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[email protected] | 23Aug2015 | Will Zuzak,  09Mar2014
Very important Voznyak
article on the Crimea
Dear George Knysh:
Thanks for the link and your views on the subject.
In his thought-provoking article on Crimea, Taras Voznyak challenges
Ukrainians to develop a realistic plan as to the future of the Crimean
peninsula. He points out that the Crimean Tatars have suffered three
previous deportations from their indigenous lands: by Catherine II
(1770-1795, 300 thousand people), during the Crimean Wars (1850-1864,
150 thousand) and by Stalin (1944, 218 thousand). Putin's annexation of
Crimea on 18 March 2014 once again threatens them with repression,
incarceration and expulsion.
The stakeholders in the future of Crimea are Ukraine, the world
community (in particular the European Union and the United States),
Turkey, the Russian Federation and the indigenous Crimean Tatars.
Vosnyak argues that the inflexible positions of Ukraine and Russia will
not endure and that a new legal status of Crimea, which includes the
Crimean Tatars, will eventually be proposed and adopted. He urges the
Ukrainian government to incorporate the Crimean Tatars into Ukraine's
social and political structures.
We note that the Russian naval base in Sevastopol has been at the
forefront of Tsarist Russian imperialist expansion since the time of
Catherine II and remains so today under Vladimir Putin, who has
threatened to locate nuclear weapons there. After the demise of the
Soviet Union in 1991, Russia agreed to remove its naval base to Russian
territory by 2017 (extended to 2042 by Yanukovych in 2010), but it is
obvious that under present circumstances Russia has no intention of
We also note that when Ukraine became independent in 1991, Crimea was
awarded autonomous status with special rights.
In my opinion, the optimum long-term resolution would be for Crimea to
become a "virtual" independent state created and overseen by the world
community (United Nations) and with special economic relations to the
countries abutting the Black Sea: Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Turkey,
Bulgaria and Romania. It would be recognized as the homeland of the
Crimean Tatars, who would be awarded special parliamentary rights. The
official language would be Russian. It would attain oil/mineral rights
along its coastline.
Under this scenario, Crimea could quickly become an economic, social
and religious oasis in the Black Sea. It could lease naval bases to
both Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine would continue to supply water,
electricity at internationally-recognized rates and would re-establish
normal trade and tourism. It could serve as an economic model of
co-operation between East and West -- between the European Union,
Russia and Turkey. [Special provisions would need to be made to curtail
corruption and organized crime.]
The prerequisites for this to happen would be a consensus amongst all
stakeholders, Russia rescinding its illegal annexation, and another
legal referendum overseen by the United Nations.
Will Zuzak; 2015.08.23 (Black Ribbon Day commemorating the
From: [email protected]
Sent: August 21, 2015 8:26 AM
Subject: [politics] Very important Voznyak article on the Crimea
I think we should seriously start thinking through this material and
its implications. I agree with much of this, but have serious initial
reservations about some positions which seem important to Voznyak. I
encourage everyone to come to their own conclusions and discuss
I'm sure a similar discussion will (sooner or later) take place in
Some initial problems: (1) The "Crimean Tatars" are one thing (current
citizens of Ukraine) and the "Kirimli people" (Crimean Tatars +
unspecified millions in Turkey) quite another. You can't roll back
history very much. I remember having a discussion with Crimean Tatar
activist Aishe Seitmuratova a long time ago where she showed me maps of
her "Tatar homeland", which included about half of Ukraine. She
apparently considered the C.T. as the moral, ethnic, and legal
successors of...the Cuman-Polovetska Orda (!!).
This needs to be clarified. (2) "Ukrainian sovereignty" means
just that. It does not include a division of sovereignty between two
peoples. The rights of the Crimean Tatar collectivity cannot compete
with or take away from the sovereign rights of the Ukrainian people
over its territory.
Elementary. End of discussion.
The broadened autonomy of the Crimean people cannot be interpreted as a
first step to an eventual independence. BTW one of the main problems of
Ukrainian state-building in 1991-2014 in the Crimea (and in Donbas!)
was precisely the fact that almost nothing was done on behalf of the
sovereign people of Ukraine there. One of the most interesting
statistics in this connection is that of "ridna mova" between the 1989
and 2001 censuses. The ONLY territories where Ukrainian made no gains
(and in fact suffered losses) were PRECISELY those where Ukraine has
its current problems, viz., the Crimea, and Donbas. This is not
fortuitous. And proper conclusions need to be drawn.
[email protected] | 09Mar2014 | Will Zuzak
CRIMEA: Ukraine, Russian
Federation or Autonomous Republic?
Despite Vladimir Putin’s false claims that the Russian language is
threatened in Crimea, Myron Petriw has demonstrated that it is
Ukrainian-language speakers that are discriminated against in Crimea:
in a Linguistic Battlefield: Ukrainian vs. Russian
Language and Law, 02Sep2012; Bill Bowring
Obviously, the Kremlin is continuing its age-old policy of genocide
against the Ukrainian language and the Ukrainian nation.
There appear to be three possible outcomes to Putin’s occupation of
(1) Crimea, Ukraine:
The pre-invasion status quo would be
generally maintained with the Ukrainian Navy co-existing with the
Russian Black Sea Fleet on the peninsula.
(2) Crimea, Russian
Federation: The Ukrainian military basis
would have to be relocated onto Ukrainian territory. New port
facilities for the Ukrainian Navy would have to be built in the Odesa
area. In the interim, American and Turkish NATO warships would be asked
to patrol and control the remaining Ukrainian coastline. Should Putin
invade and try to annex parts of Eastern Ukraine (Luhansk, Donetsk),
Ukraine would have little choice but to join NATO as soon as possible.
At any rate, once incorporated into the Russian Federation, Crimea
would become a full-fledged enemy such that American, NATO and
Ukrainian missiles would be trained on Sevastopol and Simferopil
(3) Crimean Autonomous
Republic: The scheduled 16Mar2014
referendum is, of course, a farce. Nevertheless, if the citizens
(inhabitants?) of Crimea should choose this option in an
internationally-supervised referendum in 2015 or 2016, things become
more flexible. They could host both the Russian and Ukrainian fleets.
Friendly relations could be established with both the Russian
Federation and Ukraine. There would be less urgency for Ukraine to join
Tourism and commercial enterprises would not suffer. It is not clear if
the oil and gas mineral rights along the Crimean coastline would accrue
Crimea. Of course, tolerance to all languages would have to be
established. Crimea could become a modern European nation rather
I do not profess to have any military expertise, but does my analysis
Will Zuzak; 2014.03.09