The March 2014 Referendum in Crimea
What was the crisis about?
In 1954, on the 300th commemoration of unification of Russia and Ukraine, Soviet pioneer Nikita Khrushchev – himself a Ukrainian – announced that Ukraine and USSR were then the best of allies and each other’s eyes and ears. In 1992, just a year after Ukraine had attained its independence from the Soviet Union, Crimeans began rioting about wanting autonomy and hence, a clause was added to the Ukrainian constitution that granted Crimea autonomy, but it would still be under the Ukrainian control. This was given a major push by the Russians who wanted Crimea for themselves, and it happened exactly the way they had imagined, the Crimeans demanded for self-autonomy and this brought major administrative problems in the capital, Kyiv. Nevertheless, the Crimeans plea was heard and they were allowed control of their own affairs, but overall answering was still to the Ukrainian authorities (Galeotti).
The town of Sevastopol would be directed from Kyiv – as a maritime base for its Black Sea armada, but it was also of key interest to Russia for the same reason – ease of navy access. The tensions between the two states have ever been mounting, but after anti-Russian rebels ousted the Pro-Russian president in Ukraine in February, it gave Russia a route on a silver platter; they used this opportunity to encourage the Crimeans to demand to join them, as majority of the 2million population are native Russian speakers. Under international law, Crimea fits in with Ukraine, yet it holds the status of a self-ruling republic with its own parliament, which unanimously voted in March to join Russia (Krutov and Bigg). The leader of the parliament, Vladimir Konstantinov, has officially sent an appeal his Russian counterpart, Vladmir Putin. The submission is intended to legitimize the step.
Brief Summaries of the crisis from different sources
This is maybe the most perilous point of importance when focusing on European history since the Cold War. Immediate talks between Russia and Ukraine will be of key importance to the US, and it will involve itself in the crisis on the basis of acting in line with the UN Charter Article 7. As much as there is still some time, its amazingly paramount to comprehend what each meeting will be about, as both sides look adamant to stick to their initial position, and allow no negotiations (Yuhas and Jalabi). Russia is presently trying to protect the Crimean promontory from whatever remains of Ukraine – to avoid conflicts between the Ukrainian army and the pro-Russian rebels or between either sides’ military base. Moscow has given political, financial and military backing to Ukraine several times even when, professional Russian top government agents never acknowledged Ukraine as an ally. At this point in time, Moscow has two options: an alliance between Crimean and the Ukrainians or Crimea fully joining the Russian Federation (an important law is continuously conformed to permit this).
Effectively under the control of 30,000 Russian troops, Crimea — a Russian-dominant part province that borders the Black Sea — saw its provincial parliament vote collectively for re-joining the Russian Federation on Thursday following 60 years used under Ukrainian control (Pizzi). Ridiculing the Ukrainian constitution, the self-sufficient republic of Crimea has its sights determined to turning into the first autonomous province that will go against principles ladi out in International Law and join Russia, without a referendum involving all Ukrainians; they decided to go against the constitution that binds them as well. Met with judgment by the new government in Kiev and the universal group overall, the situation is anything but favourable for Crimea. Yet with an open choice on the matter slated for March 16, it is pushing advances in any case — and wading into cloudy waters.
Crimea was a part of Russia until the early 1950s, before USSR exchanged it to Soviet Ukraine. The new Crimean pioneers that have joined the Russian Federation are not recognised globally. The 300,000-in number Muslim Tatar group that accounts for over 15% of the total Crimeans were against joining Russia. The Russian takeover of Crimea might not have been done according to Vladimir Putin’s timing; however, it positively suits his plan and goals (BBC.com). Whether his aspiration ventures into eastern Ukraine or somewhere else, just he knows, people are now fearful of what his next steps will be. Will we see a new Soviet Republic rise again? Nevertheless, with a resurgent Russia, this is a poor timing for the US-headed West to be powerless in purpose and muscle. Tact and approvals may be the right reaction for the time being to the Russian president, yet he will look past those things to see where the true keep an eye on his activities may originate from (BBC.com).
The Huffington Post
As may be anticipated from a whimsical czar who has ruled for a long time, Mr Putin’s next move is eccentric. He may attempt formally to subsume Crimea into Russia; his parliament is making that a reality, or he may decide to hold up, leaving Crimea to mope as a dusk non-state. By attacking Ukraine, and perceiving both the sham submission and “the Goblin” (as Sergei Aksenov, the vile pioneer of Crimea’s neighbourhood putschists, is known), he has stomped on universal law and subverted the post-cool war world request (The Huffington Post). The United States has started to rebuff Russia for its offenses, through visa bans and resource snactions. The reaction ought to be much fiercer, including Mr Putin’s whole nomenklatura and Kremlin-joined organizations. As far as it matters for it, the interim government that assumed control a month ago after Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s disfavoured previous president, fled to Russia has three expansive choices over Crimea.
