Russian troops to enter Crimea
By Messenger Staff
Monday, March 3
The current events unfolding in Ukraine, and in particular, the developments in Crimea, vividly show that Russia is following a similar scenario as it did in Georgia in fulfilling its imperialistic ambitions. Many politicians, analysts and ordinary people, as well as journalists find multiple parallels between the situation in Ukraine and in Georgia prior 2008.
The center of confrontation has shifted from Kiev’s center, to Crimea. The events continue changing very fast. The breaking news was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s request from the State Duma to endorse military involvement in Crimea and in Ukraine in general. Many think that intervention has already started.
Why Crimea? Crimea is of the utmost strategic importance to Russia. Russia’s naval base and its Black Sea fleet are located there. Around 60% of Crimea’s population is ethnic Russian. Crimea is officially an autonomous entity in Ukraine.
Russia had already started increasing Crimea’s autonomy. Under its dictate, a referendum will be held on March 30th. When Crimea’s population should decide whether it stays with Ukraine as an autonomous republic or if it will become independent and join Russia.
Ukrainian legislation does not recognize local regional referendums (as was the case in Georgia). However, separatists encouraged by the Russian imperialists speculate on the will of the people, and is aggravated by ethnic issues.
Ethnic Russians in Crimea are a majority. 12% of the population is Crimean Tatars, who prefer to stay with Ukraine. There are Ukrainians as well.
However, the separatist mood is increasing in the region. Ethnic Russians in Crimea started rallies in support of separating from Ukraine and joining Russia. Meanwhile, Moscow illegally distributes Russian passports in Crimea, and now Moscow is getting ready to send a military contingent to Ukraine.
Interim president of Ukraine Alexander Turchinov announced that Russia wants to stage the Abkhazian scenario in Ukraine. First they will start annexation. According to him, Ukrainian armed forces have refrained from getting involved in provocations in order to avoid a full-on military conflict. Truchinov also appealed to the Russian President to stop the provocations immediately and recall Russian forces from Ukraine.
According to the former adviser of Vladimir Putin, Andrei Ilarionov, the Russian president wants to unleash a civil war in Ukraine. Putin needs “2,000 dead Ossetians” the Ukrainian version of the South Ossetian scenario. According to Ilarionov Ukrainian administration should not swallow the bait.
There are other parallel versions as well. For instance, newly appointed Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseny Yatsenyuk suggests that Russia wants to undermine the situation on the Ukrainian Black Sea coast and thus attract visitors to Sochi and its environment. Russia’s aim is for Crimea’s inhabitants to lose their jobs, income, and visitors, as it happened in Abkhazia. Either way, the fact remains that Russia is getting ready to enter Crimea with its armed forces. These developments cause great concern in the West.
As one witty commentator suggested, the west will wake up only when Russia tries to enter Berlin with their tanks.
Here, in Georgia, United National Movement leaders suggest energetic protests against the Russian Federation. The Georgian government has so far refrained from making any acute moves, as Georgia cannot afford to make any mistakes. Officials made statements condemning Russian position though.