Russia-Crimea Political Dossier
The United States and Soviet Union began a philosophy of taking sides on geopolitical issues in the course of the Cold War. Since the war, conflicts between the West and Russia always instigate economic and political challenges in many parts of the world. Ideological struggles changed the idea of picking sides, especially in the aftermath of Soviet Union’s disintegration. The breakup of the Soviet Union significantly changed Russia’s sphere of influence. Investors fled the country to seek opportunities in anti-Russian countries. Despite the different ideological changes, foreign countries led by the US still maintain anti-Russian position as is apparent in the Russia-Crimea political dossier.
According to Greene and Migaki (para. 2), Russia is now in control of Crimea. Russian flags have replaced the Ukraine flags on top of the government buildings in Crimea. Economic mismanagement resulted in the separation of the Soviet Union. After the disintegration in 1991, Russia shared the Crimean port of Sevastopol that it built in the 18th century with Ukraine. Russia has however taken back the entire base in Crimea, including Ukrainian ships. During the World War II, the Nazis launched an attack and occupied Silverton City. The city, which now belongs to Russia, used to host Ukrainian Naval vessels. The city experienced Soviet Pride after the World War and all through the Cold War, during the time that its submarines spied on the U.S.
The differences between Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War have made the Russia-Crimea political debacle even worse with food prices soaring as western business elites in Russia create rumbles in the country. The US and European sanctions on Russia put pressure on the Russian currency. Oil prices slumped to records low, hurting the Russian economy in the process. Russia’s poor relationship with America isolates it and is vulnerable to economic breakdown. Russia currently has Belarus and Kazakhstan as the only close friends. According to Critchlow (para. 2), over the last decade Putin’s government hoarded gold may now be about 1150 tons. The stock has been the revenue stabilizer for President Putin after the Russian Rubble hit new lows, following the sanctions imposed on the country after it annexed Crimea.
According to Agence France-Presse (para. 4), Russia enforced the deployment of its troops in the South and Crimea because of the worsening state of affairs in Ukraine. It also did that to build up its forces. President Putin intends to create defense measures all around the country, even in Crimea. According to Agence France-Presse (para. 5), the United States rejected the idea of Crimea joining Russia. It does not even acknowledge the legitimacy of the regional and local elections conducted in Crimea. The United States’ position is that the Peninsula remains a part of Ukraine.
Despite the anti-Russian stand on the matter, Crimea is becoming a Russian state, which continues to prove less hospitable to the minorities. According to Birnbaum (para. 1), Crimean people complain how the world, including Ukraine, writes them off. Ukraine focuses on the bloody war in the South East. Since the World War II, land grabbing in Europe has brought harsh consequences, such as the bloody conflicts in Ukraine. Although Kremlin assured the people of Crimea that life would improve for both Russians and Ukrainians, it is not the reality. Ukrainian Orthodox Church consists of Authorities from Ukrainian-Speakers. Since the Russian takeover, Ukrainian speakers have fled because they fear for their lives. According to Birnbaum (para. 4), Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, was protecting the rights of ethnic Russians by moving into Crimea. However, President Obama considers the move illegitimate.
The 76% percent of the Crimean population voted to join Russia without considering the bigger problem the union would cost them. All Russian residents will need healthcare, which they cannot qualify for with their Ukraine passports. The jobs and schools that belong to Ukrainians will continue to vanish. They will need to leave the peninsula or give up their Ukrainian passports. The Ukrainian forces have clashed with the pro-Russian rebels over different territorial boundaries and issues. According to Walker (para 2), at least ten people died during artillery shelling of Donetsk airport where Ukrainian government fought with pro-Russian militants. The reason for the war was the control of Donetsk airport. More civilians lost their lives in the war. Innocent children have also lost their lives in the fights. Despite anti-Russian sentiment, some countries are ready to work with Crimea after the secession from Ukraine. Crimea is capable of providing fresh water and natural gas to keep its people. Moscow promised to construct a bridge between Russia and the peninsula. Russia has already selected the legislators in Crimea, and the next selection will be in two years (Aksyonov and Voskresenskiy para. 5).
Despite the pressure from anti-Russian states, Crimean feels connected to Russia. The mounting economic pressure coupled by poor relationship between Russia and U.S do not affect President Putin’s policies towards other nations in the former Soviet Union, including Ukraine. Europe and America are anti-Russia and would do anything to force the Russian president to submit to their policies (Birnbaum para. 3). However, Putin shows little sign of softening his stand. Instead, he enjoys high power ratings from his people who are ready to fight for him and what he believes.
Agence France-Presse. “Defense Minister: Russia to Deploy Reinforcements to Crimea Area.”
Defense News. 16 Sept. 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. <http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140916/DEFREG01/309160043/Defense-Minister-Russia-Deploy-Reinforcements-Crimea-Area>.
Aksyonov, Sergey and Mikhail Voskresenskiy. ‘Russian Unity’ Leader Unanimously Elected
Head of Crimean Republic. RT. 9 Oct. 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. <http://rt.com/politics/194420-crimea-aksyonov-leader-election/>.
Birnbaum, Michael. “Crimea is becoming more Russian — and less hospitable to minorities the
Washington Post.” The Star. 28 Nov. 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. <http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/11/28/crimea_is_becoming_more_russian_and_less_hospitable_to_minorities.html>.
Birnbaum, Michael. Investors abandon Russia as Putin risks economy for Crimea.” The
Independent. 08 Dec. 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/investors-abandon-russia-as-putin-risks-economy-for-crimea-9792222.html>.
Critchlow, Andrew. “Putin Stockpiles Gold as Russia Prepares for Economic WAR: Russia’s
Central Bank Added to Its Reserves of Bullion in the Third Quarter, According to the Latest Report from the World Gold Council.” The Telegraph. 13 Nov. 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/commodities/11226240/Putin-stockpiles-gold-as-Russia-prepares-for-economic-war.html>.
Greene, David and Lauren Migaki. “In Crimea, Many Signs of Russia, Few of Resistance.” NPR.
27 Oct. 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. <http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/10/27/358564273/in-crimea-many-signs-of-russia-few-of-resistance>.
Walker, Shaun. “Ukrainian Forces and Pro-Russia Rebels Clash Over Donetsk Airport.” The
Guardian. 1 Oct. 2014. <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/01/ukrainian-forces-pro-russia-rebels-donetsk-airport>.