Give them Crimea


Governments and people everywhere seem to have the idea that the revolution against Yanukovych was some kind of American Revolution, where the entire country fought against unjust oppression.

It wasn’t.

See this really nice graph by the Washington Post:


There is a divide in Ukraine. A sharp one. Obama doesn’t realize this. The EU doesn’t realize this. Kiev’s government doesn’t realize this. (Or they ignore it.)

But Putin does.

Note that Putin has no ambitions to take West Ukraine. Putin’s not an idiot. He is not going to risk another World War. He just wants East Ukraine. And East Ukraine, for the most part, wants Russia.

Don’t take the graph’s word for it. Today, the Crimean parliament voted SEVENTY EIGHT TO ZERO to schedule a referendum to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

The West, and West Ukraine, are criticizing Russia for making unjustified incursions into Crimea. But that’s stupid. Crimea wants Russia to come in and take over.


Stop trying to stop Crimea. They will secede. You will not prevent them from seceding. Russia will absolutely pulverize us on a defensive front if civil war breaks out. The rest (or much) of East Ukraine will likely follow. (That’s a prediction. Note that a large majority of pro-Russia doesn’t exist in all parts of East Ukraine.)

And in that case, West Ukraine will happily have their own government with a more stable electorate, (some of) East Ukraine will happily be joined with Russia, and the rest of the world will happily not have to intervene.

Is it really that damn hard to decide?



  1. East Ukraine is tricky — there is not a clear-cut Russian majority as there is in Crimea. East Ukraine will most likely belong to the oligarchs who control it and will continue to strip the place clean, regardless who is nominally in charge in Kiev.

    Besides that, I agree, and think trading Kiev for Crimea is a pretty good move for everyone involved. Russia gets the security of not having its warm-water navy base in foreign hands. The US gets its turn to have a friendly government in Kiev. Perhaps once you remove the large number of Russians in Crimea, the rest of the Ukraine will have more stable election demographics, so they won’t be so desperate as to resort to the extremist Nazi wings of the nationalist groups, and can return to being ordinary, middle-of-the-road nationalists. I really really hope this happens. This would be the best possible thing for Ukraine- they do not benefit from having a Russian military base screwing up their politics, inviting US interference. They do not benefit from having angry mobs of neo-nazis. They do deserve to control their own government, although they are likely going to face the choice of being robbed by the oligarchs or by the IMF. Still it will be an improvement over the volatile mix that has been the case up to now.

    • True. However, I feel fairly confident in saying that at least some parts of East Ukraine will secede following Crimea’s doing so. It may be determined by the US’ actions in the end.
      The whole ultra-nationalist sentiment used Yanukovych as a base to spring off of. While most of West Ukraine was unsatisfied with Yanukovych and for the EU agreement, it took an extremist force to transmute that dissatisfaction into protest… but if East Ukraine stays pro-Yanukovych and pro-Russia, the ultra-nationalists remain a necessity to counter them. If high-Russian parts of East Ukraine leave, the extremists become unnecessary, and as you say, politics will become more stable in the West. The solution doesn’t seem difficult, but it seems that only Putin sees it. Hopefully it will play out well.

  2. Pingback: It’s Official: the Mainstream Media Sucks | Minken

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