Beginning in this week’s issue, I will be writing a weekly column about world affairs. It will consist of simple breakdowns of complex current events to help Ohio Wesleyan students and other readers get an idea of what’s going on outside the OWU community. Here are two of the world’s most important happenings from this week.
The Issue: Crimea
For those who don’t know, there have been some issues in the Ukraine.
It started with protests against the Ukrainian government after it turned away from the western European Union and moved towards the eastern Russia. The Ukrainian public was very displeased with that decision and took to the streets in protest.
Russian President Vladimir Putin did not look too kindly on these protests, and the Russians moved into Crimea, which is a historically significant area to both the Russians and Ukrainians. According to the British newspaper The Independent, Crimea is “strategically important as a base for the Russian navy,” and currently has a 60 percent Russian population.
On March 16, there was a vote in Crimea about seceding from the Ukraine and joining Russia, which passed with 93 percent of the vote in favor of joining Russia.
The United States has been under fire for not getting involved, but Vice President Joe Biden is currently in Poland to offer some military and economic aid to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
According to the New York Times, “…Biden’s trip is designed to send a visible message to Russia, reinforcing the sanctions the United States and the European Union announced…”
The Issue: MH 370
On March 8, a Malaysia Airlines jet heading from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China with 239 passengers and crew simply vanished from radar. Ten days later, there is still no sign of the missing aircraft.
There has been an abundance of rumors and theories for what caused the disappearance, from pilot suicide to the plane being shot down. According to CNN, Malaysia’s Prime Minister said “somebody deliberately steered the plane off course.”
Most of the passengers are from China, but there are also passengers from New Zealand, Iran, the United States and Indonesia. According to ABC News, Malaysia is overseeing the search, while Australian officials are coordinating efforts in the southern Indian Ocean.
The BBC said Malaysian officials have searched the homes of the two pilots, but they are also investigating passengers, engineers and other ground staff.
This disappearance is an obvious mystery to the families and friends of the passengers and crew aboard the plane, and not one that will be solved anytime soon.