How Crimeans See Ukraine Crisis

Two years ago, the Maidan uprising ousted Ukraine’s elected president, prompting resistance in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, with Crimeans voting overwhelmingly to reunify with Russia, a move that then sparked a new cold war. As propaganda enveloped this issue, Natylie Baldwin went to see for herself last fall.

By Natylie Baldwin

We had boarded the bus that would transport us from the gates of Moscow’s Vnukovo airport to the plane waiting on the tarmac to fly us to Simferopol, Crimea, when a friendly blonde in her late 30’s asked us in accented English if we were from “The States”?

When we answered that we were, she told us she currently lived in Texas but was going to visit relatives in Crimea. As we chatted more and my travel mate and I explained our reason for going there – to see Crimea for ourselves and find out from the people living there what they thought about the Ukraine war and the peninsula’s reunification with Russia – it became apparent that this lady had a few things she wanted to get off her chest.

A map showing Crimea (in beige) and its proximity to both the Ukrainian mainland and Russia.

A map showing Crimea (in beige) and its proximity to both the Ukrainian mainland and Russia.

“You cannot separate Ukraine from Russia, there is too much culture and history together,” she said.  Choking up on her words, she continued, “American people are good people I have many friends in the U.S. – but their government leaders are not because they interfere too much in other places. I worry about Hillary [Clinton], you know. When [Libyan leader Muammar] Gaddafi was killed, she said ‘We came, we saw, he died. Ha ha.’ What kind of leader is that? Is she going to be the next president?”

She felt that, due to the violence on the Maidan and Washington’s interference in the form of Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland’s manipulations, Putin’s intervention in Crimea was correct:  “Putin did the right thing for Crimea, he is a good leader.”

When we landed in Simferopol, it was clear that the small airport had been recently renovated as everything was clean and freshly painted. After haggling down the price to something reasonable with the proprietor of a taxi service, we loaded ourselves into a cab in which stale cigarette smoke hung thick in the air.

My travel mate, who spoke functional Russian, asked the driver what he thought about Crimea’s reunification with Russia. He replied in broken English, “Historically and ethnically we are Russian, so it is better to be with Russia than Ukraine.” He acknowledged, however, that there were still many problems to be addressed and it would take time, but with Russia they now had hope.

His sentiments would be echoed throughout our stay in Crimea. Tatyana, a professional tour guide from Yalta, told us the next day that, in terms of road repair and airport renovation, there had been more infrastructure investment in one year under Russian governance than there had been in all the 23 years with post-Soviet Ukraine.

Looking around Simferopol, more such investment would obviously be needed. The roads and buildings had not been sufficiently maintained and it gave the place an air of being run down. Alongside that, however, were parks and trees, roads filled with people in cars and packed mini-buses during commute hours, and parents walking on sidewalks clutching the hands of their small children. Everyone was dressed in the typical Western attire one would see in the U.S. and most young people fingered smart phones.

On the bus ride from Simferopol to Yalta, there were many small houses in various stages of disrepair and frozen construction. My travel mate, who had been going in and out of Russia since the 1980s, remarked that it looked like the Soviet era.

As we approached the Yalta coastline, however, the lush trees and sparkling blue water that reflected a sunlit sky, emerged from the mountainous journey, dissipating the gloom. We toured Livadia Palace, the seasonal home of the czars from Alexander II to Nicholas II. It was also the location of the famous Yalta Conference of 1945 where Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin met as WWII was winding down.

Afterwards, we walked down a lane littered with lovely and well-cared for “stray” cats that now took up residence on the grounds of the palace. Then we came to a small two-story restaurant where we had lunch with Tatyana, who articulated the feelings of many Crimeans about the Maidan protests that rocked Kiev in early 2014:

“No one asked us if we wanted to go along with Maidan. There are Russians as well as people who are a mix of Russian and Ukrainian here. We are not against Ukraine as many of us have relatives there, but Maidan was not simply a spontaneous protest. We are aware of the phone call with Victoria Nuland and [U.S. Ambassador] Geoffrey Pyatt, we saw the photos of her with [opposition leaders] Yatsenyuk, Tiagnibok [leader of Svoboda, the neo-fascist group that was condemned by the EU in 2012], and Klitschko on television. We saw the images of her handing out cookies to the protesters.”

Russian naval base in Sevastopol in Crimea. (Photo by Natylie Baldwin)

Russian naval base in Sevastopol in Crimea. (Photo by Natylie Baldwin)

We returned to Simferopol that evening and talked to a group of local small business entrepreneurs. They spoke of the many disruptions that the political upheaval with Ukraine and the subsequent reunification had caused. Kiev stopped paying salaries and pensions and even cut off electricity, which prompted Russia to provide generators to hospitals and other establishments where there were significant numbers of people in need.

In fact, Crimea had been dependent upon Ukraine for 70 percent of its power since reunification. Consequently, Russia is in the process of laying a power cable beneath the Kerch Strait from the Krasnodar region, which is now partially operational and will be fully operational by summer of 2016.

In the meantime, Russia had been paying Ukraine $211 million to supply Crimea with energy through the end of 2015. In what is perceived by many to be retaliation for seceding, Ukraine had seriously cut energy supplies to Crimea without notice numerous times throughout 2014 and raised prices by 15 percent. Similar issues with water supply have also been reported.

“Kiev claims they want us back, but then they alienate us even more with these kinds of actions,” said one of the entrepreneurs, shaking his head.

Crimeans are also dealing with high inflation due to a combination of sanctions and transportation difficulties. Until the permanent land bridge to Russia is completed in December 2018, transportation between the mainland and the peninsula are limited to temporary bridges, ferry service and flights to and from Crimea’s one airport in Simferopol. (A second airport is due to be built in Sevastopol by spring 2016).

More and stricter business regulations under Russia’s governance have also proved to be a challenge. The entrepreneurs acknowledged that some people had lost businesses due to either the political transfer or the sanctions. But this did not change their conviction that the reunification with Russia was worth the short-term cost in order to save themselves from the extremist elements who had taken power in Kiev, immediately introduced legislation threatening the status of the Russian language, and fueled episodes of violence that ensued against ethnic Russians in Crimea.

The subsequent “anti-terrorist operation” employed by Kiev to deal with similar concerns of ethnic Russians in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, instead of negotiation, has only cemented this view.

“We are suffering under the sanctions, but the sanctions will not make us go back to where we don’t want to be,” said one entrepreneur. “There are still many Crimeans willing to fight if it were to become necessary.”

