“What About Crimea?” – Latest Narrative From Canada’s Foreign Minister

Hits: 573

A news compilation on New Cold War.org on March 8, 2017 reported the controversy that has broken out in Canada surrounding the family history of Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland. Her maternal grandfather edited two pro-German newspapers in Poland and Austria during World War Two. He and his family settled in Canada after the war.

The minister told a March 6 press conference in Ottawa that inquiries into her family history constitute a ‘Russia disinformation’ campaign directed at her and the Canadian government. The minister as well as sympathetic journalists state that the ‘disinformation’ has been aided and abetted by unnamed ‘pro-Russia’ websites.

The Globe and Mail has published an article on March 16, 2017 in which Minister Freeland hits back at critics questioning her responses to the family history. The article is titled ‘Freeland condemns Russian aggression in Crimea, prompting Kremlin counterattack’. It provides a long list of alleged human rights violations in Crimea as listed by the minister in a statement, whose date happens to coincide with the three-year anniversary of the referendum vote in Crimea on March 16, 2014 to secede from Ukraine and rejoin the Russian Federation.

The referendum vote passed by a very high margin and subsequent polling has shown very high satisfaction rates with the decision among Crimeans of Russian and Ukrainian descent. Though little direct polling of Crimean Tatars has been conducted, one end-2014 poll found majority satisfaction among them.

A more recent survey among Crimean Tatars conducted by Russia’s Federal Agency for Nationalities during December 2016 and January 2017 showed that 61% of Tatars in Crimea don’t approve the policies of Kyiv and 71 per cent oppose the blockade of Crimea by Ukraine. Only 13 per cent support the government in Kyiv. Seventy five per cent of respondents reported being satisfied with their lives.

Globe reporter Robert Fife presents Minister Freeland’s latest list of rights violations in Crimea, writing:

Russian authorities have raided homes and mosques, exiled community leaders, banned rallies, and closed down Tatar media outlets as well as the informal Tatar legislature.

At least 15 Tatars and pro-Ukraine activists have been kidnapped or gone missing. One of them was found dead from possible torture and another allegedly hanged himself in a desolate barn.

Few of the accusations listed by the minister and the reporter can be verified because they are unsourced. But two accusations can be examined, and they are false.

In the case of “closed down media outlets”, the accusation is likely referring to the closure of the Tatar-language ATR television and radio network in April 2015. That was a political decision by the anti-Russia owner of the network. He chose not to renew his broadcast license and he then turned that into a ‘censorship’ scandal. That story is told in an article by this writer in my article dated April 7, 2015.

The other verifiable accusation concerns this claim by the Globe reporter:

“An estimated 20,000 Tatars have left Crimea since Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula.”

In September 2015, Vice Prime Minister of the Republic of Crimea Ruslan Balbec released statistics about the departure and subsequent return to the Crimean Peninsula of the Crimean Tatar population. According to him, between 600 and 800 Crimean Tatars left Crimea after the 2014 decision to rejoin the Russian Federation. This included Crimean Tatar students at Ukrainian universities who wanted to finish their education programmes. By the spring of 2015, reported Balbec, about half of those who left had returned and more were on the way.

The figure of ‘20,000’ Tatar exiles in Ukraine was recently repeated by Mustafa Dzhemilev (weblink to Russian-language media report here). He is a Crimean Tatar and appointed member of the Verkhovna Rada in Kyiv on the slate of President Petro Poroshenko’s political machine.[1] A much lower figure is cited by Eskender Bilyalov, a member of the Russian presidential council on inter-ethnic relations and head of the Crimean Tatar organization ‘Inkishaf’.

As reported in the Politnavigator.net on March 15, 2017, Bilyalov told the all-Russia, Tatar-language television channel Millet (launched in 2015, broadcasting to all of Russia from Crimea) that the figure of 20,000 Crimean Tatars leaving for Ukraine after the reunification of the peninsula with Russia is a lie.

“When they say that some 20,000 Crimean Tatars left for Ukraine, they are manipulating facts. At most, 3,000 to 4,000 left, and half of those were students who had to finish their studies [in Ukrainian universities which they had entered prior to 2014].”

Balbec’s or Bilyalov’s statistics would not surprise anyone who, unlike the Globe and Mail, has traveled to Crimea and Ukraine since the 2014 decision and listened with an open mind to the views of people living there.

