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Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the now-that-depends-who-you-gentleman-are-with dept.

Government 304

judgecorp (778838) writes "Three weeks after Russia asserted that Crimea is part of its territory, the social networks have a problem: how to categories their users from the region? Facebook and the largest Russian social network, Vkontakte, still say Crimeans are located in Ukraine, while other Russian social networks say they are Russians. Meanwhile, on Wikipedia, an edit war has resulted in Crimea being part of Russia, but shaded a different colour to signify the territory is disputed. Search engine Yandex is trying to cover both angles: its maps service gives a different answer, depending on which location you send your query from."

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304 comments

is this seriously (3, Insightful)

etash (1907284) | about 3 months ago | (#46755865)

stuff that matters? This is a trivial detail, and in due time all websites will list it under Russia.

Re:is this seriously (4, Insightful)

mi (197448) | about 3 months ago | (#46755957)

in due time all websites will list it under Russia.

Only the Russian websites will do so. The rest will list it as "Ukrainian territory under Russian occupation". Unwieldy, perhaps, but reflecting the truth.

Or, as they keep saying about Jerusalem, it will go something like this: "Annexed by Russia in a move not recognized internationally."

Re:is this seriously (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 3 months ago | (#46756475)

Not even the West has the gall to claim Crimea is occupied.

Annexed, yes. Occupied, no. By who? Locals?

Re:is this seriously (5, Insightful)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 3 months ago | (#46756569)

The current government there is a party that got less than 10% of the vote in the last Crimean regional election, and was essentially appointed by Putin after his troops moved in. So it owes its entire political existence not to local support, but to the support of some guys in Moscow.

Its possible that if you had a completely free plebiscite on the issue, without Russian troops and "militias" backed by them standing around with guns, the people of Crimea would have willingly voted for something similar to what they have now. Its also possible they wouldn't. We'll never know now, because it doesn't look like there will be anything like a free election there again for quite a while.

Re:is this seriously (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 3 months ago | (#46756679)

And the people on the streets, celebrating after the referendum en masse were shipped from Moscow. In containers. Because that's how Russians treat their own people. You know it because you have been told so by the same sources.

And while at it, you may wish to check just how much support people currently installed by the West in Kiev command. May make for a good example of hypocrisy for which your types are known so well.

Re:is this seriously (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 months ago | (#46757103)

Newsclips of people dancing around does not evidence of unimpeded electoral intent make. In an election such as this, where the borders of a sovereign state are to be redrawn and some of its territory annexed by a much more powerful neighbor, the standards of what constitutes a legitimate election are all the higher, and justifying it under the grounds that you watched a television program where a bunch of people were happy simply does not suffice.

Napoleon I and the III were famous for holding referendums, but I doubt anyone would confuse them with champions of democracy.

Re:is this seriously (2)

Carewolf (581105) | about 3 months ago | (#46756599)

Better examples might be Kashmir (India/Pakistan), or South Ossetia and Abkazhia (Georgia/Russia). Disputed territory is not that uncommon.

Re:is this seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46755961)

Stuff that matters, news for (cartography) nerds.

Re:is this seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46756029)

stuff that matters?

kinda newb question dont ya think?

Re:is this seriously (2)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 3 months ago | (#46756411)

If you are a Polynesian, perhaps it is a trivial detail. If you live in the area itself, a country bordering one of the principles (eg: Most of Eastern Europe), or a country pledged to militarily protect [wikipedia.org] one of those countries (essentially all of Europe, Canada, and the USA), then this ought to matter a great deal to you.

This is essentially a story of an ongoing propaganda effort. Try as we might, there is flat out no way to classify any part of what a year ago was Ukraine without making a political statement. When you make a political statement, you are serving the purposes of one side or the other. These "sides" run countries with hundreds of millions of people in them, who might one day come to blows over the issue. There's no getting around that either.

There are still mobilized military units moving around in both the former and rump remainder parts of Ukraine. We honestly don't know if the country will exist at all two months from now. Getting their story out about their view of the status of these areas is just another ongoing part of the war (or whatever you want to call it), and websites like Wikipedia are bound to get caught in the middle.

Re:is this seriously (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 3 months ago | (#46756923)

or a country pledged to militarily protect [wikipedia.org] one of those countries (essentially all of Europe, Canada, and the USA),

Why do people keep saying this? According to that very article, Ukraine is not a member of NATO:

[In 2009] Ukraine and Georgia were also told that they could eventually become members.

