Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How does it feel, Crimea?

Crimea then, a mixture of cultures and beauty, and the sea. 
Human Rights Watch investigation.

Crimea today, occupied, going downhill
under Russification campaign and Stalinist terror tactics.
NYT "Property grab in Crimea.".
The Russians stole Crimea from Ukraine in a stealth nationalistic and militaristic campaign orchestrated by Putin, which accompanied a covert and overt brutal intervention. Brutal.  The Russian invaders claimed that over 90% of Crimeans voted to join Russia in what is considered by most countries as a fraudulent illegal election.  Rigged to the teeth.   I've always doubted that "over 90%" hogwash. More Putin propaganda.  But if that's what the majority of Crimeans wanted, those Russian-speaking,revved-up hyper-hysterics, that's what they got.

The Russians have infiltrated and are destroying Crimea's economy, politics and culture.  It's a Russification campaign that is sickening to witness and worse to hear about from friends whose lives are in danger.  What used to be an autonomous republic under Ukraine, with relatively peaceful relations among its citizens, and freedom of speech and assembly, is now like a Soviet socialist republic ruled with an iron fist, a Stalinist regime installed and ruled by Russia.  It's illegal, and so far Putin is getting away with it. There is no justification for his invasion of another country's lawfully acknowledged territorial integrity and boundaries.  None.  

According to Human Rights Watch, human rights abuses in Crimea are now rampant, against Tatars, journalists, professionals, anyone who voices any criticism or anyone who is not becoming a Russian citizen.  "Under various pretexts, such as combating extremism, the authorities have been persecuting people who dare to openly voice criticism of Russia's actions on the pennisula."   Persecuting, kidnapping, murdering. The Russian puppets have set a deadline of January 2015 for people to become either Russian citizens or be designated "foreigners" with no rights at all.. Lines for passports run for days and days; frustration mounts. Nothing works. Hospitals, banks, shops. Even worse, heavily armed thugs, mercenaries, and extra-legal gangs rule with abandon.  No effort to restrain them. This is a civilized society in the 21st century?  The quality of life has become unbearable and will get worse as the Russian economy tanks.

The Russification campaign includes land grabs on a large scale.  An AP investigation found many instances of "legal owners strong-armed off their premises; buildings, farms and other prime real estate seized on dubious pretenses, or with no legal justification at all; non-payment of the compensation mandated by the Russian constitution; and targeting of assets belonging to or used by the Crimean Tatar ethnic minority and the pro-Kiev branch of the Orthodox Church."   What happened to the Yalta Film Studio, set in the mountains overlooking the Black Sea, has been replicated over and over: 
"One day in October, a dozen armed men in masks drove up to the gates of Yalta Film Studios.  They weren’t actors, and this was no make-believe. It was a hostile takeover....'They forced all  the employees onto the ground, sealed off the premises and halted the work of the studio,' said  owner Sergei Arshinov...." 

Ukraine's justice ministry has said that about 4,000 enterprises, organizations and agencies have had their property expropriated.  "Some holdings, from shipyards to health resorts, were publicly earmarked for repossession by Crimea's regional government, now part of the Russian Federation. Others were simply seized by armed men, sometimes carrying official decrees that were never published or no documentation at all." ( http://news.yahoo.com/change-leadership-crimea-means-property-grab-202020014.html).  
Welcome to the new Crimea.  This once-harmonious pennisula, homeland of Tatars, a tourist mecca for world travelers, a feast of historic sites like Bachysaray,Yalta and Yevpatoria, is now submerged into a Stalinist state and going into the abyss with the Russian economy.  My heart goes out to Crimeans who wonder, to those like the Tatars who are persecuted, again, to those once-Ukrainian loyalists who are now prisoners of a Stalinist state.  .   .  

But for those who joined the thugs' protests and "voted" to join mother Russia, for those hyper-hysterics, you are getting what you deserve. You let yourselves be sucked in by false propaganda, false promises, ramped up BS ad nauseum,  You supported the stealth violence and stealth takeovers, taking down Ukrainian flags, putting up Russian flags in public mass hysteria gatherings organized by Russian mercenaries, directed by Putin. You invited dear mother Russia to run rampant over your government, your people's halls, and public organizations. You allowed Russian mercenaries and thugs to destroyUkrainian armed forces, and in thousands of humiliating ways. Humiliating.  How could you do this? You allowed Russians to take over your education system and your economy. There are no NGOs.  The once-thriving tourism trade on which you depended?  It no longer exists.740 hotels? almst empty. You are Ukraine's traitors in what is now Putin's Jerusalem.   You are suffering the consequences of your "majority" vote to join the motherland. Hysterical nostalgia got you nowhere.
How does it feel, Crimea? 






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