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Crimean Tatars and the politics of sovereignty : small state instrumentalization of ethnic minority sovereignty… Humber, Kelley 2019

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       CRIMEAN TATARS AND THE POLITICS OF SOVEREIGNTY: Small State Instrumentalization of Ethnic Minority Sovereignty Claims in Geopolitically Disputed Territory       by   Kelley Humber  B.A. Queen’s University, 2018     A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF   MASTER OF ARTS  in   The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies   (Political Science)   THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)   September 2019    © Kelley Humber, 2019    ii The following individuals certify that they have read, and recommend to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for acceptance, a thesis/dissertation entitled:   Crimean Tatars and the Politics of Sovereignty: Small State Instrumentalization of Ethnic Minority Sovereignty Claims in Geopolitically Disputed Territory_________________________     Submitted by   Kelley Humber   in partial fulfillment of the requirements for  the degree of   Master of Arts          in                     Political Science          Examining Committee  Dr. Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom          Supervisor   Dr. Katharina Coleman           Additional Examiner                           iii Abstract  This thesis analyzes the contemporary case of Ukraine and its shifting posture towards the ethnic minority group, Crimean Tatars, by tracing the relationship of Crimean Tatars and the Ukrainian Government prior to and following the 2014 Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. After annexation, Ukraine has pursued a policy of recognizing, embracing, and advocating for the indigenous rights of Crimean Tatars in the wake of Russia’s annexation of this strategically located peninsula and the lingering territorial dispute between the two countries. This is significant as it represents a distinct departure from how national governments have traditionally accommodated this ethnic minority with indigenous claims to the Crimean Peninsula. On 20 March 2014, Ukraine officially recognized Crimean Tatars’ indigenous claims to Crimea, with Ukraine only prioritizing these claims once Crimea was de facto controlled by Russia, suggests an instrumentalization of the Crimean Tatar’s indigenous claims. This thesis argues that the actions of Ukraine in this instance could be the first of more to come for small states hoping to perpetuate a particular conception of state sovereignty which relies on the compliances with international legal norms—now including respect for indigenous rights. This particular conception of sovereignty is most advantageous to small states, who often have fewer resources to secure their sovereignty in other realms.               iv Lay Summary  This thesis looks at the Ukrainian government’s official recognition of Crimean Tatars as an indigenous people and how Ukraine has advocated for their indigenous rights. The main argument is that the Ukrainian government is doing this opportunistically to garner international support for Ukraine’s own sovereignty claims, which after the annexation of part of its territory—the Crimean Peninsula—by Russia, has suffered. Only after the land that Crimean Tatars claim to be their indigenous territory was taken over by Russia did the Ukrainian government start to show its support for Crimean Tatars. This thesis explains Ukraine’s decision as a product of a new international legal setting where human rights and indigenous rights are more the norm; small states can draw on these principles to gain more respect from the international community, in the hopes that they will be internationally respected as the legitimate authority over their annexed territory.                            v Preface   This thesis is the original, unpublished, and independent work done by the author, Kelley Humber.                                            vi Table of Contents  Abstract……………………………………………………………….………………….………iii Lay Summary…………………………………………………………………………....…….…iv Preface……………………………………………………………………………………….……v Table of Contents………………………………………………………….……………………..vi List of Tables………………………………………………………….…………………………vii List of Abbreviations………………………………………………………….………………...viii  Acknowledgements………………………………………………………….……………………ix  Dedication………………………………………………………….……………………………...x Section One: Introduction………………………………………………………….……………...1 Section Two: Various Conceptions of Sovereignty……………………………………………….4 Section Three: Small States and the Trickiness of Sovereignty………………….……………….9 Section Four: Case Study, Crimean Tatars and Ukraine………………………………………...13 Soviet-era Crimea: 1920-1991…..……………………………………..………………………...13 Early Years of post-Soviet Ukraine: 1991-1999.………………………………..……………….16 Orange Years in Ukraine: 2000-2013……..……………………………………….…………….19 2014 Russian Annexation…...………………………………………..…………………….……21 Ukrainian Instrumentalization of Crimean Tatar Indigenous Claim………………….…………24 Section Five: Conclusions………………………………………………………………………..28 Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………………..30 Appendix …………………………………………………………………...……………………38                          vii List of Tables  Table 1: Annual Direct Subsidies to Crimea from the Russian Federation (2014-2019)………..38                                              viii List of Abbreviations  ASEAN  Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASSR   Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic   EU   European Union ICJ   International Court of Justice IGO   Intergovernmental Organization NATO   North Atlantic Treaty Organization OSCE   Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe RSFSR  Russian Soviet Federation of Socialist Republics UN   United Nations UNDRIP  United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples  UNSC   United Nations Security Council USD   United States of America Dollar WWII   World War Two                                 ix Acknowledgements  I would like to acknowledge that this research endeavour was both researched and written on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the hən̓ q̓ əmin̓ əm̓ speaking xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people. In fact, it was the site of both the living and thinking that was needed to complete this project on the indigenous claims of the Crimean Tatars of Ukraine. For more information please visit http://www.musqueam.bc.ca/.   I would also like to offer my gratitude to my supervisor, Dr. Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom, who has given enormously of her time and attention to my personal and academic development over the course of both this project and this degree. I very grateful for your encouragement and inspiration. Additionally, I would like to thank Dr. Katharina Coleman for her time and feedback on this project.   I owe a particular thanks to the family and friends, both new and old, who have supported and encouraged me throughout the years.                                         x Dedication    To my grandmother,   who I would have enjoyed discussing my topic with over several slices of pie at her kitchen table.                                        Introduction   On 18 June 2019 five Crimean Tatars, members of a Turkic-speaking Muslim ethnic minority group that is indigenous to the Crimean Peninsula, were each given lengthy sentences ranging between 12-17 years in prison, on charges of extremist terrorist activity. Their trial was held in the North Caucasus Regional Military court, in the Russian town of Rostov-on-Don which is near the border of eastern Ukraine and the Sea of Azov. The five men were arrested in October 2016 after their homes in Russia-occupied Crimea were searched, they were charged for allegedly belonging to the Islamic political organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is classified as a terrorist organization in Russia, but not Ukraine.1 These convictions are part of a series of criminal prosecutions that have been taking place in Crimea against Crimean Tatar people since Russia’s annexation of the peninsula in February 2014, and have been internationally criticized as a means of targeting politically active Crimean Tatar activists who reject Russia’s control over the peninsula.2   Politically-motivated persecution of Crimean Tatar people has been an unexpected flashpoint of tension between Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine has taken up the cause of defending Crimean Tatars’ civil liberties and human rights against Russia through international platforms such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) where, at the time of writing, the Court is                                                 1 “Russian Court Jails Five Crimean Tatars on Extremism Charges.” (18 June 2019). Radio Free Euroope. Retrieved from: https://www.rferl.org/a/verdicts-expected-in-extremism-case-against-five-crimean-tatars-in-russia/30005337.html ; Hizb ut-Tahrir was banned in Russia in 2003 as noted in “Ukraine: Escalating Pressure on Crimean Tatars.” (2 April 2019). Human Rights Watch. Retrieved from: https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/04/02/ukraine-escalating-pressure-crimean-tatars 2 “Russia Chapter- 2019 Annual Report.” (2019). United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Retrieved