Ukrainian “wedges” which exist across the current Russian Federation all the way to the Pacific. (On those and Moscow’s sensitivity about Kyiv’s interest in them, see /

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