Crimea is located on and eastern Ukrainian prominence or peninsula located on the Black Sea. It’s appended to Ukraine by a rather small strip of land. It’s composed of over 2 million people 60% who describe themselves as personally being Russian. It’s here the highest concentration of Russian speaking people in Ukraine reside. Russia’s always stationed the Black Sea fleet here since Nikita Khrushchev ceded the region back to Ukraine after Stalin’s assimilation of the region post- World War II.
The Autonomous Republic of Crimea is described as an autonomous republic in the southeastern region of Ukraine, of which it is a part, although it has great autonomy and its own constitution. Crimea itself is located within the Crimean peninsula, a peninsula on the northern coast comprised of Crimea and the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol.
For more than three hundred years Russia’s been covetous of southern expanses on its borders. It’s always sought to expand toward the Black Sea. Warm water ports don’t freeze over in winter and allow for Russia to develop trade year round in the area. It allows for the development of a strong navy which in turn strengthens the protective capabilities of the government in the development of world-trade.
Russia and the Ottoman Empire went to war in October 1853 over Russia’s rights to protect Orthodox Christians. Today, Vladimir Putin claims to be invading Crimea to protect the rights of ethnic, Russian-speaking Ukrainians living there. Russia gained the upper hand after destroying the Ottoman fleet at the Black Sea port of Sinope; to stop Russia’s actions today, rather than attack militarily, the European Union and the United States are threatening economic sanctions.
In 1991, after the fall of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) many people thought President Boris Yeltsin would remand the region to Russian control, but this didn’t occur. Ultimately Ukraine developed a Constitution based government seeking to shed its bonds with Russia and what they may have seen as an acidic relationship where Russia held sway over much of the populace because of no more than a historically based sharing of language. It appears any ultra-nationalism may be extensive on the side of Russian-speaking, ethnically connected segments of society.
There were protests of Ukrainian citizens concerning the interference of Russia in Ukrainian politics. These protests were met by armed force directed by then President Viktor Yanukovych. This left many dead in the streets after he unilaterally declared Ukraine would ally with Russia economically without accepting direction from the Ukrainian Parliament. To this date Russia has imprisoned native Ukrainian armed forces in their Crimean barracks, inserted Russian troops into and along the borders of Ukraine and refused to leave. Then Russia sealed off Donuzlav Lake early Wednesday by sinking a junked ship, effectively barricading an area of the Crimean Peninsula. This prevents access to by Ukrainian ships in the area.
Today, the ruse of protecting the civil and human rights of Russian-speaking Ukrainians is being successfully used to excuse the Russian incursion. Nobody, including the ineffectual and courage-challenged Obama administration has asked the simple question: “where are they?” Can the Russians produce the curriculum vitae or resume’s of the dead people described as “ultra-nationalists” seeking to endanger the Russo-Ukrainian citizenry? If the Russian intelligence gathering organizations are so incredibly well-informed, they should have evidence of the plots organized against this segment of society. To date, nothing’s been produced.
Russia wants to insulate the Crimean peninsula from the rest of Ukraine. This is serving to neutralize Ukrainian police and military forces permanently stationed in Crimea. Moscow has given political, economic and military support to the local, pro-Russian elements. These elements have not accepted Ukraine’s ownership of Crimea since it was transferred from Moscow’s to Kiev’s administration in 1954. Moscow now has two options: a confederacy between Crimea and Ukraine, or Crimea’s full integration into the Russian Federation. Relevant law (not recognized by the alleged legitimate Ukraine government in place in Kiev or in the United Nations) is being adjusted to allow integration in the halls of the Russian controlled “Crimean Parliament”.
The saga continues as Russia thirsts for warm waters.
Thanks for listening.