The explosive regional divide in Ukraine between the pro-European
Union west and the pro-Russian east and Crimean regions that caused
Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych to flee the country to Russia is
has pushed troops into the Crimean region of Ukraine, with the future
possibility of either an indefinite presence or outright military
invasion into Ukraine to restore Yanukovych to power.
Over the past week, as events in Ukraine have intensified, the 1World
community hotly debated who was responsible for the growing tensions in
East Ukraine, Odessa and Crimea. According to the 1World survey, 56%
thought that Russia was provoking the tension, 30% thought the new
government and their rush to create new legislations was at fault, 8%
thought people in these regions are overreacting, and 6% said they
didn’t know who was at fault.
Vladimir Putin and Russia play a major factor in the development of
the Ukrainian unrest and a push for Crimean independence from Ukraine is
much more likely with Russia’s visible presence. Ukraine heavyweight
and resistance leader, Vitali Klitschko, has given orders to mobilize
troops against Russia, but one of the warships has already defected to
the Russian side.
The remnants of the Ukrainian Parliament have demanded that
Yanukovych and other government officials stand trial for their part in
the mass killings of the protesters, but Yanukovych has denounced the
protestors under the protection of Putin.
In voting since March 1, among 1World voters responding to the
question, “What you think about Russian troops entering Ukraine?”, 34%
said it was the right decision, 62% said they opposed the war, and 4%
said they didn’t care.
And, in the past three weeks of voting, 41 percent said they believe
the unrest in Ukraine would escalate into civil war, while 59 percent
said they thought it would be avoided.
Add your voice to the growing debate by voting here.
What does Russia have to gain from Crimean independence? The Crimean
portion of Ukraine is hardly self-sufficient—most of its power and food
come from the mainland and the region gets very little rainfall, which
essentially makes the region a negative asset. A bid for Crimean
independence would make certain that Crimea would ultimately fail and
quite possibly annex to Russia.
Since Feb. 24, based on more than 2,700 votes, 68 percent of 1World
voters said they Crimea remain a part of Ukraine, while a quarter say
the region should separate with the change of government. Five percent
said they didn’t know, and 2 percent said they didn’t care.
See the map for a look at how voters in Russia and Eastern Europe voted on the issue:
If Russia pushes further into Ukraine, it will only be to see how far
they can go before any direct action is taken. Putin may be aggressive,
but he is also smart, and he knows that none of the superpowers wants
to begin a full-fledged military conflict. Unfortunately, Putin has a
better poker face than the rest of the table at the G8.
After President Obama has failed to enforce multiple political ‘red
lines’ in situations like Syria, the bark of the G8’s top dog has proven
to be much worse than its bite. To top it off, United States troop
morale is quite low after the deterioration of the political situation
in Iraq, and the troops shuffling home from a long tour in Afghanistan
probably weren’t looking forward to another urban warfare redeployment.
Regardless, someone needs to do something or we may face an age of
neo-imperialism. If Russia manages to successfully annex Crimea without
repercussion, it will bolster other nations to solve their territorial
disputes without global oversight.
Read the Story, Take the 1World Online Poll - Weighing in on the Crisis in Ukraine