The next day we took another bus ride, this time to Sevastopol, where Russia has had its naval base since the reign of Catherine the Great in the Eighteenth Century. In fact, Crimea had been part of Russia from Catherine’s time until Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev decided to give it as a gift to Ukraine in 1954. Since both Russia and Ukraine were part of the Soviet Union at the time, the possible consequences of this decision were not considered.

Viktor Vasilievich Savitskiy, a retired Russian naval officer and resident of Crimea who served as an election monitor during the referendum, recalls being asked by British naval officers after the dissolution of the USSR, how having their naval base in a different country would work out. Savitskiy said, “I thought it was a strange question at the time. We had a long history and cultural ties with Ukraine. Now I realize those questions were not so strange.”

Not only is Sevastopol Russia’s only warm water port, it is the place where the Soviets stopped the German advance for eight months during WWII. By the time the siege had ended, around 90 percent of the city had been devastated.

One of the first places we visited in Sevastopol was a hostel run by Yuriy Mishin and his wife Manita. Born in Chita in the Lake Baikal area of Russia near the border of Siberia, Mishin was nostalgic for the days of the Soviet Union in which he’d grown up and said he would like to see a voluntary commonwealth consisting of the former republics of the USSR.

In February 2014, Mishin was a participant in Crimea’s resistance to the post-coup regime in Kiev, a resistance movement variously referred to as the “Crimean Spring” and the “Third Defense of Sevastopol.” He believes the events of the Maidan culminated in an illegal change of government in Kiev.

Although he says that under Viktor Yushchenko’s rule from 2005 to 2010, Ukrainian ultra-nationalism enjoyed a resurgence, there had been no substantive threat to Russian speakers in Crimea until the Maidan protests were hijacked by extremists who chanted threatening slogans [“Ukraine for Ukrainians”] and turned to violence. He said that after Maidan, “friends I’d had in Ukraine called and threatened to kill me because I was the director of a Russian historical club.”

Mishin said the people of Sevastopol began to have meetings to discuss ways to defend themselves from the growing upheaval that the events in Kiev had set in motion. He made a point that we would hear repeatedly from Crimeans we spoke to — that they did not expect Putin to intervene or to accept their requests for reunification due to the numerous times since the 1990s when Crimeans voted, either directly or through their parliament, for reunification, which Russia had always ignored. But they are very grateful that he did.

“Putin’s move was a pleasant surprise,” Mishin said. “He is a strong and brave politician.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a crowd on May 9, 2014, celebrating the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Crimean port city of  Sevastopol from the Nazis. (Russian government photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a crowd on May 9, 2014, celebrating the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Crimean port city of Sevastopol from the Nazis. (Russian government photo)

When asked what he thought should be the top priorities for Crimea going forward, he said “peace – no bombs or missiles – and develop infrastructure and tourism.”

As we hurried from one appointment to another in Sevastopol, we walked along a narrow cobbled road studded with ruts. Manita lamented how many times over the years there had been money allocated by the Ukrainian government to fix the roads but the repairs never happened because of the abiding corruption.

After about a five-minute walk in the morning chill, we arrived at a small office where a banner with the St. George colors draped one wall. A tall barrel-chested man with short dark hair and a full beard greeted us with a hardy handshake. His name was Anatoly Anatolievich Mareta and he was the leader (ataman) of the Black Sea Hundred Cossacks. He offered us hot tea as we sat down at a large table.

He then spoke at length about the events leading up to the Crimean resistance in early 2014. After the Feb. 21, 2014 agreement between embattled President Viktor Yanukovych and three European nations allowing for early elections, the armed ultra-nationalists who had hijacked the Maidan protests rejected the deal and led an uprising on Feb. 22 that forced Yanukovych to flee and his government to collapse. When the Europeans then abandoned their role as guarantors, a turning point was reached.

A one-day meeting of anti-Maidan supporters was held in Sevastopol as 30,000 Crimeans gathered in the center of the port city to declare that they didn’t recognize the coup government in Kiev and would not pay taxes to it. They then decided to defend Sevastopol and the Crimean isthmus with arms. They chose a people’s mayor, Aleksai Chaly, and checkpoints were set up. After extremist Tatars and Ukrainian ultra-nationalists showed up in Simferopol, throwing bottles, teargas, and beating busloads of ethnic Russians with flag poles, he said the group’s help was requested.

As the situation deteriorated further, with a standoff between local residents and local police officials who were beholden to and taking orders from Kiev underway, Mareta admitted that the Cossacks realized that theirs was a revolt that amounted to a suicide mission if Kiev gave the order to put it down with full force. “Their hearts were in it, but their minds knew they might lose,” Mareta said.

From Feb. 28 – 29, Cossacks from parts of continental Russia, including Kuban and Don, began to arrive to reinforce the isthmus. Ukrainian planes were blocked from landing at the local airport as Russian soldiers, stationed legally in Crimea under contract, manned the gates.

Crimeans told me that it was understood at the time that the “little green men” who quietly appeared on the streets in the coming days were Russian soldiers under lease at the naval base who had donned unmarked green uniforms. The people viewed them as protectors whose presence allowed them to peacefully conduct their referendum without interference from Kiev, not as invaders.

Savitskiy described the sense of joyful surprise among Crimeans in Sevastopol regarding the eventual Russian intervention: “The Russian military was very cautious and waited for the order to intervene. It was an unexpected gift.”

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Our driver in Sevastopol, who shall remain unnamed due to the fact that he has relatives in central Ukraine that he does not want to endanger, drove us to our next destination. We exchanged pleasantries and he asked us what part of the U.S. we were from. When I told him we were from San Francisco, he proceeded to serenade us with a few lines from Scott MacKenzie’s “If You’re Going to San Francisco, Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair.”

Born to a Russian mother and a Ukrainian father, he told us that he had served in the Ukrainian Navy until 2013, but he supported the reunification with Russia.

We parked in a lot near the dock at the naval base and were led a short distance over to a light beige van. A slight man with a rugged face, decked out in crisp khaki fatigues and a Putin t-shirt appeared. Nicolai Kachin gave us a tour of the interior of his taxi van which was adorned with images of places and people relevant to the “Third Defense of Sevastopol.” There were a number of photos of the Russian president.

Kachin was born in the Urals in continental Russia but had been attracted to Crimea since early childhood and considered it his “second home.” He had been working as a guide and driver when the Maidan protests were underway.

“I watched the news as the situation became more difficult in December (2013),” he said, recalling meetings among the Russian population of Crimea as things in Kiev degenerated into violence. After the events of Feb. 21, “the situation had changed. By February 23rd, the men and women of Sevastopol came out to defend the city. Chaly was elected mayor (after the Ukrainian appointed mayor was removed), seven checkpoints were set up and residents volunteered.”

