Monthly Archives: February 2015

A prelude to pleading the Crimea Case, Part 2

After becoming part of the Russian Empire in 1783, the 19th century was a period of relatively calm for Crimea. Driven by a truce between the Russian Empire and its opponents the Ottoman Empire and British Empire, the Black Sea was neutralized and Crimea was no longer the prime target to weaken the Russian Empire and the strong Black Sea Fleet stationed in and around Sevastopol.

Aside from recent developments on the peninsula Crimea, the 20th century shaped the political environment of Crimea with more dynamics than most European countries endured over multiple centuries.

The Russian Revolutions which started in 1905, partially raging in parallel to World War I, and their aftermath leading to forming the Soviet Union in 1922, also had their impact on the political environment of Crimea. Ahead of many other later Soviet States, Crimea declared itself Crimean People’s Republic in 1917 and installed its first formal Constitution as independent Crimean People’s Republic in early 1918 which was ratified by the Authoritative Parliament of the Republic. (Thanks to my friend and mentor throughout all phases of my professional life, I am the proud owner of a rare copy of this Constitution and a certified translation). Challenged by all influences and fractions playing their part , the Crimean Republic continued to expand its political and legal foundation as a republic and its alliance with the socialists movement which eventually founds it destiny in the Soviet Union.

Continue reading A prelude to pleading the Crimea Case, Part 2

A prelude to pleading the Crimea Case, Part 1

The peninsula of Crimea has become in the focus of attention in February 2014 and for many, that is also the moment that the history of Crimea started. A part of Ukraine and suddenly occupied and annexed by force by the Russian Federation, where Ukrainians and Tatars used to live in peace until Russia came. At least, that is what Main Stream Media wants us to believe and shockingly high amounts of people actually do believe. On the question where, if this would be true, suddenly all those ethnic Russian citizens of Crimea came from, in most case the answer is “those are retired Russian service men with their families, they don’t belong on Crimea”. Given the fact that the fast majority of the Crimean population is ethnically Russian, that would add up to an amount of retired service men and families that by far exceeds the manning of the Black Sea Fleet stationed at Crimea.

The true Russian roots of Crimea start in 1783, when the Crimean Khanate fell to the Russian Empire, after centuries of occupation by many, including Bulgars, Khazars, Kipchaks, the “Golden Horde”, and period of ruling by the Ottoman Empire. Just to put this in historical perspective:

  • Canada was founded much later in 1867
  • The USA declared independence just years earlier in 1776 and had their independence war still ahead of them.
  • Germany as we now know it and as it pulled the world into World Wars which also raged on Crimea, was founded even later than Canada, in 1871.
  • Ukraine as we now know it, was still to be founded by the Soviet Union in the 20th Century and in this historical time frame divided in different states and part of different empires, including The Ottoman Empire, The Polish Kingdom, The Austro-Hungarian Empire and even Lithuania, with a small Cossack Republic which disappeared as fast as it emerged.
  • Belgium, later a ruler of parts of Africa and beneficiary of the aftermath of the Crimean War, was founded in 1830.
  • The Netherlands has a longer history as Nation and attempts to destroy this nation since 1648.

Continue reading A prelude to pleading the Crimea Case, Part 1

The Draconic Minsk II Protocol (Part 2)

The second Minsk Protocol, also referred to as Minsk 2, has raised more questions about its impact and intentions than it has provided answers and solutions. Many issues are still to be clarified and it is at least interesting to see that 4 so called World Leaders (although I personally don’t consider the President of Ukraine a World Leader) have not been able to draft a better document than this.

In my judgment, this adds up to a strong statement about the different interests and the lack of willingness to develop a comprehensive solution in the interest of the PEOPLE suffering under this conflict. The second Minsk Protocol is even weaker than the first Protocol was and leaves all those items which led to the conflict fully open. In the coming days and weeks, I will post my thoughts based on my own opinion and the many discussions I am having these days on this topic.

Continue reading The Draconic Minsk II Protocol (Part 2)

The draconic Minsk II Protocol (Part 1)

After a long raging civil war in the eastern part of Ukraine and several failed attempts to reach peace agreements and ceasefires, yet another “Minsk Protocol” was negotiated and put into force by the signatures of the members of the contact group.

Point 5 of this agreement is both worrying and draconic:

5 Provide pardon and amnesty by way of enacting a law that forbids persecution and punishment of persons in relation to events that took place in particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine.

There is no limitation and exclusion to the kind of crimes this pardon and amnesty applies to, nor does this article accept the ruling of a court to determine to which extend this pardon and amnesty will apply to which type of crimes. So in short, it is a general pardon for all and every crimes committed within those particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. What are those particular districts? Are those the positions held by non-Kiev-loyal groups or does that include the positions and regions held by government forces and their volunteer battalions?

Continue reading The draconic Minsk II Protocol (Part 1)

Finding my roots or who I am

Last year after a long search of many years and more luck than I can express, I looked into my uncle’s eyes for the first time after 40 years. And it is as if I am looking in to my own eyes, in to a mirror seeing myself 30 years from now. Seeing my uncle gives me the feeling of seeing my father if he would have lived now.

Besides our looks, my uncle and I have a lot in common. Our strongest commonality is what people around me call being stubborn, I prefer to see it as persistent and knowing what we want.

It was strange for me to experience how much I am apparently formed by my genes as I always believed the upbringing by my beloved adoptive parents formed me most. This believe was maybe enhanced by the fact that I had no reference at all to my family, my birth family.

Continue reading Finding my roots or who I am

Seeing the world being seated

After 14 years in a wheelchair, I still have moments where I reach forward to open the door instead of reaching up. Somehow, someway, it is still stored in my brain that I once was 1.88 meters tall and the grip of the door was in front of my hips and not in front of my face as it is now. These silly little moments remind me of how much has changed in my life and not just my size by loosing my legs.

Top shelves in the local grocery store don’t bother me as much as it did a few years ago. What still bothers me as much as the first day is the moment when for example a meeting ends and there is this massive overwhelming moment of group wise standing up when whomever was in charge stands up. Suddenly, the whole group looks down on me and I’m looking up to them. I can tell myself it isn’t important and the next time it happens: BAM!

But the same effect of always being seated also has positive effects! Especially on children because I’m on their own height. Truly amazing how most children respond open to me, looking in my eyes without having to look up to me. I will never say it is worth it but it certainly makes it bearable to me.

Kind regards,
Pavel