By Alex Hunt
Crimea is a relatively peaceful place, especially given that it’s located right next to Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine, whose unsatisfactory government has suffered at the hands of riots; and Russia, who has unofficially invaded Ukraine, an aggressive move towards the west. Amongst this uncertainty, there is Crimea.
Crimea, a peninsula reaching out into the Black Sea from Ukraine, has a much more stable government.Even though Crimea was legally considered Ukrainian territory, Crimea has formally announced their allegiance to Russia and voted to be annexed by Russia, an action Russia was only too happy to take. Shortly after this vote, Russia moved troops into Crimea, annexed the area, and took ownership over the peninsula.
When the riots of Ukraine first started in February, Crimea was a part of Ukraine. They had been a part of Ukraine for only sixty years. Before sixty years ago, they were part of Russia. Russia gave Ukraine the land of Crimea after World War II. Much of the Russian culture and patriotism has lived on in Crimea.
Before rejoining with Russia, Crimea had been governed by two groups. One was called the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. This group was set in place by the government of Ukraine. However, it had little power over the “regional government,” which had been ruling ever sense Ukraine gained control over the land.
On February 27, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, set in place by Ukraine, voted to dissolve the regional government. Fifty-five out of 64 Autonomous Republic representatives voted in favor. That same day, the Autonomous Republic overthrew the regional government, and set up shop in the parliament building. The new government officials of Crimea then began to plan for the future of Crimea.
Those plans included a referendum on March 6, the new government of Crimea voted to become part of Russia or Ukraine. There was no option on the ballot for Crimea becoming its own country. The newly founded Crimean government voted to rejoin Russia after sixty years of separation. Crimean officials traveled to Moscow to inform Russia of their decision. Russia then annexed Crimea soon after, setting up a military force there.
Crimeans are hoping to see positive changes in their economy now that they are part of Russia again. Many of Crimea’s citizens have gone without money and jobs for a long time. The citizens remember prosperous times with Russia, and in attempt to rekindle their economy, they have reached out to them once more for help.