Sergey Aksyonov just two weeks ago was a two-bit Crimean politician and the leader of a tiny pro-Russia political party incapable of getting 4 percent of the votes in the last regional election. He was basically a “nobody” that few on the street could remember.
But “Goblin,” his gangster name, flourished here after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Fast forward to March, 2014.
He has now been appointed the prime minister of Crimea's regional parliament. Aksyonov is the world’s image for Russia's seizure of the Black Sea peninsula. Undoubtedly, he is the hand-chosen puppet selected by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Aksyonov is the “leader” of a Russian-backed “army" of 30 rag tag men who call him “Commander.” They were given their oath on Saturday.
The new “leader said "We are not enemies with those soldiers who pledged loyalty to the Ukrainian state." He was referring to the Ukrainian soldiers confined to their barracks. “They will be allowed to leave for Ukraine if they wish,” he said.
Aksyonov, denies all allegations of being a former gangster. Today, with Aksyonov at the center of Crimean politics, and with the Russian soldiers who back him deployed across the peninsula, the editors of black market newspapers and TV stations are virtually silenced.
Crimea has racked with turmoil the past two weeks. Moscow is deeply disturbed over the fall from grace and removal of Ukrainian President Yanukovych and the pro-Western outlook of the new government.
Moscow was not to be denied their warm water port for their naval fleet. Hundreds of Russian soldiers, without military insignias, seized political control of the peninsula. They claim they are there as a “self-defense” force insisting 80 percent of the populace speaks Russian and they are in favor of their presence.
Aksyonov is in fact simply a puppet installed by Moscow in a takeover of its former territory. He will be officially installed March 16.
* If you have enjoyed this column, may I suggest you scroll down this page and press the SUBSCRIBE box? It's FREE. Thank you for your patronage.
** Send your comments to: email@example.com