Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ukraine Unspun

Is The Crimean Claim Of Independence Constitutional?

First, I should highlight that we are looking just at the constitutional question and not whether the referendum is right or wrong. My colleague, Daisy Sindelar, addressed the constitutionality of the transition to the new government in Kyiv -- in much greater detail -- last month.

David Herszenhorn, a reporter for "The New York Times" who is currently in Crimea, looked into the question today and presented a convincing argument that the Crimean Parliament's declaration of independence is unconstitutional.

Herszenhorn extracts these two provisions from the Crimean Constitution to back up his point. 

Article 1
1. The Autonomous Republic of Crimea shall be an integral part of Ukraine and it shall solve, within the powers conferred upon it by the Constitution of Ukraine, any and all matters coming within its terms of reference.

Article 6
5. No one shall be entitled to acquire or make use of any powers of authority in defiance of the Constitution of Ukraine, Ukrainian laws, the Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the statutory acts of the Supreme Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

The pro-Russian side has argued that extra-constitutional actions are warranted in light of what they say is the unconstitutionality of the changing of the government in Kyiv.

Ukraine and Western governments have argued that when former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital for Russia he effectively relinquished his presidential post.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: HS from: Seattle, USA
March 13, 2014 03:06
Even if the referendum were legal, the way it is currently being held holds to no norm of a free and fair election. 10 days notice? Unprecedented. Note that the head of the Russian Federation Council complained that the Ukrainian government moved its Presidential election to "only" 3 months in advance. 1,000s of masked, still unidentified soldiers everywhere? It is obvious that these troops are supporting the current regime. How could anyone who is against the regime feel safe voting with so many troops all over Crimea? Free campaign conditions? Hardly. The current regime has cut off or disrupted Internet connections, TV broadcasts, and cell phone communications. Not at all an environment where people can hear from all sides in regard to the referendum.

by: Milovan from: Florida
March 13, 2014 15:46
Maybe you've heard the saying: What's good for the goose is good for the gander too. Taking away Kosovo from Serbia is also against the constitution of Serbia. The West and the US paid no attention to that fact. So, what's the problem with the referendum in Crimea? What goes around comes around, my good friends.

About #UkraineUnspun

The information war is in full swing in the tense standoff between Ukraine and Russia. In an attempt to present a clearer picture, #UkraineUnspun will unravel information coming from Russian and Ukrainian media, politicians and activists. Written by Glenn Kates and contributors from RFE/RL.

Follow the hashtag #UkraineUnspun on Twitter and let us know what we should be covering -- or to weigh in on any of our stories. Or write us at

Most Popular