Ukraine-controlled Crimea was officially unilingual, even though the majority of the population of 2.3 million are of Russian language and origin while some 275,000 (12 per cent) are of Tatar language and origin. Today’s Republic of Crimea recognizes three official languages–Russian, Ukrainian and Tatar. The government provides resources for schools and social services in the official languages. In the days of Ukraine-controlled Crimea, the number of Ukrainian language schools could be counted on one hand, while Tatar language schooling was barely on the radar.

Soon after the reunification with Russia, the Russian government in the person of President Vladimir Putin issued a sweeping decree reaffirming and expanding the official apology issued in Soviet times for the World War Two-era deportation of Crimea Tatars. The 2014 decree reaffirmed the right of return of Crimean Tatars to their shared homeland. Putin announced at the time,

“I have signed a decree to rehabilitate the Crimean Tatar population, the Armenian population, Germans, Greeks – all those who suffered (in Crimea) during Stalin’s repressions.”

The announcement was made to a meeting of Russia’s State Council and was shown live on state television. Putin called for measures to encourage the “national, cultural and spiritual renaissance” of the minority groups. The decree aims, “to restore historical justice and remove the consequences of the illegal deportation (of the groups) and the violations of their rights”.

Ukraine’s economy collapsed following the February 2014 coup that overthrew the elected president Victor Yanukovych, so resources and employment prospects for newly settled people are few and far between.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes in eastern Ukraine by the civil war launched there by the Kyiv regime in 2014. Unlike those who relocated to Russia, most of those who relocated in Ukraine are living in harsh conditions, including facing social stigmas from sections of the Ukrainian population that want them to ‘go home’. In today’s ultra-nationalist Ukraine, people from the ethnically Russian east of the country are often not welcome. Derogatory terms such as ‘sovok’ (derived from the word ‘soviet’) are thrown at them.

All this is not to say that life in Crimea today is idyllic. The peninsula is blockaded by Ukraine (a fact entirely unmentioned by anti-Russia Western media reporting). To counter that, a road, rail and energy bridge from Russia to Crimea is being constructed across the Kerch Straight, but it will not be completed until early 2019. More importantly, harmful, are the Western economic sanctions directed against Crimea and its people. So there are shortages of goods, sometimes there are electricity cuts, and economic activity is hampered.

Tatars have complained that restoration of property rights and promised expansion of cultural and political rights are not happening fast enough. For example, when the scandal over the ATR network erupted in March-April 2015, the Tatar ‘Milli Firqa’ political organization reminded the Crimean government that soon after the referendum, it had urged the creation of a publicly-owned, Tatar-language media network. Milli Firqua said the ATR ‘scandal’ would be moot if the government had acted on its recommendation.

But on the positive side, tourism, for one, is recovering, including from tourists and other visitors from Ukraine. Many Ukrainian visitors are in Crimea to avoid Ukraine’s compulsory military conscription, which was re-introduced in 2014 by the post-coup governing regime.[2] The gains in tourism visits are welcome because the withdrawal of Western credit card companies in 2014 caused several years of hardship for the industry.

Compared to the economic and violent, war-wracked disaster that Ukraine has become, including the prominent role that extreme-right paramilitaries and political movements play in government decisions there (another fact scrubbed out of Western media reporting), life prospects in Crimea look quite good. But don’t look in the Globe and Mail or in Minister Freeland’s press releases for that sort of news.

A resolution of the conflict over Crimea is available. It is called the United Nations Charter, article one of which, titled ‘Purpose and Principles’, reads:

“To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace…”

By any reasonable measure, the March 16, 2014 referendum vote in Crimea was an act of political self-determination, duly conducted by the constitutional government of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (as the peninsula was titled under Ukraine). The overwhelming vote in favour of reunification with Russia was entirely consistent with Crimea’s history and the Western world should respect the outcome.

As to the civil war in eastern Ukraine, here, too, an easy remedy is available, in the form of the Minsk-2 ceasefire agreement (text here). What is galling about the fate of this agreement is that even though the governing regime in Kyiv signed onto it, even though the governments of France and Germany signed on as guarantors, and even though it was endorsed by no less than the UN Security Council (on Feb 17, 2015), Kyiv has flaunted the agreement with impunity. It has pummeled the autonomous republics of Donetsk and Lugansk with artillery and has constantly threatened to re-launch an invasion. At the outset of the conflict, Kyiv cut social security payments–including the pensions that people had worked all their lives to earn–to residents of the areas of Donbass outside of its control and it has made travel difficult and dangerous across the conflict line of demarcation in Donetsk and Lugansk.

