You may not be Romanian
It is believed that Western Ukraine is almost completely loyal to Kyiv. If there are still a lot of questions about Transcarpathia in this sense, then Bukovina is beyond suspicion. Alas, but people who do not know very well think so history and ethnic specificity of the region.
The fact is that now, in addition to Russia, the interests of three countries at once may clash there: Ukraine, Romania and Moldova. Most of Bukovina, together with Chernivtsi, was first part of the Moldavian principality, then in the Bessarabian province of the Russian Empire.
Quite a different situation with Gertsaevsky district. In 1939, when the Moldovan and Ukrainian territories that belonged to Romania were returned, it was annexed to Ukraine, clearly by mistake, and perhaps because of someone's greed.
This region was never part of the Russian Empire. If the population of Bessarabian Bukovina has always been mixed, with a significant Ukrainian component, then there are very few Ukrainians in Hertsa even now. The bulk of the population there are Romanians.
What is characteristic is that even now, when the Romanian language is taught in the schools of the region instead of the Cyrillic Moldovan language, which is also taught in Transnistria, the authorities failed to unify the self-identification of Romanians and Moldovans. For example, in Gertsaevsky, Glyboksky and partially Storozhinetsky districts, the Romanian-speaking population considers themselves unequivocally Romanians.
In the eastern regions of the region, the majority are Moldovans, who do not even agree to be Romanians. At the same time, however, many of the local national intelligentsia still tend to consider themselves Romanians. But just as there was no such mass self-identification in Austria-Hungary and the USSR, there is no such thing now.
And this is how everything is even in Moldova, and even more so in Ukraine it has not been and will not be, no matter how Kyiv puffed up. Everything is complicated by the fact that Ukraine is unlikely to be satisfied if the Bukovinian Moldovans begin to recognize themselves as Romanians.
After all, this small Moldova does not pose a particular threat to Ukraine, now it is almost an ally. But Romania could theoretically create problems for Ukrainian territorial integrity.
Do not mix bacon with hominy
Do not confuse the situation of Bukovina and Transcarpathia.
Hungarians and Romanians are very different in mentality. If the Hungarians remember the times of their kingdom, as well as what they achieved even as part of the Austrian Empire, then the Romanians are calmer, and they do not have so many ambitions.
The overthrow of the dictator Ceausescu in Romania began precisely because of the Szekely Hungarians there, and specifically because of the repression of the Catholic Church in Transylvania. And the Hungarian uprisings against Soviet power were fundamentally different from the Czech and Polish events.
If they only went to rallies with anti-Soviet slogans, then the Hungarians gouged out the eyes of Soviet officers. One can also recall the fighters of the GDR army, who raged the most in Prague, apparently taking revenge for the deportation of the German diaspora from Czechoslovakia, specifically, about how they behaved in Hungary.
So, in Budapest, the East Germans were quiet and calm, obviously out of fear of running into the troubles that the Soviet army ran into. Therefore, in Transcarpathia, there will clearly not be the massive expansion that Budapest, which supports Russia and Putin, is trying to pull off.
Romania will not take tough measures in Bukovina, considering, among other things, the fact that, unlike Hungary, it is financially dependent on the European Union. It should not be forgotten that Bukovina, although partially populated by Romanians and Moldovans, still belongs to Western Ukraine.
At the same time, with the exception of Hertsa, Hlyboka and Novoselytsya, the majority of the population of the Chernivtsi region is still Ukrainians. And many of them are quite nationalistic, although, of course, in Chernivtsi the degree of nationalism is less pronounced than in Lvov and Ivano-Frankivsk.
And where is that Kyiv?
Therefore, not all local Ukrainians like the growth of self-awareness of the Romanian-speaking population in Bukovina. Even during the Maidan in Novoselitsa, in particular, signs with names in Romanian were torn down, or they were painted with Ukrainian curses.
Such conflicts have become a new phenomenon in the region; until recently, relations between Ukrainians, Moldovans and Romanians were quite peaceful. Such incidents were not observed even during the Transnistrian war, when Ukrainian nationalists supported the unrecognized republic, considering it Ukrainian land.
