|'On March 16th We Choose... (this) or (this)'|
It takes some serious gall for the Kremlin to portray the Ukrainian 'Revolution of Dignity' as some intolerant, divisive far-right fascist movement simply due to the presense of Banderan nationalists within it... almost element in the country not aligned with the Kremlin had a hand in the EuroMaidan protests that overthrew Viktor Yanukovych...
But that's the angle the Russians are going with in Crimea: the new Kiev government consists of 'Nazi bandits' out to supress Russian-speakers and round up dark-skinned Tartars in the east of the country- but it's clearly not the Ukrainians that Tartars live in fear of.
Propaganda pumped into the area has also been telling Crimean residents that the Russians are the only hope to avoid the 'chaos' they dubiously claim is engulfing the rest of Ukraine. Back in reality, things are quiet in the west, and the Kiev government had NO problem unifying all Ukrainians... except for in areas where the Russians inserted tens-of-thousands of unmarked troops, snaked some territory, and installed thuggish Kremlin tools, of course.
Students of history will tell you that Vladimir Putin is actually the one emulating Nazi Germany, at least in strategy: Hitler too was 'saving' and 'protecting' Sudeten Germans from the Czechs, establishing local militias, inserting Nazi agents- then sent his army in as 'liberators' and ran a pre-ordained plebescite once the spineless West had sealed Czechoslovakia's fate by refusing to challenge Hitler. Soon afterward, the Wehrmacht had occupied not only the Sudetanland but the entire country- sound familiar?
Today, not only is the Kremlin blaring BS propaganda at the citizens of Crimea, but next Sunday's succession vote doesn't actually offer any choice... the ballot offers 'Join Russia Now' or 'Join Russia Later'... and that's it.
Meanwhile, an enviroment of fear has been established by the FSB -successor to the Soviet KGB- via intimidation and targeted abductions of Crimean Ukrainians not willing to lay-back-and-learn-to-enjoy-it.
Perhaps most of the Russian majority in Crimea do indeed lean towards independence and/or union with Russia- we have no way of really knowing. Even so, that's not legal grounds for succession, and not all on the penninsula favor ongoing separatist maneuvering orchestrated -indeed, planned for some time- by the Kremlin:
|Pro-Kiev women/children protesters line invasion route near Simferapol|
|Pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian activists tangle in Sevastopol|
And not all ethnic Russians think this a good idea, either...
|'Putin, I'm Russian- you don't need to save me. |
Get your troops out of Crimea!'
Some thought Hitler was satiated when they handed him the Sudetanland, but we learned (the hard way) he was just getting started. If Putin gets away with this, expect the Baltic states to be next...
Update: shots fired as Russians storm Ukrainian naval base