Russia Should Cry Me A River

David Leibert, Opinions Editor

Crimea has been a region of major conflict over the past two months. Russian soldiers took over the peninsula of Crimea and ousted the then- Prime Minister of Crimea, Anatolii Mohyliov. By the middle of March, Crimea declared independence from Ukraine. The vote for independence and subsequent declaration of independence were called illegal by the European Union and the United States. This did not stop the “fully autonomous” Republic of Crimea from asking Russia to be annexed. Russia complied and now the assimilation of Crimea into Russia is in the works.

In the interim, countries have been calling out against the event. Fewer countries have been in support of Russia’s annexation, yet the people of Crimea seem fine. If a group of people wants change, are they not allowed to ask for it? Do all humans get certain rights? Thomas Jefferson once wrote on the American Declaration of Independence that all people have rights and it is up to governments to protect those rights. If the government is not supportive of those rights then the people are implored, not just recommended, to “alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence gives people the right to change and remove a government. Crimea is simply exercising the very idea that our founding fathers established! Does that mean that if Russia supports the population better than Ukraine, Russia gets to remain in control of the peninsula? America did it, why not Russia?

Lets look at what’s going on for Russia. For starters two borders are closed, so Russia is limiting illegal immigration into and out of the country. That’s a great way to keep job security high. At most, only 200 people get into Ukraine everyday. Russia is stopping Crimea from outsourcing jobs, which is also good for the economy. Banks and chain stores have shutdown. Russia wants to support the small business. Vigilantes roam the streets looking for anything out of the ordinary. The list includes: gays, drug addicts, Ukrainian priests and much more. It’s always a good idea to have people running around giving judgment to anyone and everyone just because they own a gun. Here’s a good one. All Crimean Jews have to register their religion. I don’t think anything more has to be said.

The truth of the matter is simple. Crimea was part of Ukraine for several decades, and it had been a region of Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 90s. Ukraine governed Crimea well and it was a very popular tourist location. Now, in the past couple months, Crimea has lost all of its appeal from all of the conflict.

Russia is not good for Crimea. The borders weren’t closed to stop illegal immigrations. It was used to close people in so that those with common sense could not return to Ukraine. Only 200 people get into Ukraine from Crimea each day. Russia is not supporting small business by having chains and big businesses close. The Russian intervention has stripped Crimea of most if not all of chances to have a stable economy. Small or big business, it doesn’t matter, it is now no business. Vigilantes? They are the creators of much of the chaos. There is no police at all so the people take the law into their own hands and they bend it so they could profit the most and force their wills upon others. Lastly, 1936 Germany was a horrible place for Jews. The horrors of that time started with Jews being forced to register their religion and make it known to the public. This barbaric idea was just the tip of the iceberg as less than 10 years later 12 million civilians were dead because of all the hate in the land. Russia fought against the Germans at this time in history. They supported freeing the Jews and others that had struggled through the Holocaust. Yet now, almost 80 years later, the Russians have a turn of heart. They are not ambivalent they are condoning this practice. The Russians don’t have Crimea under control.

It will take decades for that to be true. Russia has no considerations for what the people of Crimea want and more importantly, what they need. Ukraine may not be the richest, strongest or most powerful nation but it gave the people what was needed to survive and specifically in Crimea what was needed the thrive. Russia can give Crimea protection from outside sources, it can supply the people of Crimea with food and water but it has not been able to set up a formal government and set the region back on the right path. Russia and Crimea do not belong together. Ukraine and Crimea do.