The ongoing ‘crisis’ in Ukraine and Crimea is in part caused by Russia, Ukraine’s new government and the West. The reason for the placement of Russian forces in Crimea comes from overthrow of the pro-Russian government of former Ukrainian President Yanukovich.
Yanukovich was somewhat legally and illegally ousted from the presidency after he refused to sign a trade deal with the EU, and signed a Russian deal that would have bought a considerable amount of Ukraine’s debt, according to Aljazeera. When Yanukovich fled after intense street battle between protesters and police in the capital, Kiev, the parliament voted to depose the president, which is not technically constitutional, reports the BBC.
Nonetheless, the interim president was installed, along with a new Prime Minister and whole new cabinet supported by, or at least acknowledged as legitimate, by the West.
The important thing to note about this new government is the strategic places the fascists have been given. During the protests the vanguard or leading group, were the ultra-nationalist and fascists, reports the BBC. The BBC also reports that five prominent members of these fascist organizations, notably Svoboda Party and the Right-Sector, are heads of the Ukrainian ministries of the national Security Council, Chief Prosecutor and deputy-Prime Minister, reports the BBC. These people are not to be compared to the fringes of the Republican Party in the United States, the far right in Ukraine draped banners of neo-Nazi symbols and portraits of Ukrainian partisans who were allies during the Second World War of Nazi Germany, reports the BBC and CNN.
The threat of fascism in Ukraine is evidently prominent and needs to be dealt with, otherwise those liberal democrats, who were stomped out in past “revolutions,” will once again be forced out of power. So, does this mean Russia has the right to enter Crimea militarily?
Crimea is made up of a majority of ethnic Russians and a minority of Ukrainians and Tartars. President Putin stated because of the threat to the ethnic Russians in Ukraine, the instability and threat from fascists in the Ukrainian government and agreements signed between Ukraine and Russia, he is allowed to protect those who are vulnerable. Troops must stay inside their bases unless expressly asked for by the government, according to the BBC.
Since Crimea is relatively autonomous and both the prime minister of Crimea and Yanukovich asked for Russian assistance, this would enable the Russian forces to occupy, correct? Well sort of, but at the same time before the newly elected Crimean PM asked for Russian assistance, the parliament in Crimea was stormed by pro-Russian forces while the parliament was in session and the MPs didn’t leave until they elected the new PM. But in the end none of these facts matter when Putin clarifies to the world that these forces with Armored personnel carriers, Russian camo, and fairly new Russian made 4×4 vehicles are local “self-defense” forces who are pro-Russian, and not controlled from Moscow, reports the BBC.
Both the West and Russia are in the wrong here. The West being idealistic but naïve of the prospect of the new Ukrainian government. Russia is protecting civilians from fascists but by way of a military invasion, occupation of sovereign soil, unjustified legal reasoning and being facetious with their true intentions. This Crimean situation sounds familiar though, *cough* Operation Iraqi Freedom *cough.*
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