In his infamous 2021 article ‘On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians’, Vladimir Putin wrote that he “firmly believes” Russians and Ukrainians are “one people – a single whole”. After a year of fighting in which Ukraine’s armed forces have put up fiercer resistance than even their Western backers had
I come from Eastern Europe, and distrust of Russia is in my genes. The Russians have been an Imperialist power, advancing toward the west and the south, for well over three centuries now. Sometimes they are pushed back, but eventually the resume their onward march.
I especially am opposed to the current Russian campaign of bombing open cities, massacring civilians, making war on civil society, and so on.
But everyone in Eastern Europe knows that current Ukraine is an amalgam of two very different peoples. In the western portion, they are Uniate (Greek Catholic), and in tune with (most) Western values. In the East, they are Greek Orthodox, and look to Russia for their culture and civilization. The rift goes back at least as far as the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth, which included the western, but not the eastern, parts.
Even western Ukraine is not homogenous. Chernivtsi Oblast has a significant Romanian ethnic minority, as has Izmail Raion (part of Odessa Oblast). Both regions were gained from Romania by the Ukrainian SSR as a result of the Molotov-von Ribbentrop pact of 1940. But the history involves both the Austrian and Russian Empires at various times. Eastern European history is complicated and can be used to justify any number of geographic arrangements.
I believe all of this, but it is weird I haven't seen any viral post or interview of a Ukrainian expressing a skeptical view about their country and the West's strategy.