Sevastopol: the city of Russian shame

Photo: Sevastopolnews

Photo: Sevastopolnews 

2015/08/13 • Analysis & Opinion

Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov

Why Sevastopol has changed from the city of “Russian glory” to the city of shame.

Russian propagandists like to call occupied Sevastopol “the city of Russian glory.” The fact that the military history of Sevastopol is one of defeats and not victories does not appear to stand in the way of this resounding designation. But in the past the defenders of Sevastopol at least resisted the enemy. This cannot be said of its current residents.

Today there will be a concert by the group “Tender May” on the central square of the city. A music festival will take place on the very anniversary of the sinking of the Kursk submarine. For the residents of Sevastopol, this has always been a mournful date. Their countrymen were among the dead. The fact that on this day, which in Sevastopol has always been remembered as a day of mourning, there will be singing and dancing on the central square should be a source of shame for every city resident. And these people will continue to call Sevastopol the “city of Russian sailors”?

Russia media confirms that the reason for the concert is the desire by the occupation governor Sergey Menyailo and his circle to prevent a demonstration against the policies of the local authorities. However, Deputy Governor Evgeny Dubovik has not even mentioned the demonstration. “On August 12, someone else will definitely die. Every day someone dies and concerts are not cancelled for that reason,” he told journalists.

And this is precisely the point. Not in the demonstration. In the Kursk tragedy. The death of the submarine became one of the most shameful pages in the political biography of Vladimir Putin. It showed the whole world the incompetence of the new Russian president and his circle. It became a symbol of their obvious indifference to their own soldiers. Putin was sunbathing as his sailors were suffocating. And when they died, he matter-of-factly responded to a question on the fate of the submarine with his famous phrase “it sank.” “It sank,” residents of Sevastopol, just in case you have not understood yet. And you yourselves have drowned along with the Kursk because you are living under Russian occupation. And in Russia it is not acceptable to remember the Kursk. But to spit on one’s own soldiers is acceptable. If you do not believe it, ask the Russian captives now in Ukraine. They will tell you everything.

So, the memory of the perished submariners will be honored in Sevastopol only after the end of the Russian occupation of the city and of all of Crimea. And there will be no concerts by visiting bastards, ready to make a bit of money for dancing on bones. That much I can promise the residents of Sevastopol.

Editorial Note: On August 12, 2000, the Kursk submarine exploded and sank with a crew of 118. Despite offers by American, British, and Norwegian navies to help with rescue efforts, Russia refused all help. Russian officials stated that the entire crew had died within minutes of the explosions. However, it later became clear that 23 crew members had survived and had taken shelter in the turbine room, at the stern of the boat. Tragically, they all ultimately suffocated. Putin, who was vacationing in Sochi at the time, waited five days before returning to Moscow.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych

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  • Eddy Verhaeghe

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