Czech press survey - March 8


08.03.2014 13:30

Prague - The conflict between Ukraine and Russia is much more complex than it may seem at first sight, particularly when assessed by the West, Martin Bibena writes in daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.


Ukrajinský voják u vrat do armádní základny v Sevastopolu. ČTK/AP Darko Vojinovic

It is not only a clash between the weak and the strong, a good neighbour and a bad one, it is also a family conflict, Bibena writes and says the relationship of the Ukrainians who live in the Czech Republic to Russia resembles the relationship to a despotic father.

They often fear him, few love him, but they know that there is no other option but to somehow coexist because they live too close to one another.

Ukraine and Russia have a common history - the first Slav state in the east of Europe was called Kiev Rus. The family ties and interconnected economy cannot be easily deleted either, Bibena writes.

He writes that for Czechs, the biggest geopolitical crisis since the end of the Cold War has other substantial features besides possible economic impacts on their companies and the overall mood in Europe.

Ukrainians are the strongest ethnic minority in the Czech Republic. A small area of Ukraine, Subcarpathian Rus, was part of then Czechoslovakia before World War Two. A number of people of Ukrainian origin, not only those from Mukachevo and Uzhorod, have permanently settled in Czechoslovakia or the Czech Republic, Bibena writes.

What can the EU and the United States do about Ukraine? They will no longer save Crimea, but they should maximally support the Ukrainians in their effort to make decisions about their own fate by themselves, Jiri Hanak wrties in Pravo.

He writes that "Findlandisation" could be a recipe for Ukraine. The country would be internally free, agreeable to Russia, but independent. This will cost an awful lot of money, because Yanukovych has totally plundered the country, Hanak writes.

At the same time, the West must resolutely tell the new ruling elite that the participation of extreme nationalists such as the Right Sector or Bandera´s dinosaurs in the government is unacceptable, Hanak writes.

How many regional governors will the Social Democrats (CSSD) have after the autumn elections, Lukas Jelinek asks elsewhere in Pravo and adds that the party may keep only a fraction of them.

The CSSD has 11 out of the total of 13 governors now.

Jelinek writes that the possible decrease in the number of governors after the elections may be due to the "fatigue of material," an outflow of supporters from the senior government party, as well as the insensitive attitude of the party to locally distinct personalities.

The CSSD should realise this because local politics is of key importance for every party, Jelinek writes.

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