He stressed his belief that, if Crimeans hadn’t taken the initiative to defend themselves against the coup in Kiev, and Putin hadn’t backed them up, their fate would have been far worse. He said, “Sevastopol was the first city to rise up in Crimea. If residents hadn’t stood up to defend themselves, war would be raging in Crimea worse than in the Donbass.”

Kachin was awarded medals by the Russian government for his role in guarding the checkpoint outside the Ukrainian naval site until the referendum was concluded. He displayed his medals with great pride, but emphasized that the people of Sevastopol did not have glory in mind when they defended their city:

“When originally we enrolled into the self-defense units, we had no idea about awards. We did not think about it. All the city – women, men, youth – stood up to defend Sevastopol and our dignity.”

He was very pleased to be able to relate his story to Americans as most of the people who’d sought him out were Russians, along with some Ukrainians and a few Europeans.

Expressions of gratitude toward President Putin could be seen throughout Crimea in the form of billboards with his picture alongside the words “Crimea. Russia. Forever.” I asked several residents if this reflected the general sentiment of the population. They confirmed enthusiastically that it did.

A Pew poll from April 2014 revealed that 91 percent of Crimean respondents believed the referendum was free and fair, 93 percent had confidence in Putin, and 85 percent believed Kiev should recognize the results.

Another poll in June 2014, this one from Gallup, showed 94 percent of ethnic Russians in Crimea thought the referendum reflected the views of the people and 68 percent of ethnic Ukrainians in Crimea agreed. The poll found that 74 percent believed that joining Russia would make life better.

A GfK poll from February 2015, sponsored by a pro-Ukrainian group in Canada, revealed 93 percent of Crimeans endorsed the referendum.

The Crimean Tatars, an ethnic minority comprising approximately 12 percent of the population, is divided on reunification. Surveys reflecting the view of Crimean Tatars specifically, or which break down opinion by ethnicity to include the Tatars, are difficult to find. Russian media has reported that 30 percent of Crimean Tatars voted in favor of reunification but it is unclear where this figure originates from.

One survey conducted jointly by Open Democracy and the Levada Center, published in March of 2015, did include Tatar opinion. Their results revealed that 50 percent of Crimean Tatars supported the referendum (30 percent generally and 20 percent absolutely) while 30 percent opposed it and 20 percent did not express support or opposition.

There are reports from Western media and organizations that Crimea has been repressing Tatars since the reunification. The most recent report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights discusses claims of “people who were dismissed or threatened to be dismissed from their posts for refusing to take up Russian Federation passports”; concerns about due process in the trials of two high-profile defendants accused of extremism and/or terrorism; informal designation of the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Simferpol as an “extremist organization”; and, the apparent abduction, separately, of three Crimean Tatar men who have gone missing. A criminal murder investigation has been opened by Russian authorities in one of the cases.

No doubt there have been tensions since the coup in Kiev exacerbated pre-existing political and ethnic divisions across Ukraine; however, as journalist Roger Annis has pointed out, there were no repercussions when up to 20,000 Tatars took part in a rally on May 18, 2014, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of their expulsion by Stalin.  This gathering was held in Simferopol in defiance of a temporary ban on mass rallies at the time by the Crimean authorities. Both The Guardian and AP reported on the rally.

However, Girey Bairov, a Tatar activist who works as a dentist in Crimea and refused to participate in the referendum, which he saw as illegitimate, explained the historical plight of the Crimean Tatars and the consequent distrust of living under Russian governance:

“Before Stalin repressions in 1944, Crimean Tatars lived in their own territory called Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. Almost all names of Crimea villages and cities were of Crimean Tatar origin.  We lived in our own houses. All land in collective farms belonged to us. We lost it all. While Crimean Tatar men were fighting with the Red Army against Fascists, Stalin made an order to deport all Crimea Tatar children, women and old people. All their belongings were taken away and they were thrown onto the hungry steppes of Central Asia where half of Tatar people died. From 1944 to 1989, we lived in exile, but were dreaming to return back to Crimea and everything we lost.”

In an attempt to facilitate reconciliation with Crimean Tatars, Putin issued a decree on April 21, 2014, reiterating previous public condemnations of the Stalin-era expulsion of the Tatars for allegedly collaborating with the Nazis, and calling for measures to rehabilitate the Tatars and “to restore historical justice and remove the consequences of the illegal deportation and the violations of their rights.”

Along with Russian and Ukrainian, the Tatar language is now an official language in Crimea – something the Tatars had never achieved while under Ukrainian governance.

Putin subsequently met with representatives of Crimean Tatars on May 16, 2014.  Moreover, members of the leadership of Tatarstan, a republic of the Russian Federation with approximately 4 million citizens, have met with the Tatar population of Crimea.

But Bairov said Russia is only “trying to solve the Crimean Tatar question on paper.” He said the everyday reality for Tatars is very different, including a 90 percent reduction in the number of Tatars who hold positions in authority and Tatar activists being jailed and deported.

The most visible representative of the Tatar opposition to the Crimean referendum and reunification (and most cited by Western media) is Mustafa Dzhemilev, a Soviet-era dissident and current member of the Ukrainian parliament. Some of Dzhemilev’s public statements and actions, however, would seem to call his credibility into question.

For example, he has dismissed any concerns about the neo-fascist and ultra-nationalist elements in the post-coup government in Kiev and declared that all parties in the Ukrainian parliament are “ten times more democratic” than Putin’s government.

Dzhemilev’s latest activities include a blockade of Ukrainian goods into Crimea, which is being enforced at the border in partnership with neo-fascist members of Right Sector since September. The aforementioned UN human rights report expressed concern about these blockade enforcers who were described as “uniformed men sometimes wearing masks and balaclavas [who] reportedly have lists of people considered to be ‘traitors’ due to their alleged support to the de facto authorities in Crimea or to the armed groups in the east.”

Incidents of beatings and property damage are cited, adding that these events occurred in the presence of police and border guards on the Ukrainian side who declined to intervene.

During that same month, Dzhemilev’s close colleague, Refat Chubarov, promised to have electricity to Crimea cut off, foreshadowing the Nov. 21, 2015 sabotaging of power lines into Crimea which caused partial or full blackouts for almost 2 million Crimeans.

The convoluted logic behind these actions is reflected in the fact that the blockade has likely caused more damage to Ukrainian producers than Crimean consumers (who have been substituting Russian and Turkish imports) or the Russian government.

Dzhemilev has a history of allying with and expressing support for dubious parties in his years’ long role as the chairman of the Majlis, the unrecognized Crimean Tatar Assembly. In fact, Dzhemilev admitted in a 2012 interview with the magazine, The Ukrainian Week, that the Majlis had largely been ineffective in resolving the main problems of naturalization, enfranchisement and legitimization of land acquisition for the thousands of Tatars who have returned to independent Ukraine since the 1990s.

