The downpour delayed my departure, and while I don’t have time for one of my usual lengthy posts, I am very concerned about the revolutionary situation in the Ukraine, and I wanted to share a memo from a friend of Ukrainian descent.
He writes (in part):

An acquaintance of mine who is the former U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Washington and a “wheel” in Republican circles offered to convey this modest effort on my part to the proper folks in D.C. on Friday.
Let’s hope that Yuschenko emerges victorious. This second wave of falling away from Communism and the Russian orbit (Georgia broke off last year with the “soft” revolt), is the real thing. It must work!

I agree, and I think the memo (which follows below) is well worth reading.
I am sure that better bloggers than I will do a good job of keeping everyone informed. Glenn Reynolds is doing a fantastic job, so if you want more about emerging developments in Ukraine, keep checking in with InstaPundit. As Glenn just observed, the curious WaPo now sees “‘business executives who take orders from the state’ as a sign of thuggish autocracy!”
(I’m always thankful to see signs of positive change . . .)


MEMORANDUM
RE: Paper on Possible Policy Position on Recent Developments in Ukraine
The following points relate to a possible policy decision to be taken by the Bush Administration?s foreign policy with regard to the current and very critical developments in the recent Ukrainian election:
? Historical Background:
1. Ukraine comprises a large landmass approximately the size of France and with a population of about 48 million people. It is strategically located to the south and west of the Russia, bordering the Black Sea to the south, Poland to the west, and the Caucasus to the southeast.
2. The foundations of the country (known originally as ?Rus?) were laid in what is roughly equivalent to the western half of present day Ukraine, from about 800 A.D. to the time of the Mongol invasion of 1240 A.D.
3. The people of Ukraine had developed a high degree of cultural achievement, with establishment of a well educated landed elite, a strong religious component, primarily eastern Orthodox and an admixture of Orthodoxy and Catholicism in the western regions of the country (in and around Lvov and known as ?Uniates?). Universities, scholarship and artistic achievements marked this period, as well as during the period of time that followed.
4. The Kievan Rus period drew to a close with the signing of the Treaty of Pereyslav in the early 1500?s when Ukraine, under attack by the Turks and the Poles found a common, Slavic ally in the princes of Muscovy.
5. From that time (early 1500?s) to the present, Ukraine enjoyed periods of some independence from Moscow and the rising power of the Romanov dysasty, including the formation of the Cossack ?Sietch? on the Dnieper River, the development of independent forms of governance.
6. Overshadowing all of this independent spirit and achievement by Ukrainians, was the omnipresent Muscovite/Russian urge to dominate all surrounding territory, reaching an apex in the reigns of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great (roughly 1690 to the late 1700?s.)
7. Ukraine had periods of rebellion and often fought for its independence and the use of its own language (a more melodic and poetic Slavic language than Russian), achieving full independence from Russia with the fall of the tsars in 1917, i.e., from 1917-1921, until the Soviet Union extinguished its freedom under Lenin.
8. After Stalin came to power in the late 1920?s, he engineered the collectivization of the Ukrainian steppe (famously productive in wheat and other grains in the ?black earth? belt), harnessing this productivity to further the Communist cause, by subjugating this peace loving land. The Ukrainian peasantry was a conservative base which actively opposed Communism, which Stalin needed to eliminate in order to consolidate his dictatorship. He found a way to do so.
9. Stalin and the Communist juggernaut then embarked upon one of the most cruel, inhuman and yet least known genocides known in the history of human experience, the ?Terror Famine? of 1933 to 1935. Ukraine bore the brunt of this evil effort and over 7 1/2 million Ukrainians starved to death due to the seizure of grain and other foodstuffs by the NKVD (secret police) and the other ?organs? of Soviet power. The Holocaust which came later, was small by comparison with this earlier Soviet genocide.
[FOOTNOTE (1) HERE FROM ORIGINAL MEMO:It is interesting to note how little attention is paid to this historical period in our institutions of higher learning, while at the same time, museums, books, movies and other forms of communication relating the horrors of the Holocaust are too numerous to count. Both historical events rank at the top of man?s inhumanity to man, yet so little is known about this period of what is called ?Hungry ?33? and the massacre of many millions of human beings by probably the most evil human being to ever have lived, Joseph Stalin.
Individuals who are interested in learning about this period of time can do so by reading Robert Conquest?s ?Harvest of Sorrow.?]
10. During the Nazi invasion of 1941, Ukraine again suffered at the hands of both the Nazis and the Soviet efforts to subjugate this nation. Millions more died in Ukraine.
11. After World War II and until Ukrainian independence was declared in 1991 from the U.S.S.R., Ukraine was kept in subjugation by the Communist system. However, during the close of this period, large numbers of educated Ukrainians took the opportunity to emigrate in a third wave of what has become known as the Ukrainian ?diaspora.? The first wave had occurred in the early 1900?s, including many Ukrainian-Americans and their descendants (I am one), who settled in Pennsylvania, and other states in the eastern seaboard of the U.S. The second wave of the ?Ukrainian diaspora? reached our shores after World War II when those Ukrainians who could, emigrated to this country and others in the western hemisphere.
12. Many of those Ukrainian-Americans, numbering in the millions, are very interested, in fact vitally interested in the current political turmoil in Ukraine today.
?? Policy Options:
A. The United States could support the forces of change and independence in Ukraine today, represented by Viktor Yuschenko, who arguably won the recent run-off election against his opponent Viktor Yanukovich. The latter person enjoys the support of the corrupt regime of Leonid Kuchma, an incredibly incompetent representative of the old Soviet system. Stated simply, the Yanukovich camp represents the old status quo within the orbit of Russia, while Yushchenko has the distinction of looking to the West for inspiration and finally freeing the Ukrainian people from the Russian yoke.
B. The choice is made complicated to some degree by the war against terrorism and the need to keep good relations with Russia and Vladmir Putin who actively supports Yanukovich and the Kuchma cabal. It is no secret that the Russians would love to reacquire dominance over both Ukraine and Belarus, to reconstitute another version of what President Reagan called the ?Evil Empire.? This development could greatly complicate the United States? foreign policy over the next century.
C. Alternatively, and hopefully the route taken by our foreign policy at this critical juncture, is the course most likely to result in a new and fresh page in the history of east-west relations. This course is to openly support the Ukrainian people?s majority in the election of Viktor Yuschenko, and against the forces of the old regime who are desperately trying to maintain their stranglehold on power.
D. The route that should be taken by our foreign policy has the prospect of paying rich rewards, among them:

1. Bringing Ukraine along with the west, all 48 million people and the wealth that can be created by this people who will be then able to work for themselves instead of some masters who live in palaces in Moscow or Kiev.
2. Having another potential NATO member from eastern Europe among countries who are more aligned to our foreign policy vis a vis the war on terror than some of our long-standing ?allies? in western Europe.
3. Gaining the favor and possible political support of many Ukrainian-Americans and others of eastern European descent who almost uniformly support Ukrainian independence from Moscow?s orbit.

E. On a moral level, to the extent that this might resonate with a number of individuals, it is the right thing to do. It will be a counterstroke which will have the legitimacy of opposing political descendants of the forces of evil who perpetrated the ?Terror Famine,? and subjugated this proud and independent people over centuries.