from: https://www.uscirf.gov/reports-briefs/annual-report-chapters-and-summaries/russia-chapter-2019-annual-report. p.4 ; “Ukraine: Escalating Pressure on Crimean Tatars.” (2 April 2019). Human Rights Watch. Retrieved from: https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/04/02/ukraine-escalating-pressure-crimean-tatars  2 deliberating on the application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine vs. Russian Federation) with its specific application for Russian treatment of Crimean Tatars.3 Ukraine asked the Court for various provisional measures, including ordering Russia to “cease and desist from acts of political and cultural suppression against the Crimean Tatar people, including suspending the decree banning the Mejlis [Parliament] of the Crimean Tatar people.”4 This is interesting in light of the fact that it was only on March 20th 2014, oncean Russia had secured it’s annexation of Crimea, that the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) officially recognized the Mejlis as the executive body of the Crimean Tatar people, and Crimean Tatars as indigenous people of Ukraine.5 It is puzzling that Ukraine, a materially small and institutionally weak state grappling with the annexation of 27,000 km2 of strategically located territory, an on-going war in several eastern regions, and an                                                 3 “Application for the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine vs. Russian Federation): request for the indication of provisional measures.” (19 April 2017). International Court of Justice. Retrieved from: https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/166/19410.pdf; Most recent developments can be accessed through ICJ press releases here: “Application for the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine vs. Russian Federation): latest developments.” International Court of Justice. Retrieved from: https://www.icj-cij.org/en/case/166   4 “Application for the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine vs. Russian Federation): request for the indication of provisional measures.” (19 April 2017). International Court of Justice. Retrieved from: https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/166/19410.pdf p. 2 5 The Mejlis was formed in 1991 to act as a representative body for the Crimean Tatar people to address issues and grievances with the Ukrainian government, the Mejlis was formally recognized Crimean Tatars recognized as indigenous to Ukraine by Ukrainian state in 2014: “Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, On the Statement of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the Guarantee of the Rights of the Crimean Tatar People in the Ukrainian state, 2014, no.15, p.581.” (20 March 2014). Legislation of Ukraine: https://zakon4.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/1140-vii   3 escalating economic crisis,6 would place such a priority on bolstering the rights and sovereignty claims of this indigenous minority group.  However, this seemingly counter-intuitive approach by Ukraine can be better understood when it is situated in the broader context of more entrenched international human rights norms, and indigenous rights norms specifically. As this thesis will explore, the international robustness of human rights and indigenous rights norms have increased and consequently created a foothold for small states to safeguard their own existence. In essence, by Ukraine embracing Crimean Tatars and criticizing Russian neglect of Crimean Tatars’ human rights, Ukraine is attempting to strengthen support for a rules-based international system. Although, importantly, Ukraine is instrumentally doing this to bolster its own national sovereignty claims vis a vis Russia. For small states, like Ukraine, a rules-based international system is preferable because it supports a conception of sovereignty that empowers small state existence. Ukraine’s instrumentalization of Crimean Tatar’s sovereignty is an interesting development in small state’s approaches to territorial loss at the hands of a major power.    To explore this novel development in small state action, what is first required is an overview of some of the relevant literature on which this study builds from. This will begin with an overview of the various ways we speak of ‘sovereignty,’ followed by a review of the relevant literature on small state foreign policy and international positioning on issues of a domestic nature. This will be followed by a thorough analysis of the historical trajectory of Crimean Tatars history on the Crimean Peninsula beginning during the Soviet era and stretching across the early                                                 6 “Ukraine Economy: how bad is the news and can it be fixed?” (1 May 2014). BBC. Retrieved from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26767864  4 state-building years of post-Soviet Ukraine, finally ending with the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea and the time period immediately after annexation.       Various Conceptions of Sovereignty   Academic literature is dense with discussions of state sovereignty and analysis of how multi-ethnic states attempt to address national minority grievances and sovereignty claims. Various conceptual interpretations of ‘state sovereignty’ have evolved with the rise of the modern state and experiments in state-building.7 However, for critics, the exact meaning of sovereignty seems to be a will-o’-the-wisp within the field of political science.8 Some even speak of an era of ‘post-sovereignty’ precipitated by the increased cross-border interconnectedness and a supposed decline of state power vis-a-vis supra-national political organizations,9 globalization,10 the cross-border maneuverability of wealth and markets seen with information                                                 7 Loick, Daniel. (2019). A Critique of Sovereignty. London: Rowman & Littlefield. Details classical debates on state sovereignty covered by authors such as Bodin, Hobbes, and Kant, and provides more contemporary Marxist and feminist critiques of state sovereignty.   8 Carr, E.H. (1964). The Twenty Years Crisis 1919-1939. New York: Harper and Row Publishers.; Benn, Stanley I. (1967). The Uses of Sovereignty. In: Quinton, Anthony (Ed). Political Philosophy. London: Oxford University Press.; Newman, Michael. (1996). Democracy, Sovereignty, and the European Union. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania University Press.; Pemberton, Jo-Anne. (2009). Sovereignty Interpretations. London: Palgrave Macmillan.; Loick, Daniel. (2019). A Critique of Sovereignty. London: Rowman & Littlefield.   9 MacCormick, Neil. (2002). Questioning Sovereignty: Law, state, and nation in the European Commonwealth. Oxford: Oxford University Press.; Bellamy, Richard. (2003). Sovereignty, Post-Sovereignty, and Pre-Sovereignty: three models of the state, democracy, and rights within the EU. In Walker, Neil (Ed.). Sovereignty in Transition. Portland, OR: Hart Publishing.; Pusterla, Elia R.G. (2016). Introduction. In: Pusterla, Elia R.G. The Creditability of Sovereignty: the political fiction of a concept. New York: Springer.   10 Volk, Christian. (2019). The Problem of Sovereignty in Globalized Times. Law, Culture, and the Humanities. P. 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1177/1743872119828010   5 capitalism11 and a “vertical dispersal of sovereignty” through global cosmopolitanism.12 These global processes, while many are seemingly ‘new’, all contribute to the constantly changing relationships between the ‘body politic’ and its surroundings.   Ersun Kurtulus (2005) delineates three ‘defenses’ of the continued study of state sovereignty, despite differing political circumstances from when the term was conceived. On a sociological level, political actors, whether they be state officials, governments, indigenous groups, secessionist movements, terrorist organizations, or others –all seem to have some institution in mind when they speak of sovereignty. Secondly, at a disciplinary level few other central concepts within political science are able to escape this level of definitional criticism. Lastly, on an epistemological level social science theoretical concepts are prone to vagueness and it is doubtful that all ambiguity can be eliminated.13 Janice E. Thomson (1995) attempts to ‘bridge the gap’ between these theoretical discussions of sovereignty and empirically testable research models by suggesting that sovereignty is “the recognition by internal and external actors that the state has the exclusive authority to intervene coercively in activities within its territory.”14 At face value this is an acceptable definition because it allows for verifiability through research models that take into account the mutually-constructing nature of agents and the social world –a necessity since Wendt (1987);15 but it does little to address the challenge of                                                 11 Castells, Manuel. (2003). Global Informational Capitalism. In Held, David, and McGrew, Anthony (Eds.). The Global Transformations Reader: An introduction to the globalization debate. Cambridge: Polity. p. 311-334. 12 Pogge, Thomas. (1992). Cosmopolitanism and Sovereignty. Ethics, 103(1): 61. 13 Kurtulus, Ersun. (2005). State Sovereignty. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p.13.  14 Thomson, Janice E. (1995) State Sovereignty in International Relations: bridging the gap between theory and empirical research. International Studies Quarterly, 39(2). p. 219. 15 Wendt, Alexander E. (1987). The Agent-Structure Problem in International Relations Theory. International Organizations, 41(3): p.335-370.    6 contested territories or “territories with double status,” which is indeed the very subject of this study.16  An important aspect of sovereignty is generally considered to be one’s actual ability to ‘exercise’ sovereignty, which suggest a level of ‘on-the-ground’ reality to a state’s coercive capacity. However, other authors suggest that despite incredible institutional weakness many states are able to persist even after periods of substantial loss of control over large sections of their population, territory, and material resources.17 Kurtulus (2005) stipulates this as the difference between juridical state sovereignty and factual state sovereignty; the former refers to “the condition in which an agent –a state or similar entity—according to law is supreme within a certain territory and independent of agents outside of it,” and the later refers to “the condition in which an agent—a state or similar entity –is, as a matter of material circumstances, actually supreme within a certain territory and independent of agents outside of it.”18 When these ‘conditions’ of sovereignty are not possessed by the same state (or similar entity) then it creates a de facto regime, which remains in legal ambiguity under international law.19 These two conceptions of sovereignty reflect the same competition between ‘authority’ and ‘control’ that Krasner (1999) observes when he delineates the four meanings of sovereignty as it is thought of in both academia and beyond. Krasner (1999) expands more thoroughly on the various dimensions of sovereignty, all of which are reflected in the case of Crimea. He defines                                                 16 Kurtulus, Ersun. (2005). State Sovereignty. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p.64.  17 Jackson, Robert H, and Carl G. Rosberg. (1982). Why Africa’s Weak States Persist: the empirical and the juridical in statehood. World Politics, 35(1): p.1-24.; Chowdry, Arjun. (2018). The Myth of International Order: Why Weak States Persist and Alternatives to the State Fade Away. Oxford: Oxford University Press.   18 Kurtulus, Ersun. (2005). State Sovereignty. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p.84.  19 Van Essen, Jonte. (2012). De Facto Regimes in International Law. Merkourios, 28(74): p. 31-49.   7 these conceptions of sovereignty as: Westphalian sovereignty, seen as “the exclusion of external actors from domestic authority configurations,” domestic sovereignty, necessitating “organization of public authority within a state and to the level of effective control exercised by those holding authority,” International legal sovereignty, accessed by “the mutual recognition of states or other entities”; and Interdependence sovereignty, involving “the ability of public authorities to control trans-border moveann’s ments.” 20 This delineation between the various conceptions of sovereignty is important because they inform what substantive manifestations of sovereignty political actors look to when making judgements and claims about state sovereignty. These various forms of sovereignty co-exist, and as this thesis will discuss, different states attempt to bolster the significance of particular forms of sovereignty as are suited to their substantive realities.      As these relate to Ukrainian sovereignty and Crimea, Ukraine has experienced infringements on their sovereignty within all four realms of the forms of sovereignty that Krasner (1999) delineates. Most obviously, the Russian annexation meant there was no longer any exclusion of foreign actors in Ukraine’s domestic authority configurations. Russia began its military involvement in the Peninsula on 20 February 2014 with Russian military convoys seen later in the week, 21 Russian military roadblocks along the main highway on the peninsula, a                                                 20 Krasner, Stephen D. (1999). Sovereignty: Organized hypocrisy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p.9-10.  21 On February 20th, 2014, Chairman of the Mejlis (Parliament) of the Crimean Tatar People, Refat Chubarov, stated that he believed the Crimean separatist government had openly invited Russian security forces into Crimea. This was the same date used on Russian medallions presented Russian military and civilian personnel who participated in Crimea, ultimately suggesting the beginning of active Russian military involvement there. “Majlis is outraged by the words of the Speaker of Crimea on the possible separation of the region from Ukraine.” (20 Febuary 2014). UNIAM. Retrieved from: https://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2014/02/20/7015235/; “The Ministry of Defense of Russia has  8 naval blockade the following month, and Russia gaining control of local military bases and air bases by the end of March. 22 In the ensuing period Russia has become the central authority of the peninsula, incorporating the so-called Republic of Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol into Russia on 18 March 2014,23 and providing direct subsidies totaling $10.9 billion USD from 2014-2019, which ultimately represents an impairment of Ukraine’s domestic sovereignty claims to the peninsula.24 Additionally, since the annexation of Crimea, Ukrainian public authorities have ceased to control Crimea as within its borders. Both the Ukrainian government and the Russian government have border checkpoints, with an approximately 400m no-man’s land between them, and fence with barbed wire, motion sensors, and military personnel on the Russian side that regulate entrances and exits from Crimea.25 It would seem the only avenue for Ukraine to still claim some semblance of sovereignty over Crimea is to invoke its international                                                 established a medal ‘for the return of Crimea.’” (25 March 2015). Gazeta. Retrieved from: https://www.gazeta.ru/politics/news/2014/03/25/n_6037281.shtml    22 Morello, Carol, and Will Englund. “Russian forces storm one of the last Ukrainian military outposts in Crimea.” (23 March 2014). Washington Post. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/monitors-set-to-deploy-to-ukraine-to-try-to-contain-crisis/2014/03/22/742e4898-b1a4-11e3-a49e-76adc9210f19_story.html?utm_term=.eeaacfe02eb7 23 “Agreement on the Accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation Signed.” (18 March 2014). President of Russia. Retrieved from: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/20604.  24 See Appendix 1 for annual breakdown. Derived from: Bershidsky, Leonid. (16 March 2019). “Five Years Later, Putin is Paying for Crimea.” Bloomberg. Retrieved from: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-16/russia-s-annexation-of-crimea-5-years-ago-has-cost-putin-dearly. 25 Ayres, Sabra. (28 January 2019). “Four years after Russia annexed Crimea, the peninsula remains in limbo.” Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from: https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-crimea-20190128-story.html.   9 legal sovereignty, with a minority of the international community formally recognizing Russia as sovereign over the territory.26    Ultimately, the situation in Crimea represents a sizeable transgression against Ukrainian sovereignty even understood across several different conceptions of sovereignty. Yet as will be discussed, a small state like Ukraine is most interested in international legal sovereignty and their strategies for pursuing it into the international system are continually evolving.  What the above-mentioned authors contribute is a foundation on which to understand various ‘forms’ of sovereignty, in the hopes of better understanding why Ukraine is pursuing a particular approach in reaction to Crimea’s annexation. This study ultimately seeks to bridge this literature with the ever-growing literature dedicated to understanding the unique strategies of small state foreign policy and small state international positioning on norms. By bridging these two realms of literature it provides a foothold to understanding how small state sovereignty is negotiated and perhaps even ‘claimed’ in an international system of unequal equals. For this, some definitional clarity on what is meant by a ‘small state’ is immediately useful.    Small States and the Trickiness of Sovereignty    There is a general attractiveness to studying ‘great powers’ or regional and global hegemons; however, small states maintain their relevance for even the mere fact that they are the empirical majority among states. Yet as Matthias Maass (2009) points out there is, of course, a lack of consensus on what or rather who makes up the category of ‘small states’ and what is                                                 26 In addition to Russia, the following countries supported Crimea as under the sovereign authority of Russia in a UN General Assembly vote on Resolution 68/262: Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. With several other countries abstaining but diplomatically expressing support for Crimea as part of Russia. See: Crawford, Emily. (2017). United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the Territorial Integrity of Ukraine. International Legal Materials, 53(5): p.927-932.   