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Russia and Ukraine clash over 350-year-old battle

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A 350-year-old cavalry battle has become the latest irritant between Russia and its neighbour 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.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has ordered officials to mark the Battle of Konotop's 350th anniversary in 2009 with a series of events starting this year.

"We feel perplexity and regret at the persistence ... with which certain forces in Ukraine are today trying to find ... events and people notable only for the fact that they were in some way directed against Moscow," a ministry statement said.
"Playing with history, especially with nationalistic overtones, never leads to anywhere good."

"In these conditions one must count on the wisdom of the Ukrainian people, who will not let themselves be drawn into an artificial, invented confrontation with Russia."

Russia, which effectively ruled Ukraine from the mid-17th century with varying degrees of autonomy to the end of Soviet rule in 1991, has traditionally viewed the country as part of its sphere of influence.

There is more rubble on page two at this link: http://in.reuters.com/article/worldN...33999420080610
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This reminds me of present China, trying to stop Tibet from independence. Lucky for the Ukraines to have achieved to loosen themselves from Russia, but just barely. Yushenko almost paid with his life for it!

Isn't it some kind of pride of achievement for any country to celebrate major victories? Why not Ukraine?