Crimea, Kosovo, and double standards

BELGRADE -- The French daily Le Figaro has an article comparing reactions in western countries and their media to declarations of independence made by Crimea and Kosovo.

Source: Tanjug
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  1. "Not a single responsible of the senseless violence has been so far brought in front of Justice. So let's go to core of the matter"

    If you truly lived and worked in Kosovo you would know this is not true. There have been arrests and convictions for those riots.
    (Huh?????, 21 March 2014 14:31)

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  2. (njegos, 19 March 2014 00:53)
    My research actually consisted a bit more than 30 second spots, it included 3 years on the ground in Kosovo where I spoke to people saw the results and more.
    I think that anyone that committed war crimes should be punished, I think that anyone than commits criminal acts against another (whether fueled by ethniticity) should be punished. However, I have to laugh when minor incidents such as an elderly Albanian woman throwing a rock at a bus load of Serbs is portrayed as ethnic cleansing or cemetaries that have been abandoned are vandalized as some organized way of running Serbs out of the country, I have visited many abandoned cemetery here in the US to do "rubbings" from old grave markers, and it is always the same if it has been abandoned there is going to be vandalism.
    Do I believe crimes were committed on both sides most definitely but the sheer numbers show Serbs as the biggest perpetrator of them. And ethnic violence was organized and financed and directed by the Serbian state, I have not seem that from the Kosovo govt.
    (think again, 19 March 2014 18:41)

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  3. From think again: "Prior to 1999 I had no idea what a Kosovo was and if you said Serbia, I would have thought you were referring to Siberia. So my information does not come from memory but research."

    That says it all. You are one of the brainwashed minions that develop your opinions based a 30 second news piece and well-paid PR firms whose job it was to create an image of victimization of Croats, Muslims & Albanians. You claim you did research, well here's a book I'm sure you missed: Media Cleansing by Peter Brock an award winning NY Times reporter. If you really want to learn the truth about the wars of the 90s in Yugoslavia, read this book. Then explain to me why, if the Croats, Muslims and Albanians were such victims, did they need US PR firms to slant the western press. You're a an example of who these PR firms targeted. Now you feel compelled enough to get on a message board and denounce the Serbs.

    To understand these conflicts, one must understand the history of the region. Contrary to your opinion, these abuses against Serbs are well documented. Common sense will tell you that the population decrease of the Serbs in Kosovo of the past 50 years points to an unnatural exodus. Thee has been a systematic expulsion of Serbs from Kosovo. And it continues to this day.

    Funny I don't hear you condemning the killing of innocent Serbs in their fields and the destruction of churches & cemeteries by the Albanians. Maybe you haven't gotten to that in your research yet.
    (njegos, 19 March 2014 00:53)

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  4. Well, in all this debacle, at least there are at least five countries in Europe who can reject totaly and completely Putin's accusations of EU applying double-standards on Kosovo and Crimea.

    These countries are: Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain. These countries did not recognize Kosovo unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia, and most surely will not recognize Crimea's.

    How the wheel turns...
    When in February 2008, officials from Bratislava or Bucharest were mentioning the need to respect the international borders and the sovereignity of countries, politicians in Paris, London and Berlin were dismissing such discourse as "ignoring the reality on the ground" in Kosovo. Back then, especially Slovaks and Romanians we were admonished as silly newcomers into EU, who have the nerve to disobey the indications of the wiser&powerful countries of the Union. Well, it seems we are vindicated: today, who looks silly and politicaly incoherent?
    (Liviu Arinescu, 18 March 2014 21:05)

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  5. Nejgos are you now also supporting freedom and democracy for

    Hungarian-Vojvodina

    Sanxhak

    Eastern Kosova= Presheva,Medvedja and Bujanoc

    Bulgarian regions occupied by Serbia.

