I am starting to discover a set of very interesting video lectures from the University of Kansas Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (CREES). For all those of you who would like to learn a little bit more about such places as Kosovo, Central Asia, Poland, the Baltic Republics and so on, I am quite sure that you will find something that catches your attention if you go through the files that the people at CREES have uploaded to their Youtube channel.
As an example, one of the most recent available videos contains a lecture by Austin Charron on the issue of identity in Crimea. I have embedded the full video here -and I strongly recommend you to watch it, especially from minute 17 onwards- since it contains an original piece of work by Charron himself: a 2011 survey of almost 800 Crimeans (including Russians, Russian-speaking Ukrainians, Ukrainian-speaking Ukrainians and Tatars) about their identities and their political attitudes towards what Crimea’s political status should be. As an appetiser of the survey’s results, I will tell you that:
- The sense of attachment to Crimea is highly remarkable among all ethnic groups, so there is a strong regional identity that coexists with national identities.
- Ethnic Russians give importance to a Russian-Soviet-Russian narrative on Crimea.
- All ethnic groups want Crimea to remain an autonomous republic, but
- Almost half of ethnic Russians would like Crimea to join Russia as an autonomous republic.
- Remaining as an autonomous republic within Ukraine is more popular among ethnic Russians than joining Russia as a province.
- One third of Tatars would like Crimea to become an independent state.
More details inside. Enjoy!