John Kerry today met his Russian counterpart one Sergei Lavrov to inform him that the United States of America could not and would not accept the outcome of this weekend’s referendum on the future of Crimea.
Russia says its recent moves into the region are motivated by a desire to protect the Russian speaking population from the neo Nazi thugs that now control Kiev.
Other commentators point out on state owned RussiaToday that Crimea has of course been part of Russia for centuries.
No one seems to care about exactly how Russia and its vicious Cossack army got into Crimea and what has happened to the people who once ruled that land.
Crimea was for centuries the powerful Khanate that was allied to the Ottoman empire for whom she turned to for protection whilst remaining independent. The first signs of a decline in that relationship was perhaps during the final Ottoman siege of Vienna when the Khan of Crimea allowed access to a Polish army which went on to defeat a vast besieging Muslim army camped outside the gates of the Austrian capital. A century later, the Ottoman Sultan ceded Crimea after his army failed to recover this territory from the emerging kingdom that was Russia. Today, the descendents of that once great Khanate live as a minority in their own land with no access to decent welfare or standard of living. They have been forced to accept the name Tartars although it is as old, as medieval and ignorant as the name Saracens, as well as a decline in their population through deportations and death, as Russia colonised their country with its own people.
This is of course the same Russia whose Cossack soldiers would use the bones of Muslim soldiers as drum sticks each time they went out to wage war against the Sultan.
Of course more recently Stalin deported on mass the Tartars to Central Asia because they were said to have collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War, a memory that is very much alive and well today in those who didn’t perish on that long journey.
So, it won’t come as a surprise that the Tartars will not be voting in this weekend’s referendum. For they like other minorities in the Crimea know that they don’t count or matter to Moscow – the great protector of Russian speaking populations.