A question of sovereignty

Relations between Russia, Crimea, and the Ukraine.

The Russians want Crimea to remain uncontested and pro-Russian, but current international meddling is seemingly an attack the sovereign power of the Kremlin.

But, what can history tell us about the current situation and attitudes in the region?

“Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred the territory, which juts into the Black Sea and is a popular vacation spot, to Ukraine, then the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic,” Huffington Post contributor Rajan Menon writes in What does Putin want in Ukraine? “Ironically, he did it to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the union between Ukraine and Russia.”

Putin seemingly disagrees with the previous president’s short-sighted act of charity, as Russia has spent the decades afterward attempting to reclaim what it deems to be its land and its people.

There is also a host of political baggage:

  1. A major Russian naval base in the port of Sevastopol.
  2. Deals to allow Russia to continue using the port until 2040 for cheaper gas.

Obviously, there are deep historical issues between the countries involved, but the conflict is simmering down at the moment. Something that will probably not last long.

According to Russian Television, the cease-fire has been successful for at least two days with Russian rebels and Ukrainian soldiers pulling armaments away from the disengagement line.

“The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said it wants to withdraw 180 artillery pieces and 17 rocket launchers on Thursday,” the article states. “Previously it withdrew 400 artillery pieces, including some 320 captured from the Ukrainian troops after their retreat from Debaltsevo.”

This is to the rebels’ credit as they have removed at least 90 percent of their weapons from the disengagement line. Kiev, meanwhile, responded by saying that they would remove heavy weapons after two days if they could sustain the ceasefire.

This move was criticized by Moscow who said Kiev’s demands were unrealistic.

While the agreement is hardly concrete, it may provide much needed stability in a region rife with turmoil.