Los Angeles Times

A history lesson about Ukraine

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Re “Russia renews strikes on Ukraine regions,” July 29

The article cites proKremlin separatist Denis Pushilin’s proposal to “liberate Russian cities founded by Russian people,” among which he includes Zaporizhzh­ia.

A better understand­ing of history should be the basis for any policy change.

Zaporizhzh­ia wasn’t founded by the Russian people, but by my Mennonite ancestors who lived in Ukraine for about 150 years. Historical­ly, Mennonites kept to themselves in their own colonies.

In the late 18th century, Mennonites from Prussia had been invited by Catherine the Great to the land that is now Ukraine because she knew they were proficient in growing wheat — the same wheat that all these centuries later is the subject of so much consternat­ion.

But my peace-loving Mennonite ancestors left Ukraine, and their wheat fields, when the first Bolsheviks showed up in Zaporizhzh­ia.

Marsha Temple

Los Angeles

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