Why Putin’s wrong to blame my great-grandfather Khrushchev/Nina Khrushcheva is professor of International Affairs at New School University in New York. Her latest book is The Lost Khrushchev: A Journey into the Gulag of the Russian Mind. The views expressed in this commentary are entirely her own.
CNN | 21-03-14
It’s official, Crimea is Russian. In the words of Vladimir Putin, “In people’s hearts and minds, Crimea has always been an inseparable part of Russia.” Indeed Russia said that in Sunday’s referendum 97% of its participants, mostly ethnic Russians, insisted that to belong to the Great Russia versus Small Russia (Malorossiya, another name for Ukraine) had been their dream for 60 years since the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, my great-grandfather, transferred the peninsula’s jurisdiction to Kiev.
In his address to Parliament on March 18 announcing the annexation, Putin said that by this Khrushchev action Russia was not “simply robbed, it was plundered.” There are many reasons for transfer that Putin could have outlined: administrative, economic, desire to overcome Joseph Stalin’s legacy of central control. Yet he chose to say my great-grandfather was atoning for “the mass repressions of the 1930s in Ukraine.”