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Title: What Went Wrong with Crimean Autonomy?
Author: Doris Wydra

What Went Wrong with Crimean Autonomy? [Wydra]


Like many other successor states of the Soviet Union Ukraine had to find a means to accommodate a Russian minority. The Crimean Peninsula was granted territorial autonomy within an otherwise unitary Ukrainian state. After already striving for this autonomy in the 1990s, the final design of the autonomy defined by the Ukrainian state and the Crimean constitution remained weak, as Kiev was anxious not to open a Pandora’s box for further disintegration. The events of March 2014 showed that the autonomy was seemingly regarded as insufficient protection by the mainly Russian population of Crimea and mobilisation for integration into the Russian Federation was high. This paper argues that although without the military support of Russia the secession would not have been possible, a single focus on Russian aggression is short-sighted in explaining why the Crimean autonomy failed. Issues of a lack of power-sharing, Ukrainian state fragility and opposing identity narratives have to be considered as well.


territorial autonomy – Crimea – self-determination – Ukraine – Russia


Title: What Went Wrong with Crimean Autonomy?
Author: Doris Wydra
Language: English
Year: 2014
Volume: 25
Issue: 3
Pages: 312–327
In: Security and Human Rights
E-ISSN: 1875-0230