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Some remarks on “Historical Justice”

One of the driving forces behind Putin’s determination to annex Crimea was a mission to restore so-called “historical justice,” as I mentioned in the previous post. What is “historical justice?” one can contemplate the term as far as  his/her awareness of history, education, etc. stretches. Why would it be “historically just” to attach Crimea back to Russia and not to Greece or Turkey? Crimea was a Greek colony for over 400 years and then part of the Ottoman Empire for 300 years. Neither Greece, nor Turkey, today claim their territorial rights for the peninsula. By and large, revision of borders over disputable territories looks redundant and nonsensical in the modern world. Rivers of blood are spilled for only to move a border a few meters further. Thus, to restore the infamous “historical justice,” Putin could have come up with better idea how to do it in the 21st century. Meantime, what Putin just did was a surreptitious theft of Ukrainian territory  in the midst of revolutionary turmoil. Putin pragmatically seized the momentum and grabbed a piece of another sovereign state. In other words, rather than any basis in fact, “historical justice” is merely an emotional and relative category, used by politicians as a rhetorical device.

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