Sunday, 16 March 2014
POLITICS: UKRAINE AND THE SECESSION OF THE CRIMEA
Well golly gosh but isn't this a bad thing?
I mean, it has to be as the entire western world and great big enormous chunks of the rest of the world seem to think it is. Bad boy autocrat Putin is rattling sabres (well, lots of really powerful guns and a big army) because of what's happened in most of the Ukraine, except The Crimea that is. But, let's look at a few facts.
First off, the Ukraine's democratically elected president was ousted as the result of what appears to be massive popular show of discontent at his policies. Wait, what were those two significant words -democratically elected, that's them- and by the majority of the voters. That means over 50%. In other words, he was given a mandate. Okay, so he turned out to be a corrupt power-hungry greedy bastard who promptly imprisoned his predecessor Yulia Tymoshenko on mostly trumped up charges (she wasn't exactly an angel herself and the voters seemed glad to be shot of her).
Secondly this massive protest came about with the connivance of western politicians (say hello, Angela Merkin and William Hague) who weren't happy about the president's rejection of closer links with the EU in favour of close ties with Russia. There is a strong case for saying that this overthrow wouldn't have happened without western support. So you can see why Putin isn't happy -having a pro-western EU let me in wannabe on his doorstep.
Thirdly, most of the inhabitants of The Crimea are Russian-speaking and of Russian descent. Why? Because The Crimea used to be part of Russia until Nikita Khruschev moved the borders so that it was incorporated into the Ukraine back in 1953. While the majority of Ukrainians supported getting rid of the president, the majority of the inhabitants of The Crimea certainly weren't.
Everybody on the UN Security Council, except Russia, has denounced/condemned/what have you the current ballot in The Crimea to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia. It's undemocratic! they cry. Sure it is. It's about as undemocratic as a Scotland voting on independence from the UK. Okay, it's been shoved through in a hurry and Putin has sent in the troops which, technically is an invasion, but when the vast majority of the inhabitants are welcoming them with open arms you could well see it as liberation. It's only hours away from the result being known and it's estimated that around 80% of voters will have voted in favour of becoming a part of Russia. Hastily organised or not it still has more legitimacy than a mass protest forcing out a democratically elected president no matter how much of a shit he was.
Now I'm no fan of Putin by any means but it seems to me that he's only protecting Russia's own security and coming to the defence of an area that wants to be a part of Russia and once was.
The EU has to bear a large responsibility in this case and to portray Putin as a villain and aggressor is somewhat wide of the mark.