By: Hashim Arain
The situation in Ukraine has gotten pretty intense over the past few weeks, ever since Ukrainian protesters ousted their now former President Viktor Yanukovych. Since then, the country of Russia has stepped into this situation by invading the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. According to USA Today Simferopol, the capital of Crimea has a large ethnic Russian population, which is the main reason why Vladimir Putin went ahead and sent troops into Crimea.
There has been some debate between the Russians and the Ukrainians about which country is Crimea a part of, since it’s a border is between the two countries. Currently, Crimea mostly has an ethnic Russian population, and as CNN reports, it’s a peninsula in southern Ukraine. CNN also reports that the Crimean Parliament is going to issue a referendum for the Crimean public to vote on whether they want to be part of Russia and move away from Ukraine.
The international reaction to this situation has been a mix of condemnation and threat of sanctions for Russia. According to the Washington Post, the U.S. already put sanctions on Russia, as well as a ban for U.S. travel visas to Russia. The Post reports that a European Union meeting took place, where members decided to institute a ban on talks to lower visa requirements for Russians wanting to travel to Europe.
The international community has been closely monitoring the situation on the ground, and they have also been urging Putin to pull back his troops in Crimea. It should be interesting to see how this referendum by the Crimean Parliament will turn out and which side the Crimean public will go with. I think that will be a big factor in seeing how far this situation is going to go, particularly the international community’s reaction to the referendum results.
I personally believe it was not smart for Putin to send troops into Crimea because that will only make this tense situation even worse. Also, I have some criticism for the international community’s actions towards this, since they seem a little out of line with the sanctions and putting a freeze on important talks. Both sides should come together and try to solve this in an efficient manner. Although, it appears that both sides aren’t doing that at the moment, they just keep ramping up the rhetoric as each day goes by.
The only way to solve a situation like this is through diplomatic means, and I think the last thing that the world wants to do is to get involved in a military intervention in Crimea. If the situation ends up getting violent though, then the international community may have to consider that option. Hopefully the military escalation of Russian troops will end, and then the U.S. and EU can ease the sanctions and similar things of that nature. These solutions will be better for the citizens of Ukraine and Crimea in the long run. We shall see what happens in the coming weeks ahead.