After the 2010 election in Ukraine, pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych declared his administration would not be pursuing NATO membership.

Those are the only 2 times Ukraine is mentioned in the entire article. Or is this "pledge to defend" a secret or something? Ukraine is neither a member of NATO nor the EU currently.

Re:is this seriously (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 3 months ago | (#46756943)

Oops...those quotes were from the actual NATO article [wikipedia.org] . That list of member countries doesn't even have the string "Ukraine" anywhere on the entire page, though.

Re:is this seriously (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46757055)

> Why do people keep saying this? According to that very article, Ukraine is not a member of NATO:

Probably because they can't keep the contracts straight.
The UK, the USA and Russia itself signed a contract to protect Ukraina in exchange for it giving up the (huge amount of) nuclear weapons it had.
Which isn't the same as NATO membership, but since NATO is just a contract as well, it's no wonder that some countries are wondering if their NATO membership is actually worth the paper it's written on, at least UK and USA showed they don't care about that kind of contracts too much if it would mean they'd actually have to start a war with Russia...

Re:is this seriously (2)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 3 months ago | (#46757113)

Yeah, I just found that. Apparently the "assurances" don't exactly include mandatory military intervention per se though.

Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances [wikipedia.org]

Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (4, Insightful)

mi (197448) | about 3 months ago | (#46755931)

Russia annexed the province by use of force. Any and all counter-arguments like "but they voted" are meaningless: first, the voting took place under the "gentle" guidance of Russian military. Then, even if you think, it is legitimate for a referendum on whether to join a foreign power to take place while under occupation by that same power, the vote was fraudulent. For example, in Sevastopol the number of people showing up for vote was 123% of the eligible voters. [thegatewaypundit.com]

And, finally, even without the above two arguments, would Russia accept a referendum by residents of the Kuril Island [wikipedia.org] , for example, on breaking away from the Motherland and joining Japan? Would the US accept the results of Southern California (or Southern Texas) voting to break away and join Mexico?

Neither would, of course. The Crimean referendum is a joke. A sad joke perpetrated by Russia-the-bully on Ukraine weakened by internal strife and years of mismanagement (to which Russia heartily contributed just for this purpose, BTW).

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (4, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#46755975)

Russia handled this badly in a lot of ways. But in the end what we know is that once Russia offered, if there were a fair and free referendum the Crimean people would like to join Russia and leave Ukraine. I see no reason that people should be trapped in a country they don't want to be a part of. I believe self determination gives people, not just states, the right to change borders.

And yes I think if Texas voted to join Mexico the USA would accept it. I can't imagine the USA holding millions of people and hundreds of square miles of territory by force. That would completely undermine everything else about American democracy. Americans like to have a government by the people for the people. A government imposed is not either.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | about 3 months ago | (#46755985)

You apparently never heard of the American Civil War then.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#46756053)

What we did 150 years ago is not what we are likely to do today. The American Civil War the states breaking away wanted to maintain slavery. Had they not been slave states it is entirely possible that the moral case for the civil war would have turned out quite differently.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 months ago | (#46756175)

People are exactly the same as they were 150 years ago. I imagine the exact same thing would happen: Texas would declare itself independent. There would be a thorny issue of a bunch of federal property still in Texas. For a short time, there would be an uneasy peace as the Texans tolerated US forces within their borders. Eventually, someone would do something aggressive and you would have war.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#46756381)

No I don't think people are the same as they are. The horrors of the civil war were inconceivable to the people who started the civil war. Today we know what such a war looks like. That's real change.

The issue of Federal property would get settled by some sort of agreement. The property gets sold to Texas or leased or... I think everyone involved would want to avoid war. The south was reckless the north was aggressive and slavery made compromise difficult. There is no more slavery and both sides would be careful.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46756315)

Revisionist nonsense

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (3, Informative)

ageoffri (723674) | about 3 months ago | (#46756377)

The American Civil War was not a war over slavery. It was a war over Federal vs. State control. Slavery was an emotional issue used to by both sides as part of the their argument on control, but ultimately it was a secondary issue. If it was about slavery why did Lincoln "free" slaves in only the secessionist States?

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (4, Insightful)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#46756601)

It was a war over Federal vs. State control

Yeah, control of slavery.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#46756681)

Before the civil war:
North was fighting for the union
South was fighting for slavery

Because the war was so destructive both sides had been discredit. So after the fact both sides used the reverse of the other side's arguments
North was fighting to end slavery
South was fighting for state's rights.

