It is actually quite complex, and the problem is that no one is really concerned with knowing the truth but only in advancing their own political interests.
Ukrainian linguists contend that it is a language in itself and one of the original Slavic languages from the main tree of Old Slavonic which branched off into the languages we know today (i.e. Polish, Czech, Russian, etc). (The implication being, of course, that the Ukraine deserves statehood and independence.)
Russian linguists contend that Ukrainian is but a peasant dialect of Russian. At the time the Russian people moved the capital from Kiev to Moscow, those who were left behind were the peasants and lower classes who spoke a dialect of Russian, which we know today as Ukrainian. Sort of a creole of Russian with Polish and Baltic influences. (Many Ukis were incorporated in to the kingdom of Lithuania which itself united with Poland). (The implication being, of course, that the Ukraine is part of Russia and is but a province of Russia.)
The Russian view is, of course, very unflattering to Ukrainians but there is some truth that the Ukraine and Russia were united in the crucible of their establishment. Ukraine was known as "little Russia" up to the 1800s. Even today those in the Ukraine who speak Ukrainian are rural people. Those dwelling in the cities, the elites, all speak Russian.
The Russians contend that Ukrainian is nothing but "Polonized Russian". It does appear that Ukrainian is heavily influenced by Polish; I speak Polish and Russian and most expressions in Ukrainian derive from one or the other.
The "real Ukraine" could be Ruthenia. Which no longer exists as a nation state.
Studying the linguistic situation is interesting as it shows how tenuous the Ukraine is as a nation state. Time will tell if it gathers momentum and comes to life or if it falls under the gravity of the Russian state and blurs into anonymity, such as what happened to Ruthenia.
Really? Why is Iceland strategic? The Bug river is very far removed from Iceland.... I don't quite follow.
German, I think that Germany will have a lot of work to do to build up a 10million men Army, having now just 101,000 men on active service and 35,000 reservists, in an Army that is considered by many ones as almost disbanding (in 1991 there were 360,000 men).
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