1. Obama also rejected the Crimean lawmakers’ decision to call a referendum, saying: “In 2014, we are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders.”
Wait, what? By “democratic leaders” you’re referring to the folks who took power at the front of a neo-Nazi muscled anti-democratic coup? And who is attempting to go over the heads of these coup-installed “democratic leaders”? Look! It’s that somehow undemocratic but nonetheless democratically elected Supreme Council of Crimea.
2. “This (Crimea government) is a fake parliament because it was not elected and it was proclaimed under the Russian occupation — the democratic procedure under the guns of a foreign army does not work,” said Yaroslav Pylynskyi, director of the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center, a policy research institute in Kiev.
Wait, what? By “not elected” do you mean elected? Every member of the Supreme Council of Crimea was elected in parliamentary elections of 2010, when the Party of the Regions, Victor Yanukovych’s party, won 80 of council’s 100 seats. Now, as for the Kiev coup government, the show is run by the losers of the nationwide 2010 and 2012 elections. The Kiev coup’s prime minister is from the Fatherland Party, Yulia Tymoshenko’s party, which won 0 seats in the 2010 Crimean parliamentary election.
And, what Russian army? Links, photos? We all saw local armed men barging into and guarding the parliament building. Are you already calling Crimeans Russians? Why not wait on that, till Crimeans democratically decide, in a democratic process the coup backers oppose, on union with Russia.
3. On Saturday, the interim president of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov …
Perhaps a relatively small point but let’s keep it real: Turchynov is the _disputed_ interim president of Ukraine. The Crimean region leadership considers Viktor Yanukovych the legitimate president of Ukraine. It is a good idea to understand that when you assess the Crimean situation, and it is important to understand that Yanukovych has the far more legitimate claim on the office, since he was elected to it and not carried into office on the backs of armed right-wing thugs. And not that legitimacy is everything, but you _do_ hear that and ‘legality’ bandied about freely in anti-Russian propaganda these days.
4. Although Russian speakers make up about 60% of the population, around a quarter are Ukrainian and 12% are Crimean Tatar, a predominately Muslim minority.
Those data are from the commonly cited 2001 survey and are accurate about ethnicity, but as for language, here are the 2001 Crimea data:
… 77% of Crimean inhabitants named Russian as their native language; 11.4% – Crimean Tatar; and 10.1% – Ukrainian. In Crimea government business is carried out mainly in Russian. Attempts to expand the usage of Ukrainian in education and government affairs have been less successful in Crimea than in other areas of the nation.
The first act passed by the coup parliament revoked Russian language rights. That must have been felt with particular pain and fear in 77% Russian-speaking Crimea.