Article by: A. N.
Despite the nearly-omnipresent and brutal neo-KGB secret police structures established by Russia in annexed Crimea, pro-Ukrainian Crimeans find clever ways to protest occupation as well as share news from the peninsula. Here are some examples from social media.
жизнь в ожидании этнических чисток и геноцида #Крым
p.s. второй день продолжаются массовые аресты крымских татар, а в ответ-полное молчание
— хуёвый Бахчисарай (@badBahchi) May 7, 2016
Translation: “Life in anticipation of ethnic cleansing and genocide. #Crimea. P.S. It’s the second day of mass arrests of Crimean Tatars, in response – complete silence.” The twitter user’s name includes “Bakhchysarai” which is the former capital of the Crimean Khanate.
Меджлис призывает ЕС отключить россию от международной банковской системы SWIFT и ввести эмбарго на российскую нефтьhttps://t.co/VxaWtcnYMN
— КРЫМский УКР (@Crimea_Ukr) May 8, 2016
This tweet is from the prominent Crimean blogger using the handle “KRYMsky Ukr” (loosely translated as “Crimean Ukie”) who compiles the popular daily overview of Crimean social media ironically titled CrimeaIsOurs News. Translation: “The [Crimean Tatar] Mejlis call for EU to ban Russia from using the SWIFT international banking system and embargo Russian oil”
І ще одне сьогоднішнє фото з Севастополя. pic.twitter.com/FEOFodpV0q
— Невільний Крим (@nv_krym) May 8, 2016
Displaying Ukrainian national symbols in Crimea–although not explicitly prohibited by Russian law–could land you in jail on charges of “extremism” if caught, an example of which is a jail sentence of 15 days for carrying a Ukrainian flag. People who take this significant risk show extraordinary courage. This tweet from user “Nevilnyi Krym” (Imprisoned Crimea) posts a picture of one such brave soul. Caption reads: “One more photo from Sevastopol today.”
— Невільний Крим (@nv_krym) May 7, 2016
The same user posted a short story from one of Sevastopol’s schools. Translation:
“A typical Sevastopol school. An official meeting is taking place, reviewing conduct and songs for May 9 [Victory Day] Children are dressed in camouflage and their uniforms. A wave of patriotism grips everyone from head to toe. A performance of the Russian Federation’s national anthem begins (at the same official meeting). And suddenly… It appears that a girl and a boy from one of the elementary (!) grades are standing silently. To a remark by her classroom teacher, the girl quietly replied: “This is not my anthem, I will not sing it” [in Ukrainian]. The boy stood silent, said nothing, but did not start to sing. Maybe it’s love?”
Бахчисарай сегодня pic.twitter.com/uIZ8VZl85T
— Август Ландмессер (@juzhanin) May 2, 2016
An anonymous resident of Crimea hidden behind the handle of Avgust Landmesser posted the photograph of graffiti depicting the yellow and blue Crimean Tatar tamga together with the Ukrainian national flag. Caption: “Bakhchysarai today.”
— NIl (@NUkrainia) May 9, 2016
This Crimean family celebrated Victory Day with Ukraine. Translation: “#Crimea. We brought out the Ukrainian food stockpiles, cheese from Belarus and at the moment we feel great. Happy Victory Day, Ukraine!”
— NIl (@NUkrainia) May 6, 2016
As mentioned above, wearing or exhibiting Ukrainian national and ethnic symbols–although not explicitly prohibited by Russian law–will land you in jail on “extremism” charges. All the more respect for this man, wearing it in downtown Simferopol, the capital of Russia-annexed Crimea. Translation: “This Brave Man walked in the center of occupied #Simferopol, not even attempting to hide. Respect!”
Сегодня в Симферополе… pic.twitter.com/JM1mY5dXUm
— ЛюдмилаИЗкрыма (@mangup2332) April 8, 2016
Another photograph from Crimea posted by “Lyudmila from Crimea” depicts colorful graffiti “Ukraine above all!” and has a caption: “Today in Simferopol.”
The Crimean Tatar flag has a light blue background featuring a golden symbol – the “tamga”, which suggests an inverted Ukrainian “tryzub” or trident, but is actually an abstract tribal seal historically used by Eurasian nomads.
- I am Crimean Tatar, Crimea is Ukraine!
- Crimea: Yeltsin’s lucidity and Putin’s blindness
- What Moscow did to Koenigsberg, it will do to Crimea
- Russia’s suspension of Mejlis “Hitlerism” — World Congress of Crimean Tatars
- Ukraine’s parliament speaker calls for UN help for the Crimean Tatars
- 7 myths driving Russia’s assault against the Crimean Tatars
- Crimean history. What you always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask
- Deportation, autonomy, and occupation in the story of one Crimean Tatar
- Crimea remains Ukrainian despite annexation
- Chronology of the annexation of Crimea