True, largely due to Stalin's crimes. The ratio is a figure, though, that has been falling quite rapidly due to the voluntary return of the Crimean Tartar's from Uzbekistan. A life without dignity or economic prospects in a tent city in Simferopol seems to be preferable.Phil Neatherway wrote:According to Wkipedia, Crimea is 58% ethnically Russian. In which case, a plebiscite would seem to be a reasonable thing to do.
Perhaps, although in the absence of negotiations, or good faith, it might be seen as a shameless Anschluss.Matt Mackenzie wrote:As no friend of Putin or Russian imperialism more generally, I still think their claim to Crimea is quite a strong one.
This is one of those things that might just have been sorted two decades ago, had the USSR not collapsed with such astonishing rapidity.
Ironically our standing army is now smaller than it was at the time of the Crimean War. Never mind our "fleet", consisting of 17 warships, which Good King Harry would find considerable shame in. As a nation we have previous experience of Conservative governments slashing defence expenditure. And it has never previously had a good outcome. The Polish government offered to host the BAOR, at its own expense, a request which was politely declined by Whitehall. I hope that won't turn out to be a matter of later regret.
Naturally, enough, Trident is to be renewed, whilst actually useful defence systems are cut in their entirety, without any sign of ultimate replacement. Trident is more of a national virility symbol, a token rather than a matter of utility. Or perhaps a sacred cow. Â£80 billion would go a long way over the coming half century towards paying for tanks, ships, aircraft and trained personnel.