Ukrainian bloggers draw a parallel between the events in East Timor and the Crimea. Any comparison has a right to exist, but a detailed analysis of the situation does not give a promising forecast to Ukraine.
In 1975, Indonesia annexed Timor - a few days after the latter had declared independence. In 27 years, the military had exterminated about a third of the population of the annexed territory. In 1999, as soon as General Suharto resigned, the UN initiated a referendum in East Timor, and 78.5 percent of the population voted for independence. As a result, the UN peacekeeping contingent entered the territory, and the new state of Timor-Leste finally gained independence in May 2002.
According to Ukrainian experts, Ukraine has been more or less successfully striving to recognise the Crimean operation illegal. The West condemns Russia's actions in the Crimea, which allegedly gives Ukraine a reason to work on lawsuits against Russia to seek compensation for the damage.
Nevertheless, not all countries support sanctions against Russia. For example, China ignores them all, while many companies take technical measures to avoid them. Time works against Ukraine, because sooner or later the topic of Ukraine's claims for the Crimea can be moved into the category of hopeless political and legal long-term issues.
In turn, Russia has been taking active measures lately to establish its presence in the Crimea. The geographical position of the peninsula makes it a very good territory to build a large army base there.
If the two breakaway Donbass republics return under Kiev's governance, the situation in Ukraine will continue to aggravate, specialists believe. In this case, the experts say, Ukraine will have to take efforts against the people who had cooperated with "invaders" to deprive them of civil rights. Russia would immediately obtain an opportunity to go on a counterattack on legal and information fronts, accusing Ukraine of genocide and attempts to orchestrate a humanitarian catastrophe. Therefore, Ukraine will have to be friends with Russia against its own will, as it had happened to Timor-Leste and Indonesia.
Ukraine needs to prepare a safety cushion for itself in the form of special laws that would prevent the development of such a crisis.
The Ukrainian authorities do not conceal their intention to toughen responsibility for state treason and collaborationism. In fact, Ukraine does not exclude criminal responsibility for publicly denying "the fact of the Russian aggression." The Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) elaborates regulations, in accordance with which many residents of the territories that Kiev has not controlled since 2014 could be accused of "cooperating with the enemy."
Ukrainian MPs have prepared a substantial base for the definition of "high treason." Earlier, adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Anton Gerashchenko said that the new law would be introduced to protect Ukraine's media space. Ukrainian political scientist Datsyuk stated that residents of the Crimea should be subjected to deportation, coercive Ukrainization, and anti-Russian brainwashing.
The Russian Armed Forces returned to strategic positions of the first "Surovikin line” east of Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia direction of hostilities