Ukraine is not to blame

The editorial "The Feisty Ukraine," March 24, describes the tensions between Russia and Ukraine and puts the blame on the latter. The blame should be on Russia.

Having suffered the world's worst nuclear disaster, Ukraine declared its desire to become a nuclear-free nation. It has agreed that the nuclear arsenal on its territory be transported to Russia for destruction there.

However, when it became apparent that some of that arsenal is being stockpiled in Russia, Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk temporarily suspended the shipments, asking for international supervision of the destruction process.

For more than 300 years, Ukrainian people and their land have been systematically exploited by the Russian czarist empire, and Ukrainian culture destroyed. During the last 70 years, the genocidal policies of the Russian communist empire led to the death by starvation of some 7 million Ukrainian peasants during the forced collectivization in 1932-33 and its accompanying artificially created famine.

The worst-case scenario for Ukraine is to see the ugly spirit of Russian imperialism come to the fore again, this time with nuclear arms at its disposal. Roman Tratch, Rochester, N.Y.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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