Crimea in Turmoil : The February Jinx


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 04 , 2014           00.30 A.M.

Never in my wildest dreams I had imagined that one day , I would be sitting in Mumbai and writing a blog about Crimea. I know this name ” Crimea ” will not ring a familiar bell for majority of my countrymen. But students of world history know about Crimea . I , as a student of history , have read about Crimean War [ 1853 – 1856 ] in detail . Much before World war I [ 1914 – 1918 ] , French Empire , Ottoman Empire , British Empire and Kingdom of Sardinia fought a bloody and fierce battle with Russian Empire over the right of Christians in Holy Land . Allied forces fought for Roman Catholics and Russian Empire fought for Orthodox Church . Crimean war , fought between October 1853 to February 1856 , resulted in the victory for Allied Forces and finally Treaty of Paris was signed between the victors and the vanquished .

Crimean War had far-reaching effect in the history of mankind. It will aways be remembered for Florence Nightingale and her pioneering service for the wounded in the war . Her work heralded the modern nursing methods . It is a little known fact that Mahatma Gandhi won Victoria Cross for his services for the British Empire during Crimean War . It is also a fact that in the aftermath of Crimean War , because of heavy financial crisis and huge debt , which he was unable to pay , Alexander II , the Czar of Russia sold Alaska region of Russian Empire to U.S.A. Alaska was admitted as the 49th state of USA on January 3, 1959 .

As a student of history I have read about Yalta Conference of February 1945 , a.k.a. Crimea Conference , and many more pages of Crimean history during World War II . By strange quirk of history and unlike Crimean War , British Empire and Russian Empire were not at loggerheads during World War II but they were fighting together as the Allied Forces along with United States of America . Franklin D. Roosevelt of U.S.A. , Winston Churchill of Great Britain and Joseph Stalin of Russia assembled at Yalta , a port city of Crimea and discussed and decided Europe’s Post – War reorganization .

Yalta Summit-1

Yalta Summit-2

Churchill , Roosevelt & Stalin at Yalta Conference

So when I read about the recent turmoil in Crimea , I was alarmed and concerned . I just wrote and posted a blog about Ukraine . I was celebrating the success of nationalist forces of Ukraine and the fall of pro – Russian Ukrainian President and a tyrant Viktor Yanukovich . But alas , it was short – lived . Viktor Yanukovich took refuge in Moscow and Russian forces slyly entered into the Simferopol , the capital of Crimea , and took control of the airport and other vital government installations .

Map - 3

Map of Crimea

Map - 1

Map of Crimea

Crimea is a peninsula and is attached to Ukraine by a narrow stretch of land which is at places not more than 5 km in width. For centuries Russian Empire was struggling to have a foothold in the warm water of Black Sea for her navy. With the decline of Ottoman Empire , and after the end of Crimean War , Russian Empire annexed Ukraine and Crimea and these regions first became part of Russian Empire and later on a Soviet Republic of USSR [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republic ] . Ukrainian Cossacks and Ukrainian Tatars [ Muslims ] resented the Russian sovereignty but to no avail . From 1922 to 1945 Crimea remained a part of USSR as the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic . On February 19 , 1954 , the Presidium of Supreme Soviet of USSR transferred Crimean region to the Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic . And thus from 1945 to 1991 , Crimea remained a part of Ukraine .

As I have stated in my earlier blog about Ukraine , in 1991 USSR was disintegrated and Ukraine , along with 14 other republics became independent country . In 1991 Crimea became a part of Ukraine as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea .

This is the brief history of Crimea . Things started changing fast and situation became fluid after the fall of pro – Russian president of Ukraine , Viktor Yanukovich . On February 26 , 2014 pro – Russia and pro – Ukraine protesters clashed in front of the parliament building in Simferopol .

Protesters with Russian Tricolour in Crimea

Protesters with Russian Tricolour in Crimea

Russian parliament granted President Vladimir Putin the authority to use military force in Ukraine . And because of his unbridled ambition to regain the lost glory of Russian Empire , President Vladimir Putin wants to exercise this new-found authority . He simply forgets that in 1994 Russia backed the legal status of Crimea as part of Ukraine and signed a treaty with United States of America , United Kingdom and France and pledged to uphold the territorial integrity of Ukraine . This treaty was ratified in May 1997 and Russia finally accepted Ukraine’s present borders and Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea and Sevastopol .

