Jun 22 2015
The Crimean Peninsula is a beautiful region on the Black Sea that is connected to mainland Ukraine by two narrow natural land bridges. On March, 2014 Russia annexed Crimea and since then life for Tartars in Crimea is no longer safe. The Tartars endure kidnapping, disappearance, and persecution by authorities and 10,000 Tatars have been forced to leave their homeland. Just 71 years ago, in May 1944, Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin ordered that 238,500 Tatars be forcibly deported from Crimea. Nearly 110,000 or 46% of the deportees, died of starvation and disease. Once again the people of Crimea find themselves faced with repression and political persecution similar to what they experienced 71 years ago.
“There are 810,000 children in the Ukraine who have lost one or both parents…Approximately 30,000 of those children live in 350 orphanages in the southeastern region of the Ukraine, which includes Crimea… Orphans are the most vulnerable beings on earth in almost any situation, and that danger is amplified greatly in times of crises… children living amidst chaos fall prey to …disease, starvation and human trafficking.” To date Russian authorities have refused to release the 4,350 orphans living in Crimea preventing these children from being adopted. The other state run orphanages in the Ukraine are home to over 100,000 orphans and these children are facing a epidemic food crisis.
The current conflict started in 2013 when the Ukraine refused to enter into agreements with the Russian-led Eurasian Customs Union. What began as peaceful protests in Kiev quickly turned violent. It is noteworthy that back in 1991 “When Ukraine became independent it inherited a nuclear arsenal from the Soviet Union, which made it the 4th largest nuclear power in the world. After much persuasion from western countries, in 1994 Ukraine gave up these weapons, and they were removed from the country. In return Ukraine was reassured by the leaders of the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom of its security, sovereignty, and the inviolability of its borders.” 
The annexation of Crimea by Russia is a violation of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances of 1944 wherein Russia promised to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and status as an independent nation. However, Russia is willing to defy the international community on the premise that Crimea should have a “right of return” to Russia when ultimately Russia wishes to readdress the dissolution of the Soviet Union and re-litigate borders. Meanwhile, the Ukraine desires to be free and clear of the former Soviet Union.
Russia cannot afford to lose the sea port in Crimea. The remainder of the Black Sea coastline is under the control of NATO allies, with the exception of Georgia, which is currently campaigning for NATO membership. Without this naval base in Crimea, Russian will struggle to exert influence in ongoing international disputes. Additionally, natural gas also plays a prominent role in this conflict. Ukraine depends heavily on Russia for its energy needs. Now that Russia has seized control of Crimea it will likely shut off natural gas exports to Ukraine, like it has done in the past, in order to further its political interests.
Recently, the news has been filled with images of shells hitting homes and apartment buildings in ruin. Despite a ceasefire, the situation between Ukraine and Russian has spiraled out of control. To date nearly 6,500 have died in the conflict, including civilians. Despite the harm done and innocent lives taken back in 1944, Stalin leadership is showing its face again.
Are we to sit by and watch as this humanitarian crisis grows into multiple human rights violations?
We are doing our part to help the orphans of the Ukraine during this crisis. You can too! Donate a vehicle to support TeamGypsyKids.org. They are a group of men and women whose hearts go out to the precious gypsy children in Ukraine and they help feed and provide basic care for children ranging in age from 5 month to 18 years. Think how many meals your car donation will provide for these vulnerable children. It only takes $1.00 per day to feed a child. If you would like to help you can donate a vehicle, boat, motorcycle, RV or Trailer at www.cars4causes.net or contact Team Gypsy Kids at www.teamgypsykids.org.
 Crimea Adoptions to Americans Blocked by Russia by Ruth Moon http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2014/april/crimea-adoptions-to-americans-blocked-by-russia-ukraine.html
 The Conflict in Ukraine: A Historical Perspective Post by Lauren McLaughlin http://www.summer.harvard.edu/blog-news-events/conflict-ukraine-historical-perspective