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Crimea Adopts Provisional Declaration of Independence

Published: March 12, 2014 (Issue # 1801)



  • The parliament of Crimea, a majority ethnic Russian region within Ukraine, declared independence Tuesday ahead of a popular vote on secession and annexation by Russia.
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) The Crimean parliament voted Tuesday that the Black Sea peninsula will declare itself an independent state if its residents agree to split off from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum.

Crimeas regional legislature on Tuesday adopted a declaration of independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The document specified that Crimea will become an independent state if its residents vote on Sunday in favor of joining Russia in the referendum.

Related: Top 5 Myths About Russias Invasion of Crimea

Western nations have said they will not recognize the vote as legitimate. But the move might be used as an attempt to ease tensions with Crimea existing as a self-proclaimed state without Russia moving quickly to incorporate it into its territory.

After a brief war between Russia and Georgia in 2008, some leaders in Georgias breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia also asked to join Russia, but their request was never granted.

Meanwhile, Ukraines acting president on Tuesday called for the formation of a national guard and for the mobilization of reserves and volunteers into the countrys armed forces.

Oleksandr Turchynov asked the national parliament to approve turning the countrys Interior Ministry troops into a National Guard to defend the country and citizens against any criminals, against external and internal aggression.

Related: Putin Defends Crimea Votes Legality to Cameron, Merkel

Turchynov said that the mobilization will include those who have previously served in the army and volunteers.

Russian forces have strengthened their control over Ukraines Crimea region in the run-up to a referendum set for Sunday on whether to split off and become part of Russia.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is due to fly to Washington to meet with Barack Obama Wednesday, called on Western nations to defend Ukraine against a nation that is armed to the teeth and that has nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, Ukraines fugitive president, Viktor Yanukovych, accused the countrys new government of fomenting civil war. For his part, Yatsenyuk asked Russia, the U.S. and European Union member Britain to abide by a treaty signed in 1994, in which they pledged to guarantee Ukraines security in exchange for giving up its Soviet-era nuclear weapons.

We are not asking for anything from anyone, Yatsenyuk told parliament. We are asking for just one thing: military aggression has been used against our country. Those who guaranteed that this aggression will not take place, must from the one side pull out troops and from the other side must defend our independent, sovereign state.

Yanukovych, speaking in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, repeated the Russian claim that the new Ukrainian authorities are kowtowing to radical nationalists, and that they posed a threat to Russian-speaking eastern regions.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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