Really, Crimean crisis is not over both as Donbass crisis. We will try to recall diferent most prominent episodes and background mechanisms which were the basis of the Crimean separation from continental Ukraine.
Crimean crisi is the direct continuation of Maidan "revolution" aftermath so we won`t pay big attention for previous obstacles as you can read it anytime. We`ll just continue to describe situation from the end of February, when government of Yanukovich was overturned.
As a foreword we should describe the overall attitude of Crimeans to Euromaidan and situation in Kiev. Crimea from the outset was supporting course of President Yanukovich not to sign the European association and further demand to restore order in Kiev and return to normal peaceful life. Initially it was just declarative statements, the region lived by its regular life and nobody thought that it became such a disastrous problem. There were attempts to create local Maidan in Simferopol to produce the general image of "protests" all over Ukraine but it hadn`t receive any support in Crimean society. Instead of it, most of people had extremely negative attitude for such political movement on their native land but tolerated position of maidan-activists.
The most vivid expression of Crimean regard on situation we can see on such example: December 1 Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of Crimea stated that "the current opposition performance in Kiev threaten political and economic stability in Ukraine" and that "a handful of politicians under the guise of trying to fight for the European development vector seize power in the country". And I consider this as the most accurate transcription of the situation in Ukraine. After this, December 2 they added that Pr. Yanukovish must bring situation under control with any available meanings up to introducing of emergency. 76 of 78 deputies adopt the declaration because "…the position of eeveryone must be heard. Otherwise it may be an illusion that an opinion have only people flooded the streets and squares of Kiev …" The authority, as the appeal says," is obliged to prevent an unconstitutional way of revenge of bankrupt political movements who profess extreme nationalism. That they scoff at sacred feelings of war veterans … "
I think it`s more than enough to understand the position. But as time went on and situation around Maidan just only was getting worse, people began to form self-defence squads after example of Lugansk and Donetsk in the end of December. In the end of January patriotic party "Russky block" prevented holding a meeting in support of Euromaidan in Sevastopol. Instead of it this party was an initiator of colossal meeting in support of legal authority and Russian-Ukrainian friendship.
January 24 Crimean parliament urged Yanukovych to introduce a state of emergency and stop funding from the state budget "…regions declared themselves outlawed where power is shifted by force, to restore constitutional order in there". In this categorical resoluteness Crimean voice was the most conspicuous among Ukrainian regions. And starting from beginning of February Crimean authorities started to turn to Russian government to protect autonomy of Crimea and compliance of all democratic rights of the region. Specially for this Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov, acted with speech about returning to more deep form of Crimean autonomy written in constitution of 1992 year. Also deputy Nickolai Kolisnichenko appealed that in term if situation in Ukraine wouldn`t be stabilized and "fascists"come to power, Crimea will raise the question about separating from Ukraine to Russian Federation.
This speech wasn`t passed by the deputies of Verkhovna Rada and many of opposite lawmakers, and one of them was Nickolay Tomenko, call to punish deputy for such dangerous appeals and up to resigning all Crimean parliament in general.
After this, when gevornment of Yanukovich was threw off and radicals of Maidan got the power, Crimean parliament understood they have a very short time for drastic moves and used all their authority to affect the situation. And they decided to act as the powerful support of people was evident.
February 21 unlimited action of protest against non-constitional overturn in Kiev was began by pro-Russian citizens under the building of Supreme Council of Crimea. In counterwieght to them numerically small Euromaidan supporters decided to their meeting and then tried to provoke skirmish but were blocked and taken away by activists of so called People`s Liberation movement. Since that day pro-Euromaidan meetings ceased completely or had sporadic character.
At that time first news of gruesome actions of Maidan activists in continental Ukraine and Kiev (repressions against policemen and Berkut, violence against Crimeans near Korsun-Shevchenkivsky and so on) spreaded to Crimea which you can find in previous article just convinced people in their rightness to struggle against new government. That day volunteers and road police were erected and fortified several block-posts in entrance to peninsula to prevent penetration of Maidan-activists. 22-th of February Crimean Berkut was returned home from its duty in Kiev and was saluted as heroes. After congress in Kharkiv all antimaidan regional authorities decided "to take responsibility for ensuring the constitutional order on their territories". Local authorities of peninsula invoked people to self-organization for help to police in patrol the territory. Also they claim to withdraw Crimean deputies from Verkhovna Rada to work in a local way and urge Army units to stay in places of deployment.
February 23, at the Day of Soviet Army, took place a very big meeting "People`s will against fascism in Ukraine" with 25-100K participants. It means that every third citizen came to support the change in society which couldn`t stand this total state havoc. After the meeting people choose their new folk city mayor, Russian entrepreneur, Alexei Chaly. In front of people, Chaly read a resolution that Sevatopol regard new Maidan government in Kiev as illegal and refuse to accept their orders as well it considers the situation in Ukraine is anti-constitutional overturn. Also at this meeting formation of new self-defence squads among local citizens was organized. At the same time Chaly invited to Sevastopol Berkut militants to defend city from possible Kiev aggression.
And aggressive reaction didn`t take long to wait. Different nazi-organisations and just peaceful citizens in social networks begin menace people of Sevatopol for their "not-patriotic" spirit. Igor Moseychuk, freed nazi-activist, declared that nationalists will arrive to Crimea on "train of friendship" as in early 90-s and will force local citizens to peace. But this intimidations didn`t work.
Alexey Chaly February 26 signed a decree on the establishment of municipal police forces "Berkut" (as it was disbanded by Kiev authirities) to maintain public order, prevent unlawful acts of provocation, riots and looting. Acting commander appointed Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Cherednychenko.
That time in Crimea February 27 member of the Supreme Council of Crimea, leader of the "Russian Unity" Sergei Aksyonov was appointed chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Too sophisticated but it means that Aksyonov, who had an explicit pro-Russian political views became Prime Minister of Crimea.
Against separating of Crimea from Ukraine actively spoke Crimean Tatars. Rather for whole Tatar people the most louder were speaking representatives of Mejlis. Members of Mejlis have support of 18% Tatars of Crimea but proclaimed that will not let to tear away the region from Ukraine and made it on behalf of all Tatar people. There are many reasons for Mejis to support new Kievan government in light of the fact that weak Ukrainian government allowed Tatars to occupy parcels often without proper documentation. For Mejlis was better Ukrainian lawlessness than Russian strict legislation even despite of Ukrainian leadership wasn`t worthy to sign the rehabilitation of Crimean Tatars after Stalin` repressions
February 26, Refat Chubarov and other activists of Mejlis gather the meeting under the building of Crimean Supreme Council to prevent and aware everybody that to take attempts for adding to Russia is dangerous and inadmissible step. At the same time and place activists of pro-Russian movement gad been gathered. After this skirmish began and couple tens of people were wounded and 2 people died in hustle.
This after Mejlis would never gather any meetings because of many political and social groups pressured on them to change their views, including president of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, appealed to all Crimean Tatars with explanation why the union with Russia is much more beneficial than remaining in Ukrainian borders. And it`s a lot of things he could propose: in Ukraine Crimea was gradually fading away and plunder. The worldwide known child wellness sanatory Artek had been desintegrating little by little. Scientific life was ceased, military potential wasn`t in demand. So it was a lot of reasons for Crimeans to change the registration. The most significant was that after USSR disassembling Ukraine had no right to possess Crimea as it always balonged to Russian Empire and than Russian Soviet Federative Socialistic Republic and only in 1954 was gifted to USSR by Nikita Khrushchev with different violations of constitution of USSR and RSFSR. Anyway this transfer ended its legal power with disappearing of USSR so Crimea should be automatically rejoined with Russia or through the referendum decide its further fate. After referendum in 1990 where Crimeans voted for being as part of Soyuznoe Gosudarstvo (CIS) which after were considered like weak union and remained like a declaration… Bla-bla-bla, it`s very complicated, but in fact rights on Crimea have both Ukraine and Russia.
March 10 Sergey Aksenov suggested that representatives of the Crimean Tatars to take place in the government of Crimea. Crimean Tatars proposed to allocate positions one vice-premier, two ministers, and deputy minister of each ministry. Sergey Aksyonov also said that the Crimean Tatar will be one of the official languages in the Crimea.
The overall unleashing of Crimean crisis in peaceful and controlled way was thankful to so called "third power" or non-marked by insignia military squads. From February 27 people can see massive regrouping of military forces in Crimea. Often people were filming it on mobile phones:
On this video you can see helicopters following to from Anapa to Sevastopol (information is not cheched). Of course this is Russian military forces because Ukrainian army even doesn`t have such number of functioning helicopters Mi-8 (supposedly). At first, Russian officials deny transference of their military forces to Crimea and explain this movements as maneuvers of Russian Navy which is officially based in Crimea. But in personal touch of local citizens with newcomers they found out that they are really from Russia.
But it doesn`t matter and doesn`t change anything. Russians responded to call of Crimean authorirteis to come and protect peaceful citizens and their possible choice of separating from Ukraine to Russia. And from numerous evidences in Internet we can ensure that Russian militants complete their mission excellently, with no povocations and victims, without one single shot. They cooperated very closely with local forces of self-defense, helped to arm them and took a role to block Ukrainian military units from possible provocations.
February 27, Crimean Parliament was seized by 120 unknown people with automatic weapons and with no insignia.
It is well to distinguish from this video that militants took building under their control quickly, unarmed security. Nobody panics and looks like personnel and soldiers just friendly speaking. After this Russian flag was raised above the building and it was properly fortified and taken under patrol. Citizens weren`t allow to approach 100 meters closely to Parliament.
