The Crimean Problem Defines Ukrainian National Security

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The Crimean Autonomous Republic is administratively independent within Ukraine and according to the Constitution solves its problems on its own. Administratively, the republic consists of 25 regions: 14 districts and 11 territories.

All the historical events connected with Crimea through the last century made the republic a geopolitical subject of interest in Russia, European countries and USA.

The prehistory of Crimea played a magnificent role in development of the present situation, particularly the deportation of the Crimean Tatars. At the time of Stalin’s regime, many Crimean Tatars were illegally subjected to repression, deprived of personal and civil rights, lost property and had been exiled.

After coming back to their historical motherland in the 1980s, there was a tendency for Crimean Tatars not to be accepted by the contemporary Crimean elite. The main fear was the mobility of Crimean Tatars, the fact of having an experience in political fights, the ability to give critical evaluation to the governmental actions and proper reaction to them. The Crimean Tatars are considered part of the republic’s elite as a competitive force in maintaining political power.

According to analysts, there are forces in Crimea that can blow up under certain conditions, into an international conflict. Besides, there is still a discriminative policy towards Crimean Tatars by chauvinistic pro-Russian forces in Crimea which have some power at their disposal. Separatist tendencies have not eased in the republic, they long to tear the peninsular or at least Sevastopol away from Ukraine and annex it to Russia. All these processes are warmed up by Russia, both by high ranked leaders and Mass Media.

In spite of unsuccessful attempts to provoke interethnic conflicts for the last 15-16 years (After Crimean Tatars’ homecoming to Crimea), they still happen from time to time. I remember the attempt of a Christian priest to place a cross on the territory of a Muslim cemetery in the Summer of 2003, and on January 2005 the decision of Crimean authorities to place the statue of Joseph Stalin in Yalta, the statue of a man who caused what many call the genocide of Crimean Tatars in 1944.

The only way to prevent the growth of international conflicts in Crimea is to ensure the realization of social and cultural rights of all the citizens of the republic. It’s necessary to implement some changes in the present Constitution, which will protect the sovereign rights of Crimean Tatars in their national territory. It’s very important to legislatively consolidate the Crimean Tatar language to be official in the autonomous region, and let the machinery of ensuring the adequate representation of the native nation in all the organizations and power branches of the autonomy.

That will considerably drop the level of Crimean Tatar discrimination and reduce international tension in Crimea.