By: Chris Zimmer, Sophomore Columnist
As students were preparing for their St. Patrick’s Day festivities, the Crimean people made a decision that shocked the United States and the European Union.
Ninety-seven percent of Crimean citizens voted to succeed from Ukraine and become members of the Russian Federation on Sunday, March 16. The Crimean government will retain autonomy to an extent, but will adjust their clocks to Moscow time on March 30, and will be circulating the Russian ruble as its currency starting in 2016. In this neo-Cold War game, Russia won.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized Crimea as a sovereign state, President Barack Obama signed an executive order to freeze assets and restrict travel on 11 targeted individuals who contributed to the result.
According to Executive Order 13660, the Russian invasion of Crimea crippled the Ukrainian democracy and “threated its peace, security, sovereignty and territorial integrity.” The European Union followed suit by sanctioning 21 Russians near Putin’s inner circle with plans to bi-laterally impose similar penalties.
On the contrary, those individuals charged with “threatening the foreign policy and national security of the United States” probably all concur with what former Russian deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov said regarding the sanctions, “I consider the decision of the Washington Administration as a recognition of my service to Russia.”
Despite what biased American cable news programs said regarding the “illegal” and “unfair” vote, Moscow news anchor kindly reminded the world that Russia is, “the only country in the world capable of turning the U.S.A. into radioactive dust.”
I think it’s obvious that the majority of Americans and Europeans see the Crimeans as lambs being led the slaughter. I would tend to lean the other way.
The now former Ukrainian citizens decided to follow through with the annexation because of the elephant in the room; what is going to happen in their former country?
As all eyes were on the Crimean capital of Sevastopol, 11 hours north in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, people still fear violence on the streets. Global Research said the escalated violence on the streets of Ukraine stemmed from “the rise of the most insidious form of fascism that Europe has seen since the fall of the Third Reich,” that is the Pravy Sektor.
These right-wing ultra-nationalists are known for their desire for executing an ethnic cleanse of Ukraine. These ultra-nationalists, who have been compared to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini’s paramilitary regimes, “have managed to turn a conflict over economic policy and the political allegiances of the country into an existential struggle for the very survival of the nation.”
Before the U.S. or E.U. begin pointing more fingers at Putin for potentially hurting their economies, I think our leaders should consider what should really matter; that is the safety for Ukrainians so we don’t see a similar situation like what’s happening in Syria.
Crimeans have been temporarily secured from the chaos still going on in their former country. I really hope news companies don’t stop covering the crisis in Ukraine, because it’s not going away anytime soon.