Turkey's foreign minister announced that Turkey is sending an informal delegation to Crimea, in order to examine alleged human rights violations there.
If you've been following the news about occupied Crimea, you will be aware of a number of reports of outrages against Tatars in Crimea. In general, Crimea's Tatar population is strongly opposed to Russia's occupation of their ancestral homeland.
Reported human rights allegations include:
* forcing Tatars to either become Russian citizens, or to give up certain legal rights (this is prohibited by international law)
* arbitrary arrests of Tatars, and invasive searchs of homes, schools, offices, and mosques
* threats and repression against Tatar news outlets, and the publication of Tatar literature
Turkey is strongly interested in the protection of Turkic peoples abroad. Turkey's strongest lever is that it can prevent Russian ships from entering or exiting the Black Sea; however, Turkey is (like many countries) strongly dependent on natural gas from Russia. Accordingly, Turkey has so far been rather delicate in responding to Russia's undoubted violation of Tatar rights.
Ribbentrop and Molotov have been resurrected and a new Non-Aggression Pact is being worked on with the Germany and Russia. History repeats it's self. Europe will be in for a big surprise because as it stands,,, America will sit this one out.
To my knowledge, no state holds treaties between the Tsar's Russian Empire and the Sultan's Ottoman Empire to be valid since those empires dissolved in the course and aftermath of the 1914-18 Great War.
Access to the Strait of Bosphorus is governed by the 1936 "Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits". This regime could be updated to conform to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, but after more than 20 years Turkey has not signed that Convention.
Turkey reportedly did threaten one year ago to close the Straits to Russia. Though such an action could well violate the Montreux Convention, as a practical matter Turkey controls the Straits and could close them to vessels of its choosing, based on its national interest.
RUSSIA CLAIMED SOVEREIGNTY OVER CRIMEA ONE YEAR AGO TODAY
German chancellor Angela Merkel celebrated this anniversary, by stating that Germany's goal is the restoration of Crimea to Ukraine's authority:
"Speaking after talks in Berlin with Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, Merkel said the March 19, 2014, annexation of the peninsula was a violation of international law that 'called the peaceful order in Europe into question.'
'It's important despite, or because of, this to work for a peaceful solution and not rest until the full sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored, and of course this includes Crimea,' she said." (NY Times)
Also today, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said, "the European Union does not recognize and continues to condemn this act of violation of international law. ... The EU reaffirms its deep concern at the continuous military build-up and deterioration of the human rights situation in the Crimean peninsula, including the denial of free speech and the persecution of persons belonging to minorities."
The EU also renewed its call to all UN member states to formally express their non-recognition of the seizing of Crimea.
and yet these wussies, especially Germany and France, want the sanctions to end so they can do business with RuSSia.
I would not doubt that Merkel was giving Putin blowjobs in the bathroom when the Minsk agreement was being re-negotiated.
Hollande, at 65" tall is actually a bit shorter than Putin and doesnt impress anyone. I doubt this pansy weighs more than 140lbs
Did Putin annex Crimea? Yes but the people there wanted it.
Almost all the girls I talked to prior to it's annexation wanted to be with Russia. I even went to Crimea prior to it's annexation and met a girl there. She was pro-Russian and was militant about it. Almost scary.
The anniversary of Russia's seizure of Crimea has been the occasion for a number of news stories about conditions in Crimea today. It is truly painful. The celebrations of the pro-Russians take place amid widespread violations of fundamental human and civic rights.
A good overall survey from the Wall Street Journal, by the president of Freedom House and a staffer at the Atlantic Council:
An account from UK's Telegraph:
A piece from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, focusing on the repression of journalists who don't follow the official Russian line:
And another from RFERL on the courageous resistance Crimean Tatars put up, against what they knew would be the oppression of a Russian take-over:
A highlight, from a Crimean freedom activist who "says the atmosphere in Crimea has become so oppressive that even ethnic Russians who favored ties with Moscow have come to regret their zeal. 'A year ago, they were shouting their support for Russia,' he said. 'Now they don't seem to be making such strong statements about what a good idea this was. They don't understand that the same misfortunes [I've experienced] are eventually going to darken their houses as well.'"
When Russian criminals and military conducted their "referendum" in Crimea:
"The tormentors stuck scotch tape to his eyes and locked him in a dank room. For 11 days, Andrei Schekun said, they beat him, shocked him with electrodes and scalded him with burning metallic plates.