    Serbs support Russia against Ukraine even though Serbs originate from the mountain caves of Raska Ukraine.Serbs country of origin.
    (azirazi, 18 March 2014 20:36)

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  6. RE:
    1) Kosovo had a wealth of documented crimes against humanity; Crimea does not.
    2) Yugoslavia dissolved; Ukraine has not.
    3) Kosovo political figures and the international community agreed to rights and protections for Serbs; the status of minorities in Crimea is unclear given the overnight vote.
    4) Kosovo is part of a practice and pattern of crimes against humanity in the Balkans; there is no such dynamic in Crimea.
    5) Due diligence: The Kosovo case took nine years; the Crimea case is new.
    (Avni, 17 March 2014 23:47)

    (1) Yes, Kosovo does have a documented path of violence beginning in 1948 with the foreced explusion of the Serbian Poplulation by Albanian extremists where the population of Serbs was between 30-50% and led to an appeasment by Tito to created an automous republic under Serbia, the population of Serbs is less than 7% now, who is ethnically cleansing who?

    (2)Yugoslavia dissolved after US president George Bush Sr. initially stated that the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia should be maintained and was appeased again by Croatian, Albanian and Slovenian extremists to do otherwise.

    (3) International Community agreed to Rights and Freedoms of Serbs Under UN resolution 1244, signed by Slobodan Milosevic without guns being held.

    (4) Crimes againt humanity occured primarily against Serbs, see 1.
    (5) The Kosovo case took 66 years and is still not finished. Crimea 60 years since 1954 when Kruchev gave it to Ukraine.
    (Jugolsavija, 18 March 2014 19:35)

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  7. Your memory is very selective, 'think again'. You seem to forget the prior 50 years of Albanians killing and driving Serbs out of Kosovo. Please, if you're going to talk about wrongdoing and human rights abuses, tell the complete story. But then again, that wouldn't fit you biased perspective now would it?
    (njegos, 18 March 2014 15:42
    Funny, none of that is documented, it is used by Serbs to justify their actions but it does not stack up. You compare the census over the 50 years previous and it does not add up to what you say. But none of any violence then or during March 2004 were orchestrated or sanctioned by the state. It is my understanding that the friction up to Milosevic was not one sided but both sides. It only became disproportionate when Serbia put the state resources, force to eliminate the Serbs. I like how you claim MY memory is selective. Prior to 1999 I had no idea what a Kosovo was and if you said Serbia, I would have thought you were referring to Siberia. So my information does not come from memory but research.
    (think again, 18 March 2014 18:56)

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  8. Vladimir Putin said that Crimea is same case as Kosovo...Therefore with these words he practically recognized that Kosovo is an independent country.
    I wonder how Serbs feel now that they are being betrayed by Putin.
    (Montenegrin, 18 March 2014 18:42)

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  9. From azir: "I suggest the International Community support a Referendum of all NON-RUSSIANS INSIDE RUSSIA.

    If its good enough for CRIME ea than it's good enough for all minorities in Russia."

    Then I guess you would also support a referrendum on all minorities inside Kosovo as well, right azir?
    (njegos, 18 March 2014 15:45)

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  10. From think again: "In your UNBIASED assessment, you equate 3 days of protests by individuals that turned violent with 10 years of orchestrated state sanctioned cleansing campaign."

    Your memory is very selective, 'think again'. You seem to forget the prior 50 years of Albanians killing and driving Serbs out of Kosovo. Please, if you're going to talk about wrongdoing and human rights abuses, tell the complete story. But then again, that wouldn't fit you biased perspective now would it?
    (njegos, 18 March 2014 15:42)

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  11. Dear Think again,
    I did survived few courts of law. Don't know who you are (but after your answer I have a fair idea where you come from) and neither you know who I am or where I am.
    In any case, there are human rights violation right in this moment in many places in the world. Don't see any NATO planes bombing.
    Original question was if Crimea is a different case than Kosovo, right? No, it isn't. Is is a part of sovereign state separating.
    So, is self-ethnic generated-determination valid to establish a new state or not and may violence (any) justify it from a legal point of view or not? No, it can't (Law is neutral not hormonal) and no, violence is never justifiable and btw is never the answer: "I'm ready to die for a cause, but I would never kill for one", Ghandi said that, if I'm not mistaken. In any state created on ethnic lines is wrong.
    Than again, think again, I respect your ideas anyone is entitled to them and I would fight for your ideas to be respected and I would never insult or make fun of you for them as you tried to do with mine. I wish you Peace, Love and Understanding.
    Namaste
    (luca, 18 March 2014 15:23)

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  12. Prosecutions rests.
    (luca, 18 March 2014 11:12)

    Doubt you would actually survive in a court of law.
    What prosecutor tells a jury to forget about the crimes.
    In your UNBIASED assessment, you equate 3 days of protests by individuals that turned violent with 10 years of orchestrated state sanctioned cleansing campaign.
    The critical point you missed is that Serbia has had 15 years to show it has changed but the fact still remains they want the land without the people.
    Crimea's referendum is a breach of national law, it only becomes a breach of international law with Russian meddling.
    NATO intervention was not sanctioned by UNSC but necessary for DOCUMENTED human right violations as opposed to Russia's POSSIBLE FUTURE
    violations.
    As referenced by the ICJ Kosovo's declaration does not violate any international law only Serbian law, which was enacted while Kosovo was/is under UN protection from Serbia.
    Since Kosovo is the only case of a UN protectorate, there has not been a law that prohibits a UN protectorate from declaring independence (as the ICJ stated it did not violate 1244)
    Now take your facts and a euro and have a cup of coffee.
    (think again, 18 March 2014 13:27)

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  13. I've been working in Kosovo for many years, what I read in these comments is just parties taking one side or the other. No thoughts, not analyses, just parties like we are dealing with a soccer match. Kosovo suffered? Yes. So did Russia (and Ukraine) during the Soviet days and Stalin (remember?). So do not dig the past. K-Serbs in Kosovo suffered by violence as K-Albanians: it's 10 years ago when the last ethnic cleansing in Kosovo happen and the victims were K-Serbs (15/17th of March 2014 NOT remembered by K institution in ANY way). And it happened in front of the eyes of the international community who was on the spot (and me as well). Not a single responsible of the senseless violence has been so far brought in front of Justice. So let's go to core of the matter:
    Kosovo exists in violation of UN resolution 1244, it's a fact.
    Bombing of Serbia (which included Kosovo) was the FIRST violation of the international laws since WW II. Fact.
    Therefore, if self determination was considered good for Kosovo, it's also good for Crimea. And Scotland and Basque Country and many other places.
    International law is based on mutual agreement and enforcement, there are no penalties for its breach. Once you change the settings (Kosovo), well, why not doing it again?
    So concluding: Is Crimea case a violation of international laws/ Yes.
    Is Kosovo a violation of international law? Yes.
    Prosecutions rests.
    (luca, 18 March 2014 11:12)

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  14. I suggest the International Community support a Referendum of all NON-RUSSIANS INSIDE RUSSIA.

    If its good enough for CRIME ea than it's good enough for all minorities in Russia.
    (azir, 18 March 2014 10:26)

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  15. Why aren't those so called self proclaimed good guys Us, Britain, French trying to get the Turks out of Cyprus? If it was not for the the sacfrices of the Russian troops in WW2 Europe might had been a different place now. Particular for France and Britian.
    (mz, 18 March 2014 08:57)

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  16. Double standards apply but is this because the media has biased views or is it because there is no set of internationally recognised rules that cover secession.
    Like LE fIGARO says; Both Kosovo and the Crim declared independence unilateraly.
    Scotland will also have a unilateral referendum, the English, the Irish and the Welsh, all part of the UK will not participate and have no say. In this case acceptable.
    The state of Texas in the USA would like to go it alone. Most Texans are for secession but the US congress will not alow a unilateral move. In this case unacceptable.
    Strange because it were the Americans who forced Serbia to accept the unilateral move by the Albanian movement of Kosovo.
    Clearly Double Standards in motion.
    Therefore we need clearly defined rules, underwritten by all member states of the United Nations, that stipulate what exactly constitutes the right to secede.
    (T, 18 March 2014 08:26)

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  17. I suggest the International Community support a Referendum of all NON-RUSSIANS INSIDE RUSSIA.

    If its good enough for CRIME ea than it's good enough for all minorities in Russia.
    (azir, 18 March 2014 00:37)

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  18. Crimea vote: Five reasons why Putin's Ukraine case falls apart (+video)

    Russian president says Kosovo example offers basis for Crimea's Sunday vote and secession from Ukraine. Angela Merkel calls the example 'shameful.'

    [link]

    1) Kosovo had a wealth of documented crimes against humanity; Crimea does not.
    2) Yugoslavia dissolved; Ukraine has not.
    3) Kosovo political figures and the international community agreed to rights and protections for Serbs; the status of minorities in Crimea is unclear given the overnight vote.
    4) Kosovo is part of a practice and pattern of crimes against humanity in the Balkans; there is no such dynamic in Crimea.
    5) Due diligence: The Kosovo case took nine years; the Crimea case is new.
    (Avni, 17 March 2014 23:47)

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  19. Yes, because Russian intervened before it happened. You know, the new Ukraine parliament just started with the first step, adopting a law for removing Russian language from the official languages of Ukraine. Only the president didn't approve that law. And in the new Ukraine government, there are facists and nationalist extremists which have positions not so different to Milosevic's and the Serbian national-socialists's.
    (Comm. Parrisson, 17 March 2014 18:41)
    Do you really believe that is the same or just spouting off. If you think the Russian intervention is justified because of that there is no way that you could not be wearing an Kosovo is Independent T shirt to sleep in at night.
    (think again, 17 March 2014 23:02)

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  20. "Thirdly,if Russia is a real just and honest gonverment they must recognise Kosovo after recognising Krimea.
    Time will tell how hipocritie are russians."

    Mirel from Albania

    Why doesn't Kosovo show the way and recognize Crimea? Your only excuse is to say that Kosovo and Crimea are different because ukrainians didn't kill Russians. What about Irak where Saddam killed thousands of shia muslims and kurds? Why aren't they independent from Irak? Why is there even a Germany after what they did during WW2? You and your masters are the true hypocrites!
    (MikeC, 17 March 2014 22:36)

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  21. i suggest a referendum in kosovo to become part of albania.
    (max, 17 March 2014 22:11)

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  22. Question if Serbs support so much Referendum in Cremia why not in Kosovo?
    (Morning Shake, 17 March 2014 21:47)

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  23. "Really? Why? "

    what is it that you're whying? my surprise that an article on Figaro should make the news? its not an original article, such opinions have been regurgitated since this crisis began and they're very old. i simply raised the other side of the hypocrisy. i know its fashionable these days to have a go at the west. i'm providing a balance to the usual nonsense that is written here. as for Russians supporting our right to self-determination, not sure i ever read such a thing anywhere on the Russian media. If you have, well thats great. I'd offer you a cookie if i could
    (Nikolle, 17 March 2014 21:30)

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  24. Mireal,

    Putin and the Russian army prevented the Ukranian's from harming the Crimean's. If the Russian army was not present you know that the Ukranian government would not have allowed the referendum. In a way the Russians prevented bloodshed. Also, if Russia should recognize KiM as independent, your masters in Washington and Brussels who started this whole mess need to recognize the reality in Crimea and soon Eastern Ukraine.
    (robert1899, 17 March 2014 20:23)

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  25. Le Figaro can include itself in the list of those who did not interview anyone and forgets....but good thing that they would mention
    (vladimir, 17 March 2014 19:30)

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  26. Kosovo is Serbian. The Crimean and East Ukraine is Russian.

    The bombing of Serbia by NATO to protect Albanians running amok in Kosovo was based on fraud. The seizure of Ukraine by the same neo-Nazis in Ukraine is also based on fraud.

    NATO bombed Serbia because Serbia was weak and helpless and a long way from Russia. NATO will not bomb either Crimea or Eastern Ukraine. Russia is right next door and it is not weak and helpless.
    (Paul, 17 March 2014 19:19)

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  27. Morning Shake,

    The Crimean parliament declared the region an independent state. Her is KiM's chance, the officials in pristina need to show their independence and recognize. Oh that's right their masters in Washington and Brussels will not allow it. A true sign of independence, NOT!
    (robert1899, 17 March 2014 18:56)

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  28. "I guess you are right since over the last few years Ukrainian officials closed down all Russian speaking schools, closed all factories employing Russians, began murdering all Russian males and raping Russian women and military forces began hauling close to a million people to the border and confiscating all their papers, then burning their homes so they have no where to return to. Oh, that didn't happen? "
    (think again, 17 March 2014 17:07)

    Yes, because Russian intervened before it happened. You know, the new Ukraine parliament just started with the first step, adopting a law for removing Russian language from the official languages of Ukraine. Only the president didn't approve that law. And in the new Ukraine government, there are facists and nationalist extremists which have positions not so different to Milosevic's and the Serbian national-socialists's.
    (Comm. Parrisson, 17 March 2014 18:41)

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  29. And now, the great defender of sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries, Russia, is cheering for Ukraine's independence.

    Conclusion: Double standards everywhere. Everywhere? No, China seems to be one of the few countries left which adhere international law, without double standards.
    (Comm. Parrisson, 17 March 2014 18:37)

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  30. If kosovo is truly independent, it should be the first to recognize the newly independent country of Crimea. Lets watch and see if they pass the test!
    (robert1899, 17 March 2014 16:11)

    The republic of Kosova, should wait to see if Serbia will recognize Crimea first? Serbs are to my belief, much more entitled, as they are much closer by blood & culture, to both Russians & Ukrainians! Let's see Serbia's choice first?
    (Rocky, 17 March 2014 17:20)

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  31. (robert1899, 17 March 2014 16:11)
    I guess you are right since over the last few years Ukrainian officials closed down all Russian speaking schools, closed all factories employing Russians, began murdering all Russian males and raping Russian women and military forces began hauling close to a million people to the border and confiscating all their papers, then burning their homes so they have no where to return to.
    Oh, that didn't happen?
    Then I guess you are wrong.
    (think again, 17 March 2014 17:07)

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  32. the russian media did not rejoice in the joy of over 90% of those who dwell in Kosova as celebrate with them their right to self-determination, the way they are doing now in Russia. "...officials are applying double standards, while the media tend to forget." Double standards or what? i'm seriously surprised that anyone on the editorial staff of B92 thought this is some sort of news worth publishsing
    (Nikolle, 17 March 2014 16:24)

    Really? Why?

    And I seem to remember a number of Russian officials clinking champagne glasses in February 2008 as it gave them the precedent to have their own little fun in the Near Abroad in the years since.
    (Balkan Anthropologist, 17 March 2014 17:01)

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  33. @ Roberto,

    First of all,Krimea should ask others officially to recognise its independence.If they send a recognision request to Kosovo than we can talk.
    Secondly,
    There is no comperasion between Krimea and Kosovo,because I dont see ukrainian army going killing and raping people of Krimea.Kosovo was another case witch lasted almost 15 years until independence while Krimea is doing this in 2 months.
    Also if Krimea becomes part of Russia than Russia should give back to Ukraina the nuclear weapons,bacause the 1994 protocol was violated by Russia.

    Thirdly,if Russia is a real just and honest gonverment they must recognise Kosovo after recognising Krimea.
    Time will tell how hipocritie are russians.
    (Mirel from Albania, 17 March 2014 16:47)

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  34. If kosovo is truly independent, it should be the first to recognize the newly independent country of Crimea. Lets watch and see if they pass the test!
    (robert1899, 17 March 2014 16:11)

    They are joining Russia so as a result no point to do that.
    (Morning Shake, 17 March 2014 16:28)

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  35. oh dear, what a daring and thought provoking article! had it not been for Figaro, I'd never have thought this way. of course, its really easy to spin this piece of garbage round. the russian media did not rejoice in the joy of over 90% of those who dwell in Kosova as celebrate with them their right to self-determination, the way they are doing now in Russia. "...officials are applying double standards, while the media tend to forget." Double standards or what? i'm seriously surprised that anyone on the editorial staff of B92 thought this is some sort of news worth publishsing
    (Nikolle, 17 March 2014 16:24)

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  36. If kosovo is truly independent, it should be the first to recognize the newly independent country of Crimea. Lets watch and see if they pass the test!
    (robert1899, 17 March 2014 16:11)

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