Conflict continues within the Crimean Peninsula

Today marks the 583ed  day since conflict was ‘officially’ declared in the former Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, now known as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea according to the Russian Federation. Even though it has been over nineteen months since the conflict broke out and subsequently ‘ended’ with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, tensions remain high within the peninsula and across the globe. Recently, blockades have been set by local Tatars, a Turkic ethnic group of around two hundred-fifty thousand that live in the region, to block traffic and the flow of goods/aid form entering the province. The move that blocked three highways was a “demonstration for Russia that Crimean Tatars will not give up on Ukraine“. With nearly 6,000 tons of food passing through these highways form the Ukrainian mainland, many of which contain food, these shipments may be considered crucial to some within Crimea. Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov however stated that “…the blockade will lack impact because the peninsula gets less than 5% of its supplies from Ukraine“. Though Prime Minister Aksyonov may be downplaying the blockades message and efforts, violence in the region is diminishing with help form a cease-fire agreement between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists. This conflict, along with many small others will surely be a topic of discussion as leaders meet this week at the UN General Assembly.

With the UN General Assembly meeting this week in New York, its imperative to mention the vote put into place last year involving the Crimean conflict. After the 24 day conflict, the Russian Federation annexed the peninsula with 97% of those that voted in Crimea approving the measure. The UN however sided with the Ukraine in a vote of 100 in favor to 11 against, with 58 abstentions stating “...the peninsula’s annexation by Russia has no validity“. With a overwhelming majority of the worlds nations, baring the abstaining nations, coming to Ukraine’s defense, some wonder why Russia will not relinquish the peninsula to its pervious government. From issues we’ve discussed in class, we can view Russia as a ‘rational’ actor in terms of it’s policies. After the annexation, President Vlaidmir Putin was quoted with saying the actions of his country were “…that Russia should protect the interests of Russians and members of other ethnic groups living in Crimea“. Through International Relations theory, we can conclude that the actions taken by President Putin and his military were to their circumstances justified as a sort of self-preservation or putting the survival of their nation first by means of protecting its people as well as claiming territory. The legitimacy of these actions has yet to be recognized by individuals as well as the international community and in some cases can come to influence further conflicts involving Russia such as the conflict in Syria, as well as various supposed cyber and political spats involving nations such as the Unites States, Germany, and China.

There is no denying Russia’s power in terms of politics, military, or economy (which has taken a dip recently). All power, however has to remain in check and without proper legal and international response to such conflicts, weather it be in favor or in opposition to Russia’s advancements, it must be addressed. ukraine-map-1024x576Result of Crimea vote at UNGA

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6 thoughts on “Conflict continues within the Crimean Peninsula

  1. I disagree that Russia’s actions were right. Just because a section of land has a certain population of people that belong to a certain ethnicity or nationality does not mean the nation has the right to go to war to “protect” those people. Using this same logic, Hitler did the right thing by invading the Sudetenland, right? I mean, it is populated by a vast majority of German speakers with ancestral roots in Germany. Lets call the conflict in Crimea what it really is: An invasion for economic benefits and the people’s moral in Russia. There was no self preservation at stake for Russia. If they did not invade Crimea what negatives would have occurred? Russians in Crimea were not being rounded up and persecuted or deported. At best we can agree that a few Russian soldiers got lost on their vacation.

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  2. • Great post! In my opinion (and likely the opinion of the international community at large), Russia’s annexation of Crimea comes as little surprise. Russia’s “cultural” and strategic interest in the Crimean Peninsula has historical precedents. Yes, there are, in fact, ethnic Russians residing within the Ukraine who became isolated from the motherland after the collapse of the Soviet Union. These ethnically Russian, expatriate populations were judiciously placed within the Ukraine so as to expand and promote Russian influence throughout the occupied territory, as well as the Soviet Union altogether. Similar actions (euphemistically, the rectification of frontiers) were taken by Moscow, amidst the height of the USSR, in satellites such as Kazakhstan and the other Central Asian Republics. Thus, as we have observed before in history, the unification of the Nation-State is of the utmost importance to countries which rely upon ethnocentrism and ultra-nationalism to project power abroad. Additionally, the port-city of Sevastopol has historically been under the control of Moscow; and as Russia’s only warm-water port, there was little chance that Vladimir Putin would have relinquished its control to Kiev – in effect disbanding the Black Sea Fleet. This article was written before the annexation and posits some astonishing predictions that have now come to pass nearly two years later. – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/08/russia-military-crimea_n_4925505.html

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  3. Through reading these blog posts, I am becoming informed more about the conflict in the Ukraine. I definitely agree with the first commentator’s comment on how it was not necessary for Russia to start a conflict in order to protect the few Russians that live in Crimea. I also see Russia’s action reflect the need for a country to protect its interests; I definitely see this tied to what we discussed in class. I do agree with the Ukraine and UN’s opinion in that Russia’s annexation is not valid. I understand the need to Putin wanting to protect the Russian people but I do not think that is an acceptable reason to annex a small part of another country.

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  4. I thought this was a very interesting blog post. It interests me greatly that Russia appears to ignore the opinion of the United Nations, of which they are a major member. It shows that Russia is choosing to only pay attention to the percieved wishes of the population of Crimea (although who is to say that information has not been manipulated by Russia as well). In an ideal world the United Nations would have more of an effect in this issue, but unfortunately Russia’s brute force is winning out.

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  5. Intriguing post! I also think Ruusia’s annexation was the infringement of international law and can’t be condoned at all. Once Ruusia got the Crimea peninsula, as the Prospect Thory argues, it is quite difficult for Russia to relinquish it. However, Russia has his own interests which are difficult for us to grasp or accept and vice versa. That’s why we may need to jettison the stereotype that Russia is evil and to have an ongoing dialogue with Russia in order to reach agrrements at some point, though it was hard.

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  6. I don’t disagree or agree, I feel it’s all base on what side we stand into it. This is not the first time a Country do this. Russia and United states had done intervention in a country with people supporting them to intervene, this doesn’t mean that the action is right. The difference from this example will be that Ukraine is an Independent country.

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