The unrest following Russia’s invasion of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine is causing confusion among officials around the globe and those tasked with reporting the developments. While voters in the region overwhelmingly supported seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia, governments around the world refused to recognize the referendum.
This stalemate has resulted in an inability to reach any consensus regarding which nation is actually in control of the peninsula. For its part, the Associated Press seems to be hedging its bets as its reporters continue to follow events in the region.
While AP articles have traditionally included a dateline upholding the fact that Crimea is in Ukraine, internal reports indicate it plans to halt that practice for the foreseeable future.
“Ukraine no longer controls Crimea,” wrote AP Deputy Managing Editor and Standards Editor Tom Kent, “and AP datelines should reflect the facts on the ground.”
Of course, writers are stopping short of including ‘Russia’ in place of ‘Ukraine.’ Instead, Crimea will stand alone according to AP datelines – a region without a country.
According to Kent, that decision is based on the fact that “Crimea is geographically distinct from Russia” and has “no land border” with the occupying nation.
“Saying just the city name and ‘Crimea’ in the dateline,” he wrote, “would be consistent with how we handle geographically separate parts of other countries.”
Kent offered some examples, including Sicily, which is used independently in dateline references “even though [it is] part of Italy, and ‘Guadaloupe’ in datelines even though that island is part of France.”
The Associated Press has made it clear that Russia appears to now be a controlling force in the peninsula, a fact that has been increasingly evident over recent weeks. Still, its reticence to explicitly state that the region is now a part of that nation can be seen as a sign of the flux within that area of the world.
What happens in Crimea will likely have implications across Ukraine, which some feel will eventually fall completely under Russian control. Though roundly ridiculed by the left, both Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin anticipated turmoil in and around Russia.
Unfortunately, America’s current crop of Democrat leaders failed to recognize the threat ahead of time and now seem dedicated to placating the dictatorial regime in charge of Russia.
–B. Christopher Agee
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