Current events in Ukraine have been headlining the news for several weeks. On March 16th the autonomous region of Crimea will be holding a referendum on leaving the Ukraine and joining Russia instead. The Crimean leaders are aching to leave; the Crimean population can’t wait to go vote “Yes” on this matter. There is little doubt that other regions, specifically in the Eastern Ukraine, will try to follow suit. Residents of the Crimea region have always thought of themselves as true Russians, rather than Ukrainians, and the only reason why they became a part of Ukraine in the first place was because Nikita Khrustschev signed Crimea over to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954 as part of the strategy to “make it up” to Ukrainian leaders for Soviet repressions of their nationals. The wish of the Communist Party leader was everyone’s command, and nobody dared to intervene. The vote was unanimous.
Fast-forward to 2014 and the upcoming referendum on Crimea re-joining the Russian Federation. It will be interesting to see the reaction of the Crimean population, and the world leaders, but there is a whiff of
uncertainty in the air because the Ukrainian ultra right-wing opposition will definitely have something to say about it.
In light of these issues, the exchange rate of the Ukrainian Hryvna has been fluctuating so rapidly that privately owned currency exchange services have not been able to catch up, and they do not bother changing signs displaying out-of-date exchange rates.