Crimea Morning After

The Crimean Central Electoral Commission announced that 83% of the peninsula’s registered voters had cast their ballots, and 95% of them had voted in favor of becoming part of Russia. That may seem like an impossible result and in some ways it was. The vote was held during a Russian military occupation of Crimea and the ballot did not offer voters the option of keeping their current status in Ukraine. The choice on the ballot was between:
1. Are you in favor of the reunification of Crimea with Russia as a part of the Russian Federation?
2. Are you in favor of restoring the 1992 Constitution and the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine?

Now that the election is over, we have to move forward and make sure that the violence stops. The people of Ukraine and Crimea can’t be taken hostage by the European Community and North America. No political maneuver, no sanctions and retaliation can be pronounced against them. We need to see this moment in history as a step in the regionalization process, the cultures and populations with their counties are moving their alliances. The European Community had many opportunities to help in Ukraine but didn’t. The West cannot be moralist only went they want to; they must recognize that they have been asked for help many times but didn’t respond accordingly.

As Humanists, we do not like how Sunday’s referendum was conducted but we definitely recognize the results and are ready to move forward. The population has spoken, the military occupation has to stop, the protection of ethnic communities has to be guarantied. Crimea has 300,000 Muslim Tatars and 17,000 Jews and both are isolated minorities who are not liked by many.

The discussion in Ukraine is not over and many conflicts have to be resolved. Its violent and complicated past weighs heavily on its undefined future. Maybe Ukraine is a perfect place to have an open discussion about how we build a Universal Human Nation. How can we, as members of the International Community, ask and support our friends in Ukraine and Crimea to work on the construction of new, nonviolent society, using the crisis as an opportunity to break barriers. This quote, although taken from a different context, could help to capture the spirit: “We must not mistake an organization, a gun, or even an ideology for a revolution. They are only a means towards it. Revolution is first and foremost a question of morality, a question of values, a question of the inner life of people” (Julius Lester, “To Recapture The Dream”).

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