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Ukraine appeals to West as Crimea turns to Russia

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What a big mess.

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Not the whole story. Russian speakers ar 58.23% of the population. Separatist sentiments go back to the time of the breakup of the Soviet Union. But this is a mess. Ethnicity aside there may be economic rescans people might want to join Russia. Russia is rich and Ukraine is an economic basket case.

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For personal reasons, I have a huge dislike of Russian politics. However, this mess is not as simple as my personal feelings would like. A democratically elected president was ousted by protests, and a new president was appointed without vote. A region with high Russian population organises a referendum, but the West considers it illegal. I do know that the situation is not that simple, but the concepts of democracy are

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Agree with timeon on this one.

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Disagree with timeon, because political concepts are not so simple that people readily grasp them. Representative democracy is a huge extortion racket giving power of attorney to political incumbents who can rack up huge amounts of money through corruption, then take off, with the support of Russia. Representative democracy is the problem; and saying so doesn't make you a autocrat or anarchist. If you are looking for 'honest, clean politics', I don't know a country you can turn to. What can I say, they are all representative democracies, or worse, and collectivist Eastern Europe is more sordid than most. Referendums are c<>ontext-dropping dogmatic proscriptions, so not sure why anyone would want one of those, unless one wants to subordinate the free will. Having said that, the US/EU believe in 'due process' and 'the rule of law', and so they spurn the arbitrary decision of subordinate 'regions' to do as they please, even if its 'construed as democratic. I personally think it matters little whether Crimea secedes or not, because it would not address the problem of rights and conflicts of values. Representative democracy is not a system which will allow them to reconcile those differences.

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