Most recently, Kyiv has rendered official a transport blockade initially mounted by right-wing, Ukrainian paramilitaries. This is another sign of the inordinate influence of the right-wing extremists in Ukraine, yet Western media insists such influence is marginal.

Instead of counseling peace and reconciliation in Ukraine and peace with Crimea, successive Canadian governments have poured fuel onto the combustible mix that is Ukraine. Canadians should demand an end to Canada’s and NATO’s military intervention in Ukraine and eastern Europe. We should demand an end to provocative and inflammatory sanctions against Russia.

Wars in the Middle East; rising U.S. militarism directed against Russia, North Korea and China; the renewed U.S. nuclear arms race; global warming; threatened famine in Africa; rising social inequalities—this and more present the world with more than enough problems to solve without adding more.

Notes:

[1] Mustafa Dzhemilev has been a spokesman for nearly three decades of the Tatar Crimean Mejlis, a political advocacy project for Crimean Tatars that was launched in the early 1990s at the time of the breakup of the Soviet Union. By the time of the 2014 secession from Ukraine, the Mejlis role had been supplanted by newer and more representative Tatar organizations. The remnants of the Mejlis supported the transport and electricity blockade of Crimea that was mounted by Ukrainian extremists in the autumn of 2015 and then endorsed by the Kyiv regime.

[2] An article published on March 4, 2017 examines prospects for a tourism project that would showcase Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan (located some 500 km east of Moscow). The article also looks briefly at tourism prospects in Crimea. An article on April 29, 2016 reported on a conference in Crimea discussing tourism potential for the republic.