He is emboldened by the fact that Ethnic Ukrainians make up only 24 % of the population , Ethnic Russian 58 % and Ethnic Tatar Muslims 12 % . And this 58 % Russian population is urging Russia to intervene and take control of Crimea and govern Crimea . They was to secede from Ukraine . And Vladimir Putin is more than willing to oblige .

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Ukraine is in trouble . Crimea is in turmoil . Jinx of February seems to be working again in the troubled history of Crimea . Have a look :

Crimean War : February 1856

Yalta Conference : February 1945

Crimea Became Part of Ukraine : February 1954

Crimean Occupation by Russia : February 2014

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I express my solidarity with the Ukrainian people , with the Crimean people .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to wish them well and pray for their glorious future ahead .

[ All the dates and certain historical facts about Crimea and Ukraine have been taken from Wikipedia and are quoted here in this blog . I express my gratitude . ]

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Birth of A New Ukraine


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY 24, 2014           01.30 A.M.

Two years ago, on February 01, 2012 , I wrote a blog about Ukraine , a former Soviet republic and a very little known country in India. It was titled ” Sorry Ukraine , My Apology “ and was written when a group of Ukrainian women demonstrated naked in front of Indian embassy in Ukrainian capital of Kiev . Two years later, I am again writing about Ukraine and this time matter is more serious.

Map of Ukraine-2

Map of Ukraine-3

Ukraine was a Soviet Republic before becoming a sovereign country. As every one knows on December 26, 1991 , USSR [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ] was dissolved and 15 independent countries came into being.

Even after dissolution of USSR , some former Soviet republics retained and maintained close links with Russia. Some republics formed Eurasian Economic Community and retained close links with Russia in the form of economic and security cooperation.

It is alleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin secretly wants to re-establish the former USSR . He knows that his dream is almost impossible to accomplish, so he encourages friendly leaders in the former Soviet republics to become close allies. He wants them to join Eurasian Union and thus help him retain some of the old glory. In his scheme of things Viktor Yanukovich, the president of Ukraine , was the most important ally.

Ukrainian people read the writing on the wall and saw the signal. For majority of Ukrainian people Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovich was not more than a stooge of Vladimir Putin , who wanted Ukraine to become a satellite of Russia. People of Ukraine on the other hand wanted to move away from Russian orbit and wanted to get closer to Europe.

Sensing trouble, Viktor Yanukovich started reign of oppression. He ruled Ukraine with iron fist, jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and moved dangerously close to Russia.

Ukraine erupted in defiance. They fought a bloody battle . Kiev became a war zone. 77 people got killed. Dictator Viktor Yanukovich first tried to suppress Ukraine . But in these days of internet and other social networking sites it is not easy. Ukrainians remained defiant. They fought police and army. Ukraine wanted to get rid of the dictator.

Following pictures show their resolve.

Protests in Ukraine -1

Protests in Ukraine -1

Protests in Ukraine -2

Protests in Ukraine -2

Protests in Ukraine -3

Protests in Ukraine -3

Protests in Ukraine -4

Protests in Ukraine -4

Protests in Ukraine -5

Protests in Ukraine -5

Burning Ukraine

Burning Ukraine

Ukraine in Shambles

Ukraine in Shambles

Ultimately Ukraine’s parliament voted on February 22, 2014 in favour of removal of Viktor Yanukovich from the post. Viktor Yanukovich denounced this as coup against his regime and left his office in Kiev and disappeared . Ukraine’s parliament promised new elections and formation of a new government . Police of Ukraine and Ukrainian army declared that they are with the protestors and are not going to fight their own people.

While I am writing this blog rapid changes are being seen in Ukraine. Former prime minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko was freed from the jail and fresh election has been ordered on May 25. Ukraine turns a new page in her history. World is watching.

The Russian stooge is gone and with his unceremonial departure dreams of Vladimir Putin evaporates in the thin air.

Long live Ukraine ! Long live people of Ukraine ! Long live struggle for freedom ! Long live struggle for democracy !

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I express my solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to wish them well in their glorious journey ahead .

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Sorry Ukraine , My Apology !


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY 01 , 2012           01.30 A.M.

In the beginning of January 2012 , I read a disturbing news item in the Mumbai edition of Times of India and other news papers . I am putting that news verbatim , as it is available on the internet  :

” Four FEMEN activists have undressed at the Indian embassy in Kiev in protest against the country’s plan to block young Ukrainian, Russian and Kazakh women from entering India as part of a national anti-prostitution campaign.

The topless activists, partially clad in Indian clothes, used a ladder to climb the Indian embassy’s balcony and unfurled banners saying Ukrainians are not prostitutes!”, “Delhi, close your brothels,” and “We demand apologies.”

