13.12.2013 Author: Konstantin Penzev

Ukraine and the EU

1119Only half a century ago, a war broke out which became the bloodiest in human history. In 1941, Nazi Germany invaded Ukraine, Belorussia and some other republics of the USSR. Not all citizens of the occupied Soviet territories considered Hitler’s occupation an evil. Some of them decided that Hitler was a darling, a civiliser and a liberator from the Bolsheviks’ yoke. This is how the SS Galician Division emerged, which was made up of western Ukrainians, Baltic legions, as well as of SS Islamic battalions (Tatar, Azerbaijani and others) – all as one, true Indo-Germans.

However, this is not the main thing. Any nation has its traitors and heroes.

The main thing is as follows. The Führer thought that the main purpose of the war against the Soviet Union that he declared in Mein Kampf as early as 1924 was the obtaining (at the expense of the USSR) of the “eastern lands” by Germany for their subsequent agricultural exploitation. He had no intentions to develop here industrial production, science, education and medical care. His plan was to provide all that in Germany.

Of most interest to the Nazi elite in the East was, obviously, Ukraine with its vast fertile lands and large population. The Nazis regarded Ukraine as a source of raw materials and slaves. There is nothing new and unusual here. The seizure of land and prisoners had even been the goal of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt.

The overwhelming majority of slave workers (Ost-Arbeiters) taken from the territory of the USSR to work in Germany were brought from Reichskommissariat Ukraine, with the largest portion of them being Ukrainians. According to Professor Kоndufоr, during the Second World War 2 million 244 thousand Ukrainians were deported to Germany. Some of them were recruited on a voluntary basis, but the majority were taken to Germany by force. 30% of Ost-Arbeiters were between 12 and 14 years of age when they were removed from the country.

Of course, Hitler was a big son of a bitch, but this son of a bitch, same as the military genius Napoleon Bonaparte, brought Europe together. Both of them did it with the help of bayonets. The European political community stitched by the Frankenstein dictators was falling apart quite quickly, sometimes not without Russia’s help. At last, in 1992 the European Union emerged as a result of painstaking efforts. The European Union has shown remarkable longevity and, interestingly, the same aspirations for acquisitions in the East. Alas, geopolitical goals are a very permanent thing although the methods for achieving them can vary.

Presently, there is another maidan revolution occurring in Kiev, the participants in which are demanding that Ukraine should join the European Union as soon as possible. Well, it would seem, who is not letting it do so? Comrade Stalin? Ukraine became an independent state more than twenty years ago. And it looks like the EU has no objections either. In that case, what is all that hysteria about, along with the suicide threats and the expenses on mobile toilets for those participating in the protests? The answer is pretty straight-forward:

There are two ways of the unification of states. The first one is long, and it implies carrying out negotiations and taking into account the interests of each party. That is how the Eurasian Customs Union has been formed. Among those who proposed the second way was Adolf Hitler – that is, on the basis of unconditional capitulation. This is a quick way, which is sometimes referred to as the Anschluss. The capitulator is the one who will have to pay for the unification.

The maidan revolutionaries are trying to impose the second option on the Ukrainian people. Their arguments, in general, can be summarised as follows: “These damn Muscovites want to grab from us Ukrainian people what we have earned through hard work. It is all Moscow’s fault! Quick, let’s join the EU quickly, we agree to pay any money for that, we are prepared for anything!”

This is the shouting of the offsprings of those Galician SS-men who had managed to escape at the village of Brody (east of Lviv). They wish to rent Ukraine out to the EU and live on interest.

It would be useful for the rest of you to think about the following.

In his interview to the Die Zeit, former president of Poland Lech Walesa explained in popular terms what place awaits the Ukrainians in the EU. According to Lech Walesa, Ukraine can become a supplier of grains to the European Union, but it has to refuse from industry. “God has given Ukraine such good soil so that it could feed the whole of Europe. We must tell Ukraine that it can produce all the grain for Europe – but not the machines. The machines can be produced in Poland.”

If Lech Walesa was such a clever president of Poland, why would he all of a sudden stop being clever right now? Lech Walesa has never been subjected to torture in a Vietnamese camp for prisoners of war, so any reference to mental damage or dementia would hardly work here. Alas. The former president of Poland has expressed the point of view of certain political circles regarding Ukraine’s place in the EU, and especially what German and French politicians think about that. Chancellor Angela Merkel cannot openly announce the expansion of Lebensraum due to some constraints associated with political correctness, but a Gdansk electrician can.

The Germans, for instance, do not wish to engage in charitable work for the benefit of Greece, so why would they want to do that for the benefit of Ukraine?

If there is no industry in a country, then why would this country need an education system, apart from primary school? Slaves must be able to read, understand the orders of their superiors and know four arithmetic rules. That’s in the best-case scenario. In ancient Egypt, for example, a pharaoh’s orders were announced orally, and no-one was bothered about hearing problems. The level of education in Ukraine before 1917 had been quite commensurate with the needs of its economy.

In the EU, there is certain distribution of labour. That’s true. Ukraine’s niche in the European economy are agricultural raw materials and cheap unskilled labour force, i.e. the new Ost-Arbeiters who are capable to compete with immigrants from the Middle East, with their unswerving Islam and hijab.

There is a significant flaw in the arguments of Ukrainian as well as Russian pro-Western politicians. They believe that, as soon as Russia or Ukraine declare themselves a part of Europe, the Germans and the French will straight away start allocating some of the products manufactured by them for the benefit of Eastern Slavic road workers. There is no doubt that some Ukrainian Ost-Arbeiters will integrate into the EU economy. Russia does not need them as migrants from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan work here. But what should the rest of the Ukrainians do? Scatter around the world? They will have to continue working in their home-country fields on Polish combines, and they will, obviously, have to pay for the latter.

Therefore, if there is no industrial development, there is no need not only for education other than primary but also for urbanization and the relevant infrastructure. The Soviet infrastructure – power stations, railways, gas pipelines, housing developments etc. – is more or less continuing to operate in Ukraine. But if there is no industry, there is no electricity. In that case, be so kind – swap your comfortable flats for farm houses without modern conveniences and use fire wood for heating. Theoretically, Russia might also have a similar destiny, but the former has a lot of oil, gas as well as neighbouring China, which is a promising trading partner. This is definitely an enormous advantage.

The main problem of the current Ukrainian policy is not in making some sort of civilised choice between a wild Horde and a noble Alliance, but in the prospects of the industrial development of Ukraine. If the idea expressed by Lech Walesa is supported even by half of the Western establishment, Ukraine’s prospects in the EU are not very good.

Konstantin Penzev, writer and historian, columnist of the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.