Crimea Crisis Reader: Thinking Critically about the Crisis

The following articles have been chosen for discussing the political, diplomatic, military, social, and economic causes and potential effects of the current crisis on the Crimean Peninsula. Note that many articles, have been specifically paired so that one will contradict the other. Others have been chosen as strong arguments of minority positions. This resource has been constructed for professors seeking to encourage classroom discussions on current events.

 

1. Military and Diplomacy  Post-Soviet-Conflict-Banner

Resolving the Crimean Crisis
The current crisis in Crimea has escalated quickly and was unexpected by most in the West.

Will There be War with Ukraine?
Russian military experts weigh in on the likelihood of armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

How Russian, Ukrainian Forces Stack Up
Ukrainian forces have been involved in some standoffs with Russian forces particularly around bases in Crimea, some of which have long been shared between Kiev and Russian forces attached to the Black Sea Fleet.

Protestors in Donetsk Rally Against War
Pro-Moscow clique seizes government building in city while others promote unity.

Many Ukrainians Want Russia to Invade
Pro-Russian citizens genuinely fear the new Ukrainian government is fascistic and will persecute them.

Kremlin Words Versus Deeds, A Gaping Chasm?
Which are we to believe, Russia’s words or Russia’s deeds?

Russia-EU: Time to Decide
Article by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, “Russia-EU: Time to Decide” published in the Kommersant newspaper of 13 February 2014.

Putin News Conference on Ukraine
In his first major public appearance since the Crimean Crisis began, President Vladimir Putin gave his version of events.

Statement by the US President on Ukraine
“We will continue to coordinate closely with our European allies. We will continue to communicate directly with the Russian government.”

 

2. Economy

Specter of Money Haunts Ukraine’s Turmoil
It is critical to understand the economics of the current crisis in Ukraine.

Ukraine Crisis Nets Billions of Dollars for Kremlin
A cheaper ruble and more expensive oil could actually go a long way in improving Russia’s economy, possibly offsetting other potential aftershocks of the Ukraine crisis.

Ukraine Crisis Costs Russia Billions
Putin and the Kremlin can think that there won’t be serious economic consequences for their actions, but reality will show them otherwise.

Yanukovych’s Fall: The Power of Ukraine’s Billionaires
The protesters in Kiev were largely responsible for the fall of the Ukrainian president. But his way out of office was paved by two of the country’s most powerful oligarchs. Made rich by Viktor Yanukovych, the pair made early preparations for his departure.

 

3. Social Divisions

Ukraine: Divided or Diverse
Perhaps it’s time to recognize that Ukraine’s perceived divisions are in fact simply typical signs of diversity; they are not a liability, but a sign of cultural richness, and can, if harnessed and embraced, provide the foundations for the emergence of a vibrant and differentiated democracy.

As Pace Of Political Change Picks Up In Kyiv, Eastern Ukraine Balks
While lawmakers in Kyiv were adopting resolutions and making appointments with breakneck speed, including dismissing President Viktor Yanukovych, a rump group of local officials and lawmakers from the formerly ruling Party of Regions met in the eastern city of Kharkiv for a hastily assembled congress.

Can Ukraine Control Its Far Right Ultranationalists?
Ultra-nationalist groups help win the struggle against Yanukovych, but now the country may struggle to put their violent, homophobic genie back in the bottle.

The Ukrainian Civil War That Wasn’t
We end the week with Ukraine facing not a civil war, but an unprovoked foreign occupation of one of its southern regions.

Crimean Tatar Leader Tells People To Stay At Home, Avoid Confrontations
With tensions escalating in Crimea, Mustafa Dzhamilev, a local Tatar leader and former Soviet dissident, says that he is telling local Tatars to stay away from protests and to avoid any provocations.

 

See Also

Agreement in Ukraine: 12 Things You Should Know
An agreement was brokered by EU leaders between Ukraine’s ruling party and the opposition. Here are twelve points you should know as the country goes forward.

 

About the Author

Josh Wilson
Josh Wilson is the Assistant Director for The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) and Communications Director for Alinga Consulting Group. In those capacities, he has been managing publications and informative websites covering geopolitics, history, business, economy, and politics in Eurasia since 2003. He is based in Moscow, Russia. For SRAS, he also assists in program development and leads the Home and Abroad Programs.