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You're reading: Engineering conflict in Crimea

Attention waned, as it
does, and by 2010 relatively little attention was paid to the extremely
specific problems of this autonomous republic within Ukraine. That situation
needs to change now before the Crimean leadership, almost certainly with
encouragement from above, unleashes conflict of potentially tragic
consequences.

The latest remarks from
Anatoly Mohylyov, prime minister of the Crimea, are in no way out of
character.  This is, in fact, the problem. President Viktor Yanukovych was
well aware of Mohylyov’s rabid hate speech directed against Crimean Tatars and role in
the gratuitously violent confrontation on Ai-Petri plateau in Crimea on Nov. 7,
2007 when he appointed Mohylyov as interior minister in March 2010. The
president then promoted him to the top post in the Crimean leadership in
November 2011.

Examples of how both Kyiv
and the peninsula’s leaders have been edging out the Mejlis of the Crimean
Tatars and bringing in others, either antagonistic to the Mejlis, or generally
more malleable can be found here.

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