Why Putin's Crimean conquest is only of a temporary nature

Crimea led to end Russia's military conquest of the Ukrainian Peninsula of 2014 not only in the external relations of Russia a profound change. Moscow's illeg

Why Putin's Crimean conquest is only of a temporary nature

Crimea led to end Russia's military conquest of the Ukrainian Peninsula of 2014 not only in the external relations of Russia a profound change. Moscow's illegal incorporation of the black sea pearl also had a profound effect on Russian internal politics. Created with over 70 percent public support for the annexation of a so-called "Crimean consensus" in the Russian society.

This predictable effect was probably – if not the – main reason for this is that the Kremlin took the daring expansion adventure under. But Putin's ominous note on the reunification of Germany in his speech on the annexation of the Crimea on 18. March 2014 indicated the major long-term challenge of his had just made a triumphant land grab. This area expansion will cause, such as the cited example of the German unification shows, over years and decades, the high cost for Russia.

The under-appreciated output side of the area expansion

Although the two "reunions" in their causes, processes, and meanings are highly different in nature. Also, neither the Crimea with the "German Democratic Republic", yet today's Russia is with the West Germany of 1990 is comparable. The Crimea is in relation to the Russian Federation significantly smaller than it was in the GDR in relation to the old Federal Republic.

About the expert

Dr. Andreas Umland, a Senior Nonresident Fellow at the centre for European security of the Institute for International relations, Prague, lecturer at the Institute for political science at the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena and editor of the book "Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society" and "Ukrainian Voices" of the ibidem-Verlag Stuttgart.

But for all their Differences there are for the Russian people a clear lesson from the German example: The economic and social Integration of new areas into an existing state is learned as the Germans in the last 30 years, a costly undertaking. The main question of the admittedly illegal, but 2014 first easy Takeover of Crimea, Moscow will not be, whether the Russians want to keep the Ukrainian Peninsula or not. The crucial issue is likely to be more and more, whether the Russian Nation will be in the future willing to pay the full price for the bold territorial expansion of their state.

The historically disproportionate cultural influence of East German cities and municipalities in the development of the modern German Nation is one of the reasons that the West Germans were willing to transfer, between 1990 and 2018, to around 1.6 trillion euros to the former East Germany. For similar reasons, they are even today, almost 30 years after the reunification, willing to pay a "solidarity surcharge" of 5.5 percent of the income, wage and capital income tax. You have to wonder whether the Russians are also to be protracted financial obligations to the Crimea when the severe economic impact of the Coronavirus crisis and its social repercussions will always be noticeable.

The fiction of a "Russian Crimea"

are The historic Links to the territory of the present-day Russian Federation with the 1783 by Catherine II conquered the Crimea – in contrast to common stereotypes – small. From 1802 to 1917, the Crimea became part of the Taurian was province, which is the Crimea with the present-day southern mainland Ukraine Association. The birth name of the international most famous "Russian" son of the Crimea, of the famous marine painter Ivan Aiwasowskij (1817-1900), is, in reality, Hovhannes Aiwasjan. Aiwasowskijs Armenian family had moved from the formerly Eastern Poland and is today the Western Ukrainian Galicia to the Crimea.

From 1954 to 1991 the Crimea was part of Ukrainian Soviet Republic. Therefore, it fell to the disintegration of the USSR to independent Ukraine, what, the then Russian President Boris Yeltsin in the famous Belowesher agreement approved by the end of 1991 officially, and the Russian Parliament subsequently ratified. In 2003, the second President of Russia Vladimir Putin, in a further fully ratified the Treaty on the Ukrainian-Russian border, recognized the affiliation of Crimea to Ukraine.

The largest indigenous ethnic group of the black sea Peninsula, Tatars are the Muslim Crimea. Their main political organs, the Executive, the Mejlis, a representative Kurultaj will, are decidedly anti-Putin-ist and pro-Ukrainian set. The Russians were in Crimea in the nineteenth century, newcomers and long is a relative minority. You were the first. in 1944, as a result of Stalin's ethnic cleansing of the Peninsula of the Crimean Tatars and other minorities to the absolute majority of the population of the Peninsula

bottlenecks to Development of the annexed half the island

In contrast to Russia and the Crimea, and the East and the West, in Germany, over the centuries, historically, politically and demographically unified. Among other things, due to previous close Links between the FRG and West Berlin, the infrastructure in East and West Germany prior to 1990 is partially integrated. A physical connection to the Crimea succeeded in Russia until 2018-2019 with the gradual completion of the so-called "Crimean bridge wise" through the Strait of Kerch. This building represents an impressive feat of engineering.

the Kerch bridge is not a panacea for the numerous challenges of the economy of the Ukrainian Peninsula and its Integration into the Russian Economy. Moscow's generous state subsidies for the Crimea in the amount of around 20 billion dollars have led for 2014 economic growth on the Peninsula. At the same time, the Ukrainian and foreign tourism and investment, however, is in the Crimea broke. These losses were only partly offset by tourists and investors from Russia. Such economic problems will make the Crimea more and more significant, should support Russia's economy in the future, in a recession, or even Depression.

In addition, there are major infrastructure challenges for the new, Moscow-installed in power in the Crimea. Particularly worrying is the limited freshwater supply of the Ukrainian Peninsula, after Kyiv has closed in April 2014, the North Crimean canal from the Dnipro river to the black sea Peninsula. Although there are today a whole range of industrially useful desalination technologies, Russia has done in the past six years, the rising water problem on the Peninsula. So far there are no major projects for the conversion of salt water from the Black sea, although water will exacerbate the supply and ground problems with each year.

The pandemic, the Russian economy and the black sea Peninsula

The currently developing deep crisis in Russia's economy as a result of the simultaneous effects of the CoVid epidemic, declining energy prices, industrial structure, defects, and ongoing Western sanctions will have far-reaching social, political and finally also foreign policy implications. The Crimea will remain as long as Putin remains in Power, under the control of Moscow. A sober consideration of the future fiscal resources of the Russian state, the continuing subsidy requirements of an internationally isolated Crimea, the remaining infrastructure challenges for the Peninsula, and the lack of deep historical commitment of the Russians to the Crimea ends, however, do little Good for the continuation of the Moscow expansion adventure expect.

Many self-proclaimed "realists" in the East and the West to do so by a departure of Russia from its illegal expansion and return of the Peninsula under Ukrainian control as mere wishful thinking. A realistic assessment of the probable future developments within the Russian Federation, and persistent infrastructure problems of the Crimea in advance, however, says today that the once popular conquest of the black sea pearl by the Kremlin is only a temporary phenomenon. European diplomats and politicians should be prepared already today to another great change in the geopolitics of Eastern Europe – as soon as Putin left the political stage.

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Updated Date: 22 June 2020, 13:28

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