Also this day Ukrainian Maidan authorities, Hennadiy Moskal personnally, claimed Crimea is blocked to enter from land by former Berkut and local activists.
At the same time whole series of Crimean police and military chiefs took the oath to serve for Crimean people and were reassigned to regional authority of Sergei Aksyonov. It was right after the attempt of pro-Kievan newly appointed "minister" of Crimean police with his guards to break through folksy self-defense squads, but was stopped and swept away.
Needless to say that the most democratic ways of signify own attitude of a person in any question is referendum. You will be laugh, but the most "democratic" new Maidan authority of Ukraine is afariad of any kinds of referendum like fire. Because public opinion is dreadfully manipulated, noncomformistiс media is under wild pressure and even can be destroyed by Right-sector activists or somebody, Russian media are just blocked from broadcast in Ukraine. Authorities don`t ask people on referendum to join EU, to join NATO and they wouldn`t. What else I can add if they killing Ukrainian people at the Eastern part of the state and pretend it to be normal. Ukrainian media actively pumping people up how do they dughtuly resist to Russian occupants, terrorists and separatism and nobody says about Ukrainian artillery killing peaceful folk. Which is denied to do even against the enemies they are doing to their own people. It`s total madness. But we are speking about Crimea now.
So, March 3, Supreme Council of Crimea set the date to very widely discussed before referendum: 30 of March.
March 6, the Supreme Council of Crimea has decided to join the Russian Federation as a subject of the Russian Federation and to hold a referendum on the entire territory of Crimea (including the city of Sevastopol), and not on March 30 and March 16, relegate to the discussion on the future status of Crimea, assuming choice of one of two possible answers: "Do you support the reunification of the Crimea with Russia on the Rights of the Russian Federation?" or "Do you support the restoration of the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea in 1992 and for the status of the Crimea as part of Ukraine?"
Ukrainian militarists didn`t sleep too and were distinguished by different "heroic" actions as colonel Mamchur who initially surrender his unit, military airport Belbeq, decided to reestablish his honor and to strike back. For it he gathered his combatants and armless went to negotiate with Russian soldiers who occupied the territory. Epic phrase sounds at 1:17 of video. "America s nami!" (America with us) cried exalted Ukrainian man of arms from the croud. Then they covered behind Soviet flag and try to provoke Russians for some incomprehensible actions.
But Russians tolerated all provocations and that`s why they were named "polite people" – a variant of soft power in conflicts.
As you can guess, all this will of Crimean people to separate from Ukraine despite numerous problems which appear when you change the legislation, currency, documents etc. is just once again proves that Crimean patience of Ukrainian gambling and chaos is over. The peninsula took rigid decision to come back in Russian jurisdiction.
March 11 The Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol City Council adopted a declaration on independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. According to the declaration, in the case of a decision of the Crimean peoples in a referendum to join the Russian Federation, the Crimea will be declared a sovereign republic and that this status will be reunited with the Russian Federation on the rights of subject.
In support of this decision mass assemblies of people gathering on squares of Crimean cities. I had personal discussion with my former university mate and she told me that there was such patriotic and commonality feeling never before.
March 16 referendum was held where, according to official figures, participated 83.1% Crimean voters (excluding Sevastopol), of which about 96.77% voted for reunification of the Crimea with Russia, in Sevastopol 89.5% and 95.6% respectively.
March 18 Russia and the Crimea signed in St. George's Hall in the Kremlin contract to join the Republic of Crimea in the Russian Federation. His document was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chairman of the State Council of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov, chairman of the Council of Ministers of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov and head of Sevastopol, Alexey Chaly.
After this were solved very many jurisical problems. But since that day Crimea is considering as Russian territory. But in accordance with the official position of Ukraine, Crimea is occupied territory and they don`t left the idea to return it back. Especially now, when war at Donbass is very exhausting and not supported by wide segments of Ukrainian population.
It`s just a little anв common picture of Crimean crisis, without scrupulous details, but it still enough to pick up some important conclusions. First of all, separation of Crimea was unpredictable and surprising for scenarists of Maidan, they didn`t expect of such active social reaction and negative attitude for fake revolution. Second, Crimean crisis is definately not over as new Ukrainian government is intended not for reforms and new vector of Ukrainian development. They come to provoke the blood and war and to involve Russia into conflict to blame Russia in all mortal sins: ceasing of economy, killing peaceful citizens, international agreements violation etc. And now they have a trump card to play: Crimea is internationally unrecognized part of Russia (March 27, 2014 the UN General Assembly voted for the recognition of the illegality of the Crimean referendum 2014). Now it is recognized as annexion. So Ukraine under the protection of its foreign sponsors can try to return Crimea under control. Any military activeness from Russia will be treated as aggression. But this is a very dangerous game and this is where I wholely supports Russia against American and its henchmen gamble.