Monday, 17 March 2014

Congratulations to the people of Crimea on voting for their Future

Funny thing, the Scottish people seem to have a right to vote on their own future and their independence  - yet when the people in Crimea do so, there is an international outcry.

Why would the largely Russian Crimea want to be ruled by Ukrainian nationalists anyway? Clearly they don't. While there were all sorts of issues relating to Yanukovich and his government, it was the elected government and it was overthrown by violent means, with a great deal of overbearing interference from the EU and the USA. 
 The Crimea has long been very grateful to Russia for liberating it from centuries of domination by the ruthless, crushing force of the Ottoman Empire. It happened under Catherine the Great. That gratitude has outlasted and outweighed any negative feelings they might have about Russia in the Soviet era.
In the nineteenth century we made the stupid mistake of going to war with Russia over the Crimea and we were certainly on the wrong side. Now we should keep out entirely. 
     If Scotland is entitled to a referendum and to independence from England, then the Crimea is entitled to a Referendum and the choice of becoming re-united with Russia. Good luck to it. I say England deserves the same right. I notice the Russians can organize a referendum in two weeks, but here in England it takes five years  - or in the case of an EU referendum, n years since the date never gets any closer.
      I have a friend who lives and works in Kharkiv, and like so many people in the Ukraine she identifies as Russian. She has not seen or heard any sign of the so-called violence and unrest reported by American news media, and she says bluntly that she regards the presence of Russian troops in the Crimea as reassuring. They are in her eyes a peace-keeping force. As for the threats of war spreading, the land boundary between the Crimean peninsula and Ukraine is so narrow it could be defended by one Russian platoon with a dozen tanks. Crimea has never been geographically a true part of the Ukraine. 

To the Editor of the Financial Times
Sent: Monday, March 17, 2014 10:19 AM
Subject: Crimea and democracy

Sir,Your  headline today "Crimea poll leaves Russia isolated” shows  extraordinary  ignorance   of the  facts on the ground and the history of Crimea. Yes, a democratic referendum with observers from 130 countries would leave a democratic Russia supported by 97% of voters ”isolated" in the increasingly anti democratic West - but not elsewhere in the world.

Russia has not "occupied" Crimea, it is there (on land which for over 150 years was part of Russia) under international treaty and is entitled under that treaty to far more troops  (25,000)   than  it has. And nobody asked the people of Crimea if they wanted to be transferred from the Russian Federation within the USSR to Ukraine  in the first place.

A democratically  elected President in Kiev (the religious and cultural origin of  Russians)  was violently deposed and an international agreement to  hold new elections was overturned  - and with the connivance of the EU which has never yet tolerated a sovereign democratic nation within its domaine! 

Rodney Atkinson Alderley
Meadowfield Road, Stocksfield

To the editor of The Telegraph

Dear Sir,

So the United States declares it will never recognize the return of the Crimea to Russia?  In that case, perhaps Russia will consider refusing ever to recognize the United States’s aggressive conquests of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, nor the genocidal occupation of Indian territories in the Great Plains.  The Crimean decision has been arrived at peacefully, through the ballot box.  The American approach was rather different.  As General Sherman wrote to Grant in 1866: ‘We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men women and children’.

Yours faithfully,

Nikolai Tolstoy

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