Many Tatars have returned from Uzbekistan where they already had citizenship, creating obstacles to repatriation, such as requirements to return to Uzbekistan to pay a duty and renounce Uzbek citizenship.

The Majlis’ ineffectiveness contributed to a public row in 2011 with a segment of Crimean Tatars represented by a group called Sebat, which, according to the private Ukrainian television station Ukrayina, accused Dzhemilev and his deputy, Chubarov, of “betraying national interests, misappropriation [of] money and procrastinating the settlement of the land issue.”

Moreover, a network of Tatar social organizations formed in 2006, known as the Milli Firqua People’s Party of Crimea, denies the Majlis speaks for all or even most Crimean Tatars, citing 15-20 percent support for each of their respective organizations, with the majority of Crimean Tatars non-aligned.

The UN Refugee Agency’s timeline on Crimean Tatars in Ukraine chronicles the problems that Tatars faced throughout the 1990s in newly independent Ukraine, including high unemployment, lack of access to water and electricity in homes, and the absence of paved roads in their communities. The Majlis’ subsequent support for the “Orange Revolution” government of Viktor Yushchenko in 2005 yielded many promises but still no real action in the resolution of these issues.

Bairov acknowledges that the hopes of Crimean Tatars were not realized under Ukrainian governance: “While we lived in Ukraine from 1991 to 2014, we were waiting for 23 years that the Crimean Tatar question would be solved fairly. Our Ukrainian leaders convinced us that once Ukraine becomes a truly democratic state, we will have at least 36 percent of Crimean Tatars in power, as it was earlier [in 1944], the flag and coat of arms will be Crimean Tatar. But Ukraine failed to restore the rights of Crimean Tatars.”

President Barack Obama and President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine talk after statements to the press following their bilateral meeting at the Warsaw Marriott Hotel in Warsaw, Poland, June 4, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine talk after statements to the press following their bilateral meeting at the Warsaw Marriott Hotel in Warsaw, Poland, June 4, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Dzhemilev claimed in 2010 that most Tatars had supported Yulia Tymoshenko in that year’s elections, but also said that the Tatar community did not oppose the winner, Viktor Yanukovych, and would work with him. After supporting the coup in 2014, both Dzhemilev and Chubarov were granted appointments to the Ukrainian parliament as part of the Poroshenko Bloc, which is considered “the electoral machine of the [current] Ukrainian president,” Petro Poroshenko.

Following this admittedly ineffectual pattern, it is unclear how implementing a blockade or advocating for the cutting of electricity to Crimea will help fellow Tatars there or put them on the road to progress. Perhaps realizing this, some leaders of the Majlis consented to the resumption of power to Crimea and allowing repairs to the lines, a move Right Sector continued to block until the Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy “Yats” Yatsenyuk announced  on Dec. 16 that the blockade was now being officially endorsed by the Kiev government. Subsequently, President Poroshenko admitted to regularly meeting with Dzhemilev and Chubarov to “coordinate” the blockade.

It remains to be seen how the Crimean Tatars ultimately fare under Russian governance. Many hope that the initial gestures of reconciliation immediately after the reunification will be followed up on with substantive steps toward political and economic integration.

Natylie Baldwin is co-author of Ukraine: Zbig’s Grand Chessboard & How the West Was Checkmated, available from Tayen Lane Publishing. In October of 2015, she traveled to six cities in the Russian Federation and has written several articles based on her conversations and interviews with a cross-section of Russians. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in various publications including Consortiumnews, OpEd News, The New York Journal of Books, The Common Line, Santa Fe Sun Monthly, Dissident Voice, Energy Bulletin, Newtopia Magazine, and the Lakeshore. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and blogs at natyliesbaldwin.com

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41 comments for “How Crimeans See Ukraine Crisis

  1. jaycee
    February 11, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    The Russians were not going to walk away from their naval base. The swift and decisive moves in Crimea prevented a possible international crisis on the level of Berlin or Cuba.

    The bad faith of the West on this issue was underscored by the revelation that the US Navy had published a tender for construction work in these vey naval yards some months before the Maidan protests had even begun. Furthermore, NATO analysts predicted that Russia would take steps to protect the status of their facilities in event of a nationalist Ukraine crisis back in the mid 2000s. That NATO would presume shock and surprise in 2014 is disingenuous, as is the build ups of “rapid reaction forces” in “response”.

    • Kiza
      February 12, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      Nice comment jaycee. But let us consider US options on Crimea.

      Firstly, Crimea was one of the few prizes of the Ukraine coup. The only other two prizes were:
      1) privitization of the Ukrainian fertile land and using it for growing Monsatno
      2) placing nuclear missiles 300 miles from Moscow.
      This is what a $5B government change project with a NeoNazi coup as a cherry on top buys you.

      But Crimea already housed an old Russian navy base, as Ms Baldwin writes. If you acquire a country, how do you dislodge your enemy’s military base from it, except try with a costly direct military attack? I have no doubt that the coup designers knew this very well, as you write: “NATO analysts predicted that Russia would take steps to protect the status of their facilities in event of a nationalist Ukraine crisis back in the mid 2000s”. Therefore, the Crimea part of the coup prize has always been out of reach. The only thing they could ever do is milk Crimea return/annexation for its propaganda value, and so they did.

      • WheatUnderSky
        February 12, 2016 at 7:56 pm

        Kiza are you ready to be responsible for spreading the lie about so called neonazi coup? Can you elaborate on who exactly planned a coup, names, funds, schedule, schemes. Your information has little to do with the reality it is a conspiracy. I can tell you that RF planned a coup in Ukraine at least since 2010. The first attempt was in 2004 also in Crimea near island Tuzla. They failed at the time, bc army response was fast. In 2010 when Yanukovich was just elected ran to Putin and signed new lease for Russian Navy base in Crimea extending it till 2049 without even discussing it with the Ukrainian Parliament. The original lease was expiring in 2017. Also they increased the amount of personal that could be there from 10,000 to 25,000. This is exactly what was enough to overpower Ukrainian forces that were under 20,000. Also RF intelligence infiltrated commanding level of Ukrainian army and SBU in Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk and other cities, but to less extend. They were using network of communist party to organized coup in Donbass smuggling weapon and money. Majority of so called government in occupied territories are communists or somehow related to party of Regions. Chadakovski is a head of one of terrorist groups Vostok was SBU officer in Donetsk. Some of his operatives also broke the oath. Also there should be investigation what russian police and soldiers dressed in Berkut uniform were doing in Kiev during the Maidan. There are a bunch of pictures in infornapalm and mirotvorec database. The entire government body of political party Rodina from Odessa is in russia. Some of them were involved in terrorist acts in Odessa and Mariupol killing russian speaking people supporting Ukraine. Girkin ala Strelkov, Bezler, Motorola are russian citizens that initiated invasion picturing it as protest to coup of neonazi. Girkin openly said recently if he did not come to Slavyansk nothing would happen. Kadyrov’s soldiers were participating in attacks on Donetsk airport. Logistics of that scale was organized in russian headquarter and requires at least several months of planing. It is interesting that somehow one of key people general Sergun died recently. Initial talking head of real coup in Donetsk Gubarev was a member of russian national union organization from Russia. That is a true neo-nazi organization. There are multiple phone conversation recorded by SBU between Barkashov and other russian officials with terrorists talking how they supply them with Buks, weapons and money and mercenaries. Those are real events and facts and not fake theories of missiles 300 miles from moscow and Monsanto nonsense.

