Khrushchev’s Crimea Gift 1954.

Lu Shaye is Correct

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

Ambassador Lu Shaye:

“In international law, even these ex-Soviet Union countries do not have the status, the effective status in international law, because there is no international agreement to materialize their status as sovereign countries.”

Shaye is arguably correct, just as Gorbachev wrote in his book, On My Country and the World, about the questionable Belovezh Accords and “creation” of the CIS:

“The fate of the multinational state cannot be determined by the will of the leaders of three republics. The question should be decided only by constitutional means with the participation of all sovereign states and taking into account the will of all their citizens. The statement that Unionwide legal norms would cease to be in effect is also illegal and dangerous; it can only worsen the chaos and anarchy in society. The hastiness with which the document appeared is also of serious concern. It was not discussed by the populations nor by the Supreme Soviets of the republics in whose name it was signed. Even worse, it appeared at the moment when the draft treaty for a Union of Sovereign States, drafted by the USSR State Council, was being discussed by the parliaments of the republics.”

The Alma-Ata summit too, only confirmed the dissolution of the USSR and did not create the CIS States as such; Alma-Ata protocols only assert the existence of the CIS states as independent entities. Truly, the primary intent of the Alma-Ata protocols was to allow the Russian Federation to assume the UN seat of the former USSR on the Security Council, and was not a basis for creating sovereign states in international law.

For the Russian Federation to ‘inherit’ the UNSC seat of the former USSR in December of 1991 as an individual act, cannot impart sovereignty in international law to the CIS states in and of itself — especially when the Belovezh Accords were not fully ratified by the Russian Federation. Likewise, the Congress of People’s Deputies refused to ratify the Belovezh Accords by 1993.

Yet there is no point arguing that the former Warsaw Pact states cannot be considered sovereign in the West, even if, as Lu Shaye suggests, a point of debate does exist. Since possession is considered nine-tenths of the law, the former Soviet satellite/Republic states are considered sovereign states by the west, even if the UN or court of international law, did not formally/technically ratify those states as being independent at the time.*

The above is written to reinforce and highlight the fact that the 1954 Supreme Council’s Presidium “gift” of Crimea to the Ukraine was not only invalid, but had no basis in international law. Crimea was not Khrushchev”s to give in 1954, even if inspired by his control of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, and his personal political motivation.

Sevastopol Port

There is nothing like an internationally recognized Accord or Agreement, to allow the Premier to “bequeath” Crimea to the Soviet Ukraine in 1954; no Supreme Council quorum existed for the Crimea fiat decree, and only a minority of Supreme Council members were present to vote on the decree and changes to the Soviet constitution.

Scholars may argue that the Supreme Council’s Crimea fiat decree (as announced by Pravda, 27 February 1954) and changes to the Soviet constitution (which has long since ceased to exist) comprises enough ‘official action’ to seal Crimea’s sad Ukraine fate in history… even if the Ukraine had no right to accept Crimea, by its own constitution. However, that argument ignores the fact that the Crimea 1954 ‘giveaway’ was essentially a political act, by Khrushchev.

Khrushchev”s Crimea giveaway was a political act, meant to appease the Soviet Ukraine and not just due to Khrushchev”s ‘nationality’, or due to his support for Olesky Kyrychenko. It is most notable that by 1954 CIA Project BG/FIEND had just failed in Albania, and CIA Operation AERODYNAMIC — among other CIA targeted Ukraine operations to destabilize the perceived weakest of Soviet satellite states* — had only marginal support at that time, and was also failing

However, the CIA’s operations in the “soft underbelly of the Soviet Union” from 1947-1954 were appealing enough to political forces in the Ukraine, when the pay was right. So, beside the “symbolic” celebration of the reunification of Ukraine with Russia after 300 years (1654 – 1954), Khrushchev believed the Crimea “gift” would not only help his friend Olesky Kyrychenko solidify political power there, but also appease and perhaps deter the historic “White Russ” radicals in the western “Galicia” region of the Ukraine whose descendants cooperated with the CIA, from their operations.

The foregoing is largely unknown by the public, because the CIA’s operation in Balkans and the Ukraine between 1947 to 1954 — and Khrushchev’s reaction to those operations! — is generally of interest to academics only. Those operations, MI6 Operation Valuable and CIA Project Fiend in Albania — a Soviet satellite state at the time — worked in tandem… although tremendous rivalry in tactics and philosophy existed betwixt these two spy groups.

Kim Philby was likely marginal in his efforts to sabotage MI6 Operation Valuable, a point still debated today. But the political point Philby made about that operation was well-known to Khrushchev. Thus Operation Valuable and BG/FIEND, in part, motivated Khrushchev’s act in “giving” Crimea to Ukraine, even if that gift was not ratified or recognized by international law at the time, which is the point.

Crimea was not the Supreme Council of the Presidium’s to give, and by all accounts of international law, Crimea was not given by the Presidium to any accord recognized in international law today. Ambassador Lu has nothing to apologize for… certainly not to the policy wonks and Statist snakes of the west, or Baltic States.

*An interesting parallel is Kosovo as being a “sovereign state” and only by “standards” of the west, notably the USA.

NB: Murdered investigative journalist Danny Casolaro’s “Octopus” investigation credited the cadre of CIA operatives running Project BG/FIEND (1947-1954 which included such CIA miscreants as James Jesus Angleton and Frank Wisner) as the starting point for the nascent subversive CIA cell at the highest levels of US governmental power, that would eventually morph to become the malevolent, deadly, and sinister Neocons who rule the collective west by war and murder today.

Steve Brown


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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Eric Zuesse
April 25, 2023

Thanks. Very informative.

April 25, 2023

I am giving Crimea back to Russia. By the power invested in me by God, Thor, and Julius Caesar, I declare that Crimea belongs to Russia.

Jake Spencer
April 27, 2023
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What is farcical is that if Kim Philby had never been caught there would never have been a monument built in his name or a postage stamp issued in his honour and we would probably never had heard that much about him even though he was a cousin of Field Marshal Montgomery. The secret world of MI6 can be a small one as portrayed by Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce in A spy Amongst Friends about Kim Philby and if you haven’t read it yet, Ben Macintyre will be disappointed! As all espionage cognoscenti know, Kim Philby was a member… Read more »

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