Eric Zuesse An obliquely-written news-report in the New York Times on January 18th headlined “U.S. Warms to Helping Ukraine Target Crimea” and subheaded “The Biden administration is considering the argument that Kyiv needs the power to strike at the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.” It reported that, “the Biden administration is finally starting

The counterfactual that I’m arguing against is that referendum that Russia conducted had a result that made any sense. For that to be the case, people heavily favoring Russia would need to total up to the 90% that was supposedly the result. I don’t know enough about Crimea to argue about whether 50% might want to be annexed by Russia, so I’m not going to try.

Edit: It’s worth noting that Russia now has a pattern of behavior where they invade a region they wish to annex, hold a sham referendum that gets some absurdly high approval, and then the Russian Duma approves a law claiming the region for Russia. Now that Ukraine wants their territory back, the state media line is that they are threatening to invade Russia. And when that happens, get ready for some nuclear saber rattling!

That tiny majority is 53%.

Yup, and that is an incredibly slim majority to base an annexation claim on, especially when the question is economic. It hardly shows overwhelming fondness for Russia that would definitively translate into 90% support for annexation just a year later. As for Brexit, arguably the UK should have never left the EU without a strong majority. There is a reason why big decisions often require a supermajority.

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