In Crimea a vote was held to determine whether they would secede from the Ukraine to join Russia or not. Crimea has long been an asset vied for by Russia and much of its population make up are Crimean-Russians. The vote passed overwhelmingly to join Russia by ~90% in favor. The question is, as was posed in class, how does this relate to nationalism?
I believe that this can be considered an act of nationalism by the Russians in Crimea to join their territory to Russia. The protests in Kiev were far from the Crimea and the general attitude of the people on the matter varied widely from articles I have read. There was already a sense of solidarity from the mainland Ukraine being a peninsula of the mainland, having predominately Russian ethnic background and economic differences. Protests and revolution can be catalysts for political change abroad so I find little surprise that while mainland Ukraine fought for their liberty that other regions should not do the same. Looking at images of the vote rallies and he post vote celebrations you see people dancing, cheering, and waving Russian flags welcoming this change. Economic incentives and “East vs. West” expansionism aside the ancestral, cultural and historical connections between Crimea and Russia are real and apparent. While this may look bad from a western perspective in this circumstance I personally find it hard to assign fault to Russia because of this. The question now is what will become of the Ukraine as they find new leadership, will Russia push further into the Ukraine, will America intervene? Time will tell, as the story unfolds we will see if this is just a case of nationalism from Crimea or an expansionism play in a pseudo-Cold War struggle between the US and Russia.