        • Kiza
          February 14, 2016 at 8:53 am

          Firstly, maybe the Russian Federation planned a coup in Ukraine since year 2000 as you claim, but it was the US which did the coup.

          Secondly, if I knew all the details you were asking for, I would have to be an intelligence agent, which I am not. In other words, your standard of proof for your side’s interference into other countries is way beyond reason.

          Finally, my point was mostly strategic – what the US plans for Crimea must have been before the coup was implemented. They knew very well that they could not acquire that one, but it’s propaganda value was nothing too shabby. For the stupid part of the domestic population it has been summarised as: “Russia invades and annexes other countries”. This, in the simplified stupido propaganda Crimea was turned into a COUNTRY which Putin annexed like Hitler did Checkoslovakia. Did we expect them to say – “Russia in a defensive move returned a vital military base to Russia, given to Ukraine by the communists”. I thought communists were bad, did not you? But obviously they become good guys when they give Russian oldest naval base to another country.

          • WheatUnderSky
            February 15, 2016 at 8:15 am

            I see you choose to tag events as a coup even without substantial facts on hands and justifying that as not being an intelligence agent. I can live with this.
            And then you named RF actions as defensive move. You know defense is when somebody attacks your territory and you respond. No one attacked RF, so to call their action defensive is a bit exaggerated. Ticket old Navy strategic base is a weak justification, bc RF has another military base in Novorossiisk, and during USSR it was estimated that that base would last a couple of hours in a big conflict. Second term old is very relative. For example, 800 years ago moscow was not on the map and term Russia was used relative to church districts in Kievan Rus’. Tatars were in Crimea before Russians. So Tatars have more rights to have independent state there than anybody else and once again RF violently treats these people arresting, damaging their property, restricting their mass media. That is ok there is the old naval base there.

        • DJ
          February 24, 2016 at 1:57 pm
        • Le Ruscino
          February 24, 2016 at 3:40 pm

          You are talking like deluded US:Kiev Junta Troll who is in denial of plain facts – Ukraine has only been a State since 1991 – It was not a State in the Soviet Union & prior to the Russian revolution it was Malarossiya & prior to that Polish.

          Read the Soviet legal presidiums that set up Ukraine & did the 1954 transfer of Crimea & you will see that on dissolution of the Soviet Union Ukraine should actually have gone back to Russia never mind just Crimea!!

          The Ukrainian language which is 80% Russian was an attempt by the Austro-Hungarian Empire to change the language to pull the territory out of Russia & even the Blue & Yellow flag colours come from the Austro Hungarians so to be puerile you are full of shite.

          A coup is a coup is a coup & Maidan was a coup by any definition carried out under US orders – Watch this to see how the US do it with a tried & tested formula. Stop being a sucker !

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpXbA6yZY-8&index=25&list=PLQ1CWs9Ixs5RGv-hTLp8Z08dszbH6wdvN

  2. Mahmood Delkhasteh
    February 11, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    A message for Robert:

    Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme Defence Council, revealed that, when the American sailors were arrested in Persian Gulf, the Republican party guys had contacted them and asked them not to release the sailors but they refused.
    Obviously they were trying to have their second October Surprise.

    • MEJ
      February 12, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      Sounds like the Iranians remembered their history as much as we did.

  3. Abe
    February 11, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    While Crimea’s dependency on Ukraine for power and other necessities could have been used as a means of proving that the peninsula exists as an integral part of Ukrainian territory, by cutting power and being unable to rein in the terrorists who for over a week blocked repairs from the Ukrainian side, Kiev has all but proved it has no interest or ability to administer the region.

    That the terrorists in fact are backed by not only special interests now occupying Kiev, but by NATO and the United States in particular, illustrates the punitive measures Ukrainians and their neighbors face for falling on the wrong side of NATO and its proxies in Kiev. It also illustrates once again the impetus that drove the people of Crimea to wisely choose ascension into the Russian Federation rather than to remain a part of Ukraine in the first place […]

    The illegitimacy of not only the regime in Kiev, but of NATO who created it and to this day perpetuates its existence, has helped erode the very principles both are now trying to appeal to in order to maintain the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Beyond Ukraine, similar scenarios are developing across all of Eastern Europe, where as NATO attempts to expand closer and closer to Russia’s borders, it is finding it increasingly difficult to find allies who are not extremists with ties to fascism and/or Nazism.

    By allying itself with these radical elements, those populations subjected to their NATO-backed domination of politics, economics, and security are more likely to turn toward Russia either as Crimea did, or as the break-away republics of Donetsk and Lugansk have.

    Beyond Eastern Europe, the continual violation of Syria and Iraq’s sovereignty by NATO is making it exponentially more difficult to appeal to sovereignty and territorial integrity in regards to Ukraine.

    Crimea Loses Power Temporarily, Ukraine Loses Crimea Forever
    By Tony Cartalucci
    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2015/12/crimea-loses-power-temporarily-ukraine.html

    • George R
      February 12, 2016 at 2:51 pm

      And you call this journalism? At issue is actuality.

      The Kuban. Cossaks are Ukrainians courtesy of Catherine.

      A Russian satrap got himself elected to office with substantial Russian monetary input
      and proceeded to dismember the country by assaulting its culture, denigrating its history and making a mockery of its institutions.

      In the end, he proceeded to again entangle it with its most bestial enemy and t their largess wantonly engaged in concomitant theft of its wealth and bankrupting its its cultural military institutions.

      That there are consequences to such behavior by a president of Ukraine is empirically witnessed.

      As to Russia and its way of life, culture, a demographically dying nation.

      Its involvement in Crimea offers nothing except poverty misery, slavery and a untimely demise.

