Crisis In Ukraine – 2014
In 2013-14, Ukraine saw mass protests and a movement against their elected government. These mass violent protests in Kiev and other parts of the country led to the ousting of President Victor Yanukovych and his government. This was then replaced by the opposition interim government with leaders of the Tatsenyuk government. Victor Yanukovych fled the country and many changes were made to existing laws like repealing the language law that protected minorities, in particular the ethnic Russian minorities in the country. Also the constitution that was used between 2004 and 2010 was re-implemented. These protests for reforms and ousting of the Yanukovych government were marred by violence which claimed many lives in Kiev and other parts of the country. Russia condemned what they believed is an “illegal” ousting of the elected Yanukovych government and also raised fears that the ethnic Russian minorities in Ukraine would be vulnerable to attacks by the majority Ukrainian population in the country.
Current Situation in Crimea
Crimea is a region in Ukraine that is strategically located on the Black Sea coast of Ukraine. The Crimean peninsula has almost 60% population that is ethnic Russian with close ties to Russia. After the revolution in Ukraine, ethnic Russians in Crimea held rallies in support of Yanukovych and many rallies showed ethnic Russians asking Russia to save them from what they believed is a vulnerable situation for them in Ukraine. These rallies were held in regions like East Ukraine and Crimea which has large ethnic Russian populations.
The Pro Ukrainian Council of Ministers in Crimea led by the then Prime minister of Crimea was dismissed by the Supreme Council and the Crimean government was replaced by a pro-Russian government led by Sergey Askyonov. By the end of February thousands of troops have entered Crimea from Russia, though the troops do not wear the insignia of Russia. There are Russian Flags on major government buildings in Crimea today and the new Crimean government and there is major pro Russian military and navy presence in the area. Most Ukrainian defense bases in Crimea are surrounded or taken over by pro Russian forces and the government of Crimea which is unconstitutional in the eyes of Ukraine and Western countries has declared a referendum in Crimea on 16th March to decide whether to formally join Russia.
United States and most European countries have called any attempt by Russia to annex Crimea as unconstitutional and are in efforts to pass a resolution on Ukraine’s sovereignty which will be probably vetoed by Russia. This is an ongoing international crisis with serious implications on geo political future of the world and also on the world economy.