Crimea Referendum 232

The principle of self-determination should be the overriding consideration, and the Crimean Parliament’s decision to hold a referendum on union with Russia is something which always needed to be part of a solution.  But plainly  this month is much too fast, and a referendum campaign which gives people an informed and democratic choice cannot be held while the Crimea is under Russian occupation and those against the proposed union with Russia are suffering violence and intimidation.

The EU needs to move towards Putin.  An approach that sticks rigidly to Ukrainian territorial integrity being inviolate is sterile.  An international agreement is possible, if the EU makes plain to Russia that it accepts the principle of self-determination.  Agreement should then be reached on immediate withdrawal of Russian forces into their allocated bases in Crimea, and back to Russia if there are indeed extraneous numbers, and an international monitoring presence for the OSCE.

The referendum should then be scheduled for the end of this year, with guarantees of freedom of speech and campaigning, equal media access and all the usual democratic safeguards, again to be monitored by the OSCE.

The apparent pullback from violence has been very useful, but the diplomatic and economic fallout is still potentially very damaging.  Following the Anschluss, Hitler held a referendum in Austria within one month of the military takeover and received 99.7% support.  At the moment Putin stands open to a legitimate accusation of pulling precisely the same stunt in precisely the same timescale.




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232 thoughts on “Crimea Referendum

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  • Uzbek in the UK


    “So Putin looking out for Russian national interests in the current Ukraine situation, is not only “chauvinism”, but is also obediently following a historic chauvinistic “cause” handed down by a very diverse set of people from Ivan the Terrible, Peter & Catherine the Great, various Kings, Communist Lenin & Soviet Stalin (although he was Georgian !) ??!!!”

    Poor knowledge of Russian/Soviet history keeps your eyes shut in this particular case and also prone to swallow KGB propaganda.

    Can I ask you. Is this acceptable (by western leftie moral standing) for the national interests of one power to be looked after at the expense of another? Or it is NOT acceptable only if it comes to the US national interests and fine when it comes to Russia?

  • Uzbek in the UK


    “Question, are all other leaders who are charged with looking after their respective Countries’ interests, also guilty of “chauvinism” ?”

    Yes, if others (on receiving end of the stick) are denied rights and freedoms. Especially if this is going back centuries. It is not one poor/cruel ruler case. It is deliberate policy anchored in national mentality of hegemonic nation.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Let's Nuke Russia! (Everett Mix))

    Good question, BarabarZAeVul! Here’s another for you : how many Israeli Jews are oligarchs?

    Many more than you would like to admit. Next?

  • ESLO

    Uzbek in the UK

    Of course I’d recognise that many have besmirched Liberty, Fraternity and Equality from Robespierre onwards. I merely used as shorthand for what it means to be a lefty – happy for anyone else to try and define what it means – but I do know an elephant when I see one and I know that Putin and Macky (or any of the other creatures of the Soviet Union I think Stalin also claimed to be a lefty) are not lefties by any stretch of the imagination.

    And of course I support Universal Human Rights – perhaps we should have a look at how Putin stands up – particularly with the document relating to the protection of ethnic minorities. The following would suggest not very well at all.

  • Herbie


    All you’ve got really is your own version of the great man/bad man theory of history, and I can tell you so that you don’t further waste your time, it’s a dead end.

    It’s a myth, like much of what passes for public understanding.

    Countries organise themselves politically according to the stage of their economic development and these structures further reflect the nature of their economy.

    It’s not quite the free choice you seem to think.

  • Ben

    “It’s not quite the free choice you seem to think.”

    Herbie; As a member of the American system, I should add that part of the myth of democracy is that it equally distributes wealth and power.

    Nonsense. You either choose a multiple-party system wherein the most ruthless wags the dog tail and manipulates the masses, or you prefer a two-party system which is less anarchic, but entails the tyranny of the middle which is manipulated into their socket.

    The choice is “paper or plastic’

  • Herbie

    Precisely, Ben

    All these systems are just differing ways for elites to achieve similar objectives.

    The complex democracies we had in the post war period in the West were perfect for creating the illusion that we were all equal and involved and that was necessary for productivity and to fatten the state coffers, but certainly the mass of people had it good for a time.

    We’re past all that now and are back in the grip of oligarchic rule, which is becoming rawer and more naked by the day.

  • Ben

    The Syrian connection rears it’s ugly head.

    “Though I’m told the Ukraine crisis caught Obama and Putin by surprise, the neocon determination to drive a wedge between the two leaders has been apparent for months, especially after Putin brokered a deal to head off U.S. military strikes against Syria last summer and helped get Iran to negotiate concessions on its nuclear program, both moves upsetting the neocons who had favored heightened confrontations.

    Putin also is reported to have verbally dressed down Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan over what Putin considered their provocative actions regarding the Syrian civil war. So, by disrupting neocon plans and offending Netanyahu and Bandar, the Russian president found himself squarely in the crosshairs of some very powerful people.

  • Macky

    @Uzbek in the UK, In a Post about a situation involving the current realpolitik reality, I’m sorry to say that your irrational attempt to single out Russian nationalism & natural self-interest as “chauvinism”, and that your obsession in this end, even takes you back centuries, and that you also try to ascribe a “national mentality of hegemonic nation”, betrays more than just the standard Russophobia, but rather a frightening case of race hate; try writing the same about Israelis & Israel, and see how quick you will be classed as a Racist/Anti-Semite.