And of course slavery played a huge part in the issue. That was the issue they couldn't resolve that caused the underlying conflict.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 months ago | (#46757137)

The South was not just fighting for the right of states to have slaves. The whole issue of the status of slavery in the states that would be formed out of the territories was probably the largest single factor. The slave states were not just interested in maintaining slavery within their borders, they wanted to have slavery perpetuated as much as possible throughout the Continent United States.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 3 months ago | (#46757059)

At the start of the war holding slaves was not unconstitutional, each state made their own laws and there was slavery on the Union side as well. The United States simply did not want 30% of their population and 70% of their exports seceding away, it would totally cripple their economy. The Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 - long after the war started - was just directed at the slaves in states in rebellion, those under Union control still remained in slavery. In short, it was a wartime measure to cripple an armed rebellion and recruit soldiers to their own side. I'm sure the Lincoln movie is not the most accurate historic source but there was huge doubt if the proclamation had any force once the war was over or if they'd all be returned to slavery.

There was huge resistance to passing the 13th amendment even with the southern states broken away, it was rejected as late as 1864 and only passed with the smallest possible 2/3rds margin (119-56) through the House in 1865 before the South rejoined. And that was only after years of negros serving in the Union army and dying for the north, at the start of the war... no. The abolitionists might have been on the rise but in 1860 support for slavery was alive and well all over the United States. They might have climbed to the moral high ground during the war, but initially it was a simple case of the government fighting down a rebellion like any other.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46756063)

I can't imagine the USA holding millions of people and hundreds of square miles of territory by force. That would completely undermine everything else about American democracy. Americans like to have a government by the people for the people. A government imposed is not either.

American Civil War. Look it up. Indian Wars. Ditto.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

mi (197448) | about 3 months ago | (#46756101)

And yes I think if Texas voted to join Mexico the USA would accept it.

American Constitution does not provide for territories leaving the Union. At the least, it would require a Constitutional Amendment. Interestingly, Ukrainian law does provide for such border-changes — they can happen by nationa-wide referendum...

I can't imagine the USA holding millions of people and hundreds of square miles of territory by force.

You have a very limited imagination then.

Now try imagining Russia letting Kurils Islands go... However hard you may try, you'll see only the same reaction, Russia has shown to Chechnya's vote for independence 20 years ago. We know, how that played out, don't we?

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#46756217)

American Constitution does not provide for territories leaving the Union. At the least, it would require a Constitutional Amendment.

No it wouldn't. Congress doesn't appropriate money to fight a war against Texas and they leave. When we had our revolution we didn't check with what the British government's rules were.

Now try imagining Russia letting Kurils Islands go.

I was alive 20 years ago when Russia (the Soviet Union) let 14 Republicans go. I have no trouble imagining them letting territory go.

Russia has shown to Chechnya's vote for independence 20 years ago. We know, how that played out, don't we?

Yes there is an example where Russia held territory by force. As far as I understand it the primary issues were oil, minority protection and unclear borders. The Russians were willing to give Chechnya a great deal of independence but the government was rather incompetent on top of everything else. Certainly that's an example that self determination is not universal but I wasn't arguing self determination was always honored just that it can be and would likely be in the USA.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | about 3 months ago | (#46756399)

I was alive 20 years ago when Russia (the Soviet Union) let 14 Republicans go. I have no trouble imagining them letting territory go.

Which Republicans did they have captured? It was generous to let them go. On a serious note, the USSR was flat broke when the Iron Curtain fell. Russia could not have held onto those countries it if were threatening to use their nukes. The lack of Russian money was one of them main reasons why North Korea went through horrible starvation. It's why the DDR had rampant runaway inflation until they were absorbed back into Germany.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 3 months ago | (#46756161)

I can't imagine the USA holding millions of people and hundreds of square miles of territory by force.

But, ironically enough, that's basically how we got Texas in the first place.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (3, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 3 months ago | (#46756223)

> And yes I think if Texas voted to join Mexico the USA would accep

Not a _chance_. Texas has oil, just like Iraq.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#46756303)

Last I checked we didn't annex Iraq.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 3 months ago | (#46756631)

Aye. US doesn't take that kind of responsibility for people it "liberates". It just leaves them to largely fend for themselves. Like in Iraq.

Mind telling us how that is a good thing, other than for your bottom line - i.e. less mouths to feed?

