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This seems like a pretty simple question to ask, given the belief of some that the people of the region would prefer to be part of Russia.

What is your answer to this question?  Is it one that you can consistently apply to Chechnyans, Palestinians, Tibetans, and American wannabe secessionists?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, siduri
  •  I'm not at all certain they want to be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    part of Russia.  I'm reasonably convinced they want complete autonomy from Ukraine and possibly even independence, but being part of Russia is quite another thing.  They may not have much choice in the matter, though.

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:14:34 PM PST

  •  Under the very same conditions as Kosovo. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. We support calving Kosovo off of Serbia, of which it was an integral part for centuries. What right have we to tell Crimea (and Russia) that it can't break away from Ukraine, of which it has been a part only since 1954, if the majority of Crimeans so choose?

  •  Vote of the people in the region (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Involuntary Exile, siduri, Mannie

    Something like South Sudan - if the Crimea wants to become an independent state, then set up a vote of the people, hold a free and fair election sponsored/monitored by the UN, and if they vote to do so, they should become independent.

    Look, at some point all of these countries that were formed by post-WWII or post-colonial set-ups just don't make sense.  The Ukraine has never really been one country over its long history; there are different regions with different ethnicities, religions and languages. Why should they all be one country just because it was convenient to the powers that be to do so back 60 years ago.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:17:57 PM PST

  •  It's not for us to say. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lepanto, Mannie
  •  None (0+ / 0-)


    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:44:25 PM PST

    •  What if he simply stays? (0+ / 0-)

      Let's face it, it makes no sense for us to militarily force him to do anything. The Crimea and even the rest of Ukraine are not worth sacrificing our troops and risking a nuclear war. We wish good luck to Ukraine, and financial support, but that's about it.

      •  Wait (0+ / 0-)

        Those we see on TV calling for Ukraine to be re-integrated into Russia are the ultra extreme - the pro-Russian equivalent of the neo-Nazis in the West.  

        What Putin wants is a puppet government in Ukraine and, if he cannot get that, in Crimea and whichever areas of the eastern parts of Ukraine he needs to provide the all important land buffer between Russia and "the West". That land buffer is the impetus behind all Russian and Soviet foreign policy since Stalin's days.

        I am old enough to have seen this same game played in Czechoslovakia. It ultimately failed there, albeit with the Czech and Slovak republics undergoing a "velvet divorce" but within the EU umbrella.

        Putin is both a victim of history and a denier of the inevitable rise of a democratic impetus in societies where dissent is suppressed. His increasingly pathetic hard man act (about the only member of the Village People lineup he has not imitated is the Native American!) is an expression of his insecurity and failing personal strength as he ages - remember Mao Zedung's swimming expeditions? His press conference harked back to Soviet days when nobody would dare question statements by the leaders.

        Putin sees in Ukraine what he is afraid of happening in Russia. The oligarchs are making the same mistakes as the French nobility in the 18th century. By ignoring the needs of the population at large as they prosper, the conditions for a new revolution are building. St Petersburg was designed as the gateway to Europe  by the czars. The problems with gateways is that it attracts two way traffic so the young, as in Georgia, are looking towards the west for their cultural and economic futures.

        Whether Putin falls from power through death, old age or finally running out of options to change the Russian constitution, he will go. This may be accelerated by what I predict will be a failed incursion into Ukraine. That ultimate failure may take rather less time than the Czech people had to endure.

        "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 06:06:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If Putin says "Crimea is mine (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Involuntary Exile, siduri

    and I will fight to defend it", that's good enough for me. I don't think we should fight him for it. No way.

  •  Interesting question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've been wondering the same thing and I have to admit that my own feelings on the matter are inconsistent.

     I am totally behind Crimea joining Russia if that is what they want to do, but I am totally opposed to letting areas choose to stop being part of the U.S.

    One of the reasons people who claim that the rebel flag is about southern pride pisses me off so much is because, even if that was true (which I don't believe for a  second), they are taking pride in the fact that their ancestors committed treason against the U.S.

    What is your opinion or are you still sorting through it?

  •  Eastern Ukraine claimed independence today (0+ / 0-)

    My guess is that Russia and NATO will enter into negotiations this spring to cleave the Ukraine in two, West and East, unless Putin really is off his rocker, and then it's going to be a bloody mess for years to come.

    The Ukraine is an experiment anyway, a largely artificial creation forcing two distinct minority groups into a nation state together. They no longer want unity.

    I've seen some hardboiled eggs in my time, but you're about twenty minutes

    by harrylimelives on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 06:25:44 PM PST

  •  "be allowed"? (0+ / 0-)

    Passive voice, as usual, hides the who's-doing-what-to-whom.

    The reality is that outsiders do not have a lot of power to allow or prohibit.

    The only question worth asking is under what conditions the US, UK, Turkey, NATO, etc. will recognize a change in boundaries.

    To put it another way: Under what conditions will Scotland "be allowed" to declare independence?

  •  Let the former Czechoslovakia be the model (0+ / 0-)

    when the Czechs and Slovaks were forced into one country after WW1 they hated each other's gut
    Now that they have separated peacefully they're discovering how much they have in common and are best friends.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 06:48:34 PM PST

  •  If you're occupied by the Russian army (0+ / 0-)

    then you are not really being given a free hand to sort out your own affairs.

    As others have noted it is not clear that being some kind of Russian province (again) is what the populace actually wants. Furthermore not everyone in Crimea is of Russian origin or favors alignment with Russia. And they cannot just cut ties with Western Ukraine: they are too inter-dependent for that. It is a complex situation.

    Hopefully there is a political solution to this but IMHO one of the preconditions for that is the withdrawal of Russian troops.

    However I am afraid it is going to turn out like what happened in Georgia. The Russians continue to support a breakaway region there (South Ossetia) with a local government few nations recognize as legitimate.


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