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Legality of the Crimean Referendum: Legal Analysis
The Venice Commission, Council of Europe ^

Posted on 03/23/2014 11:43:14 AM PDT by annalex

Legality of the Crimean Referendum: Legal Analysis

Venice, 21 March 2014

Opinion no. 762 / 2014

EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR DEMOCRACY THROUGH LAW (VENICE COMMISSION)

OPINION

ON “WHETHER THE DECISION TAKEN
BY THE SUPREME COUNCIL
OF THE AUTONOMOUS REPUBLIC OF CRIMEA IN UKRAINE
TO ORGANISE A REFERENDUM
ON BECOMING A CONSTITUENT TERRITORY
OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
OR RESTORING CRIMEA’S 1992 CONSTITUTION IS COMPATIBLE
WITH CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES”


adopted by the Venice Commission
at its 98th
Plenary Session
(Venice, 21-22 March 2014)

on the basis of comments by
Mr Peter PACZOLAY (Honorary President, Hungary)
Ms Hanna SUCHOCKA (Member, Poland)
Mr Evgeni TANCHEV (Member, Bulgaria)
Mr Kaarlo TUORI (Member, Finland)

[See full text]

[...]

V. Conclusions

27. The Constitution of Ukraine like other constitutions of Council of Europe member states, provides for the indivisibility of the country and does not allow the holding of any local referendum on secession from Ukraine. This results in particular from Articles 1, 2, 73 and 157 of the Constitution. These provisions in conjunction with Chapter X of the Constitution show that this prohibition also applies to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the Constitution of Crimea does not allow the Supreme Soviet of Crimea to call such a referendum. Only a consultative referendum on increased autonomy could be permissible under the Ukrainian Constitution.

28. Moreover, circumstances in Crimea did not allow the holding of a referendum in line with European democratic standards. Any referendum on the status of a territory should have been preceded by serious negotiations among all stakeholders. Such negotiations did not take place.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: crimea; putinsbuttboys; russia; surrendermonkeys; ukraine; viktoryanukovich; waronterror; yuliatymoshenko
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Headline and excerption mine.
1 posted on 03/23/2014 11:43:14 AM PDT by annalex
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To: A.A. Cunningham; andyk; BatGuano; bayliving; Belteshazzar; bert; Bibman; Bigg Red; bigheadfred; ...

If you want to be on this right wing, monarchy, paleolibertarianism and nationalism ping list, but are not, please let me know. If you are on it and want to be off, also let me know. This ping list is not used for Catholic-Protestant debates.


2 posted on 03/23/2014 11:44:06 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

While this explains the glaring and obvious illegality of Russia’s theft of Crimea, it won’t stop the bootlickers on this forum from praising it


3 posted on 03/23/2014 11:46:03 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: annalex

Putin memo to Commission: Go...pound...sand.


4 posted on 03/23/2014 11:53:26 AM PDT by cashless (Obama told us he would side with Muslims if the political winds shifted in an ugly direction. Ready?)
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To: annalex

Poor NWO. The march of progress falters, and Occupy Terra gets a tiny eviction notice.


5 posted on 03/23/2014 11:53:44 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (FIGHT! FIGHT! SEVERE CONSERVATIVE AND THE WILD RIGHT!)
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: annalex

Is the Venice Commission another Soros funded Globalist front group that promotes “democracy” and “human rights”? If they are they can take their report and stick in their ear.


7 posted on 03/23/2014 11:56:18 AM PDT by Count of Monte Fisto (The foundation of modern society is the denial of reality.)
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To: annalex

I can have my own Commission and or Council and can issue my own conclusion.

Can’t see why anyone would pay any attention to it...


8 posted on 03/23/2014 11:57:28 AM PDT by babygene ( .)
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To: annalex
The Constitution of Ukraine like other...

Whoa, stop right there... What reason could there be to think that the constitution of the Ukraine means anything after the elected government of the Ukraine has been overthrown by a gang of Nazis??

9 posted on 03/23/2014 12:00:22 PM PDT by varmintman
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To: annalex

Pooty-poots army of ass-kissers took 10 minutes and 12 seconds to arrive. I guess the FSB monitors for FR were between 2nd and 3rd shift-change at 10:30 PM local time.


10 posted on 03/23/2014 12:02:28 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!)
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To: annalex

As Con Clausewitz says, war is an extention of politics. Dirty political tactica and thug mentality always follows with a barrel to the head at the poll booth.


11 posted on 03/23/2014 12:03:05 PM PDT by lavaroise (A well regulated gun being necessary to the state, the rights of the militia shall not be infringed)
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To: varmintman
Because anyone who opposes the NeoSoviet Empire® is a Nazi.
12 posted on 03/23/2014 12:03:17 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!)
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To: wideawake
won’t stop the bootlickers on this forum

No it won't, but I want to give a wider audience to this document because it contains serious analysis of what is and what is not legal under the Ukraine's and the EU's constitutions.

