Ukraine Vs Russia: Some Thoughts

The crisis in Crimea is very sad. I honestly believe both sides have some valid points. In this the first of two articles I will examine the situation and give my two cents. In the follow up article we will examine the situation from the view point of American politics. Who was Putin’s enabler: Obama or Bush? As a Progressive Social Democrat I think you will find view interesting!

But for now in this post let’s take a look at this sorry situation in Crimea. We can examine the political angle from the American prospective in the follow up post.

 

Ukraine Vs Russia: Who Is Right?

Frankly I don’t know. But let me offer some quick points.

  • The majority of Crimea are Russian. I have read it runs about 60% Russian, 20% Ukraine and 20% Tartan. The latter group views Russia favorably.
  • Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 moved Crimea from Russia to Ukraine.   Khrushchev was Ukrainian. The move did not seem to bother most people then as they all were inside the Soviet Union.
  • The “Soviet Union” was not synonymous with Russia. Consider the fact that many of the leaders of the USSR were non-Russian. Joseph Stalin was Georgian. Khrushchev was Ukrainian.
  • Former Soviet President Gorbachev supports the referendum and believes the return of Crimea is a good thing. Gorbachev has criticized Putin for being authoritarian. But on this issue he supports the referendum and annexation by Russia.
  • However when the USSR broke up the boundaries were set by treaty between Russia and Ukraine.
  • Crimea also has a Tartar population that was moved forcefully during World War II by Stalin because he deemed them untrustworthy. They had sided with the Czar. Stalin feared they  might favor the Germans. So he forcefully removed them till the war’s end. But then many returned only to find their homes taken by Russians.
  • There are also large number of Russians in clusters inside Ukraine on the eastern border with Russia.
  • HOWEVER for Putin to suddenly be so obsessed with “boundary purity” is a contradiction. What about the numerous ethic autonomous groups inside the Russian Federation? Should he then favor their right to independence? Some already are in revolt. You might reply that Russia is not purely a “Russian State” but a “Federation”. Well then should Ukraine remedy the situation by declaring itself a “federation” also?
  • Up until the mid 1950’s there was still some armed unrest inside Ukraine to Soviet domination. If Russia were to fully invade then this could really cause a long war.
  • Moldavia, which was a Soviet Republic in the USSR got it’s freedom after the breakup of the USSR. They have a breakaway Republic that has a large group of ethnic Russians. So if Putin wants to bring them into Russia we have to ask the same question. Should Putin grant independence referendums to non-Russian regions inside Russia?
  • Remember the tragedy of Yugoslavia! This question is best left to the people themselves not to America.
  • Some liberal websites have stated that there are fascist groups in Ukraine. Well I guess the KKK supported America in WWII. That does not mean our involvement in WWII was motivated by the KKK. But on the other hand these right wing groups in the Ukraine seem to be armed and have power.
  • The prior Ukrainian President was placed in office by election. But why was the opposition leader in jail? Democracy is more than just elections.
  • What role does NATO’s advancement into the former Soviet block play in Putin’s reaction to the over throw of Ukraine’s elected president?

Finally I would like to present a video that claims the Ukrainians are in for a big surprise if they get into the European Union. According to the video below the Ukrainians want to join the European Union because they favor “social democracy”.

Remember the crisis started when Ukraine turned to Europe. The Ukrainians were receiving assistance from Russia. According to the view in the video below they may regret their action because they may be joining the “Austerity Union” not the European Union of the past few years.

The producers of the video below claim the Banksters are taking Ukraine for a ride. I will let the video speak for itself.

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Could Crimea Be Partitioned?

Since Crimea is a peninsula it could be conducive to partitioning as the Black Sea is shared by both Ukraine and Russia. Also both nations have some land connections.  The question is are the Ukrainians who live in Crimea in isolated enclaves that are conducive to a partitioning scheme? What about the Tartars which side do they want to cast their lot with?

I am inclined to believe Russia has a legitimate right to the bulk of Crimea.

The problem I have with Russia is that Yeltsin had made a treaty with Ukraine. As I mentioned above Putin is not being consistent when it comes to minority ethnic rights as he has regions inside of the Russian Federation that wish to break away.

One conclusion I can be certain about is that America should only push for a peaceful resolution! We have had enough of global adventures. The next post will present some aspects of Obama and Bush’s interaction with Putin that have not been addressed in the news media.

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