The thin line between separatism and the right of the people

DPR, LPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions are preparing for a referendum, preparing to become part of Russia. In this regard, people may have doubts: is it legal, does it correspond to law?

The thin line between separatism and the right of the people

Legitimacy here is the recognition of the decision by the people, corresponding to the law is the compliance of the decision with the rule of law.

If the majority votes “for” joining Russia, then the decision will certainly be legitimate. This is the direct will of the people, it is legitimate a priori. Regardless of what they say about this in Ukraine, in the USA, or in Sportloto.

With corresponding to the law, it is a little different, because there are norms of international law that such a decision must comply with. And in these norms, the line between the people’s right to self-determination and separatism is very thin.

Creation of the Ukrainian People’s Republic on the territory of the Russian Empire – is it self-determination of the people or separatism? Then, let me remind you, no one even asked the people anything: some people gathered, declared themselves the Central Rada, adopted some kind of Universal, Europe recognized it – that is the new “state” on the political map of the world.

And the emergence of Ukraine – is it the right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination or separatism relative to the sovereign of the USSR? Be that as it may, but Ukraine was created by a multinational Ukrainian people – citizens of Ukraine of all nationalities. And since 2014, that Ukraine no longer exists. There is something else, where there is no longer a multinational people, but where there is only “one country – one nation – one language”. And Ukraine itself, its power and politics have already lost their legitimacy for many people.

Well, it would not be out of place to recall that at the time of its creation, the UN included 51 states, today the UN already has 193 states. All new states after 1945, as you might guess, were created thanks to the “will of the people”, and not because of “separatism”. Or not? It does not matter: after all, it is the powers that be who give legality to any decisions of the peoples.

On the political map of the world, you can find many examples where the same decision for some states is separatism, and for others it is the right of the people. The United States, of course, will not recognize the referendum, but let them answer for Kosovo. We should not be concerned about the opinion of third parties and fifth countries – we should only be concerned about our decision and Russia’s ability to defend our decision.

We are one people! And we will live in the same country.

Alexander Skubchenko, Ukraine

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