13 posted on 03/23/2014 12:03:23 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: cashless

Also see: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, etc: I expect Kerry to turn up any time now waving a paper and claiming,”Peace in our time.”


14 posted on 03/23/2014 12:03:58 PM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: cashless
Putin memo...

Yes. Putin is a usurper of power, war monger and a common thug. Obviously legalities won't stand in his way. Nevertheless, law matters.

15 posted on 03/23/2014 12:04:44 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: FredZarguna

while Hitler was a liberal Socialist artist fully supported by communists, he did attract conservatives when people were fed up with the decadent corruptocracy of Europe. History repeats itself in Putin with liberals’ help.


16 posted on 03/23/2014 12:06:12 PM PDT by lavaroise (A well regulated gun being necessary to the state, the rights of the militia shall not be infringed)
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To: Psalm 144
Poor NWO.

That is not New World Order, plainly legal order. Obviously, RF is not going to pay attention, but that only solidifies their status as a rogue state.

17 posted on 03/23/2014 12:07:19 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

A mob overthrew the Ukraine’s government which meant Crimea was no longer part of an existing national government.


18 posted on 03/23/2014 12:07:50 PM PDT by kathsua (A woman can do anything a man can do and have babies besides;)
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To: Count of Monte Fisto
Soros funded Globalist front group

It seems they are an official EU body, paid for by taxes in Europe. At any rate, this contains legal facts that you and I will have a difficulty researching on our own.

19 posted on 03/23/2014 12:09:11 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: kathsua

The thug was voted out of office and fled.


20 posted on 03/23/2014 12:10:06 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: babygene
I can have my own Commission

Of course you can, and anyone interested in that august commission's decisions, I am sure, would read it and draw conclusions.

21 posted on 03/23/2014 12:11:03 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

And Putin will care about some EU commission’s opinion, why?


22 posted on 03/23/2014 12:13:08 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor (Socialists want YOUR wealth redistributed, never THEIRS!)
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To: FredZarguna

Anybody who’s willing to kill dozens of their own people in false flag operations is a Nazi or worse.


23 posted on 03/23/2014 12:13:35 PM PDT by varmintman
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To: varmintman
What reason could there be to think that the constitution of the Ukraine means anything after the elected government of the Ukraine has been overthrown

... and promptly gave power to the same Rada that had been previously elected, and the Rada legitimized the revolution. It did not, however, abolish the Ukrainian Constitution.

a gang of Nazis

What reason could there be to think that someone unable to discuss things other than by throwing buzzwords around can be an interesting poster on a serious thread?

24 posted on 03/23/2014 12:14:31 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: varmintman
Well, the false flag operations by the Spetsnaz(is) in Ukraine did not kill any Russians, except possibly by accident.

But your point is correct: Putin is worse than a Nazi.

25 posted on 03/23/2014 12:22:41 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!)
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To: annalex; varmintman
None of the Putin boot-lickers are serious people. They fall into one or both of two categories: closeted homosexuals with boy-crushes on The Shirtless Wonder® and Russian State Security clowns who have infiltrated FR.

They've been claiming their opposition are "Fascists" and "Nazis" since the Spanish Civil War, and they will keep right on doing that as long as there are morons who'll buy into the nonsense.

Godwin's Law applies. Don't feed the trolls.

26 posted on 03/23/2014 12:26:52 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!)
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To: annalex
Any referendum on the status of a territory should have been preceded by serious negotiations among all stakeholders. Such negotiations did not take place."

Would the EU have stepped up and admitted that they considered themselves to be "stakeholders"?

I seriously doubt you can find a loophole in the Ukrainian Constitution that would permit the referendum, I'd be very surprised if you could. OTHO, I seriously doubt the Crimea considered themselves to be limited by the Ukrainian Constitution as opposed to their own definition of "autonomy". A definition they obviously think includes the right to break away from the Ukraine.

It's a case of theory vs. "Facts on the Ground" as the saying now goes. Back in my day, it was theory vs. who actually controlled the countryside when there wasn't a US grunt standing on it and in spite of the briefings in Saigon, we all knew the SVN government rarely controlled the ground a US grunt wasn't at least within sight of.

The Ukraine wasn't prepared to deal with even a minor guerrilla war in the Crimea even if Russia were only matching the EU small arms supplies to the Ukraine bullet for bullet. Given that obvious weakness, once nationalists in the Ukraine got vocal, IMHO, it was inevitable the crowd who want to be part of Russia rather than the Ukraine were going to become very active. Anything, and I mean anything, that Russia felt would threaten security around their bases in the Crimea was going to trigger exactly what we've seen.

