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[email protected] | 23Aug2015 | Will Zuzak, [2] 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 doing so.

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.

Respectfully proposed
Will Zuzak; 2015.08.23 (Black Ribbon Day commemorating the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact)

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected]
Sent: August 21, 2015 8:26 AM
To: politics
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 them. 
I'm sure a similar discussion will (sooner or later) take place in Ukraine.

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:
Law 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 Crimea.

(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 (Simferopol?).

(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 NATO.

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 quickly.

I do not profess to have any military expertise, but does my analysis sound reasonable?

Will Zuzak; 2014.03.09