Romania supports Ukrainians

Now everything on Maidan reminds about the death that swept here. During the clashes 80 protesters and about 15 policemen were killed.

The Russian community of Ukraine took control of some public buildings. The community used violence and weapons. Russian demonstrators ask for more referendums in Ukraine since Crimea got attached to Russia. Putin says he wants to protect Russians, wherever they live. He deployed more soldiers in the Ukrainian border. One of them killed an Ukrainian navy officer on Monday, April 7th.

Ivan Martiniuc, customer support, lives in Romania and has Ukrainian roots. He was born and raised in Romania. He came in Cluj-Napoca to study Russian literature. Martiniuc feels unsecure, as Ukraine is.

“I want to study a master in Russia but I am afraid because of the Ukrainian roots I have,” said Martiniuc. “Of course we are family, but we have big issues now.”

In Romania, in 2011, according to the Romanian census center, the Ukrainian community is 4th most important ethnic in Romania with 50,900 of them. The majority of the population lives in Maramureș county with 60,51%. In Cluj county, only 0,29% of Ukrainians live, which include 127 Ukrainians in Cluj-Napoca.

The issue

Ukraine is divided into two parts: a majority of Russians lives on the East part of Ukraine. They identify themselves as part of the Russian community. On the West side of the country, people tend to Europe.

Cristian Iura Dutciuc, jurist, was also born and raised in Romania. He said that it is impossible for Ukraine to remain as one big country.

“If we want Europe, we have to split,” he said. “We can only join in half part.”

He notices that both Europe and Russia are fighting about Ukraine. Each of them wants the country. The two powers force Ukraine to split.

“I think we have the right to decide our future, if we want to be part of European Union or not,” Dutciuc said. “It is normal to have rights.”

Ukrainians wants to take the time to think, to settle and to cheer a little bit. They don’t like to be in rush, it can involve a civil war.

Nevertheless, Vladimir Putin is claiming his stolen territories as a part of the soviet history.

LeMonde , a French newspaper published one of Putin’s statements in which he said that ”the disappearance of the Soviet Union was the biggest catastrophe of the 20th century”.

Ukraine has a strategic situation for Putin: the country had the Black Sea with Crimea, and it’s located at the European border. Putin wants to make the country as the second nation, as it was during the USSR.

“Russia wants to have more territories.” Dutciuc said.

Dutciuc’s friend, Martiniuc, have read about the ascension of the Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

“They are ready to fight,” he said. “When we go back, we feel a bit more insecure.”

According to Dacian Duna, lecturer of the faculty of History of Cluj-Napoca, Romania is scared to share the border with Russia.

Vladimir Putin, current president of Russia, will take this advantage to claim his old territory, stolen during the history of the USSR. Even though, the Russian president signed two international treaties (the Helsinki Final Act in 1975 and the Budapest Memorandum in 1994), to recognize Ukraine as a country. Europe and the United States were in charge of the security of Ukraine.

Putin violated these laws, and an international law that specified none of the presidents could ask for an older land.

“The plan is clearly to rebuild the Soviet Union”, said Duna.

Putin may invade other lands to extend his, which would make more European countries as adjacent countries. His army is already on the Transnitria territory, which is in Moldova’s border. According to the interactive maps of LeMonde , Putin is also interested by Abkahzie and South Ossetia in Georgia, and of course, the South East part of Ukraine.

The main goal is to close any access to the Black Sea first, to the rest of the world afterwards. Duna said Ukraine would be surrounded by Russia.

After Crimea, the plan would be to build a bridge to offer a connection with the Russian land, as Duna said. Russia already plans to make a naval base next to Crimea, in Novorossiysk.

“I think it is only speculation right now,” Duna said.

Position of Romania

According to Duna, Traian Băsescu, president of Romania, and also in charge of the Romanian policy, said Europe should make gradual sanctions against Russia. It started with the cancellation of the summit of Scotchi.

Until Europe acts, Romania offers its help to Ukrainians.

Martiniuc said that injured persons were transferred to hospitals in Bucharest.

“Romania understands Ukraine, it wants to help,” he said. “Romania does really nice things for us as neighbors.”

The Ukrainians has a word to express themselves toward brothers. They call them “брат” (pronounce ‘bra’). The word is mostly used for the Russians, as they are close to Ukrainians. Nowadays, the Ukrainian word also fits to Romanians.

“Romania understands to be good to Ukraine because Romania lost some areas too.” Martiniuc added,  “Romania has been there, and that’s why there is a big ‘брат’ empathy for us.”

Dutciuc and Martiniuc are full of hope for the evolution of the crisis, even though, they know they only have optimistic scenarios.

“It is an opportunity for Romania to close its friendship to Ukraine,” Martiniuc said.

Ukraine will now soon have new elections, in October. The stakes will be big, as it will be either going back to Russia, to go to Europe, or to split into two lands.

Youths keep fighting for freedom, for a normal life and mostly to slow down the authorities. Ukrainians needs time to think about what would be the best for their country.

Martiniuc said “I have a dream that Ukraine would remain Ukraine, Ukraine would have the possibility to decide.”


Foto via


Marie Damman

Marie Damman