      And you claim the Crimean’s love this because now they are part of a dying enterprise?
      Things are not getting better in Crimea at all and you know this.

      • MEJ
        February 12, 2016 at 6:00 pm

        Actually I don’t know this. Do you have more links? I’ve been reading everything I can about Crimea since the coup in Kiev, and my impression was slightly different. I’m willing to reconsider if there are well documented news stories out there that I’ve missed.

        So far I’ve heard that Russia is starting to repair the infrastructure that has been 25 years neglected, raised pensions, started a permanent bridge link to the peninsula, and started building more secure power and water sources for the Crimeans. So far the ruble is more stable than the hryvnia (which is saying something, given the ruble’s fall) and stories about the graft in Kiev make me think the ‘crooked’ Russians cannot hold a candle to the Ukrainians.

        I’m still interested in finding stories about treatment of the Crimean Tatars, which was a big question in 2014.

      • Josh k
        February 13, 2016 at 2:58 am

        How can Russia offer slavery, as the ukranian “government” already took that role. You are only reading American articles, and American TV if you have this opinion. The people of Crimea are pro russian.. Their love for Russia is justified. they voted on the matter, and now Crimea is russian. With many countries now recognizing this, the Ukrainian government is trying to get the USA more involved. At the end of it all. You will never get it. Because you truly have to be from russia or Ukraine to understand the relationship between the two.

        • AndJusticeForAll
          February 13, 2016 at 1:44 pm

          Josh K how about before you tangle yourself in nuances of events and take sides you read Budapest Memorandums on Security Assurances, 1994. Then you will see that RF broke affirmations, like all of them, they economically pushed, terrorized with nuclear weapon, then moved in ground troops and occupied Ukrainian territory. The Ukrainian government is appealing to other co-signers to restore the order. US and UK are bound by this memorandum otherwise their reputation is stained. RF is not justified to do any they did. RF troops have to leave all Ukrainian territories including Crimea. Then we will discuss matters.

          • Joe L.
            February 13, 2016 at 3:10 pm

            You’re seriously talking about the US and UK when the UK has the Falklands, the US actually annexed Hawaii at one time, meanwhile both the US and Britain removed the people from the Chagos Islands in the 1970’s and dumped them into the slums of Mauritius so that the US could build a military base on Diego Garcia. The fact is that Ukraine actually broke its own Constitution by removing Yanukovych from power, I believe Article 111. I think legally Yanukovych could only be removed if he died, was unable to fulfill his duties due to illness, was impeached with a 3/4 vote of the Rada etc. So talking about “legality” is kind of ridiculous.

            For me, the Ukrainian people had the groundwork to “legally” get rid of Yanukovych, if that truly was the wish of the Ukrainian people, since it was agreed with the EU to have a reduction of power and early elections in December (which of course would have been monitored by multiple countries). If that was done and Ukraine used “democracy” to get rid of Yanukovych then I would have supported that 100% and the same would be said if the Ukrainian people (east and west) voted to get closer to the EU instead of Russia. But from what I see it seems to me that Yanukovych was overthrown through a coup that I believe was instigated by the US. I do believe that there were legitimate protesters on the Maidan, much like in 1953 Iran, but it was manipulated by the CIA who used Svoboda and Right Sector to overthrow the government (as they did in 1953 Iran). I also believe that Ukraine is a divided country as indicated by political maps of the 2010 election, which clearly shows a divide down the middle of the country. I think also that people in the east felt a threat when Ukraine tried to remove Russian as a regional language and people from Svoboda and Right Sector swarming their region and chants like “Ukraine for Ukrainans” (which to me sounds like Nazi Germany who put stars on Jewish people using nationalist pride).

            So I certainly don’t support Ukraine and I believe that this action by the US, EU and Ukraine are bringing us closer to WW3 which was completely unnecessary. With Crimea, which was Russia 60 years ago, is a consequence of the coup and Russia annexed it to not only protect the people of Crimea but also to protect their military base meanwhile witnessing NATO expand to its’ borders even though NATO was not to expand one inch east of Germany. I don’t believe that Crimea is ever coming back to Ukraine and the more that the Western world pushes Russia the closer it is pushing China, Russia, India etc. together which is also accelerating the creation of a world independent of the US dollar and Western control.

    • Kiza
      February 12, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      As far as I understand, from following the developments in Eastern Europe, the main reason those countries were “begging” to be incorporated into the AngloZionist empire is because it used to be the only show in global town. If Russia wins in Syria, which equals to keeping Syria in one piece instead of being ripped apart between Israel, Turkey and ISIS, then there may be less interest in being under the US boot (on behalf of Israel).

    • George R
      February 13, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      be, interesting. However, this is an eschatological issue.

      In other words, in the end there is the truth which is because it has to be empirical witness.

      There are outright lies, however, the problem with outright lies is its transparency.

      And then there are half truths and these like all evil are insidious and not readily recognizable but in the end do become eminent by its fruits of no good.

      You, either volitionally or unconscionably pursue or use as a vehicle half truths to get your message across.

      That this is not good for you is already witnessed, but you are unable to see this.

      Perhaps you should get to know the virtue that your alleged enemies, The Ukrainian Nationalists, pursue and in so doing become familiar with the reasons for their existential success.

      How was it possible for a nation, and Ukraine has is a nation, to survive the bestial assault on their very being for three hundred years and as a nation remain in tact with their own language, literature, military and cultural institutions after an unprecedented genocide that murdered its intelligentsia, its most productive farmers, its teachers, priests and leadership
      in the millions.

      And the Ukrainian Nationalists are the bad guys?

      You as one who wants to know and understand actuality please pursue a scientific, volitional and disciplined, study of why and how Ukrainians see their culture and destiny.

      Also why and how they are effective?

      On the other hand look at Russia objectively. Address its demographic tragedy and why/

      As to Crimea, a Russian disaster. Why should Ukraine interfere with nature?
      Evhen Konvalets did insist that Russian Communism declared war upon nature itself and as such given enough time would end in self destruction as it did and continues to do so.

      According to Konvalets, culturally, he who lats wins.

      George R

      • RedBrigade
        February 14, 2016 at 1:10 am

        George R good introduction to logical fallacies, some light in darkness.

  4. RedBrigade
    February 11, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    the header should say “collection of myths in temporally occupied territories.”

