- International law and the will of the people of Crimea
- Crimeans - a nation or "call of the heart"
- History of Crimea
- Autonomous Republic of Crimea
- Deportation of Tatars from Crimea
- The post-war fate of the Crimeans
- Sevastopol - naval base
- The collapse of the USSR and the return of the Crimean autonomy
- Ukrainian political crisis in 2014
- Peninsular annexation process
Inhabitants of the Crimean peninsula in March 2014 almost unanimously voted in a referendum for the return of Crimea to Russia. The decisions taken with lightning speed by the President of Russia and the State Duma prompted many analysts to think that the special operation project had been prepared for a long time, and the actors knew their roles perfectly. Be that as it may, but Crimea is part of Russia, and now everyone is waiting for the consequences of this unprecedented event.
International law and the will of the people of Crimea
In modern international law, two contradictory concepts are enshrined: the integrity of the state and the right of the nation to self-determination. For "monostates" (ie those on whose territory representatives of only one nation live) everything is simple and clear. But when it comes to multinational states, the laws contradict one another. And in such a situation, as you know, everyone is free to interpret what they read in their own way. Therefore, when Crimea became part of Russia, the world community was indignant and started talking about the annexation of territories.
Political scientistsargue that the "Crimean story" is not much different from the events in Kosovo in 2008. NATO military units entered Kosovo in order to prevent the Serbs from obstructing the referendum. There were no sanctions from the UN for the introduction of troops. Russia acted in much the same way when the Crimean parliament sent a request to the State Duma of the Russian Federation. The only difference is that nothing had to be introduced: the contingent of Russian troops was constantly on the territory of Crimea for more than a dozen years.
Crimeans - a nation or "call of the heart"
True, it is impossible to talk about the self-determination of the nation: there is no “Crimean nation” in nature. According to the population census, about 60% of Russians, 25% of Ukrainians and 10% of Tatars live in Crimea. Actually, as in all of Ukraine, one cannot say that ethnic Ukrainians or ethnic Russians live in a particular territory. Not only are the peoples themselves very similar, but over the centuries everything has been mixed and related.
Probably, it would be more correct to say that a Crimean is not a Russian, Ukrainian or Tatar, but a person brought up in amazing but difficult conditions. The nature and climate of the peninsula inspire humanity and peace, but at the same time, the rather harsh sea and difficult geographical location temper the will and masculinity, determination and pride.
Acceptance of Crimea to Russia is contradictory and controversial also because, according to world practice, it is possible to separate a part of the state into an independent business entity. But joining another country - no. This is what Abkhazia andOssetia, Transnistria and the same Kosovo. The Crimeans, on the other hand, spoke out unequivocally for joining the Russian Federation.
History of Crimea
The territory of the peninsula became Russian in the 18th century, when the state defended its interests in the Black Sea and finally secured its rights in this region during a series of wars.
By decree of Empress Catherine II, Crimea as part of Russia was equated to the rest of the "subjects": the Tatars were granted the same rights as other peoples (free religion, language, culture, etc.). In addition, the state structure did not change. But after the defense of Sevastopol during the Crimean War, which went down in history as the First Defense, Russian patriotism began to form among the inhabitants and defenders of the city.
However, the presence of the Black Sea Fleet greatly interfered with European states that defended their rights in the Balkan Peninsula and in Asia. In the Crimean War of 1853-56. Russia was defeated and forced to leave the peninsula for the next 20 years, abolishing the Black Sea Fleet. But, even despite this, the newly formed cities of Crimea remained in Russia. Sevastopol and other settlements were considered Russian on the territory of the Khan's Crimea.
Autonomous Republic of Crimea
In the Soviet Union, the peninsula acquired a new status: the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Russia from an imperialist state was transformed into a federation in which representatives of each nationality strove to name themselvesrepublic. But not all territories received such a status. Most of the small peoples and nationalities eventually turned out to be part of the RSFSR.
Crimea as part of Russia was first called the Soviet Socialist Republic of Taurida. The autonomous Crimean Soviet Socialist Republic appeared as part of the RSFSR in February 1921. By that time, other Soviet Republics were formed that were not part of Russia.
Of course, after the revolution, the population experienced more than one shock: lack of fresh water, crop failure in the 1920s, accompanied by food requisition (in modern history, better known as the famine), the rejection of the ideas of the Bolsheviks by the Crimean Tatars, etc.
During the Second World War, the population of Crimea had to endure the occupation. The second defense of Sevastopol was even more fierce than the First, but again failed to defend the peninsula.
Deportation of Tatars from Crimea
During 1942-1944, the Crimea was occupied by the Nazis, who, using the developed methodology, created auxiliary punitive detachments from the local population, mainly Tatars. Using anti-Soviet propaganda, the Nazis agitated "dissatisfied and dissenting" to join the ranks of self-defense and fight the partisan movement.
