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Crimean Crisis

The Crimean Crisis is an ongoing political boundary dispute between Russia and
Ukraine over the area of the Crimean Peninsula. Crimean is geographically located
on the northern coast of the Black Sea, and almost completely surrounded by water.
It is South of Ukraine and West of Russia. It covers an area of 10,425 square miles,
and connected to the continent of Europe by only a 4.3-mile wide strip of land. The
Crimea has a strategic location with ports that provide quick access to the Eastern
Mediterranean, Balkans, and Middle East. The Dnieper River, major waterway,
connects the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea allowing travel across the entire European
continent. Crimea is a populated Russian ethnic majority, with its minority made up
of both Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars with a total of 2 million people. After the
Russian Revolution of 1917, Crimea became a republic with in the USSR. In WWII it
was downgraded to the Crimean Oblast and transferred to the USSR. It then became
the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within the newly independent Ukraine in 1991.
Sovereignty and control of the peninsula has been an ongoing dispute. Throughout
history the land mass has been sought over from the Ottomans to the Nazis, and
now Russia, leading to the Crisis of 2014.
November 2013, Ukraines president Viktor Yanukovych was faced with a decision to
either join the EU with initial consequences or take a $15 billion loan from Russia as
his country was heading towards economic collapse. After months of debate he
chose the money sparking protests on Kievs Independence Square. Yanukovych
tried to eliminate the protests enforcing control, leading to thousands of more
people to join the protests. The clashes quickly grew violent turning deadly, uniting
the country against the corruption of Yanukovych. As the death toll climbed, the
police abandoned the riots and fled to Russia along with Yanukovych himself, with a
coalition government quickly forming. During the final days of the protests when the
Crimea was weak, Putin authorized by Russian Parliament, ordered military drills on
the border of Ukraine, and at Russias Black Sea base. They took over airports,
seized regional government buildings, and blocked roads around Crimea. This
created Standoffs around every major Ukrainian Base. Russia wants Crimea because
of their deep historical ties, as everything in Crimea speaks of Russias shared
history and pride. Most people in the Crimea want to break away from Ukraine and
join Russia, however many of the Tatars and other minorities are afraid to join
Russia, and perceive it as a bad idea. The control of the local bases called for
Ukraine to end its policy of restraint, as Russia formally annexed Crimea. Russia is
moving quickly to takeover Crimea, as the Ukraine is ordering its soldiers to leave. It

is not clear what will happen next or of this dispute will lead to the beginning of a
bigger conflict.

There were weeks full of warnings given from the US and EU about consequences,
with no response the US and EU ordered sanctions on Putins allies, and people
linked to the events in Crimea. Obamas reaction was in defending Ukraine and
threatening Russia for violating international law. The US is not willing to go to war
over Crimea, leaving threats and sanctions to be the most they can do. There are
alternate options such as allowing Russia to buy the Crimea for $100 billion dollars
over 10 years. However, it seems Russia is looking to the US to help find a
diplomatic resolution to the crisis. Obama has agreed to help as long as Russia pulls
back its troops and does not take any further steps to violate Ukrainian territory.


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