News / Europe

On The Scene: Elizabeth Arrott in Crimea

Russians in Crimea, Intentions Elsewhere Are Questionedi
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
Elizabeth Arrott
March 14, 2014 8:39 PM
The U.S., other Western powers are making last-ditch efforts to avoid a controversial referendum on Crimea's future. Officials in the Ukrainian autonomous republic are making final preparations for Sunday's vote on whether to join Russia. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott reports from Simferopol.
Russians in Crimea, Intentions Elsewhere Are Questioned
Elizabeth Arrott
Russians are officially on the streets of Simferopol.  Not just the soldiers-without-insignia who took over the local parliament last month, but now diplomats from Moscow.
 
While observers from the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization are turned back at the Crimean border, Russian diplomat Sergei Ordzhonikidze defends the Crimean vote on whether to join Russia.
 
"I am here as an observer,” he said. "This is a dominating principle of the world: self-determination of people.  If people want to live that way, let them live that way.  It is their right to do that."
 
But the local lawmakers' "declaration of independence," as Ordzhonikidze puts it, comes as Crimea is under what Kyiv and Western powers call "Russian occupation."
 
Pro-Russia billboards are everywhere, with some presenting the referendum as a choice between Russia and the "fascism" of the new, pro-Western leadership in Kyiv.
 
The status quo is not an option on the ballot, which is one of several reasons many in Crimea's ethnic Tatar community are boycotting what they call an illegal referendum.
 
"We live in Ukraine, which has never been at war with any country in the world, annexed no land,” said Zair Smedlayev, chair of the electoral campaign of the Crimean Tatars. “That is why we are with Ukraine. But if the occupation of Crimea continues, then it is a problem."
 
Those problems have already begun.
 
Worries over the future have led to a run on banks, with others concerned about the status of property, rights and citizenship should the region come under formal Russian control.
 
Pro-Russian Crimean lawmaker Vladimir Klychnikov said those who don't want to become Russian nationals shouldn't worry.
 
"If the state under the name of Ukraine remains, then citizens of Crimea will be able to have also, say, all benefits and opportunities of that state," he said.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Olpe Murphy
March 14, 2014 8:59 PM
Why are my comments censored?

Becuase I don't go along with the American media propaganda, the Russia-bashing, the unfactual reporting. It is very biased.\

It proves, once and for all, that the Voice of America does NOT represent traditional American values such as liberty or freedom of speech.

by: Andrey
March 14, 2014 2:46 PM
Let these people re-join from so-called "ukraine" (fascist plutocracy that just robbed them for many years) to their motherland!

by: dungheapharry from: indiana
March 14, 2014 12:16 PM
This Russian buildup is a strategic problem with a probable political solution. The USA isn't gonna commit troops, so we will have to rely on sanctions. Not too much else we can do. Maybe if we make scary faces the Russians will run away.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs