It's been 5 years since Russia annexed Crimea, do Crimeans feel Russian now? Will Ukraine never get back its territory?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief and Political Analyst (2015-present)
Sevastopol. Video made in July 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T6upSfGCxE
At 2:20 the crowd shouts "Rosssiya, Rossiya, Rossiya". At 2:30, Putin speaks in front of the huge crowd. He is not protected and feels no fear. He obviously knows that he runs no risk, because almost everyone in Sevastopol feels Russian and everyone loves him and sees him as a hero and saviour of the people. It was only a few months after the annexation. The film shows on-screen inscriptions that are quotations from the Ukrainian press claiming that Crimeans were forced to cheer Russia "under machine gun fire" and "in the wake of armoured tanks." The West will do everything in its power to convince its subjects that Russia is a dictatorship, but the objective truth is evident in this video and in others made in Crimea after annexation.
The biggest lie is that Russia is an aggressive nation. It was not Russia, but a European aggressor, that invaded and conquered Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, a large part of Germany, Poland and Spain from 1805 to 1812.
It was not Russia that invaded and occupied France during the Second World War. It was a European aggressor.
It was not the Russian Federation that invaded Serbia in 1998-1999 and killed 13,500 Europeans - almost all civilians - with aerial bombs. This mass murder was committed by NATO.
The truth is that Russia did not invade Crimea. Russian military installations and troops were already there, thanks to the close ties that joined Ukraine and Russia before the violent and illegal coup of 2014 that overthrew a legitimate democratically elected government in violation of Ukrainian and international law. It was the United States who sent Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and NGOs such as USAID (a CIA creation), an Open Society Foundation of George Soros, and it was European nations like Germany that, through the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, undermined Ukraine by promoting the illegal coup d'état with their false promise to allow Ukraine to become a member of the EU.
After this illegal coup, Russia decided to hold a referendum in Crimea and the results showed that 95.5% of voters voted in favour of Russia's accession. International observers from various countries were present.
According to the website https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/international-observers-find-crimean-referendum-strongly-and-voluntarily-supported-by-the-crimean-people-250658201.html:
"A group of international observers from Israel, Spain, Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, Latvia, Moldova and Serbia who have been invited by the Central Electoral Commission of Autonomous Republic of Crimea visited the largest cities of Crimea - Simferopol, Yalta, Evpatoria, Alushta, Saki, as well as many villages in the countryside.
"All observers unanimously noted that the referendum was held in strict compliance with international standards."
It is obvious that the Russians did not invade Crimea or seize the territory. They simply complied with the will of the Crimean people, who had been Russian since 1783 when the Ottoman Empire was defeated there by Catherine The Great. It would be more correct to say that Crimea acceded to the Russian Federation rather than that Russia annexed Crimea. That is what makes this question so remarkable. How could a people with over 2 centuries of history as a Russian speaking people immersed in a Russian culture not feel Russian?
Finally, the question "Do Crimeans feel Russian now?" reveals the impact of Western propaganda, influenced by Washington, on the entire West, who believe, despite the information we have on Crimeans, that Crimeans did not feel Russian before annexation. The truth is that Crimeans have always felt Russian and never identified as Ukrainians. The famous short story writer and playwright Anton Chekhov spent the last years of his life in Yalta, where he wrote the short story "Дама с собачкой" ("The Woman with the Little Dog"), which takes place in Yalta in the late 1890s If you read this tale, you can easily see that the people of Yalta speak Russian and see themselves as Russians and not as Ukrainians.
I visited Yalta in the early 1970s and was able to speak Russian with everyone I met. They did not even have a foreign accent - Ukrainian. I was with a group of foreign students of the Russian language that travelled from Moscow by bus to a seaside resort, and for the entire weekend, did not know I was in Ukraine. I thought I was in Russia!