Similarities and differences in the articles
All the articles reported that most Crimeans wanted to join Russia and hence stated that the votes tallied in the range of 95.5% of voters in Crimea have underpinned joining Russia, authorities say, after a large portion of the votes have been checked in a debated submission. Crimea’s pioneer stated that he would formally apply to join the Russian Federation, Monday morning after the referendum was over. The Russian president stated that he would respect the wishes of the Crimeans and its Russian majority. Numerous Crimeans dedicated to Kiev boycotted the choice, but the focal point was that international bodies like the European Union and USA as a P5 member called the referendum a breach of international law, as it was not legal according to the Ukrainian constitution which had it clearly stipulated that if any region wanted secession, the whole country would vote on that decision and not only the rebels. Anti-Ukrainian rebels had already infiltrated into Crimea in early February, after the Pro-Russian Ukrainian president at the time, Viktor Yanukovych had to seek asylum in Russia because of being overthrown (Greenslade).
The articles all described the referendum and its outcome in a similar manner and discussed it from the opinion of all the three states involved, the Crimean’s, The Ukrainians and the Russians. The vote came short of what three months after Ukraine’s then-president, Viktor Yanukovych, went back on a deal that he had agreed with the EU, and instead joined hands with Russia to promote better ties with it and help the country tap into its natural gas supply through Transborder pipeline construction funded by Russia. That activated exhibitions by genius Western Ukrainians that turned savage, in the end driving Yanukovych to flee (Motyl).
They all reported that the Crimean promontory had been under the Russian military control for over two weeks after the Russian invasion of the region and taking over its parliament buildings. Russia forced itself into Sevastopol when its drives, upheld by helicopter gunships and protected vehicles, ceased the town of Stilkove and brought it under their control as it had a very vital gas circulation plant in the surrounding areas and this was of great importance to Russia — this was the first of the massive lot of Russian military that crossed into the Ukrainian border and got in past the Crimean landmass of 2 million people (Greenslade). Russian compels later withdrew from the town, but still maintained control and power over the ceased gas plant (Kinyua). The one big thing that was lacking was that International Media was not allowed to post the opinions of Russians in Russia on what was happening as all media was ousted. This meant that some of the opinions that were being projected were biased or not utterly true.
BBC.com. BBC News – The Crimean Crisis – Timeline. 18 March 2014. Web. <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26248275>.
—. Ukraine crisis: Report alleges Crimea rights abuses. March 2014. Web. <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29790920>.
Galeotti, Mark. “Crime and Crimea: Criminals as Allies and Agents.” 2 November 2014. Crime and Crimea: Criminals as Allies and Agents. Web.
Greenslade, Roy. “Greenslade Blog.” 20 March 2014. Huffington Post shelves Russian launch plans after Crimea crisis. Web.
Kinyua, Jesse. “HuffPost LIVE.” 3 April 2014. Thousands Of Russians Peacefully Protest Conflict In Eastern Ukraine. Web.
Krutov, Mark and Claire Bigg. “Self-Exiled Blogger: ‘Crimea Is A Big Prison’.” 11 September 2014. Self-Exiled Blogger: ‘Crimea Is A Big Prison’. Web.
Motyl, Alexander. “Russo-Ukrainian War Now a Reality.” 29 March 2014. Huffington Post. Web.
Pizzi, Michael. For Crimea, breaking away is hard to do | Al Jazeera America. 8 March 2014. Web. <http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/3/8/for-crimea-breakingawaywillbehardtodo.html>.
The Huffington Post. Crimea Referendum: Final Results Show 97 Percent Of Voters In Crimea Support Joining Russia. 14 March 2014. Web. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/17/crimea-referendum-final-results_n_4977250.html>.
Trenin, Dmitri. The crisis in Crimea could lead the world into a second cold war – The Guardian. 2 March 2014. Web. <http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/02/crimea-crisis-russia-ukraine-cold-war>.
Yuhas, Alan and Raya Jalabi. Crimea’s referendum to leave Ukraine: how did we get here? March 2014. Web. <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/13/crimea-referendum-explainer-ukraine-russia>.