The protesters waved Indian flags and knocked on the embassy’s doors and windows – until detained by security guards and taken away by the police.

The demo was sparked after the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered its embassies to take extra care checking visa applications from women aged 15-40, who are blamed for the country’s prostitution boom.

FEMEN’s blog says that by issuing such an order, India has gravely insulted the women of Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan.

“Indian prostitution is directly connected with impunity of the country’s criminal business,” the blog states. “Blaming it on women is a shame for the heirs of such a rich and old culture.”

The FEMEN movement made its name by carrying out politically motivated naked protests at home in Ukraine and in countries throughout Europe, including the Vatican . ”

FEMEN

Image via Wikipedia

[ On January 16, Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice refused to register FEMEN as an official political movement, claiming its position was extremist. ]

USSR [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ] was dissolved in 1991 and 15 new countries came into existence . Ukraine became independent on August 24 , 1991 and along with other former Soviet Republics , started her life on a new note .

Map of Ukraine

Economy of  Ukraine , in spite of her shinning capital city Kiev , is in shambles . She was unable to cope up with the transition to market economy and started struggling with her economy . She , during this period , was stricken with 8 year – recession also . Then in 2008 , Ukraine was caught in the world-wide economic crisis . Economy suffered and finally plunged .

Kiev - Capital of Ukraine

According to me because of this grim economic situation many Ukrainians started visiting various countries , including India , in search of job and greener pastures . It is said that Ukrainian girls are indulging in prostitution in India . So the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered its embassies to take extra care checking visa applications from women aged 15-40, who are blamed for the country’s prostitution boom.

I strongly feel that such kind of order for the blanket ban of Ukrainian , Russian and Kazakh women is insulting indeed . Even if Ukrainian girls are indulging in some kind of amoral activities , the order is harsh and uncalled for . There is law enforcing agency in India . They must perform their duties and should do something to stop this menace . A policy to not issue visa to the young girls of Ukraine , Russia and Kazakhstan is very humiliating and insulting .

In stead of making the machinery more effective , Government of India issues such insulting advisory to the Indian Embassy . FEMEN , which always protests in the matter of women , took offence and umbrage and protested naked in front of Indian Embassy in Kiev .

FEMEN Protest in Kiev

FEMEN Protest in Kiev

FEMEN Protest in Kiev

FEMEN Protest in Kiev

I am pained to see these 4 photographs . If women can undress themselves for a cause and protest naked in public , one can understand their pain and agony .

I empathise with them . I feel sorry for them . Brothels are in plenty in India . And they are not thriving because of Ukrainian girls . It is reported by some N.G.O.s that poor minor girls of Nepal and Bangladesh are  lured into prostitution and brothels in metro cities of India are full of them . So why blame only Ukrainian girls . Is it not duty of the police to stop prostitution ? Is it not duty of the N.G.O.s to rehabilitate these poor girls and arrange for their deportation to their native countries ?  In stead of strengthening its law enforcing agencies , central government reneges its duty and issues such derogatory and inhuman order .

Words are not saying it and it is not there in the text but the order suggests that Ukrainian women are prostitutes . It is not there openly in the order but one can easily draw the meaning . I am a non – entity but still I feel like apologising to the Ukrainian women .

My Ukrainian friends , I am extremely sorry ! Though I wish to do something regarding this but I am a small and helpless man . I am not more than a spec in the scheme of the things .

I can only express anguish and offer my apologies on behalf of this ancient Nation , where women used to be adored once upon a time and are still worshiped in the form of various goddesses .

VIDUR

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An Internet Bloomer : 2011


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           January 07 , 2012            01.50 A.M.

My last year’s article about my forays into internet was an impromptu effort . Since the activities are escalating by each passing year , I decided to give it a proper shape and post an account of my internet activities every year in the first week of January .

FACEBOOK : www.facebook.com / Vidur Chaturvedi

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As I have stated last year , Facebook was my first foray into internet  . In 2010 , I had 517 friends , which jumped to 1468 friends in 2011 . In one year 951 new friends joined me in my journey . In 2010 ,  I had created 16 albums and up – loaded 1163 photos .  In 2011 ,  it jumped to 24 albums and 2078 photos . In one year , a jump of , 6 more albums and 915 new photos .

I started posting THOUGHT of the DAY every night post 12.00 A.M. from August 2010 . Tonight when I posted my thought , I was surprised to notice that its number is 510 . Uninterrupted run of 510 days is quite a long journey indeed .