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#46756713)

The claim above was that Texas is like Iraq. Hence the response. As for how the USA handled Iraq... I think overthrowing the Ba'ath government wasn't a bad thing. Staying for years was a bad thing and very expensive. Leaving was a good thing. Iraqis didn't want to become Americans.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 3 months ago | (#46756859)

And you chose to make an example that US didn't annex Iraq. Which lead to my argument.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#46757259)

I didn't GP did. Your argument is that annexing Iraq would have been a good thing which is irrelevant to whether did in fact annex Iraq.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46756227)

if there were a fair and free referendum the Crimean people would like to join Russia and leave Ukraine.

Funniest thing I've read in a looooooooooooooooooooooong time...

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about 3 months ago | (#46756609)

Although that sounds reasonable at first, it leads to a lot of problematic situations. One obvious example in this case there is a minority of people in Crimea that are strongly against it, but because of the tyranny of the majority they have been forced to join Russia. Why should those people be "trapped in a country they don't want to be a part of"?

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#46756729)

They shouldn't. After Ukraine splits up ethnically there likely will and should be an exchange of minority populations so that people in the now smaller Ukraine who want to be in Russia are in Russian and the people in Russia who want to be in Ukraine are in Ukraine.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about 3 months ago | (#46756871)

So why don't the people in the Crimean area who want to be Russians just move into Russia? Why should a majority of of people in an area be able to vote and force an ethnic minority to leave their homes?

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#46757251)

That's called democracy. The majority get to decide on the form of government, within limits and people have the right to move to governments they approve of. No one is being forced to move. Crimea either has to be part of Ukraine or part of Russia. If it is part of Ukraine the majority is unhappy. If it is part of Russia a minority is unhappy. One of the basic ideas of government in such a situation is to side with the majority all other things being close to equal.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 3 months ago | (#46757075)

I see no reason that people should be trapped in a country they don't want to be a part of.

You mean except for the part where Russia signed a treaty with Ukraine that they explicitly wouldn't fuck with their borders.

Ohhhh...we had our fingers crossed. Gotcha!

Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances [wikipedia.org]

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#46757215)

I don't think Russia in 1990 has the right to forever bind the Ukrainians to Ukraine. The idea of intergenerational unbreakable contracts is how one legitimized intergenerational slavery and serfdom. Absolutely Russia is in violation of the treaty with Ukraine. But the solution to that treaty violation is not to leave the Crimeans in a country they no longer want to be part of.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

IgShaman81 (788693) | about 3 months ago | (#46757139)

"Independent" Ukrainian polls in mid-February 2014, while Yanukovich regime was still in power, showed that 41% of Crimeans considered joining Russia. On one hand, it's quite far from 90%+ reported by this "poll", on the other, Ukraine invested tons and tons of money into Crimean infrastructure and development, starting from 1954 when Crimea joined then-USSR. Crimean infrastructure, business, economy are heavily dependent on mainland Ukraine. This annexation will, on one hand, decrease the social/economic situation in this region dramatically, on another, it will prolongate Putin's regime in Russia for a few more years. That's ~2.3 million of people versus one. There's a lot of "who owns whom what"-style arguments going on, and this is why the modern society uses economy and laws, rather than active warfare, to resolve issues. If you still insist on supporting military-style actions, look at how much good it did to, say, Africa.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

etash (1907284) | about 3 months ago | (#46755981)

Is this the first time in your life that you see a not 100% correct by the international standards change of regimes/borders (Kosovo comes to mind)? On the other hand I do like your Kuril argument. Let's extend it a bit more: "Finally, would the British Empire accept a referendum by residents of it's colonies in the new world, for example, on breaking away from motherland and becoming independent?" Those sorts of things are not achieved by throwing roses at your enemies.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (4, Informative)

mi (197448) | about 3 months ago | (#46756157)

Kosovo comes to mind

Kosovo did not vote to join the US — nor any of the others, whose military was occupying the land.

Finally, would the British Empire accept a referendum by residents of it's colonies in the new world

As a matter of fact, India left the British empire without war. Look up Ghandi...

Those sorts of things are not achieved by throwing roses at your enemies.

We'll never know, what roses (or stones) Crimeans would've thrown at Kyiv on their own — had it been so clear-cut, Russia would not have had the need to occupy the peninsula before the referendum — nor would they have had the need to shut off Ukrainian TV rebroadcasts over it, replacing them with Putin's lying propaganda.

