The occupation of Crimea: Russia's

the Annexed Crimea appeared in the Ukrainian news, as a rule, for two major events: the militarization of the Peninsula, permanent teaching occupation troops and the detention of another “terrorists” or “saboteurs” among the Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars. Social panorama of Republic often behind the scenes. The edition of “Apostrophe” has decided to find out at the Crimean and experts in what socio-political conditions, the people of the region has entered a new 2023.

Putin and a running Crimea

recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin, while on an illegal visit to the annexed Crimea, unexpectedly criticized the socio-economic situation, stating that in the occupied region necessary to “restore order”.

“we Need to improve the quality of life on the Peninsula, to develop the urban and social infrastructure, focusing on the highest and best standards”, — said the Russian President at the meeting in Yalta. In his opinion, improving the quality of life should include the repair of houses, utilities, landscaping, solving water problems, not only in the development of resort areas.

Separately, Vladimir Putin “took a ride” on the Crimean medicine, which after the Russian invasion was in the doldrums. “The industry is in a deplorable state. Not enough specialists, buildings and equipment of hospitals worn out”, — said Vladimir Putin, noting that the situation in the Crimean medicine worse than the average in neighbouring Russia.

in fact, the Russian leader at the beginning of the new 2023 summed up in empty promises, which the Kremlin gave the residents of the Crimea before the “referendum”. In the spring of 2014 Kremlin propaganda tried to convince residents of the Ukrainian region that Russia is literally flooded the Peninsula with money, will significantly increase the quality of life and will solve all infrastructure problems.

the Russian statistics “draws” the average salary in the Crimea in the amount of 32 thousand rubles per month. In reality, such jobs can boast not all. On average, for example, the Crimean nurse gets about 12-13 thousand rubles in his hands, the doctor is about 25-28 thousand. For comparison, the average salary in Ukraine is about 10 thousand UAH, that is in recalculation on the Russian currency is about 25 thousand rubles.

Given that Russian officials are unable to fulfill the promise, and the lie no longer works, Vladimir Putin used his favourite rhetorical device. He simply distanced himself from the Crimean problem, as if chided local officials for poor performance.

Although a few days before that, he personally launched the movement of trains over the bridge across the Kerch Strait. And immediately after that in the Russian “government” of Crimea has once again stated that railway communication will help to reduce prices.

“It’s not even funny. At first we were told that Russia will come and flood everything with money. Freebie lasted 3-4 months, yet was Ukrainian prices and how would the Russian income. Then the prices went way up and continue to grow. Then we said, well, that will end the “transition period”, then everything will work out. Then offered to wait for the start of the Kerch bridge. Now we again say, that is now after the launch of the W/d line on the bridge prices should definitely come down. Neither I nor my relatives and friends in these stories do not believe,” he shared in an interview with “Apostrophe” the inhabitant of Simferopol Galina.

according to experts, Vladimir Putin is absolutely not interested in the situation in the Crimean economy and the standard of living of the local people. “Here the symbolism is much more than economic or technical considerations. Vladimir Putin is important to show that he did build a bridge across the Strait, how would “connect” the annexed Peninsula with neighboring Russia. Similar situation with the blockade of the Crimea from mainland Ukraine. The supply of water from the Dnieper and the Ukrainian start-up of trains in the Crimea have for Russia’s political significance. Water blockade will always be a “black spot” damaging the Kremlin”, — said in comments “Apostrophe” Director of the Agency for development of Azov region Konstantin Batozsky.

food Prices and problems with water

Given that the average pension is in the range of 9-12 thousand rubles, the life of the Crimean elderly wealthy will not name. Crimeans, which “Apostrophes” was able to communicate personally, noted that food prices in recent years has increased, but the local “officials” find an excuse: say, in Ukraine food prices are about the same, and the income of people below.

a Loaf of bread in the annexed Crimea in the average price of 25 rubles, potatoes Crimean — 25 rubles per kilogram. Beef — 450-530 rubles, pork — about 300 rubles, chicken carcass (whole) 150-160 rubles per kilogram. A liter of milk and a dozen eggs at 70-80 rubles, a kilogram of sugar — 30 rubles. That is, in terms of the hryvnia is more expensive a kilogram of beef is approximately 195 UAH.

