Just say no (to nukes): Ukraine’s “love / hate” affair with Russia

“Break up” with Russia already, Ukraine! Quit coming back to an abusive situation just because it has some fringe benefits.

A young maiden who just hasn’t found her right match yet? Or a co-dependent “poster girl” stuck in a dysfunctional abusive relationship?

Just last week we referred to Ukraine as a young woman who hasn’t found the right “polovinka” or “other half”“, as an allegory for the string of disappointing leaders the country has gone through since its independence from the Soviet Union.

But this week, as the news reported plans  for a Russian owned company to build two new nuclear plants in Ukraine, it seems the second description might sadly be more fitting.

What’s the bottom line?


  • for the past 5 years Russia and Ukraine have been engaged in active military conflict. This “hybrid war” has resulted in loss of life and territory for Ukraine, not to mention the annexation of Crimea.
  • Until the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, Ukraine owned the dubious honor of having endured the world’s worst nuclear accident with the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986. The Russian owned company chosen to build the new nuclear plants in Ukraine was chosen, primarily, due to its promise of low-cost construction.
  • Ukraine has ample potential – both in “brain power” and natural resources – for the development of renewable energy sources. The country could cover its entire energy demands by 2050 via wind, solar and water systems, as well as reduce primary energy needs by 32%, according to research for The Solutions Project by Mark Jacobson and his Standford University team. 

What does this mean to you personally? 

  • although many significant changes and reforms have been implemented in recent years in Ukraine, there’s still a long way to go.
  • the old Ukrainian saying “we wanted something better but we got the same as always”, is sadly not yet dead.
  • expectation levels with Ukraine still needed to be adjusted realistically for whether touring, investing or even simply staying informed with news about the country. Don’t stop hoping / working for better…just know it isn’t always going to make it from the vision to reality right away.

No one would want their friend or daughter to stay in an abusive relationship just because there might be some side-benefits. In the same way, for Ukraine to continue to do business with a country that is actively shelling their eastern border – killing their people and destroying their property in the process – is to literally be in bed with the enemy. And then the fact that this current “relationship” development is regarding nuclear energy – its just wrong on so many levels.

This week The Bottom Line is not for those of us looking on, but a message to Ukraine itself – its leaders and citizens. Carrying out the relationship analogy to a possible extreme extent – Ukraine, wake up! Quit throwing yourself under the bus! If you don’t value and respect yourself and your potential, no one else will. You deserve more. Come on, Ukraine, “break up” with Russia, already! Quit coming back to an abusive situation just because it has some fringe benefits. Dig a little deeper into the intellect and resourcefulness that marks your nation and find another way. Get the facts. Get to the bottom line.