    • Alex
      February 11, 2016 at 10:59 pm

      What a collection of Russian lies and propaganda! The day will hopefully come when GOOD Russian people finally have enough of dictators and put the old communists on trial for the crimes they committed against nationalities such as the Tatars which the Russians are busy committing yet again. Those ignorant people from “the states” should go home and study up on what Russification means. It is the Russian policy of brutal repression of the many nationalities that they have conquered by force over the years. It involves ethnic cleansing, genocide, forced resettlement as was done to the Tatars, and prohibitions against languages, religion and customs that aren’t Russian. This has been done to millions of people by Russia over the years and it continues to this day. There’s a very good reason why so many Eastern European nations want nothing to do with Russia!

  5. Alex
    February 11, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    What a collection of Russian lies and propaganda! The day will hopefully come when GOOD Russian people finally have enough of dictators and put the old communists on trial for the crimes they committed against nationalities such as the Tatars which the Russians are busy committing yet again. Those ignorant people from “the states” should go home and study up on what Russification means. It is the Russian policy of brutal repression of the many nationalities that they have conquered by force over the years. It involves ethnic cleansing, genocide, forced resettlement as was done to the Tatars, and prohibitions against languages, religion and customs that aren’t Russian. This has been done to millions of people by Russia over the years and it continues to this day. There’s a very good reason why so many Eastern European nations want nothing to do with Russia!

  6. Joe L.
    February 12, 2016 at 12:56 am

    I still remember our media saying that Crimeans were voting at gunpoint and even Ukraine was trying to say that Russia was spoofing the election results – Russia saying that there was something like an 83% turnout and of those that voted that 96% voted to succeed from Ukraine. What is also interesting now is the we have Pew Research, Gallup, and GFK polls which all clearly show that the overwhelming majority of Crimeans are happy to be Russian again and their numbers actually are close to Russia’s initial findings. Overall though I do believe that Russia annexed Crimea but it also saw a threat from NATO expanding right up to Russian (a reverse Cuban Missile Crisis) and it was not going to give up a military base that it has held for something like 300 years. Also it is interesting to hear countries like the US and Britain moan over Crimea when there are examples such as the Falklands, Hawaii, and even the Chagos Islands (where the US and Britain removed the Chagos people and dumped them in the slums of Mauritius so that the US could build a military base on Diego Garcia). So many double standards.

    • Joe L.
      February 12, 2016 at 1:11 am

      … 96% voted to “secede” – sorry for the spelling mistake!

  7. Winston Smith
    February 12, 2016 at 12:59 am

    This is the same account I have read in multiple venues, yet Obama, Biden and Kerry continue to deny it just as a long line of popes rejected the verifiable heliocentric theory of Copernicus. I don’t like it when my government persistently lies to me.

  8. FuckPutin
    February 12, 2016 at 3:25 am

    What shit. I would bet my house that she is Russian. First of all of course Ukraine isn’t going to be constantly building and renovating as they have no money because Russian and the corrupt Yanokovych took it all. Second of all Crimea was part of Ukraine and was known as an independent cossack state run by Ukrainians until WW1 when Russia stole it. We to be honest would much rather them take a small piece of land than any more of our amazing culture. Why can’t they just leave Ukrainians along. We have the right, we have been around so much longer than they have Ukraine-Rus was established in 882, whilst Russia-Muscovy was established in 1328.

    • Natylie Baldwin
      February 12, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’m an American – born in San Jose, California. I don’t even have Russian in my family history.

      Crimea had been part of Russia since the 18th century when Catherine the Great annexed it. It became part of Ukraine as the result of an administrative transfer by Khrushchev in 1954 from the Russian republic to the Ukrainian Republic in the USSR.

      • Oleg
        February 12, 2016 at 2:38 pm

        You see, the fact that they pay so much attention to the ancestry really is the best proof that these people are Nazi. The specific understanding of history and constant referral to special ancestral rights of the Ukrainian people is also a common case. Unfortunately, this is the result of concerted effort over the past 25 years of modern Ukrainian statehood, supported to a large part by various Western institutions. I do not think they really wanted to make Ukraine a breeding ground of Nazi ideology, but in fact this was totally predictable. You deny people real education, knowledge of their real history and culture, the universal humanitarian values, and they become Nazi. It is really very alarming how many young Ukrainians now think like the poster above.

  9. FuckPutin
    February 12, 2016 at 3:25 am

    What propaganda. I would bet my house that she is Russian. First of all of course Ukraine isn’t going to be constantly building and renovating as they have no money because Russian and the corrupt Yanokovych took it all. Second of all Crimea was part of Ukraine and was known as an independent cossack state run by Ukrainians until WW1 when Russia stole it. We to be honest would much rather them take a small piece of land than any more of our amazing culture. Why can’t they just leave Ukrainians along. We have the right, we have been around so much longer than they have Ukraine-Rus was established in 882, whilst Russia-Muscovy was established in 1328.

  10. jinconcord
    February 12, 2016 at 5:07 am

    It is true that MOST people in Crimea wish to be part of Russia rather than Ukraine. Tatars are part of a large minority with the opposite opinion. However, the situation in East Ukraine is much different. I spent over a year working in Ukraine (I’m a US citizen) and can tell you that the vast majority of people in east Ukraine do not wish to be part of Russia. Many supported the Maiden protests in 2013/2014. Clearly Russia fomented the unrest because it did not want to see Ukraine develop stronger ties with the west. One could argue that the west blundered in how it addressed Putin’s concerns prior to the overthrow of Yanukovych but the fact remains that most in the east want to continue to be part of a united Ukraine.

    • Natylie Baldwin
      February 12, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      The West has typically characterized the rebels in the southeast of Ukraine as puppets of Russia with no legitimate grievances or indigenous support. However, American Russia scholar Nicolai Petro, who spent a year in Ukraine and was in country when the upheaval occurred, has cited sociological surveys of Donbass residents from March, April and May of 2014 in which the results show that majorities considered the Right Sector to be dangerous and influential and the Maidan protests to be illegal and representing “an armed overthrow of the government, organized by the opposition, with the assistance of the West.”

      I agree that a lot of Donbass residents probably don’t want to be part of Russia, they want autonomy and security. I don’t think Putin wants them as part of Russia either. It is in the Russian interest to have Eastern Ukrainians who oppose joining NATO as part of Ukraine to serve as a counterweight to those in other parts of Ukraine who want to push NATO membership. Crimea was a different situation.

      • Oleg
        February 12, 2016 at 2:16 pm

        Yet another thing to consider is that people’s opinions change over time. Since 2013-2014, Kiev declared war on the people of Eastern Ukraine, killed some 10,000 people there, cut them from supplies, pensions and such and even started to deny them Ukrainian passports (there is a passport exchange going on in Ukraine right now, but not in Donbass). Ukrainian nationalists who are very powerful in Ukraine now never hide the fact that they want land but not people of Eastern Ukraine. So one cannot exclude possible ethnic cleansing by Right Sector and similar groups in Eastern Ukraine should the region be restored to Kiev. All this makes people of Donbass think twice if they really want back to Ukraine.