“rose Significantly different industrial products, building materials, fodder for livestock. The price of pork still in the normal range, because the meat is imported from Krasnodar region. Beef is little, so it’s price goes up. For cattle livestock is simply not enough feed,” he explained, “Apostrophe”, a farmer from the Dzhankoysky area Vladimir S.

According to him, Crimean farming pressured by several factors. First, the water blockade by Ukraine actually led to the elimination of irrigated agriculture. Second, under Russian law, all land must be sown, otherwise, on the owner impose a fine. If in previous years the sown land was used for grazing, but now no such possibility.

rising prices and water scarcity (prior to the occupation of about 85% of water for agriculture and industry came through the channel) are two of the main problems that the Russian authorities by the end of 2019 and was not able to fix. The reason is simple — these troubles are a direct consequence of annexation.

the Villagers after the overlap of the North Crimean channel were saved at the expense of rainfed agriculture (bogara — land in the area of irrigated agriculture, in which crops are cultivated without irrigation — approx. ed.). In fact, even before the annexation of a large part of grain and sunflowers on the Peninsula have grown due to natural precipitation. By the way, this is one reason why, after the overlap of the channel in the region started the “agricultural disaster” as some predicted. Previously under irrigation was only corn, beets and some forage crops. This winter in the Crimea was dry. Almost no snow. Rural areas fear that in this weather the harvest will be extremely poor, which will further spur the price of feed.

“Passport tourists” from Crimea

Despite the efforts of the occupation authorities and the massive influence of the Kremlin propaganda (horror stories, that Ukraine is int-here is “collapse” or “freeze”), the inhabitants of the Peninsula in fact and de jure Ukrainian citizens. One of the outcomes of 2019 is the fact that “the authorities” of the Republic and their Moscow masters was unable to stop “tourism passport” from Crimea to other regions of Ukraine. It got to the point that treasured “biometrics” reached even ideological supporters of the “Russian world”.

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a month ago, the staff of SBU detained at the administrative border with Crimea Sevastopol activist of “United Russia” and the medal of the Ministry of defense of Russia Igor Kucheryavy. During the interrogation, the man, who is charged with encroachment on the territorial integrity of Ukraine, admitted that he went to the mainland for processing biometric passports. The story of Mr. Curly rocked social media in mind comic situation, but the trend is clear — Crimeans remain “active” citizens of Ukraine.

Our country is beneficial to the inhabitants of the Peninsula extended Ukrainian documents and designed a new, said in comments “Apostrophe” international lawyer, ex-representative of the President of Ukraine in Crimea Borys Babin. According to him, over the last couple of years about 200 thousand of the Crimean people updated their Ukrainian passports. «the Rest of the inhabitants of the Peninsula did not simply because they were not in need of updating. The fact that Crimeans are actively upgrading the Ukrainian documents and issue a new beneficial to our country. Each krymchanin, which moves in Ukraine and abroad with the Ukrainian documents is a kind of political gesture against the Russian occupation,” — said Borys Babin.

Some patriots are outraged that the Crimean “jackets” go for biometric passports, but it is only the emotions that are contrary to common sense, said the expert. If a person has committed a crime, it should hold up and condemn. Crimeans, as citizens, have a right to our documents and use them at your own discretion.

“We as a state are beneficial to all of them (no matter how many of them “quilted jackets”, separatists) received Ukrainian documents, as cynical as it may sound. A large number of Crimeans actively using documents with a Trident, one of the factors of de-occupation of the Peninsula,” insists Boris Babin.
Unclaimed resort

Following the failure of the Crimean authorities — attempts to rebuild in the region resort to a blockade and sanctions. Every year the “power” warn about alleged constant increase in the number of tourists. Recently in the Crimean “government” announced that in 2019 on the Peninsula rested supposedly 7.4 million people, including about 1.1 million people from mainland Ukraine. However, in statistics, voiced by the so-called “authorities” of the Republic, few believe.

the Head of the “Association of the industry of hospitality of Ukraine” Alexander Liev, before the annexation held the post of Minister of resorts of Crimea in&nbspcomments “Apostrophe” noted that the number of Russian tourists on the Peninsula since the occupation is not significantly increased. Those are still about a million people a year.

