Apr.29, 2014 | LA CRÈME DE LA CRIMÉE
Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Land
After the double whammy of recent scourges to have befallen newly seceded and freshly annexed Crimea, McDonalds closing up shop and banks withdrawing, now comes a third plague to inflict calamity and woe, not to mention inconvenience, water shortages. What makes this scourge even more bitter for battered Crimeans is that it is intentionally brought upon them by their Ukrainian erstwhile compatriots.
In the context of the recent Russo-Ukrainian conflict, this latest provocation is neither surprising nor completely unwarranted, especially vis-à-vis the Russian aggressively blackmailing tactics (see Handbook of Intl' Relations, Chapter: Threats 102), both in the gas price hikes and military built-up along the border. Considering that Ukraine is practically dependent on Russia for both its exports & energy imports, and therefore in a disadvantaged position to exert any kind of counter-pressure on its aggressive neighbor, the Crimean annexation presents a silver lining for Ukraine to employ in its advantage. The loss of Crimea, a subsidized, energy-starved (for now at least, pending the development of its onshore & offshore gas fields), semi-arid peninsular no-man's-land, although a huge blow for Ukraine's sovereignty & pride and the setting of a very precarious precedent for its territorial integrity, has, in a matter-of-factly aspect, the upside of no longer having to support it economically and, even more importantly, gives Ukraine the opportunity to have some kind of leverage over Russia, through this newly acquired region.
Hence the Ukrainian move to drastically decrease the water supply to parched Crimea in a period where water shortages could ruin its agricultural production, an integral part of its regional economy. And to add insult to injury, the Ukrainian authorities are using the same justification as the Russians are for their threats to cut off gas supplies, namely the accumulation of unpaid bills. Of course practically, this tactic cannot really sway Putin, who probably couldn't care less if the whole peninsula becomes a nuclear test site or a Siberian outpost ("Gulag-by-the-sea"). So in a way, more than anything else, the Ukrainian taunt, apart from a retaliatory move in an asymmetrical warfare with the Kremlin, foremost is retribution for the irredentism of the Russophile Crimeans.
Like a Slavic Biblical God, Ukraine is meticulously unleashing its own ten plagues on the ungrateful, back-stabbing, Crimeans secessionists. First they took away their staple delicacies (the McNuggets), secondly they tore their credit cards out of their wallets & tanked their credit ratings, and now they are decimating their crops and turning off their faucets. And this is only the beginning of the calamities the Ukrainian government, backed by a nefarious cabal of NATO & EU high-rankers, has installed for them. Next on the plague itinerary are: (4) unleashing embroidery-eating moths (5) inducing the poached dolphins of the Russian Navy's marine mammal unit to randomly attack bathers thereby destroying the tourist industry, (6) making all women wake up one morning with "crown braid" hairstyles like Yulia Tymoshenko's, (7) turning all their pets incontinent, (8) turning every song played on the radio to sound like Cher is singing it, (9) transfiguring every Lenin statue into one of Ronald Reagan and (10) making all their vodka non-alcoholic.