The Galician Tangle

The EU becomes more paralysed the further events in Ukraine unfold. Ukraine is now putting down rebellions in Galicia, its most westerly oblast, as well as contending with the uprisings in its far east. Galicia is a tower of babel, almost a microcosm of the EU itself. Originally part of Czechoslovakia, its long tail was hacked off and given to Ukraine, well after the end of WW2. Exactly when this was done remains unclear. I have used for the most part Wikipedia sources, but they are at best confused and unclear. You can find out more by reading the following posts:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galicia_(Eastern_Europe)#People

https://www.nationstates.net/page=boneyard (a search of Czechoslovakia and Galicia)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Galicia_(Eastern_Europe)#Second_World_War_and_Distrikt_Galizien ,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Vistula#Legacy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_Insurgent_Army

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukacheve

But having ploughed through all that I am still not clear exactly when the “tail” of Czechoslovakia was amputated and transferred to Ukraine! Still less “why?”. This post gives one explanation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rusyn_language. See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rusyn_language#Classification: that USSR annexed the Eastern “tail” of Czechoslovakia. But it is still garbled.  Ukraine does not recognise Rysin as a separate language and so in Ukraine statistics it is subsumed under Ukrainian, swelling the number of Ukrainians to 77% of the oblast (see Mukacheve above).

Clearly, self-identification in terms of language is problematic in the region, where ethnic groups often have to work with other ethnic groups. Russians may well be under-represented as may be Hungarians. In post war Slovakia many Hungarians spoke Slovak. I still have a long letter from one of my relatives that is written in Slovak.

I suspect it was quite recently, in 2002, from this quote from the last link above. This quote is around the time the EU must have decided to make a bid to recruit Ukraine, no doubt with the support of Poland: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukacheve:

“On April 18, 2002 in Krasiczyn, Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski expressed regret over Operation Vistula. The President described the operation as the symbol of harm against Ukrainians committed by the communist authorities. “Speaking on behalf of the Republic of Poland I want to express regret to all those wronged by the operation” – Kwaśniewski wrote in a letter to the National Remembrance Institute (IPN) and participants in the conference on the 1947 Operation Vistula and openly rejected the notion that it should in any way be linked to earlier events in Volhynia. “It was believed for years that the Vistula operation was the revenge for slaughter of Poles by the UPA forces in the east in the years 1943-1944. Such attitude is wrong and cannot be accepted. The Vistula operation should be condemned.”[14]

If you want to know why I am interested in this minor border adjustment in what to most Europeans is a faraway country more readily associated with Dracula, see the page About me. There are still a significant number of Hungarians in Galicia, the major of its largest town, Mukacheve, that I always knew by its Hungarian name Munkács, has as its mayor a Hungarian called Zoltan Lengyel who won more than 67% of the vote: a landslide majority by any standards (Lengyel, by the way, means Polish in Hungarian). There is also a large minority of Hassidic Jews, who still call Munkacs by its Yiddish Hungarian name (Munkatch but who otherwise have never adopted Hungarian. For a history of this sect see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munkacs_(Hasidic_dynasty).

What a tangled web the European Empire has weaved, with the help of a US engineered Putsch in Kiev!

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