Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 9 November 2021
Putin’s Provocation In Crimea
Russia is whipping up tensions in relations with Ukraine. Perhaps it is incidental that Vladimir Putin’s visit to Crimea coincided with reports of an alleged Russian military buildup at the border with Ukraine. The fact that the Russian leader went to the annexed peninsula to observe Russia’s most important public holiday was also meaningful.
Russian President Vladimir Putin marked the national Unity Day holiday of November 4 with a trip to Russian-occupied Crimea (since 2014), declaring the region will always be a part of Russia. While in Sevastopol, the Russian leader part in a flower-laying ceremony at a monument dedicated to the end of the Civil War of 1918-1920. Putin exalted the annexation, praising Crimea’s “return” to Russia and saying the country “has regained its historical unity.” Putin’s speech followed by the flower-laying ceremony fits into the president’s policy that consists in blending elements back from the time when Russia was “white” and “red.” Unity Day of November 4 marks the expulsion in 1612 of Polish forces that occupied Moscow. The holiday was started by Vladimir Putin several years ago to replace the Soviet-era commemoration on that date of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Making the date that marks the expulsion of Polish forces from the Kremlin to be the top Russian national holiday fits into the country’s anti-Western stance. In addition, by brushing aside the Soviet-era tradition, Moscow can follow its eclectic politics of history that juxtaposes incongruous features of tsarist Russia and Soviet Russia. Putin used the Crimea visit for his country’s domestic purposes while adding a new element to an intense anti-Ukrainian campaign he has been waging for two months. The Ukrainian foreign ministry filed a protest note over Putin’s trip to the annexed peninsula. “Ukraine considers this step to be a gross violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty,” the ministry said in a statement. “Ukraine considers this step to be a blatant disrespect by the Russian side for the legislation of Ukraine, international law, the United Nations Charter, the United Nations General Assembly Resolution, and other treaties to which Russia and Ukraine are sides,” the November 4 statement said.
If content prepared by Warsaw Institute team is useful for you, please support our actions. Donations from private persons are necessary for the continuation of our mission.
All texts published by the Warsaw Institute Foundation may be disseminated on the condition that their origin is credited. Images may not be used without permission.