He said the torture took place as Crimea voted in a referendum to secede from Ukraine a year ago Wednesday. Schekun's crime: campaigning to persuade his fellow Crimeans to reject absorption by Russia."
What about taking down the French King and ending up with the Reign of Terror and then Napoleon? Seems like history keeps recycling itself. But, hey, carbon units just being rearranged for another repeating DNA iteration.
"Did Putin annex Crimea? Yes but the people there wanted it."
SOME of the people there wanted it -- MANY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS DID NOT.
The "referendum" was invalid in multiple respects, and its claimed results are meaningless.
From years of opinion polling data, we can estimate that if there had been a legitimate vote (like the one held in Scotland last year), approval for merger with Russia would probably have been somewhere between 40% and 60%. Anyone who claims to be sure that a legitimate referendum would have passed, is just advertising his or her bigoted ignorance.
In 1900, if there had been a referendum on restoring pre-war slavery in the American south, it might well have passed by a good margin. Would we then say to the re-enslaved black population, "serves you right, that's what you southerners wanted?"
Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Ukrainians and Tatars in Crimea have had many of their fundamental rights obliterated. About 20,000 have left Crimea for unoccupied Ukraine; but for many, family and community ties, generation connection with land, financial ties to property, and lack of resources keep them tethered to this zone of Russian tyranny.
I actually don't think it's a big deal that Crimea returned to Russia. It was always part of Russia.
The only problem I have with it now that you have to get a visa if you are from a western country. They should make Crimea a visa free zone for westerners just like Ukraine is to increase tourism dollars. If Putin was smart he would do that but I don't think he's that bright.
"I actually don't think it's a big deal that Crimea returned to Russia."
It's a very big deal that this land was seized by the Russian Federation using force, in violation of international law, and in violation of multiple treaties and international agreements by which the Russian Federation is bound.
Last year, the governments of countries containing 95.5% of Earth's population voted for a UN resolution affirming that Crimea remains the territory of Ukraine.
Almost every one of us lives in a home standing on soil that was "part of" by some nation, empire or state distinct from the one now governing it.
TomZ wants to go to crimea because a prostitute is only $20..
Life under Russian occupation has gotten much worse than anyone would have dreamed..
crimea thought pensions and salaries would rise but instead they are half of what they were during ukrainian days..
one must wait in line from 6am in order to have the chance to buy meat like chicken or pork.. beef is only a distant dream except
for the most wealthy.. wealthy families in Crimea are 10% of what they were one year ago.. most have fled to Ukraine.
property rights have been completely eliminated. Russian soldiers have annexed more than 50% of all formerly privately owned property it is
now owned by the state. you must have a russian passport to claim any property
R4G you're the ignorant F that doesn't know Kyivstar's tariff plans.
I meant to say that Crimea has been part of Russia in recent history.
The recorded history of the Crimean Peninsula, historically known as Tauris or Tauric Chersonese (Χερσόνησος Ταυρική "Tauric Peninsula"), begins around the 5th century BC when several Greek colonies were established along its coast. The southern coast remained Greek in culture for almost two thousand years as part of the Roman Empire (47 BC -330 AD), and its successor states, the Byzantine Empire (330 AD - 1204 AD), the Empire of Trebizond (1204 AD - 1461 AD), and the independent Principality of Theodoro (ended 1475 AD). In the 13th century, some port cities were controlled by the Venetians and by the Genovese. The Crimean interior was much less stable, enduring a long series of conquests and invasions; by the early medieval period it had been settled by Scythians (Scytho-Cimmerians), Tauri, Greeks, Romans, Goths, Huns, Bulgars, Kipchaks and Khazars. In the medieval period, it was acquired partly by Kievan Rus', but fell to the Mongol invasions as part of the Golden Horde. They were followed by the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire, which conquered the coastal areas as well, in the 15th to 18th centuries.
The modern history of Crimea begins with the annexation by the Russian Empire in 1783. In 1921 the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was created. This republic was dissolved in 1945, and the Crimea became an oblast first of the Russian SSR (1945-1954) and then the Ukrainian SSR (1954-1991). Since 1991 the territory was covered by the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol City within independent Ukraine. During the 2014 Crimean crisis, independence was declared and a referendum on whether to join Russia was held while the peninsula was occupied by Russian soldiers. The peninsula was subsequently annexed to the Russian Federation as two federal subjects — the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol.