Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
June 26, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.

Mayors to Trump: Immigration Orders Meddle With Cities

What’s Next for the Bill Cosby Sex-Assault Case?

Truthdig Bazaar
Bob Dylan in America

Bob Dylan in America

By Sean Wilentz


Thinking Tuna Fish, Talking Death

By Robert Scheer
Hardcover $13.16

more items

Email this item Print this item

Will the Crimea Vote Create a Domino Effect in Eurasia?

Posted on Mar 17, 2014

By Juan Cole

canonsnapper (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Square, Story page, 2nd paragraph, mobile
This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday warned that Crimea’s referendum on seceding from Ukraine pose the threat of a “domino effect” in Eurasia.

Will Russia’s rush to referendum and the outcome affect other populations who want to secede, throughout the world?  Will it destabilize the current world order?

Davutoglu likely had the Kurdish issue in mind.  The some 2 million Kurds in northeast Syria have de facto seceded from Syria, and have fought off both regime troops and the guerrillas of the extremist Sunni Arab al-Qaeda affiliates.  Their de facto secession has disturbed Turkey, which has a big Kurdish population of its own in the southeast, and which has fought Kurdish separatist guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) for decades.


Square, Site wide, Desktop


Square, Site wide, Mobile
The Kurds in northern Iraq likewise have a semi-autonomous statelet;  Turkey now has good relations with that enclave, but there have been tension in the past, and Turkey certainly doesn’t want the Iraq model of ethnic conflict and separatism to spread to Turkey.

Beyond the Kurdish issue, there is a sense in which the Sunni Arab cities of Falluja and Ramadi in Iraq have de facto seceded, under the leadership of the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.  The Shiite-dominated Iraqi army is probably strong enough to take those cities back for the central government, but Sunni Arab grievances against the Center are growing.

In Europe, secessionists in Scotland and Spain’s Catalonia will likely take hope from Crimea’s secession vote.  The Spanish central government will be upset (it still has not recognized Kosovo).  To be fair, the Catalan leader was careful to distinguish his province’s aspirations from the events in Crimea, underlining that the elements of coercion and violence visible in the latter are absent in Catalonia.

Even in Ukraine itself, some activists in the East of the country where there are substantial numbers of Russian-speakers, want the same deal Crimea got.  If that process, of yet another partition, goes forward American-Russian relations will be deeply harmed.

One thing is certain:  The EU rashness in making Urkaine choose between it and Russia;  and the Russian boldness in arranging for Crimea to be detached from Ukraine, have spread instability not only in Ukraine but throughout the region.


Related video:

Reuters: “Crimeans vote to quit Ukraine for Russia” 

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Join the conversation

Load Comments
Right Top, Site wide - Care2
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide

Like Truthdig on Facebook