Crimea after the Georgian crisis

Authors:

  • Hedenskog Jakob

Publish date: 2008-12-02

Report number: FOI-R--2587--SE

Pages: 71

Written in: English

Keywords:

  • Crimea
  • Ukraine
  • Russia
  • Georgia
  • Georgian Crisis
  • Black Sea
  • Turkey
  • Black Sea Fleet
  • South Ossetia
  • Abkhazia
  • Crimean Tatars

Abstract

Russia´s war in Georgia was a bitter lesson for those who might have forgotten that military means still exists as a tool in Russian foreign policy. While Crimea may not face a risk itself of being the next target, as speculated in international media immediately after the Georgian Crisis, it nevertheless has some serious problems: First, Russia´s influence in Crimea is very high due to the presence of the Black Sea Fleet, the dominance of the Russia media and the general support for Russian policy from the ethnic Russian majority population in Crimea. Second, there is serious potential for ethnic conflict in Crimea between Russian extreme nationalists and disillusioned yong Crimean Tatar men. Although the potenitial for conflict might not be strong enough by itself to spark a serious ethnic clash, it constitutes a weakness that can be further exploited by Russia. Third, Kyiv lacks the will or the appropriate leverage to get its policies implemented in Crimea and to resist the growing Russian influence there.

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