The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

So Much for the Crimea

They’ve scheduled a referendum on Crimea’s future, though the exact question isn’t clear.  Given the demographics in the Crimea, that it will leave the Ukraine, and very possibly join Russia seems quite likely.  This doesn’t require any dishonesty, a straight up, fair referendum will likely lead to that result.  In the meantime, militia have been formed, and have not just taken control of arms depots (as did the protestors in Western Ukraine), but have started controlling the borders, checking who is coming and out of the Crimea.

As for the gunmen who took control of the Crimea’s parliament; the full story is interesting and most Western news articles didn’t include it.  Parliament had wanted to meet and pass legislation for the referendum, but couldn’t, because Crimean Tartars blocked access to the building.  So the gunmen came in and took control, and the Tartars decided not to block access any more.

A slightly different story, isn’t it?

Update: it seems the parliament in Kiev is debating ending the agreement which lets Russia use Crimean bases.  Wow.  Just—wow.  They want a war?  They’ll lose it.

Update 2:

In further worrying signs for Kiev, Russia’s parliament began considering two new laws on Friday. One of them offers eased citizenship requirements for Russian-speaking Ukrainians, removing the requirement that they should have lived in Russia for an extended period, while the other makes it easier for Russia to add new territories to its existing boundaries.

The latter law, which appears to be aimed pointedly at the Crimea situation, says territories can be added by a local referendum “in the case that a foreign country does not have effective sovereign state authority”.


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  1. Jeff Martin

    Wow, that was fast. I thought that ending the Russian lease on the Crimean ports would take a few years, after the IMF ass-raping and some NATO exercises, plus the usual farrago in re: freedom, democracy, and economic modernization, or whatever they call it these days.

  2. David Kowalski

    I have a neighbor who has friends in the Ukraine. He expects that Russi will at the least add the Crimea.

  3. Gee

    The Crimeans, as much as they’ve always been unhappy 2nd class citizens in the Ukraine, want no part of being Muslims subjected to Russian rule. They were quite vocal about blocking a referendum, realizing that no matter how bad things are, with Russia, it can always be worse. There were even photos posted of Tartars holding signs supporting the Ukraine, which would have been unheard of months ago. The devil you know…

  4. Ian Welsh

    Tatars were always going to be against reuniting against Russia given their history. They’re about 10% of the population.

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