10 meant by the term. There are related and sometimes competing concepts of ‘middle powers,’ ‘microstates,’ or ‘ministates.’27  Indeed, when discussing the ‘size’ of a state authors may refer to the level of government involvement in the social and economic life of citizens in a domestic sense,28 or place a greater focus on their external affairs and the level of dependence they have on foreign actors.29 These lead authors to operationalize state ‘size’ as indicated by a country’s population size, a combination of population, geographic size, and national economic indicators,30 or a combination of military and diplomatic strength with small states exhibiting less capacity to resist the demands of larger states.31 What can be problematic about an overemphasis on the counting of material resources is that, as Maass (2009) laments, it can create arbitrary cut-offs between small and larger states that do not easily transcend time periods.32 This exposes the essential tension between understanding small states as part of a larger continuum of state sizes with no clear boundaries, and having more rigid categories. Instead,                                                 27 See: Chapnik, Adam. (1999). The Middle Power. Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, 7(2): p.73-82. for discussion of middle powers; See: Rapaport, J., Muteba, E. and Therattil, J.J. (1971) Small States & Territories, Status and Problems. United Nations Institute for Training and Research Study. New York: Arno Press. p. 29. For discussion of microstate and ministate. 28 Fukuyama, F. (2004) State-Building. Governance and World Order in the 21st Century. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. 		29 Olafsson, B.G. (1998) Small States in the Global System. Analysis and Illustrations from the Case of Iceland. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.  30 See: Olafsson, B.G. (1998) Small States in the Global System. Analysis and Illustrations from the Case of Iceland. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate. Also see: Vital, D. (2006). The Inequality of States: A Study of Small Power in International Relations. In: Ingebristen, C, Neuman, I, Gstohl, S, and Beyer, J. (Eds.) Small States in International Relations. Seattle, WA: Washington University Press. p. 77-87, which uses a combination of populations size and levels of economic development as indicators of state size.  31 Handel, M. (1981). Weak States in the International System. Totowa, NJ: Frank Cass.  32 Maass, M. (2009). The Elusive Definition of the Small State. International Politics, 46(1): p. 67.  11 Henrickson (2001) rejects these as the only two approaches to studying small states, and suggests a more ‘relational’ understanding of state smallness, “deriving not so much from what a small country is, intrinsically, but rather, from how it fits into the global system.”33 This is a particularly useful approach when looking at small states involved in interstate war because it allows states to be understood as small in relation to their advisory. Dermot McCann (2011) puts this quite succinctly and suggests that “smallness is not understood to be an absolute property of any given state,” and instead defines a small state as “the weak part in an asymmetric relationship.”34 Thus, when considering the nature of the Ukraine-Russia dyad, this definition of ‘smallness’ is quite useful. Often small state literature focuses on small state power by analyzing their participation within alliances or intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). For example, smaller member states of the European Union have received substantial attention for their ability to ‘specialize’ in policy areas35 and through this specialization influence institutional norms and “punch above their weight.”36 Other authors look at specific institutional positions such as the EU Council Presidency to understand how small states can use institutional positions to pursue national interests.37 What these authors emphasize is how organizations and organizational structures                                                 33 Henrickson, Alan K. (2007). A Coming ‘Magnesian’ age? Small States, the Global System, and the International Community. Geopolitics. 6(3): p. 56.   34 McCann, D. (2011). Small States in Europe: changes and opportunities. European Politics and Society, 12(1): p. 117.   35 Panke, Diana. (2011). Small States in EU Negotiations: political dwarfs or power-brokers? Cooperation and Conflict. 46(2): p. 123-143.  36 Björkdahl, Annika. (2008). Norm Advocacy: a small state strategy to influence the EU. Journal of European Public Policy, 15(1): p. 135-154.   37 Bunse, Simone. (2009). Small States and EU Leadership Through the Council Presidency. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.; Svetličič, Marjan, and Kira Cerjak. (2015). Small Countries’ EU Council Presidency and the Realisation of their National Interests: the case of Slovenia. Croatian International Relations Review, 21(74): p.5-39.   12 offer small states an ability to leverage their power beyond what is expected of small states. Many of these same discussions and theories are applied to other prominent organizations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)38 and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).39 This literature focuses on aligned states that are able to use institutional structures and organization membership as a platform for leveraging, what it lacks is a wider analysis of the strategies of small states not as embedded in robust organizational structures who are also seeking to achieve national objectives.  For this reason, this thesis seeks to fill this gap by exposing some of the sovereignty-preservation strategies used by Ukraine, a small state that still sits formally unaligned with key organizations such as the EU, and NATO. Unlike the case selection of many other studies, Ukraine is unable to rely on organization-specific leveraging capabilities to increase its power and thus maintain attributes of sovereignty. Instead, Ukraine relies heavily on the broader acceptance of international legal sovereignty and the reinforcing a rules-based international system. Key international organizations that Ukraine does have to rely on offer limited institutional leveraging capabilities. Notably within the United Nations (UN) Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and therefore holds veto power over UNSC decisions, and within the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)                                                 38 Corbett, Jack, Yi-chong Xu, and Patrick Weller. (2019). Norm Entrepreneurship and Diffusion ‘from below’ in International Organizations: how the competent performance of vulnerability generates benefits for small states. Review of International Studies, 45(4). p.647-668.  39 Männik, Erik. (2010). Small States: Invited to NATO—able to contribute? Defense and Security Analysis, 20(1): p.21-37.; Urbelis, Vaidotas. (2015). The Relevance and Influence of Small States in NATO and the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy. Lithuanian Strategic Review, 13(1): p.61-78.  13 where Russia also has the ability to veto any organizational activity.40 Thus, the ways that Ukraine seeks to preserve its sovereignty, without having robust alliances or organizations to support them, become particularly noteworthy.   Case Study: Crimean Tatars and Ukraine   Ukraine has approached the annexation of Crimea by prioritizing a local ethnic minority group and instrumentalizing their sovereignty claims in the larger geopolitical dispute with Russia. This section will trace the trajectory of Crimean Tatar people, their incorporation into the Ukrainian state, and their history of indigenous sovereignty claims to the Crimean Peninsula. Although pre-Soviet history plays a significant role in Crimean Tatar history, and as historian Brian Williams (2001) highlights, differing histories of Crimean Tatars’ ethnogenesis bear heavily on modern politics in the region, yet he does point to the early Soviet-era policy of korenizatsiia meaning the ‘rooting’ of ethnic groups to their homelands as significant for Crimean Tatar’s relationship to both their identity, territory, and to the larger state.41   Soviet-era Crimea: 1920-1991  After establishing full control over the Crimean Peninsula in 1920, the Soviet government created the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR) on 18 October 1921, which                                                 40 For details on Russian UN veto see: Sengupta, Somini. (15 March 2014). “Russia Vetoes U.N. Resolution on Crimea.” The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/world/europe/russia-vetoes-un-resolution-on-crimea.html. For details on Russian OSCE veto see: Niland, Paul. (28 July 2018). “Russia has no place in the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.” Atlantic Council. Retrieved from: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/russia-has-no-place-in-the-osce-special-monitoring-mission-in-ukraine.  41 Williams, Brian G. (2001). The Crimean Tatars: the diaspora experience and the forging of a nation. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden. p.30.  14 was the second-highest territorial ranking in the Soviet federal state system.42 Williams (2001) explains the contention over what exactly the ASSR ‘autonomous’ designation meant in relation to Crimean Tatars there, he suggests “the debate revolves around the issue of whether the Crimean ASSR of 1921-1945 was established as a national autonomous unit, in recognition of Crimean Tatars’ unique claims to their homeland, or whether it was established as a multi-national territorial autonomy.” 43 He points out that this was never clearly defined but asserts that it was unofficially a Crimean Tatar republic and that Soviets viewed Crimean Tatars as the korennoi narod, ‘native people’ of the autonomous republic.44   However, the occupation of Crimea by Nazi Germany for part of the Second World War, and the perceived special treatment given to Crimean Tatars during this time lead to post-WWII narratives about Crimean Tatar collaboration and precipitated their marginalization and persecution.45 Subsequently, the deportation of the entire Crimean Tatar population was approved by Joseph Stalin and set in motion by the Soviet State Defense Committee on 11 May                                                 42 The USSR was originally organized based on the principle of national-territorial autonomy, but ultimately functioned as a federal system. The highest status territorial designation in the USSR was the Union Republics, followed by the Autonomous Republics, the Autonomous Oblasts, and Autonomous Okrugs (alternatively referred to as autonomous districts). These were meant to accommodate the multiethnic realities of many regions within the USSR. For discussion of Soviet territorial administrative system see: Goldman, Philip. (1992). From Union to Commonwealth: Nationalism and Separatism in the Soviet Republics. Eds: Gali Lapidus and Victor Zaslavsky. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 43Williams, Brian G. (2001). The Crimean Tatars: the diaspora experience and the forging of a nation. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden p. 335.  44 Ibid. p. 337.  45 Korostelina, Karina. (2015). Crimean Tatars From Mass Deportation to Hardships in Occupied Crimea. Genocide Studies and Prevention, 9(1): p. 36-39. Note: Crimean Tatar prisoners of war were released by Germans, and occupied Crimean Tatar population was relieved of heavy tax obligations, permitted to practice their religion, and offered education in the Tatar language. However, the majority remained loyal to the Soviet Union influenced by heavy Soviet propaganda, with many continuing to fight on the front lines for the Soviets.    15 1944, with the deportations occurring from May 18-20, 1944.46 Over the course of these three days an estimated 230,000 people were rounded up, 191,044 of them being Crimean Tatars, and then transported in sealed boxcars with little access to food or water, most ending up in Uzbekistan.47 Due to the extremely inhospitable conditions during transport 7,889 Crimean Tatars died en route, with 183, 155 Crimean Tatars being registered upon arrival in Central Asia.48 Accounts of the Crimean Tatar death toll resulting from the deportation and resettlement process vary. The Crimean Tatar census committee and a Human Rights Watch report both estimate Crimean Tatar deaths within the first five years after deportation as being 46% of the nation’s total pre-deportation population,49 whereas other sources such as Ann Sheehy and Bohdan Nahylo (1980) and Brian Williams (2015) suggest closer to 30%,50 and Buckley, Ruble and Hofmann (2008) estimate a modest 18%.51 Overall, this Stalinist-era policy resulted in substantial Crimean Tatar death and the exile of the entire Crimean Tatar population from their homeland, while just decades prior there had been the supposed ‘rooting’ of ethnic nations to the                                                 46 Ibid. p. 39.   47 Garrard, John, and Alison Healicon. (1993). World War 2 and the Soviet People: Selected Papers from the Fourth World Congress Soviet an Eastern European Studies. London: Palgrave Macmillan. p.167. 48 Pohl, J. Otto. (1999). Ethnic Cleansing in the USSR, 1937-1949. Westport: Greenwood Publishing. p.5.  49 Williams, Brian. (2015). The Crimean Tatars: From Soviet Genocide to Putin’s Conquest. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p.109. Crimean Tatar census committee discussed in: Human Rights Watch. (1991). “‘Punished Peoples’ of the Soviet Union: The Continuing Legacy of Stalin’s Deportations.” Retrieved from: https://www.hrw.org/reports/pdfs/u/ussr/ussr.919/usssr919full.pdf 50 Williams, Brian. (2015). The Crimean Tatars: From Soviet Genocide to Putin’s Conquest. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p.109.; See also: Sheehy, Ann, and Bohdan Nahylo. (1980). The Crimean Tatars, Volga Germans and Meshketians. Soviet Treatment of Some National Minorities. London; Minority Rights Group. p.8.  51 Buckley, Cynthia J, Blair A. Ruble and Erin Trouth Hofmann. (2008). Migration, Homeland, and Belonging in Eurasia. Washington D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center.   16 territory. On 30 June 1945, the Crimean ASSR’s autonomous status was removed and it became another oblast of the Russian Soviet Federation of Socialist Republics (RSFSR). The Crimean Peninsula remained part of Russia until 1954 when it was transferred from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (UkrSSR) on 19 February 1954. The news of the transfer was published in the days proceeding, but no further information was made public until 1992 after the dissolution of the USSR.52 The only two official reasons for the transfer are: (1) a celebration of the 300th anniversary of the reunification of Ukraine with Russia, a reference to the Treaty of Pereyaslav, and (2) “the territorial proximity of Crimea to Ukraine,” given their economic, agricultural, and cultural ties.53 But in reality the Soviet government had been slowly cleansing the peninsula of ethnic minorities and fortifying it with ethnic Russians since 1944 when Crimean Tatars were deported en masse to Central Asia, right up until 1953 when Armenians, Bulgarians, and Greeks were transferred out of the area, leaving ethnic Russians as the sizeable majority.54 It seems more probable that what the transfer accomplished was to dilute the non-Russian population of the UkrSSR.  It was not until 1989 under Mikhail Gorbachev that the ban on Crimean Tatars return to Crimea was lifted, along with the ban on return of all other deported ethnicities, and 260,000 Crimean Tatars returned to the Peninsula. By and large they did not receive a warm welcome,                                                 52 “Meeting the presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” (19 February 1954). Wilson Center Digital Archive. Retrieved from: http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119638    53 ibid.   54 Kramer, Mark. “Why Did Russia Give Away Crimea Sixty Years Ago?” (19 March 2014). Wilson Center, Retrieved from: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/why-did-russia-give-away-crimea-sixty-years-ago   17 but were met with protests and in some cases violence from local Russian nationalists.55 With the dissolution of the USSR in 1991 Crimea, and its newly returned Crimean Tatars, became part of a newly independent Ukraine.     Early Years of post-Soviet Ukraine: 1991-1999  In the years after the collapse of the Soviet Union it is estimated that approximately 270,000 Crimean Tatars returned to Crimea.56 The central issues for Crimean Tatars and Ukraine in the post-Soviet years immediately after the collapse of the USSR were how to handle the rights and welfare of Crimean Tatars that had just recently resettled to the peninsula. This issue was coupled with the Crimean Tatars’ struggle for the right to self-determine the political trajectory of the peninsula within the emerging political landscape of the newly sovereign Ukraine.  Throughout this time period Crimean Tatar groups advocated for political rights such as guaranteed parliamentary seats in the Crimean parliament, citizenship rights as many returning Crimean Tatars had difficulty shedding their Uzbek citizenship and claiming their Ukrainian citizenship, as well as community welfare funding such as improved roads, housing developments, and more substantial water and electricity access in Crimean Tatar settlements. For example, on 30 September 1993 rallies were held in two different Crimean settlements with the general demands being that Crimean Tatars receive twenty-two electoral districts, more substantial assistance for the resettlement process of Crimean Tatars, and an official recognition                                                 55 Garrard, John, and Alison Healicon. (1993). World War 2 and the Soviet People: Selected Papers from the Fourth World Congress Soviet an Eastern European Studies. London: Palgrave Macmillan. p.173.  56 Aydin, Filiz Tutku, and Fethi Kurtiy Sahin. (2019). The politics of recognition of Crimean Tatar collective rights in the post-Soviet period: with special attention to the Russian annexation of Crimea. Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 52(1): p.43.    18 of the Mejlis.57 On 14 October 1993, the Crimean parliament voted to allocate 14 of 96 parliamentary seats to Crimean Tatars as an ethnic voting district, to exist for one term only.58 After the election, in January 1994 the Ukrainian government significantly increased funding for housing construction projects for Crimean Tatars on the peninsula, although most Crimean Tatar groups argue that the money was being misused, and that the government practice of demolishing Tatar settlements has not ceased.59 The 2002 Land Code law compounded the difficulty in acquiring land, because the law distributed agricultural land to former members of Soviet collective farms, of which exiled Crimean Tatars were not members.60      Additionally, discussions of Crimean autonomy or ambitions for self-determination for Crimean Tatars were significantly complicated by the large presence of ethnic Russians on the peninsula, and Ukraine tended to see self-determination as a threat of potential territory loss to Russia. The Russian parliament passed a resolution, on 21 May 1992, which stated that the Soviet-era transfer of Crimea to Ukraine was illegal and requested formal negotiations on the                                                 57 Shevel, Oxana. (2000). Crimean Tatars in Ukraine: the politics of inclusion and exclusion. Harvard University Analysis of Current Events, 12(1): p. 1-2.  58 Shevel, Oxana. (2001). “Crimean Tatars and the Ukrainian State: a challenge of politics, the use of law, and the meaning of rhetoric.” Krimski Studii, 1(7): p.109-129 (English), p.10-32 (Ukrainian).; A variety of electoral options were considered to secure the inclusion of ethnic minorities in Crimea. Including transforming into a bicameral system, with one house offering proportional ethnic representation and the other remaining territorially-based districts. Ultimately, Crimean Tatars saw this as a way of electorally denying Crimean Tatar’s unique claims, and equating them with other ethnic minorities. For more details on the Crimean ethnic electoral politics in the from 1991-2004 see: Stewart, Susan. (2004). Explaining the Low Intensity of Ethnopolitical Conflict in Ukraine. Münster, Deutsche Nationalbibliografie. p. 195-197.   59 Idib.  60 Voutira, Eftihia. (2014). Ideology, History and Politics in Service of Repatriation Pontic Greeks and Crimean Tatars. Journal of Global and Historical Antripology, 70(1): p. 43.  19 future of Crimea.61 Ukraine’s government responded to this by granting Crimea greater autonomy and a special economic status in exchange for Crimean constitutional amendments that would bring it in line with Ukrainian law; Crimean Tatars being left out of these negotiations.62 Aydin and Sabin (2019) argue that Crimean Tatars began to emphasis their indigeneity around this time as a way of positioning their self-determination claims in a way that kept Crimea within the framework of the Ukrainian state, among other international platforms they began consistently attending the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 1997 onwards.63 However, it would seem that there was a lack of national and international impetus for Crimean Tatar indigenous claims. In 1997, after studying the Crimean Tatar situation in Ukraine, H.E. Max van der Stoel, the High Commissioner of National Minorities for the OSCE, gave Hennadii Udovenko, the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs recommendations on how to address the Crimean Tatar indigenous claims, upon his request. He states that,       The conclusion I have reached is that, though international experts have prepared a draft UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the draft has so far not been accepted by states and is, indeed, only the basis of discussions by a working group of the Commission on Human Rights. There are two ILO Conventions (No. 107 and No. 169) which refer i.a. to indigenous peoples, but Ukraine is a party to neither.64                                                   61 Iams, John. (21 May 1992). “Russian Parliament Calls Crimea Transfer Illegal, But Urges Negotiation.” AP News. Retrieved from: https://apnews.com/edca28d8e2b92a3ea25d8ecbdb5c98c9.  62 Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Crimean Tatars in Ukraine, 2004, available at: https://www.refworld.org/docid/469f38ec14.html. 63 Aydin, Filiz Tutku, and Fethi Kurtiy Sahin. (2019). The politics of recognition of Crimean Tatar collective rights in the post-Soviet period: with special attention to the Russian annexation of Crimea. Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 52(1): p.44.  64 Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Secretariat. (14 April 1997). No. 108/97/L. OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. Retrieved from: https://www.osce.org/hcnm/30910?download=true.    20 The response by the OSCE suggests that there is a lack of international legal footing for Ukraine to need to recognize Crimean Tatars as indigenous to Crimea, and therefore grant them distinct rights and an avenue to self-determination, as per their demands. Despite this, Crimean Tatar groups continued to organize on increasingly larger scales, notably in May 1999 the Crimean Tatar Mejlis organized a multi-day protest that included marches and the building of a tent city on Lenin square, which ultimately paralyzed the city of Simferopol.65   Orange Years in Ukraine: 2000-2013  Many of the integration challenges for Crimean Tatars persisted into the next decade, meanwhile the political context of Ukraine was shifting. A key political event during this time period was the Orange Revolution, which began in late November 2004 lasting until late January 2005, and was the result of popular dissatisfaction with the election of Viktor Yanukovych over the leading candidate Viktor Yushchenko. Central goals of the protesters were to demand free and fair elections and a free press after dubious election results.66 The Orange Revolution was part of a larger series of regional pro-democratic popular protests called the ‘Colour Revolutions’, and Ukraine’s mobilized the largest number of participants of all the Colour Revolutions, lasted the longest, and was the most regionally divided.67 Central and western Ukrainians were the main protestors with eastern Ukrainians opposing the protests. Ultimately                                                 65 Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Crimean Tatars in Ukraine, 2004, available at: https://www.refworld.org/docid/469f38ec14.html.  66 Lane, David. (2008). The Orange Revolution: ‘People’s Revolution’ or Revolutionary Coup? British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 10(1): p. 526.  67 Kuzio, Taras. (2010). Nationalism, Identity and Civil Society in Ukraine: understanding the Orange Revolution. Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 43(3): 285-296.  21 the election results were annulled and a new election was held with Viktor Yushchenko being sworn in on 23 January 2005.68          For Crimean Tatars, there was hope that this would bring some more meaningful governmental change with regards to their indigenous claims. As Mayarenko and Galbreath (2013) have observed, during the ‘Orange period’ of Viktor Yuschenko’s presidency, Crimean Tatars became a regional ally for the central Ukrainian government, partly because “the pro-Ukrainian narrative became the only alternative to a Russian narrative for Crimea.”69 They emphasize that “any separatist intention, openly declared by the Mejlis [would] in turn reinforce the Russian separatism and [would] change for the worse the conditions for the defense of Tatar’s political, social, and economic rights.”70 Wilson (2014a) characterizes the relationship between the Yuschenko government and the Crimean Tatar political establishment, suggesting that “Yuschenko’s policy was basically one of neglect.”71 He points to Yuschenko’s emphasis on Ukrainian nationalism and “his concern that Crimean Tatar demands for sovereignty were a threat to the Ukrainian state-building project on the peninsula,” to explain this.72 In an interview with Mustafa Dzhemilev, who served as the chairman of the Mejlis at the time, Dzhemilev reflected that “we were surprised by [Yuschenko’s] indifference.”73                                                 68 Reznik, Oleksandr. (2016). From the Orange Revolution to the Revolution of Dignity: dynamics of the protest actions in Ukraine. East European Politics and Societies and Cultures, 30(4): p. 750-765. 69 Malyarenko, Tetyana, and David Galbreath. (2013). Crimea: competing self-determination movements and the politics at the centre. Europe-Asia Studies, 65(5): p.923.  70 Ibid.  71 Wilson, Andrew. (2014a). The Crimean Tatars: a quarter of a century after their return. Security and Human Rights, 24(1): p.424. 72 Ibid. p.420.  73 Ibid. Interview conducted on 17 January 2010.    22  Then in 2010, Viktor Yanukovych was elected as the new president of Ukraine, despite his previously dubious electoral ethics record. He was the leader of the Ukrainian Party of Regions, generally considered to be a pro-Russian party, which won a large majority of regional seats in Crimea.74 During the course of his presidency he generally attempted to limit the influence of the Mejlis and appointed officials who were generally considered to be anti-Crimean Tatar, such as Anatoli Mahylyv to the position of Head of the Crimean Government, who openly declared the Mejlis to be illegal.75 Over the course of his term he was fairly successful at effectively limiting opportunity for Crimean Tatar political representation on the peninsula.  