Ukraine’s complex transition
Edited By Klaus Bachmann and Igor Lyubashenko
Crimea: from annexation to annexation, or how history has come full circle
Crimea is a region with a complicated history. Turbulent times: Wars and conquests, resettlements and deportations; changing ideologies, political and economic systems, starting from the end of the 18th century, that is from the beginning of Crimea colonisation by the Russian Empire, shaped the contemporary political and ethnic structure of the peninsula. The political and ideological confrontation of the three largest groups of inhabitants: Russians, Ukrainians, and Crimean Tatars since the dawn of Ukrainian independence has become its characteristic point. A reason for tensions was the reluctance of political decision makers, both central authorities in Kyiv and local elites in power, to initiate a real dialogue going beyond ideological divisions. The young Ukrainian state straight after its establishment had to face a whole range of problems on the Crimean peninsula. Those problems included the integration of the Crimean peoples returning after the deportation, and the problem of separatism.
After Crimea’s annexation1 by the Russian Federation in March 2014, the situation of the above mentioned ethnic groups has changed. After the introduction of a Russian administration, Russians, the largest group, have strengthened their position. Their factual status has changed from that of a national minority into that of the titular group. The second group in terms of numbers: The Ukrainian community has de facto become a national minority; in schools of the former autonomy a number of the Ukrainian language classes (but not only those) has been reduced. A high number of Ukrainian activists, afraid of the...
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