If the EU had tried to stop the mass demonstrations and get the groups "to the table" to negotiate it wouldn't have been so painfully obvious that the EU was going to do whatever they had to do in order to keep the Ukraine from not doing what the EU wanted done. That may not have changed a thing but it at least wouldn't have been rubbing Russia's nose in the fact that the EU didn't mind supporting an overthrow of the government if that's what it took to put the Ukraine under the thumb of the EU.

As far as I can tell, Russia had no reason to believe that if the EU backed new government took charge that they wouldn't be faced with all sorts of "re-negotiations" related to their bases. Why people think Russia would believe that the same people who so recently have overthrown a number of governments would play fair with them once they installed a new government, I don't know. I do know that all my Russian friends were convinced that if the EU backed government took charge and the Crimea remained part of the Ukraine that the new government would want Russia out of the bases.

Is that paranoia on their part? Dunno, but it's how they were looking at things and everyone in the West seems to have not cared how Russia would see the changes as a threat. It was a, "Screw Russia" attitude from the start that I think led to Russia deciding they should move and do whatever it takes to regain control of the Crimea.

Would they have done so no matter what? I'm not so sure they would have if the the EU hadn't made it crystal clear Russia couldn't make any kind of deal with the Ukraine that the EU wasn't going to undermine by hook or by crook.

27 posted on 03/23/2014 12:28:22 PM PDT by Rashputin (Jesus Christ doesn't evacuate His troops, He leads them to victory.)
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To: annalex

And what all those academics think is of no value whatsoever.....They have no army to change what happened


28 posted on 03/23/2014 12:29:30 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: wideawake

nicely played


29 posted on 03/23/2014 12:31:09 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: varmintman

Lordy you are soooo ill informed

Pick up your phone Alex wants to chat


30 posted on 03/23/2014 12:31:54 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: wideawake; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

/bingo


31 posted on 03/23/2014 12:33:04 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: FredZarguna

Certainly by RT’s version anyway. I cannot believe we have come to a time when folks actually believe that the Soviet Union (formerly known as Russia) run by the KGB in the form of Putin actually believe that communism is okay


32 posted on 03/23/2014 12:33:25 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: annalex

So much for the concept of self-rule and self determination. Those pesky constitutions and lawyers getting in the way.

The EU legal beagles seem to advocate the forced containment of peoples and nations. By the same standard every modern nation in Europe and the Western Hemisphere would “illegal”.

Crimea is Russian again by virtue forced colonization and ethnic cleansing over 500 years, the right of conquest, and now a popular vote (sham or otherwise) of the majority Rus.

To combine and paraphrase what so many pragmatists through history have pointed out with the tip or their lance/sword/bayonet/naval battle task force.

“They have made their decision. Now let them enforce it if they can.”

Absent the hand of God, what is called right, written as history, or called settled law is always defined in the end by the best defensive positions or the heaviest divisions in attack at a ratio of 3 to 1.

Europe lacks both in the Crimea. They have become toothless old men and we are lead by a sunken chested capon.

But, what the heck do I know.


33 posted on 03/23/2014 12:37:07 PM PDT by Lowell1775
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To: kathsua

You apparently did not pay attention to the build up of the protests. For months people peacefully gathered asking the government (run by a Putin puppet no less) to do what had been promised during an election campaign. Then in an EDICT all assembly was outlawed. Troops and police were ordered to fire on those assembled and many resigned rather than fire on peaceable assembled country men. At that point all hell broke loose.

Read from those in Ukraine and those with family there. Alex Jones and RT are NOT reliable sources

You can read here http://www.worldmomsblog.com/2014/03/10/ukraine-language-culture-reason-war/


34 posted on 03/23/2014 12:37:22 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: varmintman

And of course you know it is a false flag because Alex said so.....Do your own research at real sites not just info wars.

Try here

http://www.worldmomsblog.com/2014/03/10/ukraine-language-culture-reason-war/

And while you are at it read what the gal wrote as to why she left RT not what Alex claims. It might just get your logical thinking brain going again


35 posted on 03/23/2014 12:39:05 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: annalex

Bert, March 23,2014

Possession is .9 of the law


36 posted on 03/23/2014 12:40:19 PM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: varmintman

That’s actually quite funny, because the group didn’t claim to be NAZIs. The Russians claimed they were NAZIs, trained in Poland.

This goes back in the Russian Psyche to the days of the U. S. S. R., when Poland would not cower to it. Russian officials have never been able to shake that memory from their minds.

So today, the worst thing Russia can do when acting like a NAZI, is call others NAZIs, introduce that evil Poland into the mix, and invade a sovereign territory, and annex it.

Legal opinion? I hate to break it to you, but Conservative support for the U. S. Constitution is based on the legality of it, the precedence, and what it allows or doesn’t allow today.

Why would you not be interested in the legality of what Russia just did?