2014 Russian Annexation    In mainland Ukraine, conflict grew out of internal unrest surrounding relations with Russia. On 21 November 2013 then-Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych suspended Ukraine’s progress towards a trade deal with the European Union (EU) and instead stated an interest in strengthening economic ties with Russia and the Common Union.76 This pivot away from Western economic integration sparked protests in Kyiv’s Independence Square, referred to as the Euromaidan protests. These protests increased in mid-December when Yanukovych and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to a $15 billion USD loan to Ukraine involving Russian                                                 74 The Party of Regions won 9 out of 10 regional seats in Crimea, in the 2012 national elections. Wilson, Andrew. (2014a). The Crimean Tatars: a quarter of a century after their return. Security and Human Rights, 24(1): p.423.  75 Aydin, Filiz Tutku, and Fethi Kurtiy Sahin. (2019). The politics of recognition of Crimean Tatar collective rights in the post-Soviet period: with special attention to the Russian annexation of Crimea. Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 52(1): p.43. 	76 Ukrainian Department of Information and Communication of the Secretariat of the CMU, Government adopted an order to suspend the process of preparation for the Association Agreement with the EU, (Kiev, 2013). Retrieved from:  http://www.kmu.gov.ua/control/uk/publish/article?art_id=246864953&cat_id=244276429   23 purchase of Ukrainian national bonds and a near 33% discount on gas imports.77 Violence in Kyiv peaked on February 18-20th with 88 people being killed and hundreds wounded within 48-hours.78 As a way of appeasing protestors the President and Opposition agreed to a settlement that would force early elections and redistribute power away from the office of the president, however, to no avail because protestors were unwilling to agree to anything short of presidential impeachment.79 President Yanukovych then fled Kyiv, was later impeached, and replaced by Oleksander Turchynov as interim president.80     At this same time, pro-Russian demonstrations then began in Sevastopol, the regional capital of Crimea, and although initially denied, Russian forces had begun to occupy both the civilian and military airports on the peninsula.81 Regional tensions had been acute, partly due to contention over Ukrainian language policy and the direction of economic policy that created cleavages along ethno-linguistic lines. Thus, when the State Council of Crimea held a referendum on March 16, which was not accepted as legitimate by Ukrainian, European, or other                                                 77 Herszenhorn, David M., and Andrew E. Kramer. (December 17, 2013). “Russia offers cash infusion for Ukraine,” The New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/world/europe/russia-offers-ukraine-financial-lifeline.html?pagewanted=all 78 Shokalo, Martha. (February 19, 2014).  “Ukraine crisis: Police storm main Kiev 'Maidan' protest camp,” BBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26249330 79 Higgins, Andrew, and Andrew E. Kramer. (February 21, 2014). “Ukraine Has Deal, but Both Russia and Protesters Appear Wary,” The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/22/world/europe/ukraine.html?hp&_r=2 80 Urquhart, Conal. (February 23, 2014). “Ukraine MPs appoint interim president as Yanukovych allies dismissed – 23 February as it happened,” The Guardian. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/23/ukraine-crisis-yanukovych-tymoshenko-live-updates 81 Booth, William. (February 28, 2014). “Armed men take control of Crimean Airport,” The Washington Post. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/pro-russia-separatists-flex-muscle-in-ukraines-crimean-peninsula/2014/02/27/dac10d54-9ff0-11e3-878c-65222df220eb_story.html?utm_term=.9f44e7b0dc33  24 Western observers, this opened the possibility of a more concrete regional divide. The results of the referendum indicated 96.8% of Crimean voters supported reunification with Russia.82 Even before the referendum there was strong evidence of Russian support for Crimean separatists and presence in the region, most obviously by ethnic Russians but also included many ethnic Ukrainians. Western observers believed that the separatists were being directly aided by Moscow, and recent information leaks from the Ukrainian hacker group, Cyber Hunta, reveal that the Kremlin was in fact constantly in touch with rebels in eastern Ukraine and Crimea throughout 2014.83 The Treaty of Accession of the Republic of Crimea to Russia was signed on March 18 making Crimea a new constituent entity within the Russian Federation.84 On March 19th Russian forces stormed Ukrainian military bases in Crimea, and on March 22 they overtook Ukrainian air bases.85 This marked some of the first appearances of ‘little green men,’ who were armed soldiers wearing unmarked uniforms, and believed to be members of the Russian army, and ultimately indicated a Russian-led annexation of Crimea.86                                                 82 “Crimea referendum: voters ‘back Russia union.” (16 March 2014). BBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26606097 83 Shuster, Simon. (November 7, 2016). “Hacked Kremlin Emails Could Signal a Turn in the U.S.-Russia Cyberwar,” Time. Retrieved from: http://time.com/4558167/cyberwar-us-russia-vladislav-surkov/. 84 President of Russia. (18 March 2014). “Agreement on the accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation.” Retrieved from: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/20604  85 Morello, Carol, and Will Englund. (23 March 2014). “Russian forces storm one of the last Ukrainian military outposts in Crimea.” Washington Post. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/monitors-set-to-deploy-to-ukraine-to-try-to-contain-crisis/2014/03/22/742e4898-b1a4-11e3-a49e-76adc9210f19_story.html?utm_term=.eeaacfe02eb7.  86 Higgins, Andrew, Michael Gordon, and Andrew Kramer. (20 April 2014). “Photos linked masked men in East Ukraine to Russia.” The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/21/world/europe/photos-link-masked-men-in-east-ukraine-to-russia.html   25  During the annexation of Crimea, Crimean Tatars represented a crucial bulwark against Russian invasion, and as Aydin and Sahin (2019) suggest, Crimean Tatar resistance “formed the only real formidable opposition on the peninsula.”87 As early as 26 February 2014, Crimean Tatars held large pro-Ukrainian protests and attempted to block Russian military personnel, armored vehicles, and tanks from entering villages.88 Ultimately, many Crimean Tatars were forced to flee the peninsula, with prominent Crimean Tatar leaders being banned from returning.89      Ukrainian Instrumentalization of Crimean Tatar Indigenous Claims  The events of the Euromaidan protests and the Russian annexation of Crimea evidently posed a substantial challenge to the Ukrainian government. In the midst of this, the Ukrainian government took the interesting step of embracing Crimean Tatars and their indigenous claims to Crimea, for the larger purpose of instrumentalizing their indigenous claims in their geopolitical territorial dispute with Russia. This seemingly unique approach to ethnic minority indigenous claims during national crisis and war represents an interesting development in small state’s reactions to territory loss at the hands of a larger power.                                                  87 Aydin, Filiz Tutku, and Fethi Kurtiy Sahin. (2019). The politics of recognition of Crimean Tatar collective rights in the post-Soviet period: with special attention to the Russian annexation of Crimea. Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 52(1): p.45. 88 Wilson, Andrew. (5 March 2014b). “Tatar Sunni Muslims pose a threat to Russia’s occupation of Crimea.” The Guardian. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/05/tartar-ukraine-sunni-muslims-threat-russian-rule-crimea.  89 Ferris, Elizabeth, Suleiman Mamutov, Kateryna Moroz, and Olena Vynogradova. (2015). “Off to a Shaky Start: Ukrainian Response to Internally Displaced Persons.” Brookings Institute. Retrieved from: https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Ukrainian-Govt-Responses-to-Internal-Displacement-May-2015.pdf.   26  Within days of Russia’s total annexation of Crimea, the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine released a resolution which officially recognized Crimean Tatars as indigenous peoples of Ukraine, guaranteed their right to self-determination “as part of a sovereign and independent Ukraine,” recognized the Mejlis as the legitimate executive body of the Crimean Tatar people, and declared Ukraine’s support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which Ukraine had previously abstained from voting in favor of during the 2007 UN General Assembly vote.90 The document is explicitly based on various international legal guarantees to indigenous rights among other human rights, for example Article 1 of the UN Charter and the Vienna Declaration, which stipulate the need for international co-operation and respect for human rights.91 Additionally, this resolution also included the instruction for the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to swiftly produce several draft laws which would “define and consolidate the status of the Crimean Tatar people as indigenous people of Ukraine,” a task                                                 90  “Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, On the Statement of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the Guarantee of the Rights of the Crimean Tatar People in the Ukrainian state, 2014, no.15, p.581.” (20 March 2014). Legislation of Ukraine: https://zakon4.