The Day of Resistance to the Occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol

Olena Liashenko
February 26, 2024

🇺🇦 Yesterday, on February 26, Ukraine stood united in remembrance and resilience as we marked the Day of Resistance to the Occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.

For years, Ukrainians, alongside Crimean Tatars, stood firm against the illegal annexation of Crimea and the ongoing Russian invasion of their sovereign land. The illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia remains a flagrant violation of international law and a blatant affront to the principles of democracy and territorial integrity.

International assessments of Russia's annexation of Crimea have overwhelmingly condemned the action as a breach of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution in 2014 affirming Ukraine's territorial integrity and declaring the referendum in Crimea invalid. Numerous countries, including the United States, European Union member states, and others, have imposed sanctions on Russia in response to its actions in Crimea.

The annexation has been widely criticized for destabilizing the region and setting a dangerous precedent for other territorial disputes worldwide. The international community has called for the peaceful resolution of the conflict through diplomatic means and adherence to international law.

Furthermore, various human rights organizations have documented human rights abuses and violations in Crimea since the annexation, including restrictions on freedom of expression, arbitrary arrests, and persecution of minority groups.

However, the annexation of Crimea was just the beginning of the Russo-Ukrainian war. Putin's ambitions extend beyond Crimea; they signal a broader agenda to reunite the Soviet Union. The Russian-Ukrainian war is a direct consequence of the insufficiently tough and decisive reaction of the world community to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. The initial lack of robust response emboldened further Russian aggression, leading to the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Had the world community acted more decisively to condemn and sanction Russia for its actions in Crimea, it could have served as a deterrent against further violations of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Instead, the impunity of the aggressor and lack of unified action of the global community allowed Russian aggression to escalate, resulting in a protracted conflict with devastating humanitarian consequences.

The lessons learned from the Russian-Ukrainian war underscore the importance of a firm and united response to violations of international law and aggression against sovereign nations. Moving forward, it is imperative for the world community and specifically for the United States to support Ukraine NOW and provide it with everything Ukraine needs to defeat Russia.

It's evident that Putin won't stop at Ukraine and this underscore the urgent need for international action to safeguard Ukraine's sovereignty and uphold democratic principles today.