Pro-Kremlin analyst says Putin’s officials in Crimea do nothing but ‘lie and steal’

Putin with the head of the Russian occupation administration Sergey Aksyonov launching the first underwater power cable from Russia to Crimea on December 2, 2015.

Putin with the head of the Russian occupation administration Sergey Aksyonov launching the first underwater power cable from Russia to Crimea on December 2, 2015. 

2015/12/19 • Analysis & Opinion, Crimea, Russia

Yevgeny Satanovsky, president of the Moscow Near East Institute says that Ukraine and Turkey have created some problems for Russian-occupied Crimea but that “the main fault lies on the Crimean [Occupation – Ed.] Administration itself” which for 18 months has “only lied, stolen and failed to act.”

While his attacks on the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Ukraine and Turkey are completely consistent with the Kremlin’s line – he says, for example that “Dzhemilyev and Chubarov are not Crimean Tatars but absolutely pro-Turkish politicians” – his criticism of the occupation authorities in Crimea is anything but.

Two friends Timur Shaymardanov and Seyran Zinedinov, Crimean Tatars and activists of the Ukrainian Home organization opposed to the Russian occupation, disappeared in the end of May 2015. Shaymardanov never arrived to work after he left home in the morning of May 25. Zinedinov actively searched for his friend and himself disappeared five days later after a conversation with his friend's wife where he mentioned that the Russian paramilitaries might be connected to her husband's abduction. He called to tell his wife he is about to leave Shaymardanovs' house and is going directly home, but never arrived there. They are still not found.

Two friends Timur Shaymardanov and Seyran Zinedinov, Crimean Tatars and activists of the Ukrainian Home organization opposed to the Russian occupation, disappeared in the end of May 2015. Shaymardanov never arrived to work after he left home in the morning of May 25. Zinedinov actively searched for his friend and himself disappeared five days later after a conversation with his friend’s wife where he mentioned that the Russian paramilitaries might be connected to her husband’s abduction. He called to tell his wife he is about to leave Shaymardanovs’ house and is going directly home, but never arrived there. They are still not found.

Satanovsky says that the Russian authorities in Crimea suffer from “a serious case of idiotism.” It isn’t Turkey that is guilty of the fact that “nothing has been done about water and electricity” on the peninsula. Rather, it is the Crimean leadership itself which has done nothing but “lie, steal and fail to act.” [Satanovsky “forgets” to mention that Putin personally appointed the top people of his occupation regime in Crimea and frequently visits the peninsula to meet with them and calm the increasing popular discontent. His last visit was just two weeks ago. – Ed.]

He says that the bureaucrats in this administration “do not understand that the Ukrainian period in Crimea is already finished, that they are now Russians, and that they must live and work according to Russian laws.” [Naively, Satanovsky makes an implicit assumption that laws matter in the Russian Federation under the Putin regime. Just as Putin is not concerned with international laws, his regional governors are not concerned with Russia’s internal laws, as their performance is judged by Putin on completely different criteria. – Ed.]

Two cousins Jevdet Islyamov (23 y.o.) and Islyam Jepparov (18 y.o.) disappeared in the end of September 2015. They were last seen being abducted by a group of men in black military uniforms in the street. They were searched, forced into a light-blue van and driven away. They have not been found. (Image: crim.sledcom.ru)

Two cousins Jevdet Islyamov (23 y.o.) and Islyam Jepparov (18 y.o.) disappeared in the end of September 2015. They were last seen being abducted by a group of men in black military uniforms in the street. They were searched, forced into a light-blue van and driven away. They have not been found. (Image: crim.sledcom.ru)

Turkish agents “are not alone in being behind diversionary actions,” Satanovsky says. So too are “Crimean bureaucrats.” Their approach to land tenure arrangements, for example, suggests that they see enemies everywhere;” and that just makes the situation worse. [Tellingly, Satanovsky offers no evidence of the existence or activity of these supposed “Turkish agents,” but the results actions of Putin’s officials in Crimea are there for everyone to inspect. It is possible that the continued arrests and abductions of Crimean Tatar men by the FSB secret police serve to execute a plan to fabricate charges of a “Turkish connection” against the Crimean Tatar community. – Ed.]

The Moscow commentator’s words are important because they suggest that many in the Russian capital now view the occupation regime in Crimea itself as a problem that must be addressed possibly by a purge of existing cadres. Taking such a step, however, might call into question the popularity of the “Crimea is Ours” view. [Therefore, it is more likely that a “Turkish connection” plot against Crimean Tatars will be fabricated to redirect the increasing wide popular discontent with the dire economic situation in the peninsula created by the Russian occupation. – Ed.]

But Satanovsky’s comments also suggest that at least some in the Russian elite are beginning to recognize that the occupation of Crimea has involved far more costs than they anticipated or want – and that in the future, they must be prepared to double up or quit lest the situation on the Ukrainian peninsula deteriorate further.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Dirk Smith

    The cancer of humanity.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Why the swastika? Wouldn’t the hammer and sickle be far more appropriate?

      • Dirk Smith

        Muscovites are one in the same. They were willing allies with Nazi Germany and now, after their short Weimar period of 1991-99, they’ve found their Hitler. The Moscow bombings were Putler’s Reichstag fire. His photo ops are Mussolini 101. He’s a predictable xenophobic thug who has killed more of his own countrymen than any of his imaginary enemy has.