A girl in a national Crimean Tatar dress holds a placard during a protest against the presence of Russian troops in Crimea, Bakhchysaray, Crimea, March 5, 2014 (Image: mfa.gov.ua)
The post translated below was written by a pro-Russian resident of Crimea. People like her (estimated to be about 30% of the total Crimean population at the time of the “referendum” in March 2014) created a “smoke screen” for the Russian army to take over the Ukrainian peninsula. Russian security services quickly subdued the open resistance by abducting and killing or putting in prison most active and outspoken opponents of the occupation. Their strategy worked for about a year, but now the crumbling economy, social services, infrastructure and increasing poverty caused by the occupation are forcing the larger mass of formerly silent populous to be more outspoken about wishing Russia to get out. This post is an interesting snapshot of this cascading process made by a Putinista living in Sevastopol, probably the most pro-occupation city in Crimea because it is full of active and retired members of the Russian (and Soviet) military and their families. Unfortunately, it is very likely that the people this woman encountered and wrote about will be persecuted by the FSB, the Russian secret police.
Today I clashed with some Nazis in the shop that sells all kinds of crap for animals. I went in to buy medicine for fleas. There stands a woman picking out dry food. I tell her that she should not get carried away by food for getting rid of fur and should buy a different type instead.
The seller pounced on me almost with her fists. She yelled at me: “This is not Russia for you! Who let you act the lord? All of Europe feeds their pets with dry food, don’t set your rules here in OUR TERRITORY. Roll back into your Russia.”
I f***ing was at a loss for words. Even a doubt slipped through my mind, that I gallivanted around the entire day and some political changes happened here I am not aware of. I ask: “What is it? Where are we now?” “This is Crimea, and we will throw you out soon” – yells the Khokhol* woman.
I left, did not buy anything.
I went into another shop stall nearby. Decided to make a joke. I say: “How’s with nationalism here?” She tells me: “What difference does it make?” I reply: “Of course, I don’t give money for the ATO zone**.” She tells me: “Then leave the premises.”
I got out.
A man is walking by. I ask him:
“Is this Sevastopol?”
“Is it Russia?”
“I am just visiting.”
This is f***ed up. This market will be shuttered. It’s full of Nazis.
* Khokhol – a Russian pejorative term for ethnic Ukrainians.
** ATO – an acronym for “anti-terrorist operation,” which is Ukrainian government’s term for the war against the Russian invasion in south-eastern Ukraine.