Does Russia have a right to Crimea? Who supports the annexation and who is against it? Why?

Expert Answers info

Karyth Cara eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2013

write850 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Business, and History

As often occurs on political questions, the answer depends upon the political point of view being presented (either the writer's own point of view or the point of view of the person being interviewed or reported about). The independent Internet news organization, Truthout.com, reports the opinions of Paul Craig Roberts on the Crimea-Russia question. Roberts describes himself as a "former editor of The Wall Street Journal and a columnist at all the major publications" while Truthout describes him as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan and current associate editor of The Wall Street Journal. In an interview with Truthout, Roberts describes his analysis of the legality of the Crimean annexation and the support present for it.

Crimea is on the Tauric peninsula surrounded by the warm waters of the Black Sea, thus has valuable warm water ports critical to trading and shipping. The Crimea has historically been invaded by many peoples through many ages; to the south, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Ottomans; to the north, Goths, Bulgars, Huns and the Golden Horde of Khan, to name a few. In more recent history, in 1954, the Crimea was transferred from annexation to Russia to annexation to the Ukraine under the authority of Khrushchev who was general secretary of the Communist Party. In 1991, the Crimea became the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within the newly independent Ukraine. Ultimately, in 2014, the Crimea became the subject of the dispute between the Ukraine and Russia.

Russian military, without insignia on the uniforms, blockaded two Ukraine airports, one in Sevastopol and one in Simferopol; Sevastopol, with the Belbek international airport, is a naval port on the Black Sea. Arsen Borysovych Avakov, a Ukrainian politician, characterized the blockade of Belbek as a "military invasion and occupation [that] ... is a breach of all international agreements and norms." Russia countered by saying the blockade was intended to stop fighter planes from landing in Sevastopol. The week prior, the Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych had been ousted from power by a military coup. The blockades awakened the fear in the Ukraine that the blockades were the first step in deadly retaliation that could awaken an international dispute over the pro-Russia region of the Crimea. One uniformed military man (with no identifying insignia) at Simferopol identified himself as being with the People's Militia of Crimea, saying they were there to protect the smooth operation of the Simferopol International Airport and to prevent an incursion of "radical Ukrainians."

Paul Craig Roberts characterizes the ouster of the Ukrainian President as a coup funded by the United States with the objective of introducing the Ukraine into NATO, in violation of international agreements to leave Eastern European countries out of NATO. With the Ukraine in NATO, Roberts explains, the U.S. can install anti-ballistic missile bases in western Ukraine. Roberts explains that there is a cultural tension between the Russian peoples of the Ukraine, who are centered in eastern Ukraine and in Crimea, and the non-Russians of western Ukraine. In light of the cultural conflicts, Russia has said that they may use military force if violence is unleashed against the Russian peoples living in eastern Ukraine. If military force of this sort erupts, an east-west split of Ukraine is foreseeable. A Crimean peoples referendum elected to annex to Russia since continued annexation to Ukraine presents a cultural threat.

Taken in this light, it is possible to say that, yes, Russia does have a right to incorporate Crimea: grounds are (1) culture and ethnicity based and (2) politically based following the referendum. The Western coalition of powers that support the U.S. generally oppose

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 2,100 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2012

write2,471 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Walter Fischer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2013

write4,028 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial