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Crimean referendum and rumours around it

  • Published at 07:15 pm March 18th, 2014
Crimean referendum and rumours around it

It is indeed a matter of regret that, while covering the crisis in the Ukraine and the situation in Crimea, Bangladeshi mass media mostly rely on highly biased reports of some international news agencies.

The press release of the Embassy of the Russian federation dated March 9, 2014 already mentioned this. Fortunately, there were a few independent attempts to analyse the state of affairs in the Ukraine as well. At such a background even more regrettable were recent remarks of a distinguished member of the Diplomatic Core in Dhaka (see the issue of The Dhaka Tribune dated March 15, 2014).

It seems that HE Mr Robert W Gibson, British high commissioner to Bangladesh, gave his own public assessment of the Crimean referendum with no other source of information at hand but a one-sided muddy news stream from the West that flatly ignores realities on the ground.

Otherwise Mr Gibson would definitely have mentioned the undisputable fact that the so called “government” in Kiev is illegitimate since it grasped the state power through an unconstitutional coup d’état.

He would have also never spoken of the “shadow cast by the presence of Russian troops” if he knew that those troops, to be more precise – the Russian Black Sea Fleet, has its base in Sevastopol for long under an inter-governmental agreement between Russia and the Ukraine itself. By the way, those troops still remain either aboard or in their barracks, and nobody has a valid proof of their presence elsewhere.

The esteemed high commissioner would definitely reassess his approach to the referendum if he learned that the right of self-determination of the people of Crimea can no longer be realised within the borders of Ukraine with its unconstitutional “government” being dominated by ultranationalists and heavily influenced by neo-Nazi groups such as notorious “Praviy Sector” (The Right Sector).

Being denied the right to speak their own mother language, the Russians in Crimea (above 60% of the Peninsula population) have now found themselves in a position almost identical to that of Bengalis in erstwhile East Pakistan.

It is advisable that my esteemed colleague be more careful with the information he relies on. I have the moral and professional responsibility to say so as someone who in capacity of a consul general of the Russian Federation has spent five years in Crimea and Sevastopol, and in capacity of the OSCE Verification Mission member – almost a year in Kosovo (ex-Yugoslavia) where Mr Gibson supposedly has never been to.

It would be appreciated if my distinguished British colleague either studies the subject of Ukrainian crisis in depth, or leaves it to experts and concentrates his noble efforts on such a matter as protection of LGBT rights for example.