Mr. Putin wants nothing more than to be recorded by history as the man who reassembled the USSR and brought home to mother Russia the lost rapscallion of Perestroika and Mikhail Gorbechav. Sunday’s vote in Crimea is his next and greatest step because, if successful, annexation of Crimea by Russia creates a very dangerous precedent that has unnerved many of Ukraine’s neighbors.
Article 73 of Ukraine’s Constitution unequivocally states that alteration to the territory of the Ukraine ‘shall be resolved by the All-Ukranian referendum.’ That is to say, Crimea, although an autonomous republic, may not take it upon themselves to secede from the Ukraine without a vote by all 44 million Ukrainians. To make this point ever more clear, Sunday’s vote is unconstitutional. Further, the vote offers secession or annexation by the Russian Federation and does not offer the status quo of remaining part of the Ukraine. The problem is, who in the international community will uphold the Ukraine Constitution (it will most certainly not be sanctions leery Mrs. Merkel).
It is not the case that all unconstitutional secession have yielded a nation for the worse. Of course, there was in 1765, the American Revolution, which not even the British mumble about over afternoon tea any more. More recently, Kosovo split from Serbia without support from Belgrade but gained recognition by a majority of UN members affording Mr. Putin what he refers to as an analogous comparison with Crimea. Mr. Putin, however, is quite wrong.
The ‘pro-Russian’ Crimeans suffer from the delusion of Soviet mentality that is no longer reality. Under the USSR, the non-productive proletariat had a saying ‘we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.’ The pro-Russian citizens of Crimea think that with the annexation of Crimea by Russia, they may put down their shovel and hoe and regain the somewhat austere but languorous life of government subsidy.
While Mr. Putin’s decade of propaganda on Russian state TV has done much to encourage this idea, the harsh reality construed by economic data puts forth a very different depiction of what is to come.
It is not a secret in the West that socialism is rarely a feasible form of economy. Eurasian countries however, believe economists are doctors of propaganda whose models are contrived to further Western global dominance. Ironically, in reality, the extravagance of Russian ‘oiligarchy’ trickles down to the commoner as well as Ronald Reagan’s supply-side economics.
Deceived by relentless bombardment of a Russian utopia, the unwitting voters of Crimea go to the polls casting away both their freedom and future. The only question that remains, is who is next on Mr. Putin’s agenda.