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Russia – Crimea – Ukraine – BBC – “Ukraine crisis: A guide to Russia’s vision of Crimea”

There may be younger ethnic Russian Crimeans who wanted to stay in Ukraine, having never known any other country, he accepts. But he believes the “overwhelming majority” wanted reunification with Russia.

For him, Ukraine is a “wicked stepmother” who promised Crimean Russians a better life after independence in 1992, then “deceived” them. In all those 22 years, he says, he “never felt Ukrainian”.

The news seems full of reflection about Crimea, Ukraine, and Russia and how political life patches states together.  What seems to me ugly beneath the surface of this interest are two themes: to what extent may or should nationalist ethnic and racial interests drive the definition of a state?  The question is asked knowing well that all states have a majority population representing affiliation with an ethnic or religious body.  The other question is whether human ideals and virtues can continue to inform the politics of powerful states when the same have been raided or shaped to serve military or monetary elites, who then operate the levers of the same with their own ambitions and appetites uppermost. a question that may apply as much in Crimea and Russia today as it may have and should have long ago in Syria.