According to Reuters (‘Moscow wins overwhelming Crimea vote, West readies sanctions’ – 17/03/2014), with three quarters of votes counted, a massive 95.7% of voters in Crimea have indicated they would rather be ruled by Moscow than by Nuland’s ‘Barmy Army’ of neo-nazi goon squads.
Despite rumblings in the corporate-controlled western media speculating that those opposed to Crimea’s ‘annexation’ had simply stayed away from the vote, the turnout was in fact very high at 83%, so even on the assumption that every no-show was opposed to the outcome, that would still indicate that just under 80% of all eligible voters backed Moscow rule over the Obama-backed neo-liberal/nazi alliance that seized power in Kiev after months of violent protests and occupations. At the very least, one can certainly conclude that Crimeans are emphatically more enthusiastic about ‘Hitler-Putin’ than, say, the USA is about Obama, or the UK about Cameron.
And none of this is surprising because Crimea is Russian. It had been part of Russia since the late 18th century, is home to a majority ethnic Russian population (58.5% according to the 2001 census), and was only ‘transferred’ to the Ukraine in 1954 by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, who didn’t seem to consult too many people about their decision. It has always enjoyed a form of semi-autonomy within the Ukrainian state and is home to a large part of Russia’s Black Sea fleet (or should that be ‘occupation force’?). Ethnic non-Russians constitute 40% of the population, but many of these are Russian speakers, and as the referendum results demonstrate, if we assume that all ethnic Russians supported the ‘annexation’, then at least half of the non ethnic Russians – mainly Tatars and Ukrainians – must also have voted for rule by Moscow.
The western controlled-media has made much of the ‘Crimean Tatars’ in the lead up to the referendum, thrilled that it had found an indigenous non-European population that feared Russian rule and with a genuine grievance against the old Soviet system, a scenario well suited to play on western cultural sensibilities and therefore obfuscate the underlying geopolitical and imperial agenda behind western support for the neo-liberal/nazi Ukrainian junta.
However, quite apart from the spurious claims, a significant number of Tatars (though not the ones interviewed in CNN/BBC coverage during the lead up to the vote) also rejected rule by the neo-liberal/nazi regime.
The USA, EU and UN Security Council have all decried the referendum as illegal and illegitimate. On Sunday 16th March the White House issued a statement that is breathtaking in its mendacity and hypocrisy.
Here are two of the more entertaining excerpts:
‘…the international community will not recognise the results of a poll administered under threats of violence and intimidation from a Russian military intervention that violates international law…’
Clearly the ‘international community’ excludes all countries, such as Russia, China, Syria, Iran…. – who do not agree with the Washington consensus. And it includes all countries, such as the USA, UK and Israel, who regularly violate ‘International Law’ when it suits their national and geopolitical interests. As for ‘violence and intimidation from a Russian military intervention’ – this is pure fabrication. What violence and intimidation? Has a Russian soldier fired a shot, or thrown a Molotov cocktail in anger? The Ukrainian neo-liberal/nazi junta came to power as a direct result of a western-sponsored campaign of unremitting violence and intimidation, featuring night after night of attacks on police and security forces by masked, Molotov cocktail throwing thugs clad in body armour and seemingly well funded and organised. Meanwhile, unmanned drones operated from the USA hunt down and assassinate political enemies of the USA in Yemen and Pakistan. Violence and intimidation indeed.
The final paragraph states:
‘In this century, we are long past the days when the international community will stand quietly by while one country forcibly seizes the territory of another…’
In an Orwellian perversion of fact, the White House appears to making the the outrageous claim that Russia is ‘forcibly seizing’ the Crimea. One could perhaps argue that the transfer of Crimea from Russia to the Ukraine in 1954 by the Soviet communist dictatorship was a form of ‘forcible seizure’ in reverse – a kind of ‘forcible transfer’. Yet, strangely, this very act is being treated by the ‘international community’ as the baseline for legitimacy. Crimea is apparently an integral part of the Ukraine. History is all wrong.
Now perhaps one could argue that the seizure by Israel of the Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza Strip were a form of ‘Forcible Seizure’ – and one that the ‘international community’ has repeatedly condemned – apart from the USA that is, fearless and constant ally of Israel in the prelude to the pre-millenial rapture of the saints and the onset of the Great Tribulation.
But there is no ‘forcible seizure’ required when an overwhelmingly Russian region that had always been part of Russia, and was only transferred to the Ukraine in 1954 decides by referendum to return to Russian rule, in direct response to the violent seizure of power in the Ukraine by a government that includes six neo-nazis in key positions (including security, intelligence, police and defence – perfect portfolios for nazis), and that is committed to a nationalist Ukrainian cultural agenda, including removing Russian language from government web sites and planning to grant sole official language status to Ukrainian.
Assuming, perhaps without justification, that the Washington elite are not complete idiots, it must have been obvious to them that installing a narrowly Galician and western looking (some to the USA, some to the EU, and some to Nazi Germany and the glorious days of Babi Yar) regime in the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual state of Ukraine would alienate vast swathes of the east and the south and push them into the Russian sphere. Despite their bluster about Ukrainian territorial integrity, their would have been plenty of analysts who would have told them that this was a strong possibility.
So the question that needs to be answered is this – what is Washington’s real intention in promoting the destabilisation and dismemberment of the Ukraine?
Lionel Reynolds is an independent analyst based in Sydney, Australia.