BLOG : www.mevidur.wordpress.com

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I started blogging in March 2009 . My first blog was posted on March 30 , 2009 . I created my account on WordPress on that day and started blogging .

Till the end of 2010 , I had posted 150 blogs . At the end of 2011 , its number is 227 . This blog will be 228th in the series . A leap of 78 blogs in one year .

Till the end of 2010 , I used to write in 28 categories . At the end of 2011 , I am using all the 32 categories . In 2010 I had 566 tags and in 2011 they have jumped to 1,963 . It is a big leap of 1,397 tags .

In 2010 , September 27 was the busiest day . I got 108 hits in a single day . It seems to be norm now in 2011 . 124 hits on April 14 ; 114 on September 07 ; 142 on September 20 ; 105 on December 28 , 124 on December 29 and 113 on January 06 , 2012 . April 18 , 2011 was the busiest day for my blog space . I got 219 hits . In 2011 , on 06 occasions , I got more than 90 hits per day . Total number of hits in 2010 were 8,107 . 2011 took a gigantic leap . Total number of hits are 25,549 . 17,442 hits in one year . It comes to 1453 hits per month and almost 50 hits per day . It is a far cry from 4 / 5 hits per day in the beginning of blogging .

In 2011 ,  I added flag counter to my blog space . To my amazement , I found that people of 84 countries have visited my blog space . In 2010 Flag Counter was not there . So comparative data is not available . But I am ecstatic .  Apart from India , name of other nations , whose nationals visited my blog space , are ; U.S.A. ; UNITED KINGDOM ; TAIWAN ; PAKISTAN ; NETHERLANDS ; CANADA ; U.A.E. ; SAUDI ARABIA ; BELGIUM ; BANGLADESH ; FRANCE ; AUSTRALIA ; GERMANY ; MALAYSIA ; QATAR ; ITALY ; NEPAL ; SINGAPORE ; BAHRAIN ; HONG KONG ; OMAN ; SERBIA ; SWEDEN ; SWITZERLAND ; SRI LANKA ; THAILAND ; POLAND ; INDONESIA ; SOUTH AFRICA ; MALDIVES ; PORTUGAL ; SOUTH KOREA ; BRAZIL ; JAPAN ; UKRAINE ; NEW ZEALAND ; GREECE ; RUSSIA ; TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO ; TUNISIA ; ROMANIA ; MONTENEGRO ; MAURITIUS ; ISRAEL ; FINLAND ; ECUADOR ; ALGERIA ; PHILIPPINES ; ICELAND ; HUNGARY ; MEXICO ; URUGUAY ; BULGARI ; AUSTRIA ; MOROCCO ; AZERBAIJAN ; MOLDOVA ; LEBANON ; KUWAIT ; MOZAMBIQUE ; TURKEY ; BELARUS ; BHUTAN ; ALBANIA ; GHANA ; KENYA ; VENEZUELA ; SLOVAKIA ; CZECH REPUBLIC ; COLOMBIA ; VIETNAM ; HONDURAS ; EGYPT ; NORWAY ; LUXEMBOUR ; GLATVIA ; BOLIVIA ; DENMARK ; CROATIA  and  IRELAND . Apart from above mentioned 84 countries , there were 19 other visits from unknown destinations . It makes the number of visiting country 103 . It is very encouraging for a non – entity like me .

List of my most – read blogs are also increasing . In 2010 , only 10 blogs had got more than 100 visits . In 2011 Home Page had got 7,016 hits . One blog post got more than 1,081 hits . Another one got 6,21 ; one got more than 430 ; 4 blog posts got more than 3,00 ; 2 got more than 2,00 and 19 posts got more than 100 hits .

I am in real ecstasy . I am numb . I am humbled .

TWITTER : www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

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I started twitter account on June 17 , 2009 . Till the end of 2010 , I had posted 2,740 tweets and had got 142 followers . Till the end of 2011 , I had posted 4,977 tweets and had got 392 followers . A jump of 2,237 tweets and 250 followers .

LINKED IN : http://www.linkedin.com/in/mevidur

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Till the end of 2010 , I had just 11 Linked In connections . It jumped to 48 connections in 2011 .

Apart from above mentioned activities , I have Wikipedia Profile , YouTube Channel , Google Account and few others . All these accounts , for convenience , are assembled in Gravator Profile .

It is now 32 month – old passion . I would like to call it A Dream of Passion on Internet .

VIDUR

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