Ukrainian Crisis: The Worst is Yet to Come

Megan R.

Staff Writer

On March 17th, Crimea officially declared its separation from the Ukraine and its desire to join the Russian Federation. The local legislature was quick to produce a resolution stating that Ukrainian law no longer applied in Crimea. On top of that, the newly named State Council of the Republic of Crimea requested that their capital city of Sevastopol become a “city of federal significance” in the Russian Federation. Currently this title is only held by St. Petersburg and Moscow, both of which have special administrative rights. However, while Crimean citizens are enjoying their new freedom, Ukrainians are still being threatened by Russian soldiers. The Ukrainian crisis is still in full swing.

The European Union extended the EU Association Agreement, similar to the original accords, to the fresh Ukrainian government. Within a week the agreement had been signed, and the Ukraine gained the full support of the EU. The Ukrainian prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, announced that this conflict had escalated to a “military phase” after Russia agreed to add Crimea to the Russian Federation. The major issue is that there are still Ukrainian forces in Crimea. When a self-defense unit was sent in to rescue the remaining soldiers, this unit was sent away empty handed. Several days later the naval commander was released by the Russians.

After the annexation of Crimea, Russia claimed that they would leave the rest of the Ukraine alone. This promise was short lived. On March 24th Russians seized a naval base in Feodosia using helicopters. Over 7G7 world leaders0 of the Ukrainian soldiers stationed there were detained and questioned. It is not yet clear if they have been released. The Russians continued to systematically seize all of the Ukrainian bases in Crimea. This was when NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) got involved. This organization was formed after World War II and includes twenty eight member countries currently. “TheUkraine almost joined NATO when it was created. Had this happened World War III would have already begun.” Observed Coach Sailers, history teacher. According to Article V of NATO’s charter, if any of the member countries are attacked militarily all other members are obligated to counter the attack with military force.

Many western countries have deemed the annexation of Crimea illegal. Russia denounced this, claiming that Crimea originally belonged to Russia and still maintains a majority Russian population. According to international law it is illegal to assume any land by force or coercion.Whether or not Crimea was forcefully taken is still debatable. However, one fact is that Crimean citizens voted in favor of the referendum to leave the Ukraine and join Russia.

The G7, formerly G8, held a conference on Monday, March 24th, to discuss the Ukrainian crisis. G8 was made up of the eight wealthiest countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia. During this meeting Russia was forcibly removed from G8, further isolating Russia and making negotiations difficult. According to Russia’s Foreign Minister, being kicked out is no big deal; G8 was simply a forum of discussion between “western countries and Russia.” Only adding to the issue, many Western countries have canceled upcoming meetings and summits with Russia.

On the brink of war, Russian forces continue moving toward Ukrainian boundaries. It is still unclear whether Crimea was truly forcefully taken or voluntarily seceded. What is clear, however, is that after five months of serious conflict, the situation is only escalating. Will it mirror America’s Revolutionary War or become the third World War? Only time will tell.

 

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