Assistant News Editor
While the crisis in Crimea rolls on, a Troy Trojan believes peace can be found in her home of Crimea, which is as of Tuesday, March 17, a part of Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crimean leaders signed a treaty Tuesday annexing Crimea to Russia, according to BBC News.
This move follows a March 16 referendum that ended in a more than 93 percent majority of the Crimean people voting to join Russia.
“We can be the same people that we were,” said Crimean native Kateryna Kunitsyna, a senior broadcast journalism major from Eupatoria, Ukraine. “We are a very diverse place. People are separated about what is happening with Crimea and Russia. This is not a war. If we don’t want it, we won’t let it happen.”
The United States believed that the referendum held in Crimea was illegal, stating that it violated Ukraine’s constitution and international law.
Kunitsyna said she thinks Crimea should have another referendum in order to solve this issue. She believes that if the people are proactive about what they feel passionate about within the country then many issues can be avoided.
Kunitsyna’s parents described to her the day of the referendum.
“The South of Ukraine is very relaxed,” Kunitsyna said. “When elections happen, a small amount of people vote. It was incredible.”
Kunitsyna said her family saw so many people the day of the voting. “There were people in wheel chairs and older people. This means that people actually care. Everyone came to vote.”
Kunitsyna said she appreciates Ukrainian and Russian cultures and believes others should find ways to do the same.
The US and the European Union have placed financial and travel sanctions on Russian and Ukrainian individuals they believe to be involved with the referendum in Crimea.
Cole Lawson, a senior political science and broadcast journalism major from Smiths Station and chairman of the College Republicans Federation of Alabama, said the actions of Putin, if they are not stopped, could lead to a future where the Soviet Federation could be restored with no consequences from the outside world.
“I would say that the annexation of Crimea by Russia is one of the most outrageous things done by a country in the 21st century,” Lawson said. “We are just sitting idly by while a fellow country of NATO is invaded. The sanctions that have been imposed by the president are miniscule and pointless. Us and the other forces of NATO are going to have to take stronger, more serious actions against Russia to stop Vladimir Putin from continually doing whatever he wants.”
“We should do something. We can’t just give up on Crimea,” Kunitsyna said. “I hope that we will have peace. If we cannot change things, then we should change ourselves as people. Then maybe the world will change.”