FT A level Politics
the Ukraine Crisis, 2014: an Analysis of How it Unfolds and What Lies Underneath it
Over years of the post-Soviet Era, the former member states of the Warsaw Pact have remained close ties—if not hostility—with the Russian Federation. From the direct military intervention in the Moldavian civil conflict with unconstitutionally seceded Transnistria, in 1992, to the Russo-Georgian War of 2008, Russia had been playing a crucial role interfering the Eastern European politics.
In February 2014, the protesters in Kiev stirred up the Euromaidan Revolution which removed President Viktor Yanukovych from administration and pushed the domestic politics off the cliff into chaos. The Populist leader Viktor Yushchenko, the anti-Russian presidential candidate, who lost to his opponent in the election 2010, gained power as a interim president of Ukraine.
At the meantime, several Russian military incursion took place in Ukraine. Protests were taking place in Crimea. Backing-uped by the Russian government, a referendum was held over the disputed status of Crimea. It resulted in 97% of the population in Crimea supported joining the Russian Federation.
In response to the referendum, most western countries, including EU and the US, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the annexation. In March, the UN called for a general assembly voting on a drafted resolution in address to the crisis happening in Crimea. The resolution denounced the legal status of a Russian Crimea, and condemned Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. However, even under the hostile opposition of the EU and the US, along with their warnings of imposing sanctions, Russia, as a member of the UN Security Council still vetoed the resolution regardless of 100 ayes out of in total 169 votes, with 58 abstentions.
Until now Crimea remained a disputed area—controlled and governed by Russia but largely still recognized as a part of Ukraine.
The Ukraine Crisis is the most recent of the major post-Soviet crises regarding the Russian intervention in Eastern European Politics and intention to monitor the sovereignty of those states. Prospectively, the crisis can be analyzed based on two different point of views: that of Russia, and that of the West.
Crimea, Our Brother
The presidential address to the Ukraine Crisis of Vladimir Putin read that, ‘...In people’s hearts and minds, Crimea has always been an inseparable part of Russia.’ (The Kremlin, Moscow, 2014) It seems really hard to actually determine how convincing that statement was to its audience—the rest of the world, or just the Russians themselves and their counterpart, the Ukrainians. Despite all the Soviet affiliation, Ukraine has always preserved its own distinctive national identity until for the first time in its history when it sworn into the Russia with the Proclamation of Republic in 1917. Since then its status as a state dangled between being a part of Russia, or the USSR, or...