37 posted on 03/23/2014 12:51:48 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Immigration Reform is job NONE. It isn't even the leading issue with Hipanics. Enforce our laws.)
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To: Count of Monte Fisto

Not Soros’ creature but the European Union’s. In their words “composed of constitutional and international law experts, supreme or constitutional court judges and members of national parliaments. It is dedicated to the promotion of Europe’s legal heritage and is now recognised as an international independent legal think-tank.” In short, a gaggle of scolds to promote a transnational uniformity with no real authority over anything except social censure of the stinky kids.

Here they are in their own words. Bastards of a different father, but family.
http://hub.coe.int/what-we-do/democracy/venice-commission

I am sure Obamacon jingoists and sycophants will assume a proper proskynesis to this body.


38 posted on 03/23/2014 12:53:56 PM PDT by Psalm 144 (FIGHT! FIGHT! SEVERE CONSERVATIVE AND THE WILD RIGHT!)
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To: lavaroise
Dirty political tactica and thug mentality

It is there, but it does not have to be that way. The disregard for even the appearance of laws of war is characteristic of the Soviet man in particular.

39 posted on 03/23/2014 1:14:00 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: FredZarguna; varmintman
Because anyone who opposes the NeoSoviet Empire® is a Nazi.

Right. And in general, in the leftist vocabulary if you don't like someone, call him a "Nazi" and the argument has been won by knockout.

40 posted on 03/23/2014 1:15:37 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: kathsua
A mob overthrew the Ukraine’s government

Yes, rather an anti-Soviet revolution prevailed in Ukraine. The government in Ukraine is the Supreme Rada, that was not "overturned" and in fact the Rada confirmed the victory of the revolution. This does not cancel the existing constitution, and surely is not a legal ground for any province to secede.

Indeed, the referendum was illegal also per the Crimean constitution::

An act by an authority of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea which is contrary to the Constitution of Ukraine is therefore also contrary to the Constitution of Crimea.

Besides, the referendum in itself was not conducted in accordance with recognized international standards: it took place hastily, under military occupation, was not worded in a neutral way, was not preceded by consultation with all stakeholders.

41 posted on 03/23/2014 1:23:46 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: SauronOfMordor
And Putin will care...?

No, he won't care, but it does not negate the fact that the referendum is illegal.

42 posted on 03/23/2014 1:24:45 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: Rashputin
Would the EU have stepped up and admitted that they considered themselves to be "stakeholders"?

I am not sure if they are, but Ukraine surely is since it's its own territory being carved up.

I seriously doubt you can find a loophole in the Ukrainian Constitution that would permit the referendum

From the Report:

15. It is therefore clear that the Ukrainian Constitution prohibits any local referendum which would alter the territory of Ukraine and that the decision to call a local referendum in Crimea is not covered by the authority devolved to the authorities of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by virtue of Article 138 of the Ukrainian Constitution.

[...]

18. This does not mean that the notion of self-determination would be alien to European constitutional law. However, in its Report on “Self-determination and secession in constitutional law” quoted above, the Venice Commission concludes that self-determination is understood primarily as internal self-determination within the framework of the existing borders and not as external self-determination through secession.

So you are correct, there is no way for Crimea to secede legally under the present constitution. Which is, kind of the point.

It's a case of theory vs. "Facts on the Ground"

Yes it is. We have a war. soon there will be a larger war. With this post I simply wanted to establish what the legal facts are.

43 posted on 03/23/2014 1:32:14 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: varmintman

You’re right, the Sov....err Russians are Nazis or worse.


44 posted on 03/23/2014 1:33:29 PM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Science is hard. Harder if you're stupid.)
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To: Nifster
They have no army to change what happened

Right, but the same can be said of any violation of law: somebody got away with it, at least, for the time being, because he could do so with raw force.

45 posted on 03/23/2014 1:33:37 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Might Makes Right, always has, always will.


46 posted on 03/23/2014 1:35:07 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: annalex

Don’t they have any standards about a tire-burning violent mob instigating a coup?


47 posted on 03/23/2014 1:35:33 PM PDT by grania
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To: Lowell1775

I generally agree that Crimea is Ukrainian by historical chance. Although it is then as much Russian as it is Turkish, or Greek.

The legal system of Europe does not apply retroactively to the historical processes that had shaped the modern borders. The idea is, however, that the present borders should be kept inviolate regardless how they got that way.


48 posted on 03/23/2014 1:37:32 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: DoughtyOne

Excellent post, thank you.


49 posted on 03/23/2014 1:38:52 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: grania
Don’t they have any standards about a tire-burning violent mob

The topic is the occupation, the referendum, and the annexation of Crimea. Think what you will about the Great Ukrainian anti-Communist Revolution, it did not give anyone the right to carve the country up.

50 posted on 03/23/2014 1:41:25 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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