  • Dave Lawton

    John Goss @5:18
    I see Chevron did not waste much time setting up a fracking deal.

    Also just released Hot of the press.
    America How it works Part 1.

    America How it works Part 2.

  • Ben

    “I think you should back that up with examples of the posts you think are anti-Semitic. Name and shame!”

    Links are verklempt as decade old ex-pat status trumps everything with anecdotes and rhetoric.

  • Putin Monsterhitlerpsycho

    ESLO 3:52 displays typical NATO-bloc brainwashing. He’ll give lip service to human rights (but not jus cogens.) However, he understands it only as a club with which to beat enemy states over the head. It’s a conditioned reflex – any mention of the law is immediately projected to the designated enemy.

    ESLO doesn’t understand the purpose of this law. He doesn’t understand the philosophical underpinnings. He doesn’t understand the relationship between rights and development and peace. He’s not meant to do, either. ESLO couldn’t cite chapter and verse if you put a gun to his head, even though you won’t even be heard in any legitimate international forum unless you’re able to do just that. He’s never read it. The NATO bloc likes to package its human rights ideology to prevent untoward side effects like domestic awareness of rights. This makes ESLO a handy tool of the state – exactly the outcome that human rights were codified to prevent.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    7 Mar, 2014 – 6:14 pm
    “In a Post about a situation involving the current realpolitik reality, I’m sorry to say that your irrational attempt to single out Russian nationalism & natural self-interest as “chauvinism”, and that your obsession in this end, even takes you back centuries, and that you also try to ascribe a “national mentality of hegemonic nation”, betrays more than just the standard Russophobia, but rather a frightening case of race hate; try writing the same about Israelis & Israel, and see how quick you will be classed as a Racist/Anti-Semite.”

    You of course free to see what you want to see. I am not Russophob. In fact I shared my view on rights of Russians in Baltic states in response to Haba’s post. Read my post carefully before judging me.

    On the other hand, if your lack of knowledge of Russian/Soviet history and ethnoses under centuries of Russian hegemony lets you believe that there are no such things as Russian hegemony and right of self determination for oppressed ethnoses, than again you are only demonstrating your ignorance. It is again YOUR problem.

  • Uzbek in the UK


    Your English in your last post is hard to understand. Is it deliberate to exclude me?

  • Uzbek in the UK

    John Goss

    “Wake up world! Russia has not sent troops into Crimea.”

    I explained earlier. Crimea is not Texas. Crimeans do not keep guns under their bed just in case Mexicans show up. How do you explain 15.000 gunmen appearing in Crimea overnight?

  • karel

    Ba’al Zevul (Let’s Nuke Russia! (Everett Mix))

    In response to

    “Karel – The Czechs fought with Austro-Hungary from 1914 to 1918. The coup took place only when Vienna had surrendered and the Austro-Hungarian acceptance of peace conditions was announced. The war was over, in all but name, on the Eastern front. To claim a victory over a power which you have been (however reluctantly, but actively) supporting for four years, at the point at which the power has been ground into rubble by your then enemies, is not, in my judgement, any kind of a victory over the enemy, however happy it makes you,”

    May I state that it is difficult to orient oneself (I also get lost sometimes) in understanding the intricacies of the end stages of WW1. But it may suffice to know the chronology. All dates refer to 1918.
    1. 26th September formation of the provisional Czechoslovak government in Paris.
    2. 15th October the recognition thereof by the French government.
    3. 18th October -Washington declaration of Czechoslovak independence.
    4. 28th October peaceful but factual takeover of power in Prague
    5. 3rd November armistice agreed in the villa of Giusti del Giardino near Padova between Österreich-Ungarnn and the Entente.
    6. 11th November armistice signed between the Entente and Germany in Compiegne

    You can just as well argue that the war effort of Österreich-Ungarn collapsed sooner primarily because of the revolt in the most populous and industrialized part of that funny empire. It is not a surprise that Czechs as unfortunate citizen had to fight to keep the degenerate Habsburg dynasty in power. There was a death penalty for a desertion (Um der zunehmenden Fahnenflucht Einhalt zu gebieten, war erst ab März 1915 das Standrecht „für Fälle, die als ‚Verbrechen der Desertion‘ gewertet wurden“, zur Anwendung gekommen. „Am 16. März 1915 erfolgte die Verlautbarung […], wonach Deserteure gemäß § 444 Abs. 2 der Militärstrafprozessordnung, wenn sie für schuldig befunden wurden, zum Tod zu verurteilen waren.) and many years imprisonment for self-mutilation. If you read German you can also get some popular info about the savage nature of the k.u.k. regime on Do not ask me to translate it but perhaps our in house linguist babacus will do it gratis.
    As you seem to have heard of Hasek, you should know that he also deserted the K.u.K., joined the red army and eventually became the commander of the Bugulma town. He was not alone to desert, many made the same choice and later fought as legionnaires on the side of the Entente in Russia (until the end of 1917), France and Italy.
    I guess at your age that you are still somewhat boisterous but watch out, if you can excuse my patronizing tone, as not to metamorphose into something like our endearing clown halibabacus.

  • Macky

    @Uzbek in the UK, I’ve just posted two articles on the latest Thread that both argue against your charge of Putain’s Chauvinism iro the Ukraine situation; feel free to refute & debunk.

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