A year has passed since the reunification of the Crimea and Sevastopol with the Russian Federation. No one doubts that this event will surely go down in history of not only Russia, but of the whole world. Remarkably, many Crimeans think of this year as a whole era of their life, although 23 years of living in Ukraine was something like living in a bad dream for them. It appears that many people woke up and started living a year ago. What has changed for the Crimea and its residents?
Today, all the Crimeans think of themselves as Russians in the first place, although they do not have an aversion to Ukraine. This is a conclusion that I can make after one year of communication with my Crimean friends over the Internet. Yet, many despise the Kiev junta. Amazingly, they feel sorry for the now-neighbor.
Crimea and Russia are now inseparable
"I think that the most important thing is the fact that the Crimeans and residents of mainland Russia realize that the reunification was just a starting point of connection between our historical territories. There's a lot to be done in the future," chief editor of Historian Magazine Vladimir Rudakov told Pravda.Ru.
According to the expert, the Crimea, being a part of the Ukrainian territory for more than two decades, had not seen any support from the Ukrainian authorities. Now is the time, when the Crimean Peninsula, with the help of Russia, is entering the period of large-scale reconstruction.
"As for residents of mainland Russia, the most important thing for them is that the Crimea and Russia are inseparable. If you go out in the streets and ask people, the vast majority of them will tell you that they do not see this situation differently. Most importantly, I am convinced that the Crimeans feel protected. The decision of the residents of the Crimea to reunite with Russia was the only correct decision to make in that situation. It was the only decision that could save the Crimea and its people from the chaos and war that the new Kiev government brought," Vladimir Rudakoov said.
"One can see three groups of problems for this year, - President of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov, told Pravda.Ru. The first one is the war in the Donbass. A year ago, the threat of a military conflict was strong. In Sevastopol, the local government had been changed before armed people occupied the Supreme Council of the Crimea. The war in the Donbass showed people what they were lucky to avoid," Mr. Remizov said.
The second group of problems is a group of transitional problems. There are many of them. The people, who were involved in the Ukrainization of the Crimea, are wearing new shoes today following Russia," the expert added.
"The third group of problems is related to the blockade and disrupted communications. Yet, all of these difficulties can be solved, although it may take time," said Mikhail Remizov.
Crimeans are realistic about their problems
According to the expert, people are realistic about the current problems, they are aware of them.
"This was the move that broke the trend of historical retreat. This is the Russian version of the revolution of dignity," the expert concluded.
"During this year, the Crimea has returned to Russia and started living a full-fledged life, - Alexei Zudin, a member of the advisory board of ISEPI Fund, shared his opinion in an interview with Pravda.Ru. A variety of domestic and foreign organizations have conducted numerous sociological studies in the Crimea. Three-quarters of respondents said that they had not changed their mind since the referendum a year ago. During 23 years of living as part of Ukraine, the Crimea was still a part of Russia, and the majority of the Crimeans saw themselves as Russian citizens. For them, the referendum was a trip back home."
Former senior officer of the Red Banner Northern Fleet of the USSR, a native of Transcarpathia, now a resident of Khmelnitsky region, Sergey Dmitryak told Pravda.Ru: "I'm not afraid of anything. The Crimea has made its choice and has thus saved Ukraine, although they do not understand this in Kiev now. Blood is bing shed in the Donbass, and a lot of more blood would have been shed in the Crimea, if rabid Maidan activists had gone there. I love my country, Ukraine, this is my homeland. Alas, Ukraine is drunk now, and the moment of sobering is not anywhere near. If the Crimea, being a part of Russia, shows how to live and revive, this may become a cold shower to Ukraine to shake the country and the people up."
The Crimea is home.