Above is the famous cartoon in the American publication “Puck” of 15th August 1900. It shows the European powers carving up China. British Gazette readers will of course lament the fact that the Foreign Secretary of the day was Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, KG GCVO PC – a statesman who strode across the world’s stage. Now we have William Hague. Times have changed.
Some things however have not. What we are seeing in Ukraine unfold before our eyes or rather TV screens, is the prelude to the ultimate dismemberment of that country. It must of course be understood that the territory that is now Ukraine has in the past been part not only of the Russian Empire but also the Austro-Hungarian Empire and before that the kingdoms of Poland and Lithuania. Below is an ethno-linguistic map of the country.It is clear that Mr Putin – a later day Tsar Nicholas I – intends to see to it that those parts of the territory that can be annexed into Russia are so annexed and those Ukrainian territories left adrift. These remnants will of course enter the orbit of Berlin as part of greater Germany, AKA the European Union.
It is to be noted that the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel is making sure that the EU’s reaction is muted. British Gazette readers will no doubt recall another German Russian carve up of Poland in 1939-1940.