What we do know is that the fraudulent vote took place under the guns of the occupiers.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (0)

etash (1907284) | about 3 months ago | (#46756263)

ah...the force of reality distortion field is strong in this one.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

torsmo (1301691) | about 3 months ago | (#46757163)

As a matter of fact, India left the British empire without war. Look up Ghandi>/quote> India was able to break free from the clutches of the British empire largely because Britain after WWII was too exhausted and depleted to maintain control over a country the size of India. Sustained rebellions and freedom movements within that country forced Brtitain's hand, as well. There was no plebescite held in India, and had Britain not been involved in total war, it is highly doubtful they would have let go of India, although evolving global politics over the next few decades might eventually have brought about an Indian independence. Also, it wasn't just Gandhi's non-violent movement, but also actions of Indian revolutionaries. which precipitated Britain's exit.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46756979)

[...] Let's extend it a bit more: "Finally, would the British Empire accept a referendum by residents of it's colonies in the new world, for example, on breaking away from motherland and becoming independent?" Those sorts of things are not achieved by throwing roses at your enemies.

They would and have accepted such results. While many Americans may assume that the only for independence is through revolution, there are long list of countries that left the empire peacefully, starting with NZ in 1840 and Canada in 1867:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_that_have_gained_independence_from_the_United_Kingdom

"use of force" (1)

KraxxxZ01 (2445360) | about 3 months ago | (#46756007)

what was breaking Kosovo from Serbia than? "use of out-of-this-world-force"?

NATO fucked up when it broke sovereign state by use of ... flowers?

I could go with statement that Crimea is annexed by use of trickery and lies. But force... that just laughable.

Re:"use of force" (3, Insightful)

mi (197448) | about 3 months ago | (#46756211)

what was breaking Kosovo from Serbia than? "use of out-of-this-world-force"?

Kosovo was torn away from Serbia to become independent — not to be annexed by one of the powers doing the tearing away. That's the major difference.

NATO fucked up when it broke sovereign state by use of ... flowers?

NATO intervened in Yugoslavia after the Belgrade regime committed serious crimes against humanity — and only after the UN-forces demonstrably failed [wikipedia.org] to end the abuses. Now Russian propaganda keeps repeating the same accusations against Ukraine's current government — except Russia is obviously lying.

But, no doubt, Putin will thank you for this rhetorical cover. He needs every sympathizer (or even a neutral) in the West he get...

Re:"use of force" (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 3 months ago | (#46756543)

Kosovo today is a de facto EU protectariat. Independent, it has a viability of a large, crime infested town with no industry of its own.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (0)

TrueRecord (1101681) | about 3 months ago | (#46756031)

>Russia annexed the province by use of force.

Not, really. That's not true.
No external force from mother Russia was used, no force at all except of the people of the Crimea itself who sought independence from the current radical regime in Kiev and defended the people from the hostilities of the radicals.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46756291)

>Russia annexed the province by use of force.

Not, really. That's not true. No external force from mother Russia was used, no force at all except of the people of the Crimea itself who sought independence from the current radical regime in Kiev and defended the people from the hostilities of the radicals.

And I have some prime ocean-front property or sale. Easy to develop and real cheap - special offer just for you, my friend. Located in Kansas, USA.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

TrueRecord (1101681) | about 3 months ago | (#46756473)

Honestly I don't get the stance of some ppl from the US against Russia.
Russia is the best friend and has been the most loyal, the strongest and the most valuable ally for the USA. Really. At times of apocalyptic events Russians and Americans stood together. It was before and it may be again when we have to save the Earth itself. Nobody can help the US but Russia when things get hot. Alienating Russians is what make things worse.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

fey000 (1374173) | about 3 months ago | (#46756553)

Honestly I don't get the stance of some ppl from the US against Russia.
Russia is the best friend and has been the most loyal, the strongest and the most valuable ally for the USA. Really. At times of apocalyptic events Russians and Americans stood together. It was before and it may be again when we have to save the Earth itself. Nobody can help the US but Russia when things get hot. Alienating Russians is what make things worse.

Those things are called movies. The space aliens didn't really invade Earth.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

TrueRecord (1101681) | about 3 months ago | (#46756807)

The Nazi Germany was not a movies, the warm and close alliance between The US and Russia up until the 20th century was not a movie.
The natural phenomena like earthquakes won't be movies either. Don't reject the helping hand. No one knows what's in store for us.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | about 3 months ago | (#46756555)

Man, you need to get out of your apartment more. There is real world besides your computer/TV screen. I'm telling you this as a Russian myself.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 months ago | (#46757217)

The USSR was a Western ally for precisely as long as it took to beat Nazi Germany. It wasn't a friend to the West before WWII (although I do concede Stalin had approached the Allies with concerns about Nazi Germany in 1938, though at the same time he had absolutely no problem exporting steel to Germany during the whole period), and it wasn't a friend after WWII. While Cold War propaganda may have exaggerated the economic and political ills of the Soviet Union somewhat, at the end of the day, it was no friend of the West.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

BradMajors (995624) | about 3 months ago | (#46756221)

Ukraine is threatening to separate from the CIS. The international community should also be opposed to that.

You don't say. (1)

demon driver (1046738) | about 3 months ago | (#46756255)

Guess the percentage of currently existing and valid borders that weren't.

And while the Crimea case may be dubious according to international law, it is utter hypocrisy to insist upon that only when it happens in a part of the former Soviet Union and, this time, serves Russia, while Western countries fell all over themselves when it came to accepting the self-proclaimed status for each and every former Yugoslavian region, ripening it for all the economical exploitation by Western capital which was about to happen.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

sbrown123 (229895) | about 3 months ago | (#46756423)

Sorry, still don't care.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 3 months ago | (#46756523)

It's always nice to see the same, tired propaganda, that the person behind it himself officially admitted to being a lie repeated time and time again.

I'm sorry to tell you, but that particular number was in fact a misquote from the original announcement of results of referendum, where "1,5 million" said to the camera became "1,7 million" in the press. "Accidentally" of course. To provide people such as yourself ample talking points.

You russophobes are like the anti-vaccine crowd, who cares if the original study is a lie. The goal is good, therefore all lies to back it up are good.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (1)

Arker (91948) | about 3 months ago | (#46756843)

"Any and all counter-arguments like "but they voted" are meaningless: first, the voting took place under the "gentle" guidance of Russian military"

By that logic the vote for statehood in Alaska was meaningless as well - in fact it's even worse, because the US troops voted!

If you are just making an abstract point, fine, conceded. If you are implying that there is any legitimate US interest to be pursued through pressing that point and pursuing confrontation with Russia? I do not see one.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46757261)

The fact that the US signed a contract to protect Ukraina? So at the very least whether such contracts (and possibly NATO as a whole) have value is potentially at stake.

Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46757111)

Yes, and many folks in Russia felt the same about the dismemberment of the USSR - a sad joke perpetrated by the West on a country weakened by the internal mismanagement. So what if the overwhelming population of the Baltic countries wanted to split? Would you accept San Diego country joining Mexico? Oh, wait, your argument is supposed to work only one way.

Give up your nukes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46755937)

Back in the 90s, Ukraine negotiated with Russia and US to give up their nukes for sovereignty assurances. Suckers!

And America is baffled why every second rate regime seeks nukes. The west totally undercut itself handling this to the rest of the world. Now, no one is going to give up shit becaus ethey know how empty promises are.

Re:Give up your nukes! (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 3 months ago | (#46756017)

This might provoke countries to lie about their nuclear ambitions!

What's next, fabricating attacks so that you can have a rationale to go to war???? !!!
Or will Allan Greenspan discover that Wall Street has greedy people? The world is waiting with baited breath.

Re:Give up your nukes! (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#46756037)

Nuclear weapons require a lot of upkeep that's very expensive. Ukraine's military budget in 2013 was $1.9 billion. With any fraction (or even all of it) their weapons would be worthless today.

Moreover Soviet Ukraine's defense establishment was manned by the same Russian nationals who are voting to join Russia. Do you think Ukraine would be safer if the Russian separatists in Ukraine had nuclear weapons today?

This (1)

TrueRecord (1101681) | about 3 months ago | (#46755959)

they are Russians.

Re:This (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 months ago | (#46756041)

Which is rather like claiming the residents of South Tyrol are Austrian, and perhaps more apropos to the Crimean situation, stating Austria is German.

How precisely Russia threatening to swallow up any of its neighbors' territory because ethnic Russians live there differs from Anschluss escapes.me.

Re:This (1)

TrueRecord (1101681) | about 3 months ago | (#46756183)

Russia is not threatening, all that the Russians say is that some ppl have gone mad supporting crazy nationalists who overthrew the legitimate authorities and democratically elected president Yanukivich. Nobody denies that. Nobody elected the people who now pretend to be representing Ukrainian authority.
They are but usurpers and they are backed by crazy ppl like McCain. The ppl in pro-Russian provinces dread the crazy nationalists de-facto in power in Kiev and are not willing to put up with that. They are revolting.

Re:This (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 months ago | (#46756771)

Was there actually any threat against ethnic Russians anywhere in Ukraine? There seems a long distance to be traveled from angry protesters to the kind of ethnic cleansing that one would expect would be necessary for an external power to walk in and force a separation referendum, even more dubious when the power doing that puts on the ballot "Do you want to join us..."

Re:This (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 3 months ago | (#46757145)

Here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
What they shout is "One nation, one language, one fatherland. Hang the Russians".

Or here:
"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvtXGMmrVB0"
"Cut the Russian's throats".

Re:This (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#46756275)

How precisely Russia threatening to swallow up any of its neighbors' territory because ethnic Russians live there differs from Anschluss escapes.me.

The main difference is there was far less support in Austria for union with Germany. I suspect if you polled in Austria you'd have something like 30-45% support while Crimea it 70-90% support. So in Austria it wasn't self determination as much as a popular conquest. The analogy would be more apt if Russia took over all of Ukraine again.

Re:This (2)

fey000 (1374173) | about 3 months ago | (#46756623)

Are you sure it was only 90%? Last I heard it was 123%.
Which is fully understandable. Putin, much like Kim Jong-iI, is so filled with awesomeness that people can express more than 100% of their love towards him. Furthermore, IEEE has declared that this percentage can only go down when Putin does manly things with his shirt on, which is very rare.

Re:This (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 months ago | (#46756903)

Whatever the level of support (and we will really never know with any certainty, considering the referendum was backed by the very state that has now annexed Crimea), the point is the same. The sovereign territory of nation states are supposed to be nearly-inviolable against annexation. Special cases exist where the population of a region has been heavily persecuted (ie. Kosovo, South Sudan, East Timor), or where the situation between the governing power and the political entity had been as a client state (ie. Marshall Islands, Namibia). In a few other cases there has been mutually agreed upon terms for separation, as with the splitting of Czechoslovaki into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Merely having a large number of people of an ethnicity in a specific region is not in and of itself an argument for secession, and most certainly not an argument for a seceding polity to be annexed by another power. Now maybe the end run of a properly handled transition in Ukrainian politics may have been the departure of Crimea and other southern and eastern areas of the country, but the idea that there is any legitimacy to a referendum on allowing a polity to be annexed when the country that is to gain the region is the occupying power is absurd.

Re:This (1)

TrueRecord (1101681) | about 3 months ago | (#46757143)

It's absurd to recognize the coup in Kiev as legitimate shift of power. So there's no such thing as a legitimate authority in Ukraine except for the Yanikovoch who is now a refugee government.
According to the Intentional law the self-determination of peoples is quite enough and does not require any approval from any other authority to decide on separation. And the people decided. The polls, the referendum, the ppl themselves rejoicing, and the common sense prove it.

Re:This (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#46757147)

I think we know with a very high degree of confidence that the support for being annexed with Russia is sky high. We have polling that conforms the strong support and the lack of any opposition on the ground also confirms the strong support. Absolutely, unquestionably Russia should have handled the referendum better so these sorts of doubts wouldn't exist. Russia didn't have to cheat and they shouldn't have. At some point in the future there will be fair election in Crimea and I suspect the pro-Russia parties will win by huge margins. So let's put aside the issue of how the people would have decided I think for reasonable people we know with 99% probability what would have happened had their been a valid referendum.

Given that, no I don't agree that this is absurd I don't see any reason that we shouldn't have a world where self determination is important. I don't see any reason that sovereign territory should be permanent. Having governments have to compete for lands and peoples doesn't strike me as a bad thing. I believe the American Revolution was legitimate. I think the anti-colinial movements were legitimate. I think people have the right to determine their government. I just don't see the great problem with granting people the right to have a government of their choosing.

I can imagine rules like requiring 60% for a region to change ownership to prevent territories from flipping back and forth. But I can see no reason for denying 80% their will. I think one of the big accomplishments of the last few hundred years is getting rid of serfdom and getting rid of the more advanced form of it that the UN supports seems to me to be a good thing.

simple solution (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 3 months ago | (#46755989)

Call it Crussia.

Let the pandering begin! (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 3 months ago | (#46755997)

Companies will likely be influenced by economics decisions when displaying who Crimea belongs to. The same thing happened to Taiwan -- you see it on a map in China and it's part of China; http://www.computerworld.com/s... [computerworld.com]

Re:Let the pandering begin! (2)

BradMajors (995624) | about 3 months ago | (#46756197)

According to the UN, Taiwan is part of China.

Re:Let the pandering begin! (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 3 months ago | (#46757049)

According to the UN, Taiwan is part of China.

Yes, but there is no meaningful definition by which Taiwan is part of China. It is politically and economically separate in every regard, and the people living in it regard it as not China. They have different laws (PRC laws have no bearing in Taiwan), a different government and an independent military. It's also got a bunch of pretend-not-embassies from quite a large number of countries including the US.

The only reason the UN don't recognise it is because China has sufficient influence to make the member states maintain a rather silly fiction.

Re:Let the pandering begin! (1)

pjt33 (739471) | about 3 months ago | (#46757281)

My understanding is that the governments in Beijing and Taipei agree that there is only one China, which includes the territory effectively governed by Beijing and the territory effectively governed by Taipei. The point of disagreement is which of them is the lawful government of the whole thing.

Doesn't matter. I block all of Ukraine anyway. (3, Interesting)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about 3 months ago | (#46756011)

Set up a website to support my Android app, and after a couple months I started getting a flood of referrer spam filling up my logs. All of it from a couple dozen different netblocks in the Ukraine. I tried a couple different techniques to filter out the bad guys, but at this point I just toss all the netblocks into the reject pile in my htaccess file.

Does anyone actually get legitimate traffic from the Ukraine anyway?

Sure, the real-world violence and power struggles are sad. But from an internet perspective, I have a hard time seeing much to care about.

Question (0)

Nieriko (200589) | about 3 months ago | (#46756079)

how to categories their users from the region?

Is that proper english? What about:

how to categorize users from their region

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46756231)

Still not proper (GB) english :-P

Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46756081)

Crimea is part of Russia.

Crimea being part of Russia .. (2)

DTentilhao (3484023) | about 3 months ago | (#46756087)

Crimea is to Russia, the same way the UK is to the USA, as we both pretend we're an independent country.

Easy Solution for Ukraine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46756125)

Petition the United States for Statehood.

Become part of the United States, host gobs and gobs of American military bases and ballistic missiles and finally bring peace to the region.

speaking of disputed territory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46756295)

What does the TLD resolve to in the West Bank or Gaza?
Just curious.

I have an idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46756477)

Why don't we ask the people of Crimea who they pay their taxes to?

Re:I have an idea (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 3 months ago | (#46757265)

We did, and according to Russia who counted the votes most people wanted to pay to Russia.

Fight for the land (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46756517)

Sovereignty is kept intact by military force not by "right to land" bullshit and this is why the Ukrainians should had fought off the Russians. No human has rights to land, the lands have been here before we ever existed, do we have rights over the hospitals were we were born in? NO. There was a 13000 year old Caucasoid skeleton found in Mexico, does that mean whites have land rights of Mexico? NO!

Same with the Mexico(immigration hypocrisy by the way) pushing their citizens onto the U.S, we should use military force(shoot the fence jumpers) against them if we want to keep the "United States Of America" intact. Humans are still Nomads.

Depends on whether you ask the CIA or KGB (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#46756627)

It's always funny when two puppet governments fight over who is the less puppetty.

Think Back to the 1930s (3, Interesting)

DERoss (1919496) | about 3 months ago | (#46756647)

The Crimea is Putin's Sudetenland.
The Ukraine will be Putin's Czechoslovakia.
See http://www.rossde.com/editoria... [rossde.com] .

Google also gives different answers (3, Informative)

swillden (191260) | about 3 months ago | (#46756667)

Google Maps shows Crimea as part of Russia to users from Russia, and part of Ukraine to the rest of the world.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/04/12/302337754/google-maps-displays-crimean-border-differently-in-russia-u-s

This is nothing new. As the article above mentions the name of the Arabian Gulf also changes depending on where you are, and mentions that there are many more cases. I believe Taiwan may be another. This approach is clearly a compromise, and like all compromises, makes no one really happy.

IRL! (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 3 months ago | (#46757219)

A few years ago we had some Chinese exchange workers come and work for us. At the end of their stint, they did a bit of a presentation about similar work in China. They did a bit of background on China, and were still calling Taiwan part of China! I was a bit flabbergasted...

Different perspectives or propaganda I guess. Eye opener either way.

Obligiatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46756969)

In Soviet Russia, obviously.

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