Woodrow Wilson Betrayed the Ukrainians, Too | National Review

Woodrow Wilson Betrayed the Ukrainians, Too | National Review

As if there weren’t enough reasons for all decent people to loathe Woodrow Wilson, Tevi Troy reminds us that Wilson threw Ukraine under the bus at the Versailles peace table, and did so as part of a cynical realpolitik calculation that failed completely:

Another cynical Ukrainian-related ploy took place in the administration of Woodrow Wilson. Wilson spoke in high-minded idealistic terms about “self-determination” of the ethnic peoples of Europe, a policy popular with the millions of Eastern European immigrants who had migrated to America. Wilson’s self-determination policy did not, however, extend to Ukraine, because he agreed with the British and the French that maintaining Ukraine as part of a Russian empire would be a stumbling block for the Bolshevik revolution. Wilson’s ally in this misguided effort, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, dismissed the idea of Ukrainian independence by saying that he had only once seen a Ukrainian, “and I am not sure that I want to see any more.” This was an early example of the selective acknowledgment of national minorities’ right to self-rule. Wilson helped squelch an early opportunity for Ukrainian independence, with significant and tragic costs for the Ukrainian people. Soviet leader Josef Stalin initiated the Ukrainian famine, which killed over 3 million Ukrainians in the early 1930s.

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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.