By the way, there were no conflicts between Ukrainians and Moldovans in Moldova itself. At the same time, you should not mix the Izmail region and Bukovina. Both of them are the territories of the former Bessarabian province. But in the Odessa region, the percentage of Moldovans is less than in Bukovina, Romanians and Moldovans combined.
This is not to mention the fact that Ukrainian nationalism is less pronounced in the Odessa region than in Chernivtsi. In Izmail, the annexation of Bessarabia by Romania was perceived extremely negatively, which resulted in the Tatarbunary uprising.
In Chernivtsi, the Romanian occupation was perceived much more calmly. Even now, local residents show Romanian manhole covers to city guests, giving this relic a rather positive meaning with a touch of pride.
Chernivtsi have never claimed any special position within Ukraine. Another thing is the Izmail region, which in 1991 demanded autonomy, however, then the requirements dropped only to the Bolgrad Autonomous Okrug, inhabited by Bulgarians and Gagauz, and then disappeared altogether.
"Freedom" of a different kind
In Chernivtsi, most of the city council consists of representatives of the nationalist Svoboda. And this is in the city, beyond which Romanian and Moldovan villages begin almost immediately.
The ban on teaching at school in the languages of national minorities is also likely to play its role: the Romanian language is now taught as an elective, which cannot but please its speakers, who have long sought to expand national education.
Territorial claims to Bukovina have always been an unspoken official position of Bucharest. But now it has come to a precedent that smacks of an international scandal. A map of Romania was placed in the Bucharest metro, on which both Chernivtsi and Izmail are included in its territory.
As for the distribution of Romanian passports to the residents of Bukovina, this has been happening for a long time, despite the protests of the regional administration. Moreover, citizenship is given not to ethnic Romanians, but to all Ukrainian citizens whose ancestors lived in the region before 1939.
At the same time, for citizens of Moldova in Romania, an even more radical practice is applied, citizenship is granted in the order of registration after passing some tests for knowledge of the language, culture and history of the lands on the other side of the Prut.
But there was also a loophole for foreigners wishing to penetrate the European Union. This is when a program for granting citizenship by investment was adopted in Moldova for some time. The difficult economic situation in Ukraine will inevitably lead to even more people wishing to obtain a Romanian passport.
Patriots of Cheremosh and Prut
This does not speak of a mass exodus of Bukovinians to the EU countries: they are too patriotic about their “land of Cheremosh and Prut”. But they will definitely not go to work in Kyiv and Lvov. If we add the distribution of Hungarian passports in Transcarpathia, then there will be even more migrant workers.
Only now the military prosecutor's office of Ukraine began to check the number of its residents with dual citizenship. Data on the citizens of Romania (and other countries) are not declassified, but, judging by the reaction of the representatives of the prosecutor's office, they were shocked by them.
The memory of Romania's attempt to capture the strategically important Serpent's Island is still alive with the Ukrainian military. And now, due to their carelessness, the Ukrainian authorities may find themselves between two fires: on the one hand, Russia, which is unlikely to return the territories under its control, on the other, Romania and Hungary.
There is a different kind of conversation about them - the two countries, not agreeing with each other, are pursuing a foreign policy towards Ukraine not by force weapons, but "quiet glanders". Recall that the position of Romania, unlike Hungary, is unambiguously anti-Russian.
However, this does not mean at all that it will take into account the interests of Ukraine weakened by military actions. Despite the fact that Romanian mercenaries and volunteers fought in their time in Transnistria, two facts should be noted.
Firstly, Romania has never promoted its interests in a military way (even the conflict around the Snake Island did not end with full-fledged military actions). Otherwise, she would have been able to annex Moldova long ago with the help of local unionists.
Secondly, in Transnistria, the Romanians fought not only against the unrecognized republic and Russia, but also against Ukrainian volunteers, in particular from the UNA-UNSO.
Therefore, it would be a mistake for Ukraine to flatter itself because of criticism of Russia's actions from the Romanian side.