Would it be better if the Crimea rejoined Russia?

The Crimea was part of Russia for several centuries. Nikita Khrushchev gave the region to the Ukraine in 1954.

A referendum is scheduled March 16 to allow the Crimera to voice their feelings. If they indicate a desire to rejoin Russia then why not let them?

Wouldn’t the Ukraine be better off without a region of Russians trying to dominate the government? The Ukraine could join the EU and the Russians could do what ever the hell they want.

Otherwise, there will always be a political power struggle between the native Ukrainians and the Crimera Russians.

Would letting Crimera go work out or not?

Only if Russia pulls out all troops and allows the process to happen democratically, with the consent of the Ukranian government, and without any threat of military force or political blowback if they decide to stay part of Ukraine. While the idea of Crimea returning to Russia certainly seems tidy at this point, the only reason it seems reasonable is because Russia effectively invaded a sovereign country. They shouldn’t be rewarded for that.

It is frustrating that Putin turned thug and sent in troops.

I think the Crimea would have broken away from the Ukraine without Russia’s interference. Probably as a separate state that closely aligned with Russia.

Now it’s a mess because no one wants to reward Russia for using aggression.

But the Russian population in the Crimea still don’t want to be ruled by Ukrainians.

You have no idea whether that’s true or not. The distinction between “Ukrainian” and “Russian” in Ukraine is vague, and, especially with the younger population, is disappearing quickly. Genetically, the two populations are the same, culturally the younger populations are basically the same, and linguistic differences are disappearing, since most “Ukrainians” can speak Russian very well and most younger “Russians” can speak passable Ukrainian. And trust me, quite a few Russians do NOT want to live in Russia. Including ones that are in Russia right now.

It would have been interesting to see what the Crimera would have chosen if left alone. They would have had quite a debate. Probably some large demonstrations. Much like what happened in Kiev. Hopefully without the snipers.

Putin has so needlessly turned this into a powder keg.

Separatist movements anywhere are bad news for everyone everywhere.

Our borders suck. Many of them were drawn as colonial or Cold War gambits with no attention to how they’d work in real life. Furthermore, countries change and develop new fracture points and allegiances all the time.

But the only thing worse than the current borders are changed borders. Nothing has caused more bloodshed, and nothing will ever make 100% of people 100% happy with all the world’a borders-- especially when natural resources are unevenly distributed. Changing borders up is just asking for trouble.

Which is why, whenever possible, countries are encouraged to work out their internal differences internally, and to think as a nation rather than as a bunch of potentially autonomous entities. Experience shows that it can be done, but not until everyone gets it in to their head that they are in it together.

Now and then there is a situation so compelling that a country goes through the long and carefully considered process of legally separating. The go through the right channels, make sure the impact on neighbors and citizens is fully considered, and plan something that is satisfactory to everyone.

That doesn’t usual involve Russia rolling in with tanks.

Aceplace: You do realize the state you live in (Arkansas) seceded from the United States and joined the Confederacy? How do you feel about that secession and the following Civil War?

Is that any different from the Crimea situation?

Even Sven: I am of the feeling that Iraq would be much better off if the U.S. had divided the country into three parts after the Iraq-Kuwaiti War (and U.S. invasion) that the perpetual civil war that Iraq seems committed to.

In any partition, you’re going to end up with several thousand (if not million) people who were perfectly happy being citizens of Nation A, and don’t want to have that stripped of them and be made citizens of Nation B instead. The end result is never as clean and tidy as it seems on paper.

Crimea wasn’t really part of Russia for centuries. It was owned by Russia but the people who lived there weren’t Russians. They were Crimeans, who were Turks. The Soviets decided the Crimeans were politically suspect and deported them to Uzbekistan in the nineteen-forties and brought in Russians to replace them.

Nitpick: It’s Ukraine, not THE Ukraine. From what I’ve gathered, that’s actually a big sticking point for many Ukrainians, isn’t it?

The word Ukraine means border. So Ukrainians might resent having their country called “the border” because it defines them by their relationship with Russia rather than by an identity of their own.

In what language?

Were Crimeans of whatever ethnicity agitating for union with Russia or independence to any large degree? Or is this “need” new as of the last few weeks/months? The Parliament voted for it, but somehow I think a public vote wouldn’t necessarily be the same. Sounds like not?

Exactly, Terr

The Putin take-over model does not provide for those Russians who do NOT
want a dictator-president for life. You can never tell an autocracy that
rigged elections and sham referendums are convincing to the West as “due
process of law.”

The West can buy the Crimea annexation for a number of reasons. But Putin
will overstep the line in Ukraine because he still believes the Stalin dictum
that “What matters in a election is not who votes but who counts the votes.”
The proof of that is (1) UN observers and negotiators have been barred from
Crimea, (2) the local and foreign press has been muzzled in Crimea, and
(3) the Ukrainia Navy has been bottled up in Crimea at a maritime choke
point. These actions are all products of autocracy and dictatorship.

Obama is right. Putin is very close to wrecking foreign capital investment
in the Russian Federation because a dictatorship is inherently corrupt and
and unstable. Nobody knows that better than Ukrainia.

I wish the Ukrainia Navy would blow that wrecked ship to kingdom come.
The reaction would be worldwide.

Cheers, Singanas 3-7-14

So - in what language does Ukraine mean “border”?

What Ukrainian government? The one that’s been overthrown by fascists and Neo-Nazis, or the one that consists of those fascists? The Russian troops are there by agreement with the only legitimate government left in the Crimea, who are the ones that have called the referendum. There’s been no “invasion” in any meaningful sense, any more than England was invaded in 1688.

Too many people here are automatically assuming Russia is in the wrong without reference to either facts or history. Europe had to defeat fascists with Russian help before, it’s deeply disturbing that both Europe and America are now supporting them.

I realize this isn’t Great Debates, but I’d like some evidence (from reputable sources) that the protests in Kiev were done by fascists & neo-Nazis.

Of course, this is IMHO–where talking out of your ass is allowed…

From Slavic krai “edge, end, frontier, region”, thus: region on the frontier, and Slavic prefix o “of, concerning, about, upon”. Ukraine was called by the Germans Kleinrussland “little Russia”. Ukrainians were also called Ruthenians

Slavic “krai” means edge, end in physical sense (edge of a sheet of paper, for example) and “region” in geographical sense. “Ukraine” does not mean “border” in any language I know.

I don’t speak any Slavic language, but Republika Srpska Krajina means something like the Republic of the Serbian Frontier, no?