Originally published on 2017-03-23

Author: Roger Annis

Source: Off Guardian

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

READ MORE!
Mass Murders of Serbs in Kosovo Town of Pec in 1998
During the Albanian Muslim secessionist and separatist war in the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija, Kosovo Serb civilians were targeted for murder and expulsion. December 14, 2010 marked the 12th year anniversary of the mass murders of six Kosovo Serbs in 1998 by Kosovo Albanian secessionists and separatists. The cold-blooded murder of the six youths was a horrific and shocking mass murder. The killers were Albanian Muslim separatists, suspected members of the KLA, which U.S. special envoy to the Balkans Robert Gelbard described in 1998 as “without any question, a terrorist group”: “I know a terrorist when I see ...
READ MORE
The State of Emergency and the Collapse of French Democracy
The measures being taken by the government of President François Hollande in response to Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris constitute an unprecedented attack on democratic rights.The Socialist Party (PS) government has declared a state of emergency and mobilized more than 100,000 security personnel throughout the country, including regular police, gendarmes, paramilitary riot police and military forces. It is impossible to walk the streets of any major city without running into individuals decked out in camouflage or dressed in black, toting automatic rifles. These paramilitary forces have been given the power to raid any home and arrest or kill anyone declared ...
READ MORE
Why is NATO in Yugoslavia?
Editor’s Note This paper was presented by the late Sean Gervasi at the Conference on the Enlargement of NATO in Eastern Europe and the Mediterrenean, Prague, 13-14 January 1996. It was published on Global Research when the Global Research website was launched on September 9, 2001. The late Sean Gervasi had tremendous foresight. He understood the process of NATO enlargement several years before it actually unfolded into a formidable military force.  He had also predicted the breakup of Yugoslavia as part of a US-NATO project. See also Sean Gervasi’s 1993 video interview Introduction The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has recently sent a large task force into ...
READ MORE
Donald the Animal Stays in Syria
Another chemical weapons at the hands (supposedly) of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The public was bombarded with images of victims of the attack. Where have been the images of Donald Trump’s victims? If the liberal media really is opposed to Trump as they say, why haven’t they been as outraged about Trump’s crimes? Donald Trump went on to call Assad an animal. But what has been Donald Trump’s record in the region? Historically awful. He now is responsible for over three-quarters of the civilian’s deaths in the U.S. war against ISIS. What seemed unspeakable under Barack Obama has proved to be ...
READ MORE
What is July 4th to US Imperialism? What is It to the Oppressed?
“The Declaration of Independence implicitly legalized the enslavement of Black people and the genocide of Native people within the context of the developing American capitalist nation-state.” July 4th is once again approaching and principled left forces need to use the day as a teaching moment. In a speech given on July 4th, 1852, Frederick Douglas spoke before a packed Rochester Hall and did just that, highlighting the hypocrisy that stains the July 4th celebration of the American Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence, as Douglass emphasized, held no worth to the millions of Black people in the United States whose existence was ...
READ MORE
Cheap Dignity of the Ukrainian Revolution
The interviews with three snipers of Georgian nationality, conducted by the Italian journalist Gian Micalessin and aired last week as a breathtaking documentary on Milan-based Canale 5 (Matrix program), still have not paved its way to the international mainstream media. That is hardly surprising taking into account the bombshell evidence against the real perpetrators and organizers of the 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev, generally known as the “revolution of dignity“.The documentary features Alexander Revazishvili, Koba Nergadze and Zalogi Kvaratskhelia, Georgian military officers  who were recruited to carry out a “special mission” in Kiev by Mamuka Mamulashvili, a close aid of ...
READ MORE
The Worst Mistake in U.S. History
The worst mistake in U.S. history was the conversion after World War II of the U.S. government from a constitutional, limited-government republic to a national-security state. Nothing has done more to warp and distort the conscience, principles, and values of the American people, including those who serve in the U.S. military.A good example of how the national-security state has adversely affected the thinking of U.S. soldiers was reflected in an op-ed entitled “What We’re Fighting For” that appeared in the February 10, 2017, issue of the New York Times. Authored by an Iraq War veteran named Phil Klay, the article ...
READ MORE
CIA: The Corrupt and Ignorant Agency
The American taxpayers have been fleeced for almost seventy years by a so-called «intelligence» agency that has systematically violated the US Constitution, broken practically every federal law on the books, and penetrated virtually every facet of American life. The Central Intelligence Agency’s creation was bemoaned by its creator, President Harry S Truman, who, in a fit of personal angst following the 1963 assassination of President John F Kennedy, wrote in a newspaper column,“I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations… I, therefore, would like to see the ...
READ MORE
Brexit: A Challenge to America’s Domination of Europe
A Unified Europe: Born In the USAWhile Brexit versus the continuation of the European Union is a hot news topic, few know the secret who and why of the EU’s creation.The lead financial writer at the Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, wrote in 2000:Declassified American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe.***The head of the Ford Foundation, ex-OSS officer Paul Hoffman, doubled as head of ACUE [below, we’ll explain who these players are] in the late Fifties. The State Department also played a role. A memo ...
READ MORE
The Power of the Internet in Politics
Future war “may see attacks via computer viruses, worms, logic bombs, and trojan horses rather than bullets, bombs, and missiles” [Steven Metz, Armed Conflict in the 21st Century: The Information Revolution and Post-Modern Warfare, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, 2000, xiii].First partThe facilities of the Internet in politicsThe Internet or the WWW (World Wide Web) became massively widespread around the globe since the late 1980s or more precisely since 1989 – in the same year when the Berlin Wall collapsed and, therefore, enabled the Cold War 1.0 to enter the final stage of its end. That is why both of these ...
