Neutrality isn’t an option. 13 points on why Musk is wrong

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Ukraine was a non-block country in 2014, and it didn’t save it from the occupation of Crimea and russian military aggression in Donbas, writes foreign policy and security expert Alexander Khara in a response to Elon Musk’s “simple solutions” to end russian aggression.


1. Impunity. You can’t redo something that hasn’t happened. The shame vote of 2014 was a violation of the Ukrainian and russian Constitutions and laws and international law [UN Charter, OSCE Helsinki Act, etc]. It was a russian combined special intelligence and military operation. Starting with wrong assumptions and not punishing a criminal sets a dangerous precedent.

2. Impossible to do. russia deported or pushed out Ukraine’s citizens while bringing russia’s in. For eight years, the Crimeans have been heavily brainwashed.

3. Injustice. According to int law and Ukrainian legislation, only three indigenous peoples [Crimean Tatars, Crimean Karaites, and Krymchaks] have the right to self-determination. Therefore, “redo elections” would secure impunity and injustice and greenlight further annexations across the globe.

4. Historically wrong (1). Crimea was a part of Ukraine for twice longer [60 years, 1954-2014] as the russian Federation [29 years, 1922-1941, 1944-1954]. From 1941-1944 the Peninsula was occupied by Nazi Germany.

5. Historically wrong (2). During the Rusian Empire (1796 till 1917), the ethnic composition of Crimea was: Ukrainians [42.2%], russians [27.9%], Crimean Tatars [13%], Germans [5.4%], and Greeks [1.3%]. In the imperial and then Soviet times, there was a forceful movement of people.

6. Historically wrong (3.1). More than russians and Ukrainians, Crimea was owned by Crimean Tatars (1441-1783).

But even more than Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians, and russians combined, Crimea was owned by Greeks who settled there in 5 BC.

7. Historically wrong (3.2). Crimean Tatars and Greeks are brutally suppressed by russian neocolonial and genocidal policies in Crimea and the russia-occupied Donetsk. Mariupol, Ukrainian Greeks’ unofficial capital, was leveled, and it’s impossible to estimate the human cost of the seizure.

8. Historically wrong (4). Decisions by Khrushchev, the Central Committee, and the government were legitimate and legal. Given its heavy dependence on Ukrainian infrastructure, logistics, and labor, USSR’s Supreme Council voted for the transfer of Crimea. It was not a decision of a single man.

9. Historically wrong (5). The russians weren’t able to rebuild and sustain Crimea after the devastating World War II and depopulation by the forceful deportation of the Crimean Tatars, Greeks, and other native peoples (1944-1949). What we see now in Crimea has been built by the Ukrainians with their money and resources.

10. Neutrality is wrong (1). Ukraine was a non-block country in 2014, and it didn’t save it from the illegal annexation of Crimea and russian military aggression in Donbas. In fact, russia tried to annex Crimea back in 1993-1994 when Ukraine was not even thinking of becoming a NATO member.

11. Neutrality isn’t an option (2). 83% of Ukrainians are for membership in NATO. So, after the illegal annexations, genocidal war, and destruction that russia brought to their neighbor, Ukraine can’t be secure and at peace without being a member of NATO and the EU.

12. Strategically wrong (1). The illegal annexation of Crimea allowed russia to interfere in the Syrian conflict, propping up the murderous Bashar al-Assad regime. Crimea allows threatening all the Black Sea nations and denies Freedom of Navigation, causing starvation across the globe.

13. Strategically wrong (2). russia’s Black Sea Fleet might hit any European country, including the British Isles, with Kalibr missiles off the coast of Crimea. They might carry a nuclear warhead. Moreover, russia voiced its intentions to deploy nuclear arms there, and it’s highly likely that russia has already deployed them.

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