CRIMEA AS A TEST FOR STATEHOOD
Recently, Ukrainians marked two significant dates - three years since the occupation of Crimea and the 100th anniversary of the Ukrainian revolution. Coinciding in time, both the historical events make us to draw some historical parallels and lead to certain conclusions.
In the years 1917-1920 Ukrainian statism had become a victim of social-democratic doctrine. This feature of the then Ukraine's political elite had affected the approach to the Crimean issue. In June 1918 Dmitro Dontsov wrote in his notebook: "The Crimean issue has been actualized again. The Ministry of Internal Affairs offered me to organize a society of defence of Crimea as an integral part of Ukraine. Well, finally! When I, firstly arriving to Kyiv, touched upon this theme in our press, treating Criman as an integral part of Ukraine, many had been claiming this as undemocratic heresy. As for them - Crimea must have had the right for self-determination. But what if, using this right, the enemy would put hands upon the peninsula with all its bases, ports and strongholds? The worse for us, but who cares? Democratic principles are sacred! Vivat Justice, pereat Ukraine! Fiat justitia, pereat Ukraine."
It goes without saying that Crimea is of great importance for Ukraine. Its loss it is not just a blow on the national military and economic potential, but also an opportunity for the enemy to snap us by the throat. "The belonging of Crimea to Ukraine is a conditio sine qua non of Ukrainian independence," - Dontsov claimed categorically in one of his analytical materials, and it is difficult to disagree.
Despite this, Ukrainian delegation refused to rise the issue of right to Crimea during the Brest negotiations in 1918, arguing their position with meaningless delirium mentioned by Dontsov. And when Colonel Petro Bolbochan had announced on Ukraine's right on Crimea by the right of force, politicians revealed the weakness of the spirit.
Now, 100 years later, we have similar situation. What information counter propaganda. For this years those people from the Bankova street have been refusing to raise the Crimean issue at the diplomatic level (although appropriate proposals were voiced a number of states, including Poland). Clearly, considering the above, there can be no question of adequate counter-propaganda measures or coordinated guerrilla resistance throughout the occupied peninsula. And in a situation where there is no clear and understandable position from official Kyiv, it comes from the agents of Kremlin's influence in Ukraine.
Times change, but Crimea hasn't lost its significance for Ukraine. And it is not only about its geostrategic importance. Ukrainian word "derzhava" (a state) perfectly conveys the essence of the state as a phenomenon. It comes from the word "derzhaty" (to keep, to hold). Essence of a state lies above the territorial issues. It is a bunch of authority and power. Unfortunately, social-democratic doctrinaires of that time hadn't managed to direct their statist efforts right way, since they used to understand the concept differently. As for the current elites, being of a merchant kind, concider the country as a market.
Today, Crimea for Ukraine is a test for a statehood. And Ukraine will pass it successfully only by hands of those passionate young men, who are ready to follow the historical way of Bolbochan.
by Igor ZAGREBELNY