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/1140-vii; For UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples see: “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” Resolution 61/295. (13 September 2007). United Nations General Assembly. Retrieved from: https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2018/11/UNDRIP_E_web.pdf.; For UN General Assembly voting record on UNDRIP see: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Indigenous Peoples. “Voting Record Index.” Retrieved from: https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples.html.      91 United Nations. (24 October 1945). “Charter of the United Nations.” UNTS XVI. Retrieved from: http://legal.un.org/repertory/art1.shtml.; United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner. (25 June 1993). “Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.” Retrieved from: https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/vienna.aspx.   27 which was ultimately not undertaken until 2016.92 Additionally, Crimean Tatar self-government institutions were granted an allocation a share of the state budget.93   As the occupation of Crimea carried on, the Ukrainian government also embraced other aspects of Crimean Tatars history of struggle by recognizing their Soviet-era deportation as a genocide. On 12 November 2015, the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) passed a resolution with 245 votes (226 being the minimum threshold of 450 seats) which both recognized the deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 as a genocide and designated the anniversary day of the deportation as ‘Remembrance Day for the Victims of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar People,’94 in obvious contrast to Russia’s suppression of Crimean Tatar remembrance vigils and gatherings.95 Ukraine has called on other states in the global community to also recognize the 1944 deportation of Crimean Tatars as a genocide in an act of solidarity.96                                                  92 “Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, On the Statement of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the Guarantee of the Rights of the Crimean Tatar People in the Ukrainian state, 2014, no.15, p.581.” (20 March 2014). Legislation of Ukraine: https://zakon4.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/1140-vii ; “Fixing Mistakes: How Ukraine treats Crimean Tatars after the occupation of Crimea.” (19 May 2017). Euromaidan Press. Retrieved from: http://euromaidanpress.com/2017/05/19/how-ukraine-treats-crimean-tatars-after-their-return-from-deportation/. 93 Aydin, Filiz Tutku, and Fethi Kurtiy Sahin. (2019). The politics of recognition of Crimean Tatar collective rights in the post-Soviet period: with special attention to the Russian annexation of Crimea. Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 52(1): p.45.  94 “Decree on the Recognition of Genocide of the Crimean Tatar People, 2493a.” (12 November 2015). Legislation of Ukraine: http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_2?id=&pf3516=2493%D0%B0&skl=9.   95 Vynokurov, Ihor. (7 July 2017). “Russia’s Imperial Crackdown on the Memory of Indigenous Victims of Deportation.” Euromaidan Press. Retrieved from: http://euromaidanpress.com/2017/07/07/russias-imperial-crackdown-on-the-memory-of-indigenous-victims-of-deportations/.	 96 “Ukraine calls on global community to recognize deportation of Crimean Tatars as genocide.” (9 September 2019). Ukrinform. Retrieved from: https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-polytics/2702991-ukraine-calls-on-global-community-to-recognize-deportation-of-crimean-tatars-as-genocide.html.   28  On 16 January 2017, the Government of Ukraine officially submitted an application to initiate proceedings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and launched their court case against Russia regarding the ongoing occupation of Crimea and war in the Donbass.97 Of the main complaints being levelled against Russia half were relevant to the Crimean Peninsula specifically. Of these only two ethnic groups were specifically mentioned, Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians. In the application to the ICJ the Government of Ukraine requested that:   (i) The Russian Federation shall cease and desist from acts of political and cultural suppression against the Crimean Tatar people, including suspending the decree banning the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and refraining from enforcement of this decree and any similar measures, while this case is pending.   (ii) The Russian Federation shall take all necessary steps to halt the disappearance of Crimean Tatar individuals and to promptly investigate those disappearances that have already occurred.98  This case is at the time of writing in the deliberation stage, but it represents a significant example of Ukraine’s instrumentalization of Crimean Tatars as a way of leveraging against Russia. By including explicit demands with regards to how Crimean Tatars are treated by Russia in occupied Crimea, Ukraine is internationally positioning itself as a key actor who is essential to the safeguarding of the human rights and the specific indigenous rights to representation and self-determination of Crimean Tatars.                                                  97 International Court of Justice. (16 January 2017). “Application Instituting Proceedings: Application for the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine vs. Russian Federation).” Retrieved from: https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/166/166-20170116-APP-01-00-EN.pdf 98  “Application for the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine vs. Russian Federation): request for the indication of provisional measures.” (19 April 2017). International Court of Justice. Retrieved from: https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/166/19410.pdf p. 2  29  At this time Ukraine does not exercise any substantive authority in Crimea, yet through these various demonstrations of solidarity with Crimean Tatars and the embracing of their indigenous claims to the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine has somewhat opportunistically taken up their cause now that their indigenous territory has been annexed by a greater power. Ukraine is explicitly linking Russia’s transgressions against Ukrainian sovereignty with the indigenous rights of Crimean Tatars, which Ukraine has only just recently recognized itself. This represents an attempt on the part of Ukraine to strengthen support for an international-legal conception of sovereignty, which is the best avenue for small states to safeguard their own existence.    Conclusions  This thesis has examined the contemporary case of Ukraine and its shifting posture towards Crimean Tatars prior to and following the 2014 Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. Ukraine has created a policy of recognizing, embracing, and advocating for the indigenous rights of Crimean Tatars in the wake of Russia’s annexation of this strategically located peninsula and the lingering territorial dispute between the two countries. This represents a distinct departure from how Ukraine, and prior to that the Soviet Union, has traditionally sought to accommodate this ethnic minority. The opportunistic recognition of Crimean Tatar indigenous claims to Crimea, with Ukraine only prioritizing these claims once Crimea was de facto controlled by Russia, suggests an instrumentalization of the Crimean Tatar’s indigenous claims.   I argue that given the current context of more salient international human rights norms, in particular indigenous rights, small states have a more substantial foothold on which to negotiate their sovereignty. The international legal principles surrounding indigenous rights have proven  30 particularly useful in the context of an asymmetric territorial dispute, such as the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea. The actions of Ukraine in this instance could be the first of more to come for small states hoping to perpetuate a particular conception of state sovereignty which relies on the adherence to international legal norms—now including respect for indigenous rights. This particular conception of sovereignty is most advantageous to small states, who often have fewer resources to secure their sovereignty in conceptual understandings of sovereignty. 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(16 March 2019). “Five Years Later, Putin is Paying for Crimea.” Bloomberg. Retrieved from: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-16/russia-s-annexation-of-crimea-5-years-ago-has-cost-putin-dearly.   Table 1: Annual direct subsidies to Crimea from the Russian Federation (2014-2019)  Year Direct Subsidy Total (USD$ billion) * 2014 2.737 2015 1.044 2016 1.186 2017 1.734 2018 1.944 2019 2.267 *dollar value is converted from rubles into dollars at the average exchange rate of the year   

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