Russia's FSB arriving to search the house of Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people Ilmi Umerov, who was arrested on fabricated charges. About 30 agents were brought to the search. Bakhchysarai, Crimea, May 12, 2016 (Image: video capture)
After Putin annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014, the human rights and economic situation in the occupied peninsula and Russia itself has been slowly deteriorating. Many of the current events in Russian-occupied Crimea are consequences of this process and efforts of the occupation administration to redirect the negative popular reaction from themselves to some imaginary evil-doers and enemies, such as the Crimean Tatars, the Ukrainian government or the West. Below is a brief overview of neglected news stories from Crimea for the past week.
- Russia’s FSB Blames Ukrainian Agents for Problems with Crimean Occupation Regime. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) says that many of the problems the occupation regime in Crimea is having are the result of the work of Kyiv’s agents who have penetrated institutions on the Ukrainian peninsula, a charge that provides Russian forces with yet another excuse for their failings and that opens the way for even more repression ahead. [Tellingly, Viktor Palagin, the head of the Crimean branch of the FSB, even invented a code-name for this “Ukrainian special operation.” He named it “the Crimean Gambit” and noted that it has been successful in infiltrating the Russian occupation administration and discrediting it from within. This way the widespread and obvious corruption, deteriorating economy, lawlessness, repressions and moral idiocy of the Russian government can be blamed on imaginary spies. – Ed.]
- Russia’s Deportation Monument a ‘Spit in the Face of All Crimean Tatars.’ Many Crimean Tatars are furious that the occupation forces have used the same sculptor who created the monument to the “polite” people who seized their region to come up with a sculpture in honor of the victims of the 1944 deportation of their nation to Central Asia. Such a choice, they say, represents “a spit in the face” of all of them.
- Another Stalinist Measure in Russian-Occupied Crimea. The police in Crimea are now employing a measure long associated with the Stalin period in the Soviet Union by going after and imposing punishments on the children of those adults that have been repressed. Reportedly, FSB agents in Crimea accost at school children of people they hold imprisoned while under investigation to frighten the children and pump for information about their parents.
- Putin Portraits in Crimea a “Work of Saboteurs”? Some Moscow commentators think that the hundreds of billboards with portraits of the Russian leader who ordered the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula produce a backlash from the local populace and negatively impact the Russian budget. The only explanation they have for it is that it is a “work of saboteurs” (and not a work of the unrestrained propaganda machine of a totalitarian state, which would see much more likely and logical).
- Ever More Russians Concerned about Costs of Crimea to Themselves. Even though polls show Russians are paying less day-to-day attention to what is happening in Ukraine, there is mounting evidence that ever more of them are concerned about the impact on their own lives of the Kremlin’s Anschluss of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. In fact, Crimea has ceased to be an issue of concern only to “the Russian liberal intelligentsia and political marginals” and is becoming an issue for members of what could as recently as yesterday be called “the pro-Kremlin middle class.” Senior members of Vladimir Putin’s regime appear to be aware of this and are trying to decide what to do even as they make statements that have the unintended effect of leading ever more Russians to ask themselves what if anything they have gotten from “Crimea is ours.”
- None of 8 myths in Putin’s ‘Crimea is Our’ ideology stands up to close examination, Popov says
- Even Stalinist repression won’t crush truth — open letter to Crimea “prosecutor”
- Will history repeat itself? Crimea: a national and cultural ghetto for the Crimean Tatars
- Crimea occupation authorities plan “Islamic extremist” show trial against Crimean Tatars — Mejlis head
- USSR dead? Not in Russia-occupied Crimea!
- What the special mission of the Council of Europe “didn’t notice” in occupied Crimea
- Days of solidarity with Ukrainians jailed for protesting Putin’s Crimean Anschluss announced
- 1997 Treaty gave Moscow right to send army into Crimea before referendum, Chizhov says
- Crimean Tatars no longer alone in remembering Stalin’s crimes against their nation
- Deportation, genocide, and Russia’s war against Crimean Tatars
- Chronology of the annexation of Crimea