“As in the Soviet years, a large part of tourists in Crimea came from mainland Ukraine. By the end of 80-ies of the last century of the 8 million people about 6 million visitors were residents of the USSR, and about 2 million came from other Soviet republics. In 2013, about 4.5 million tourists arrived from mainland Ukraine, and around 1.1 to 1.2 million Russians. Now the conditions for increasing flow from Russia, and the Ukrainians were less willing to go on vacation in the Crimea”, — said Alexander Liev.

According to him, the Russian government tried to compensate for the fall in tourist flow to the Peninsula through an organized dispatch to the region of the state. The Russian government actually subsidized air travel, but after the opening of the bridge across the Kerch Strait tickets to the Crimea has risen by about a quarter.

“I do Not exclude that by the summer of 2023 due to the launch of the railway on the bridge (across the Kerch Strait, “Apostrophe”), the Russian authorities will further reduce the subsidy of air travel, or will refuse to Fund it. Vladimir Putin in the Crimea need not tourists, and the military base. And he is not at the expense of affordable plane tickets,” — said Alexander Liev.

the Territory of fear

As in previous years, the occupation administration and the Russian security services maintain the level of loyalty of the population in two main ways. First, targeted delivery of the Russian regions specialists of the security forces, the officials military from their families. Secondly, the climate of fear and social hysteria under the guise of “fighting terrorism”.

Literally every Crimean family in one degree or another (personally or through TV and the Internet) has round-the-clock work of the FSB, police and other “authorities”. A large part of the raids and the detentions, as a rule, Thursdays and Fridays. These days be sure someone is searched or lacking in Simferopol, Yalta, Sudak, Belogorsk, Bakhchisarai. That’s where many of the Crimean Tatars, who are the main object for attacks. Just because they are easier to fabricate cases under articles “terrorism” or “extremism”.

security forces open cases on the basis of denunciations and even publications in social networks, where they look for the symbolism of the “banned organizations” (typically, this religious-political movement “Hizb ut-Tahrir” (banned in Russia organization — approx. ed.)), posts or comments that krymchanin wrote, for example, that Crimea — is Ukraine.

the working Methods of the occupation security services since the beginning of annexation has remained the same: the surveillance, fabrication of “evidence” of illegal searches, arrests, bullying and intimidation. However, during the 2019 FSB, some changed tactics during the fabrication of criminal cases, said in an interview with “Apostrophe” human rights activist, representative of civil Association “human rights movement of Crimea” Damir Miladinov.

“because Of the scrutiny of rights activists, journalists and monitoring organizations Russian security officials you have to Excel. Each time they come up with more vile lies, so that their position in the Russian court looked to be convincing. If informed of arestovanYM was charged with “terrorism”, now on the Crimean hang even attempts to “seize power”. And all this is due to the fact that things fall apart in the courts, and “secret witnesses” of the FSB in the course of the proceedings often admit that they were forced to perjure yourself,” says Damir Miladinov.

If in previous years the FSB officers during the search were detained on average 2-3 people, then in 2019 they moved on to “industrial scale” from grabbing more than 20 people per RAID. “The goal of such attacks is to deprive victims of legal protection. The FSB calculation was based on the fact that according to Russian law, every suspect of “terrorism” should be a separate lawyer. Investigators and detectives hoped that just will not are 20 lawyers, but they miscalculated. Lawyers yet found”, — said Damir Miladinov.

Given that the promised “prosperity” in Crimea is not expected, fear and the workers of Russian jingoism will continue to be the main levers of control of the occupied territory.

the new York times contain estimates of the solely foreign media and do not reflect the views of the editorial Board of the new York times.