Even 350 Year-Old Wounds Never Completely Heal
If there was any doubt that George Orwell got it right when he said, "who controls the past controls the future", this could be the clincher.
A 350-year-old cavalry battle has become the latest irritant between Russia and its neighbor Ukraine after Russia's foreign ministry on Tuesday accused Kiev of using the clash to foment anti-Russian feeling.
The ministry said the 1659 battle of Konotop, in which a Russian invasion was repelled, was being distorted to fit the political agenda of Ukraine's leaders, who have angered Moscow by seeking NATO membership.
In the battle, a Russian force was defeated when it tried to stop a Ukrainian leader from entering into an entente with Poland and Lithuania -- with whom Russia had waged wars.
The whole scene is decidedly Orwellian, down to the Russians claiming that Ukraine is twisting history to fit their current goals ("who controls the present controls the past"). I always find it odd that people claim the past has no meaning or import in today's affairs. The past always matters, whether it happened yesterday or 350 years ago. Let's hope both these countries learn from it and not try to repeat it.