Crimea River

In recent news and occurrences, the word Crimea has become a common word exchanged between persons when talking about the foreign policy of the United States. The peninsula, to the south of mainland Ukraine, is the homeland of years of violence of political and cultural beliefs. The majority of people living there, ethnic Russians, apparently wish to leave Ukraine and become part of mainland Russia. Contrary to popular belief and the portrayal of the media, Crimea has not always been a part of Ukraine. In 1954, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Ukraine, the USSR mandated the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic) to give the Crimean Peninsula to the Ukrainian SSR (Source 1). This may sound confusing because, despite Ukrainian sovereignty being a figment of their own imagination, they were still their own separate state.

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Because the natural born people of Crimea, the Tatars, were deported to the “Stans” shortly after WW2 because of their support to fascist Germany, the land was packed with ethnic Russians to help support Russia’s large Black Sea Fleet as Sevestapol. The leaders of Russia were not worried about losing support in Crimea.

So why even make this exchange if you have you’re not worried? Because Ukraine has a natural disposition to being controlled. Like we have discussed in class lately, the nation of Ukraine is strong, but the State of Ukraine has always been weak. From Mongols to Soviets, the Ukrainians have been controlled for most of their existence. The Soviets could see that the Ukrainian people were ready to break free of a controlled society early on and decided to reward them with a little spark of nationalism. Again, why do the Soviets even care about this piece of land? Because Ukraine is the agricultural powerhouse of Russia.

In the mid 1950’s Ukraine was seeing a large increase in agricultural productivity. According to the digest of Soviet Literature, “Some 142,000,000 poods more grain were delivered or sold to the state than in 1956, and more than 346,000,000 poods of the main food crop, wheat, were received.”(Source 2) Russia could not afford to cut themselves off from a supply of food this large, especially in a communist society that lacks motivation.

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Russia has hung on to Crimea by a thread in the last 20 years since Ukraine has had a government with more eastern ties. But, now that it is fairly evident that Ukraine has started an irrecoverable lean towards western society, it was time to claim back what has always been theirs in the first place.

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Source 1: http://soviethistory.macalester.edu/index.php?page=article&ArticleID=1954anniver1&SubjectID=1954crimea&Year=1954

Source 2: http://dlib.eastview.com.ezproxy.lib.vt.edu:8080/search/simple/doc?art=16&id=13761464

http://soviethistory.macalester.edu/index.php?page=article&ArticleID=1954crimea1&SubjectID=1954crimea&Year=1954

Daniel Pierce

Excellent point when discussing the role of Sevastopol in World War Two. This explains why the area is predominately occupied by ethnic Russians. The history of Crimea with regards to the Ukraine seems to be pretty deep. I like how you make the distinction between the nation and the state, and how one can be weak while the other is strong.

Good blog all around.

piercedc

It is pretty terrible to think that modern societies still had to deal with problems of food shortages and starvation. The Soviet Union’s collectivization and poor handling of food deliverance was a big part in revolutions and protests throughout the Soviet bloc. It is interesting to note the bottom up reform that was desired, in Hungary specifically, that led to the eventual demise of the Soviet Union in the 1990′s from other states acting similarly.

*sorry, I wasn’t signed in first time around.

piercedc

Excellent point when discussing the role of Sevastopol in World War Two. This explains why the area is predominately occupied by ethnic Russians. The history of Crimea with regards to the Ukraine seems to be pretty deep. I like how you make the distinction between the nation and the state, and how one can be weak while the other is strong.

Good blog all around

*wow, embarrassing, that was for the other blog I messed up on.

zmartin

Your title wins. The implications of the Crimea and what happened to it during the Soviet Union definitely have relevance today. Its also ironic that even though Ukraine produced so much grain that they still had periods of starvation be their people.

oliva2015

i really liked this post, especially the title, and the explanation of the history behind the current crisis in Ukraine. I think you really gave a good, simple summary of the past behind the current events and the reasons for what is going on today.

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