In Upcoming Crimea Referendum the Status Quo is Not an Option


Credit: Anton Holoborodko (????? ????????????)/wikimedia

This Sunday the residents of Crimea will have the option to vote in a referendum on the future of the Ukrainian peninsula.

However, residents of Crimea who want to keep the region as an autonomous republic within Ukraine will not have the option to indicate that preference in Sunday's planned vote.

According to Reuters, voters will be able to vote "yes" in response to one of the following:

Are you in favour of the reunification of Crimea with Russia as a part of the Russian Federation?


Are you in favour of restoring the 1992 Constitution and the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine?

As Reuters explains, the second option is not much better than the first:

…the 1992 national blueprint—which was adopted soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union and then quickly abolished by the young post-Soviet Ukrainian state—is far from doing that.

This foresees giving Crimea all the qualities of an independent entity within Ukraine—but with the broad right to determine its own path and choose relations with whom it wants—including Russia.

With the pro-Russian assembly already saying it wants to return Crimea to Russia, this second option only offers a slightly longer route to shifting the peninsula back under Russian control, analysts say.

As Ed Krayewski explained over at Reason 24/7, American officials expect for most of the voters to back the first option and American officials have warned of "very serious" consequences if Russia does not back off Ukraine.

More from Reason on Ukraine here.  

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  1. A nice practical example of Heads I win, Tails you lose.

  2. The explanation I saw is that the ballot is not a single question offering those two option, but offering two entirely separate Yes/No question. So if you wanted the status quo, you’d answer No to both questions.

    Admittedly, it looks like a ballot designed to be deliberately confusing so that people end up thinking they have to say yes to one.

    1. “I thought I was voting to stay in Ukraine, but it turns out I voted for Pat Buchanan.”

  3. How do you say “fuck the Russians” in Ukrainian?

    1. By signing an agreement with the EU?

      1. Asking for membership in NATO would be even better.

    2. Well considering most the folks in the Crimea are Russian, you might be better off saying it in Russian.

  4. Crimean Person – Nice Russian man with Kalashnikov will help instruct with voting!

  5. Oh, and I look forward to Reason’s Leningrad reservists explaining to me how a referendum that is

    1) Non-binding

    2) Hastily scheduled

    3) In a country under military occupation

    4) where opposition protests and figures have been harassed and prevented from campaigning

    5) and where the issue for the referendum is constantly being changed

    can in any way be considered either legitimate or democratic?


      /Sheldon Richman

    2. It’s not. The problem is we’ve supported equally sham elections in other countries, which makes it hard for us to condemn this one without looking ridiculous.

      1. ?

        The rightness or wrongness of an act is independent of previoys unconnected acts.

        1. No, but our ability to condemn a wrong act without being guilty of gross hipocrisy often does depend on previous unconnected acts.

          1. when has any of our politicians cared about being a hypocrite?

    3. We need joe to explain that.

    4. Because nobody really wants to fight the Russians, so no matter how ridiculous this spectacle is we will accept it as legit, and move on.

      1. No we won’t.

    5. I guess you just refuted everyone who called the referendum legitimate and democratic!

      Who were these people, again?

      1. Malkovich, Rockwell, Ron Paul’s think tank, and some others who posted last time the invasion of Crimea was discussed.

        BTW, I don’t mean to imply that all or most non-interventionists think that way; to the contrary, I doubt that the Russia Stronk commenters on Hit ‘N Run are particularly concerned with ideological consistency.

  6. Absent some sort of credible threat we could make against the Russians, Crimea is going to secede and become a part of Russia. Putin’s made it clear he thinks we are powerless to stop it, and so far, it looks like he’s right.

    That by itself isn’t a big problem. The problem is that it will embolden Russian revanchists. Russia is currently massing troops on Ukraine’s Eastern border and quietly withdrawing funds from US banks. It is very much not in our interest to see Russia head down a path of believing that they can restore the Soviet Empire, or some “greater Russia”. That idea needs a fast dose of cold water.

    One thing we could do immediately is restart our anti-ballistic missle defense programs in Central Europe.
    It seems obvious now that halting those was a mistake.

    1. Since Putin’s plans don’t seem to require the use of ballistic missiles, why exactly would our defending against them deter him? It’s like saying that we ought to respond to this by putting a bigger “Magical Anti-lion Rock” in Poland.

      1. The goal isn’t to get into a war with Russia. It’s to make sure that Russia doesn’t feel tempted to get into a war with us.

        By putting anti-ballistic missiles in Poland, or even the Baltics, we make it clear that we’re going to defend them, so Russia shouldn’t get any ideas.

        1. Wouldn’t putting tanks and airplanes, which we already have and which would actually be useful for repelling Russian invaders, be more effective than building white elephants?

          1. no the point is to take the moral high ground. We stick defensive forces there and if Putin tries to occupy he has to attack them, thus we can then claim victimhood status.

            Basically it’s the same passive aggressive bullshit as Ft. Sumter in the Civil war, make them attack first and you can claim self-defense.

  7. Yeah, very serious consequences. Sure.

  8. Liberty and Reason! Huzzah!

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