[Aaus-list] Crimea was NOT given to Ukraine in 1954 BUT was traded in equal land exchange!!!

Jaroslaw Sawka jbsawka at gmail.com
Mon Oct 20 22:51:53 EDT 2014

Stefan, thanks for this. The Amazon page for this book has one very
important comment by Peter J. Piaseckyj which I repeat below. Please see
the bolded section: I ask, who knew this?  I bet: very few, and those who
did, ain't speaking up.

----begin cite---


By Peter J. Piaseckyj "palyvoda" (Sunny Isles Beach, FL) -

This review is from: The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union

Prof. Serhii Plokhy is an erudite, careful and discerning researcher of
primary sources, who has written the definitive account of the implosion of
the Soviet Union. I was in Kyiv on business in 1991 and was a witness to
the events described in the book, but was not fully aware of the
undercurrents swirling around me. I even knew some of the Ukrainian
political figures.

I agree with Timothy Colton, of Harvard University, and author of "Yeltsin:
A Life", where on the back jacket of the book he writes, quote... "..The
Last Empire ...equally notable for its penetrating analysis of this
exceptionally complex set of events. It is particularly revealing on the
contradictions built into U.S. policy and on the contributions to the
outcome of the many nations of the USSR, including the Ukrainians, whose
pivotal role has often been neglected in previous studies."...unquote. This
is because Prof. Plokhy is fluent in Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian. It
is so refreshing to read an American scholar who does not have to
transliterate from Russian. For example he translates the name of the
Belarusian dictator from Belarusian, namely Lukashenka and the Ukrainian
capital correctly from Ukrainian as Kyiv.

This book confirmed many of the activities I was witness to. The most
profound and amazing was the Communist Party's legislative push in gaining
Ukrainian independence.

There are, however, several topics on which I would comment. They are
Crimea and the biographical information of Mikhail and Raisa (nee
Titarenko) Gorbachev.

*On pages 176, 280 and 281 prof. Plokhy incorrectly states that Crimea was
transferred from the Russian Federation to Ukraine. What he should have
said was that it was an exchange of territory, a very grave difference in
today's Russian-Ukrainian war.*

*February 19, 1954 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR adopted
a decree "On the transfer of the Crimean Oblast from the RSFSR to the

*The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (UkrSSR) transferred to the
Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR), in exchange for Crimea
its historic territories which bordered on the Smolensk, Kursk, Belgorod
and Voronezh oblasts (regions). The Rostov region in 1924 was transferred
to the city of Taganrog. In the transferred territories the majority of the
population at that time identified themselves as Ukrainian. Ukraine also
transferred to Russia the region of Shakhty in Donbas and Starodub in the
Chernihiv/Sivershchyna region. It resulted in the transfer to the RSFSR of
land from Ukraine equal to the area of Crimea with a Ukrainian population
of over 1.2 million people.*

*On April 26, 1954 the Supreme Soviet under Soviet law, adopted the law "On
the transfer of the Crimean Oblast from the RSFSR in the UkrSSR"*

On page 11 Prof. Plokhy writes that Mikhail and Raisa (nee Titarenko) were
half Russian and half Ukrainian. This is the official Communist Party line
and currently supported by Wikipedia, but my information is different.

In 1991 I met and spoke with a KGB General who came from the same Kuban
Cossack Village as the Horbach family. The Russian version of the surname
Horbach is Gorbachev. According to him Gorbachev was Ukrainian.

Tatiana Lysenko the author of "The Price of Freedom" wrote about the
Gorbachevs. She responded to my request for more information, quote..."
Both ethnic Ukrainians! It was told to me by the well-known Moscow writer
Nina Danhulova (deceased) who personally knew Raisa and Mikhail and came
from the same area as Mikhail Gorbachev. ... Michael's grandfather - Andrey
Horbach was of Ukrainian origin (Kuban Cossack).... Kuban Cossacks are
ethnic Ukrainians, and it (Stavropol territory) was previously Ukrainian
Kuban land ... So Michael was pure ethnic Ukrainian .... What I know about
Raisa. Yes, her father Titarenko moved from Chernihiv (Ukraine) to Siberia
(Altai Territory) in 1929 to build a railway ... Raisa's mother - Alexandra
Parada comes from a peasant family of settlers to Siberia. The family
probably also came from Ukraine. This is what I know. "...unquote.

Gail Sheehy, a contributing political editor to Vanity Magazine and the
author of "The Man Who Changed the World (Gorbachev's biography)", 1990.
Quote..."Gorbachev's ancestors were Ukrainian Cossacks...settling in the
southernmost wilds of the territory of Stavropol...Gorbachev's
great-grandparents settled in the village of Privolnoye, Stavropol. The
family first came there from Ukraine in 1840's ...Gorbachev has confirmed
that his maternal grandparents were also Ukrainian. Gopkalo (Hopkalo) was
the family name, according to villagers. Growing up, Misha learned the
Ukrainian language at home (though by official edict such a language no
longer existed) and was firmly rooted by ballads and poetry in his Cossack
past and the pride of his free peasant forebears. ...the neighbors told me.
"They had their own farm, too. They lived over on the edge of the village,
where all the Ukrainian were settled."...unquote.

I believe that for any reader seriously interested in the Imperial history
of Russia/Soviet Union, Ukraine, Belarus and the foreign policy of the
United States, this is a must read!
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