        In fact, I really feel sorry for these people. They will not be able to join Russia, it is impossible for many reasons and Russia indeed does not want to incorporate them. The public opinion in Russia is also firmly against it, we feel that we ought to help them but taking them in is a totally different matter. Crimea is indeed a special case. However, we as an international community must protect the people of Eastern Ukraine from any retaliation from Kiev and Ukrainian nationalists. This means they will not return to Ukraine until a more responsible government is established there. Otherwise Donbass will be eventually lost for Ukraine too. If the West (and some Ukrainian posters here) really want to help Ukraine, this is what they need to do instead of supporting the current government in Ukraine hoping to make it a stronghold against Russia.

  11. Alex
    February 12, 2016 at 10:45 am

    The notion that most Crimeans wanted to be a part of Russia was false from the get go, gentlemen. The original referendum was a joke enforced at gunpoint by Russian troops which the lying SOB Putler first tried to deny, then later admitted. After that bold faced lie, nobody in their right mind can EVER believe ANYTHING Adolf Putler says again. As for right now, many Crimeans have fled to Ukraine and elsewhere so of course if you polled those left they will say they want to be with Russia! Also the article failed to mention how DANGEROUS it is to say anything against Russia nowadays in Crimea. You might disappear or get killed or beaten so badly your own family won’t recognize you. Yes this is all happening in Crimea TODAY. Ask the Tatars for example.

    • Dmitri
      February 12, 2016 at 12:08 pm

      Do you really think anyone here takes your comments seriously?

    • Crimeanvoice
      February 13, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      Alex, hello from Crimea! No matter what you consider and think, we are much happier now with Russia, rather than with Ukraine, as we are BACK HOME. Yes, there are few challenges and problems today in Crimea, financially and economically, which is fair, because we moved to another country with much stricter laws and regulations. Besides , we are much more secure today. And finally, we live now in the country with national dignity, while Ukraine is still standing like a begger on her knees in front of the West, having lost all her pride. I participated in referendum, and there were three questions, the first two : whether we want Crimea to be part of Ukraine or Russia. Even those, who were against Russia, could freely express their opinion. Do majority of Crimeans wish to be back to Ukraine? NO. Thank you, NO.

  12. Joe L.
    February 12, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Pew Research: “Despite Concerns about Governance, Ukrainians Want to Remain One Country” (May 8, 2014):

    “Crimean residents are almost universally positive toward Russia. At least nine-in-ten have confidence in Putin (93%) and say Russia is playing a positive role in Crimea (92%). Confidence in Obama is almost negligible at 4%, and just 2% think the U.S. is having a good influence on the way things are going on the Crimean peninsula.”

    http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/05/08/despite-concerns-about-governance-ukrainians-want-to-remain-one-country/

    Forbes: “One Year After Russia Annexed Crimea, Locals Prefer Moscow To Kiev” (March 20, 2015):

    “In June 2014, a Gallup poll with the Broadcasting Board of Governors asked Crimeans if the results in the March 16, 2014 referendum to secede reflected the views of the people. A total of 82.8% of Crimeans said yes. When broken down by ethnicity, 93.6% of ethnic Russians said they believed the vote to secede was legitimate, while 68.4% of Ukrainians felt so. Moreover, when asked if joining Russia will ultimately make life better for them and their family, 73.9% said yes while 5.5% said no.

    In February 2015, a poll by German polling firm GfK revealed that attitudes have not changed. When asked “Do you endorse Russia’s annexation of Crimea?”, a total of 82% of the respondents answered “yes, definitely,” and another 11% answered “yes, for the most part.” Only 2% said they didn’t know, and another 2% said no. Three percent did not specify their position.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2015/03/20/one-year-after-russia-annexed-crimea-locals-prefer-moscow-to-kiev/#1403de355951

  13. Charles Mothershed
    February 12, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    I am an American who traveled to Ukraine and fell in love with the Country and people there.I have a flat in Kherson that I visit 4 to 6 months a year for the last 3 years. I visited Crimea a few times before Russia Annexed it. I have to agree with Jinconcord and his assessment. Yanukovych did nothing for Crimea except take money from their lucrative tourist economy.

  14. AndJusticeForAll
    February 13, 2016 at 12:37 am

    I would like to point out that Natylie committed a crime by entering temporally occupied territory of Ukraine from the russian side without consent of Ukrainian authorities. No none would object her visiting Crimea if it was done in a proper way. But it shows disregard of international laws.

  15. Joe L.
    February 13, 2016 at 2:28 am

    “Moreira’s documentary also shows footage of right-wing paramilitaries demonstrating aggressively in the streets outside the parliament and scenes of their illegal blockade at the Crimean border, where they literally did control the streets and roads.”

    So much for Natylie having “no one object to her visiting Crimea if it was done the proper way” RedBrigade, AndJusticeForAll etc.

    • AndJusticeForAll
      February 13, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Joe L. a big pardon, but looks like you belong to a sect of witnesses of crucified infant by right sector. Moreira made the movie with questionable arguments over there and was not harmed. That is in contradiction what he was trying to portrait. And a small clarification there are no streets on the border. It is an open steppe. There are a few service buildings for police and border control. Time spent at border control on the Ukrainian side is much shorter usually than on occupied side. Hundreds of people cross the border in and out everyday without any problems. The only blockage is for loaded trucks.Somebody always is trying to make money, what is sometimes unethical specially when prices on the other side are 3 times higher. Who is responsible for that, also right sector? The territory lawfully is treated a temporally occupied as a result of RF military operation and RF is the aggressor that denies it in the best Gebbels traditions. According to international law, RF bears the obligation to supply people with necessities on that territory. RF did not sign contract to supply power, so no power either. Imaging this during WWII USSR supplies Nazi?

  16. February 13, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    WOW!!!
    those naz is in Kyiv are on top of their game when it comes to discrediting any information regarding Ukraine, Cimea, or their nazi regime.
    the type of unsubstantiated ad-hominem attack like that read above from “wheatundersky, alex, andjusiceforall,” and my personal favourite … fµ©k Putin … are prevalent on the RT comments section, but rarely seen on consortiumnews.com articles comments.
    yet … as soon as the site publishes some article related to the coup in Kyiv Feb., 2014, every troll pops up from under the bridge to discredit, and accuse us all of Russian ancestry.
    HAW KPNMA

    • RedBrigade
      February 14, 2016 at 1:29 am

      I am sorry, but Think Tank you are misusing term ad-hominem and at the same time are guilty of it yourself.

Comments are closed.