READ MORE
Ending NATO, a Monstrous Institution
Their anxiety about the future of NATO, recently on full display again when the American president was in Europe, could not be bettered as a measure of the incapacity of Europe’s top politicians to guide their continent and represent its populations. Through its provocations of Moscow, NATO systematically helps increase the risk of a military confrontation. By thus sabotaging its declared purpose of preserving collective security for the countries on either side of the Atlantic, it erases its fundamental reason for being and right to exist. Grasping these facts ought be enough to fuel moves aimed at quickly doing away with ...
READ MORE
Kosovo Serbs are White Niggers of Europe
The new Serbian Warsaw Ghetto in the occupied Serbian land of Kosovo In Kosovo, in 1999, NATO orchestrated KLA terrorism to cause a cycle of attacks and repression which was used to justify military intervention under the pretext of protecting the civilian population. Thirteen years down the line, Kosovo has unilaterally declared its independence and inflicts the most outrageous discrimination on its Serb population … under the auspices of NATO. Serbs may not have black skin, but they are being treated like white niggers of Europe. Every day. In the media. On the streets in Kosovo. The pogrom and ...
READ MORE
The Myth of European Democracy
It’s an open secret that the “Soros network” has an extensive sphere of influence in the European Parliament and in other European Union institutions. The list of Soros has been made public recently. The document lists 226 MEPs from all sides of political spectrum, including former President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt, seven vice-presidents, and a number of committee heads, coordinators, and quaestors. These people promote the ideas of Soros, such as bringing in more migrants, same-sex marriages, integration of Ukraine into the EU, and countering Russia. There are 751 members of the European Parliament. It means ...
READ MORE
Hidden Manipulators: Who is Behind the “Kosova Independence” Campaign?
The Balkans conflicts of the 1990s saw a massive revival and resurgence of US and Western media propaganda and infowar techniques. The “new” advocacy journalists recalled the “yellow journalism” of William Randolph Hearst, who helped induce the US to engage in the imperialistic or colonial war in Cuba in 1898, the Spanish-American War. This marked the emergence of the US as an expansionist global imperial and colonial power, like Britain, France, Spain, and Germany had been. Hearst was credited with manufacturing or “furnishing” the war in Cuba. Frederic Remington, his correspondent in Cuba, reported that nothing was happening in Cuba, that ...
READ MORE
Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon on Kosovo in March 1999
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest. Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations. [wpedon id="4696" align="left"]
READ MORE
Who will Miss Obama?
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]
READ MORE
International Injustice: The Conviction of Radovan Karadzic
Last Thursday, news reports were largely devoted to the March 22 Brussels terror bombings and the US primary campaigns. And so little attention was paid to the verdict of the International Criminal Tribunal for (former) Yugoslavia (ICTY) finding Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic guilty of every crime it could come up with, including “genocide”.  It was a “ho-hum” bit of news.  Karadzic had already been convicted by the media of every possible crime, and nobody ever imagined that he would be declared innocent by the single-issue court set up in The Hague essentially to judge the Serb side in the ...
READ MORE
There is no Strategy Behind Trump’s War, Just Brute Force
These are awesome days for headline writers. So many global settings, such an abundance of weapons, such a wealth of choices! On the morning of April 14, the New York Times led with “A Giant U.S. Bomb Strikes ISIS Caves in Afghanistan,” matched by CNN’s “US Drops ‘Mother of All Bombs.’” The Washington Post chose Syria, where “Errant U.S. Strike Kills 18: Victims in Syria Were Allied Forces.” By mid-afternoon that same day, the Associated Press had shifted to the horn of Africa, where the “U.S. Sends Dozens of Troops to Somalia, 1st Time in Decades.” And as the Friday rush hour ...
READ MORE
The Origins of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Nations
"The main part of the population of Baltic cities up to the 19th century consisted of ethnic Germans, and also Poles and Jews, but not at all Baltic people. In fact, the “old” (pre-revolutionary) Baltic region was completely built by Germans. Baltic cities were German cities – with German architecture, culture, and system of municipal management. ... in the cities of the Baltic region there were almost no Estonians and Latvians." Now, the Baltic states consist of three countries – Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, which received sovereignty in the course of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Each of these states position themselves, respectively, ...
READ MORE
The Myth of Western Democracy
How does the West get away with its pretense of being an alliance of great democracies in which government is the servant of the people?Nowhere in the West, except possibly Hungary and Austria, does government serve the people.Who do the Western governments serve? Washington serves Israel, the military/security complex, Wall Street, the big banks, and the fossil fuel corporations.The entirety of the rest of the West serves Washington.Nowhere in the West do the people count. The American working class, betrayed by the Democrats who sent their jobs to Asia, elected Donald Trump and the American people were promptly dismissed by ...
READ MORE
Mass Murders of Serbs in Kosovo Town of Pec in 1998
The State of Emergency and the Collapse of French Democracy
Why is NATO in Yugoslavia?
Donald the Animal Stays in Syria
What is July 4th to US Imperialism? What is It to the Oppressed?
Cheap Dignity of the Ukrainian Revolution
The Worst Mistake in U.S. History
CIA: The Corrupt and Ignorant Agency
Brexit: A Challenge to America’s Domination of Europe
The Power of the Internet in Politics
Ending NATO, a Monstrous Institution
Kosovo Serbs are White Niggers of Europe
The Myth of European Democracy
Hidden Manipulators: Who is Behind the “Kosova Independence” Campaign?
Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon on Kosovo in March 1999
Who will Miss Obama?
International Injustice: The Conviction of Radovan Karadzic
There is no Strategy Behind Trump’s War, Just Brute Force
The Origins of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Nations
The Myth of Western Democracy

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu

One comment to ““What About Crimea?” – Latest Narrative From Canada’s Foreign Minister”

Comments are closed.