It was these self-defense units that “contributed” to the decision to deport an entire people from the territory of the Crimean peninsula. Russia is big, and the government of the USSR decided to resettle the Tatars inland. Modern history calls this "punishment for treachery", but there is a version, according towhich the Nazis during the retreat in the occupied territories left a whole network of agents. In order to disrupt the plans of the Nazis, decisions were made to deport: Tatars from the Crimea, Finns, Poles and Germans from the border areas, etc.
The post-war fate of the Crimeans
The map of Crimea as part of Russia changed after World War II: autonomy ceased to exist (a region appeared), most of the settlements were renamed, and the population was replenished with Ukrainians and Russians from among the inhabitants of the destroyed and burned villages. According to statistics, by 1946 about 600,000 people lived in the Crimea. Before the war, this figure was close to 1.1 million. There is no need to talk about the ethnic composition of the population. If before the war Ukrainians and Russians made up almost 70% of the inhabitants of the peninsula, then in the post-war period this figure approached 90%.
The Republic of Crimea as part of Russia lasted until 1954. It was then that, in commemoration of the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the reunification of Ukraine with Russia, the autonomy was transferred to the administrative subordination of the Ukrainian SSR. Now it is customary to say that Khrushchev gave the Crimea.
Sevastopol - naval base
As for Sevastopol, in 1948 it received the status of a closed military city of republican subordination. And it remained so until 1961. However, the changed military doctrine did not consider the strategic importance of the Black Sea Fleet. The city was opened, and the status of a military base was removed from it. Already after the adoption of the updated constitution of the Ukrainian SSR in 1978, Sevastopol was returned"special position": his republican subordination is spelled out in a separate article.
But that's not the most important thing. The most important thing is people who are educated and imbued with the spirit of Russian patriotism. After all, it was this city that experienced the ups and downs of the Black Sea Fleet, was the stronghold of Russian sailors and never changed its “nationality” during the change of power on the Crimean peninsula. As part of Russia in 2014, Sevastopol again has a separate place: a city of federal significance, a subject of the Russian Federation.
After digging into the documents and carefully studying them, some historians and political scientists come to the conclusion that formally Sevastopol did not leave the jurisdiction of Russia. The fact is that at the time of the “transfer” of Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR, the city was administratively subordinate not to the Crimean Autonomous Republic, but to the RSFSR (due to its special status as a military base).
The collapse of the USSR and the return of the Crimean autonomy
In the early 1990s, when a decision was made at a meeting in Belarus on the collapse of the USSR, the issue of the peninsula's territorial affiliation was raised repeatedly. The holding of a referendum in Crimea in 1990, as a result of which autonomy was restored, can be considered the greatest achievement. Two years later, the local Supreme Council adopted its constitution and renamed the Crimean ASSR into the Republic of Crimea. However, this name was not approved by the Ukrainian Supreme Council.
The Russian parliament has repeatedly raised the issue of the legality of transferring Crimea to Ukraineand the need to return it to the Russian Federation. However, in 1990 agreements were signed on the absence of territorial claims between the CIS countries.
Ukrainian political crisis in 2014
The popular unrest in Ukraine that began in 2013 was caused by the suspension of the country's European integration by the administration of President Yanukovych. Peaceful mass actions of the protesting population turned into active aggressive actions against the existing political regime.
All subsequent events developed literally at lightning speed: after the removal of President Yanukovych, the Supreme Council of the Crimean Autonomous Republic did not recognize the change of power in Kyiv, the pro-Russian forces of Crimea became more active and, with the support of Russia, managed to hold a referendum on the return of the Russian peninsula.
Simplistically speaking, the wording of the only question submitted for general discussion was: "Do you see Crimea as part of Russia?"
The haste of the decisions made and the repeated postponement of the date of the referendum were caused by the active actions of the new Kyiv authorities. Originally scheduled for early May, the referendum "On Return to Russia" was held on 16 March. Based on its results, the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea adopted a resolution on the independence of a sovereign state - the Republic of Crimea.
Peninsular annexation process
Declaring its independence, the Crimean government turned to the Russian Federation witha proposal to accept the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as a subject of the federation. Moscow's decision was not long in coming. Moreover, the proclamation of sovereignty simplified the legal basis for the annexation of territories to the Russian Federation. The fact is that, according to the legislation of the Russian Federation, the government can consider proposals for joining the Russian Federation only from independent administrative units.
It is not necessary to say that the President of Russia, the State Duma, and the Federation Council of Russia "without hesitation" accepted the proposal of the Crimea. Within a few days, all the formalities were settled, and the Russian Federation was replenished with two subjects: the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.
Of course, the integration process is complex and time consuming, especially in the case of an "uncomfortable" geographic location. But the mood and desire of the Crimean population will smooth out all the inconveniences and troubles.