Crimean residents, Russians increasingly hostile and at odds

A billboard with Russian President Vladimir Putin installed in the Crimean city of Kerch aftern the annexation was sprayed with black paint. September 2015 (Image: public domain)

A billboard with Russian President Vladimir Putin installed in the Crimean city of Kerch aftern the annexation was sprayed with black paint. September 2015 (Image: public domain) 

Analysis & Opinion, Crimea, Russia

Even Crimean residents who initially welcomed the Russian Anschluss are now disappointed with the occupation and angry at Russians for their behavior, and the Russians there, long-time residents, new arrivals and tourists, are reciprocating with anger at the local population, according to Yevgeniya Goryunova, a Crimean political scientist.

She points to five socio-economic conditions behind this deterioration between Crimean residents and Russians and devotes particular attention to the way in which Russian tourists, the only ones who now come to the Ukrainian peninsula, have exacerbated the situation by their behavior.

First of all, Goryunova points to the increasing difficulty indigenous Crimeans have in making ends meet. On the one hand, they find it difficult to get well-paying jobs unless they have connections and typically lose out to Russians. And on the other, the Russians who are paid more have driven up the rental prices beyond what most Crimeans can afford.

Second, she continues, Russian bosses prefer to hire people other than Crimeans because the latter are more knowledgeable about their rights than are Central Asian gastarbeiters and complain when those rights are violated. Consequently, the Crimeans are in a double bind because most new Russian employers would rather hire others.

Third, the occupation authorities have done almost everything in their power to destroy indigenous business and agriculture, preferring to import from Russia all kinds of goods. Now, instead of getting milk from a Crimean firm that was driven into bankruptcy, Crimean children are getting milk, often adulterated, from the Russian Federation.

A propagandist mural of Putin in occupied Yalta, Crimea sported a hashtag "#НАШ" ( Russian for "ours") to claim that Crimea is now Russian. The graffiti by Crimean residents that quickly covered it disagreed with the Kremlin statement and expressed what they think about Putin's Crimean Anschluss. May 2015 (Image: social networks).

A propagandist mural of Putin in occupied Yalta, Crimea sported a hashtag “#НАШ” ( Russian for “ours”) to claim that Crimea is now Russian. The graffiti by Crimean residents that quickly covered it disagreed with the Kremlin statement and expressed what they think about Putin’s Crimean Anschluss. May 2015 (Image: social networks).

Indeed, Goryunova says, “the Russian authorities are conducting an intentional policy of destroying Crimean business, including small business, by removing not only competitors but also the first flowering of a middle class which in Russia for centuries has been viewed as consisting of ‘superfluous people.’”

Fourth, Crimeans face discrimination when they try to register their children for kindergartens or schools. Russians who have arrived with the occupation are given preferential treatment, and Crimeans are left out. That is drawing increasing and increasingly negative comment, the political scientist says.

And fifth, when their rights are violated, Crimeans are quite prepared to turn to the courts or to magistrates; but when they do, they typically lose because the courts work not according to the law but rather according to the whim of the powers that be.

A particular irritant in the relationship, Goryunova says, concerns the Russian tourists who now dominate the scene. They are invariably cheap, they won’t use paid public toilets preferring instead to relieve themselves in the bushes, and they throw trash about even if there is a trash container to put it in.

Any Crimean who complains about such behavior is met with “a tirade” by Russians who say that he or she should be grateful forever to the Russians for “‘liberating’ Crimea from ‘the Ukrainian yoke.’” In short, “Russians act like masters, and Crimeans are reduced to the status of guests on their own land” from which “at any moment” they may be forced to leave.

“No one needs us in Russia,” one of Goryunova’s neighbors says. “Why then did they take us? In order then to drive us out of our own home.” The recognition of what Moscow is about in Crimea may have come later than one would like, the political scientist adds, but at least it is coming now.


Edited by: A. N.

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  • svend lykkegaard

    I can only congratulate Crimeans with their decission to be a part of “wonderfull” Russia. LOL
    But it is not a big surprise. Just remember that Putler only wanted Crimea as a militarian enclave, Russians dont care about people, not even Russian citizens.

  • Vol Ya

    Russia is doing to Crimea what it has done to every land/country
    it has invaded and that is destroy it. Russia only knows how to steal and kill and
    destroy. Not
    one country has prospered after Russia has invaded it. Russia only brings death and destruction.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Moscow is treating the Crimea as a colony, as it treated all the SSRs: to be exploited ruthlessly for Moscow’s benefit and the natives to be treated as ignorant savages, second-rate.

  • Screwdriver

    PAUL A. GOBLE is acting like a thief , taking other peoples articles, and just translate to English, This was done many times already, what a shame.

    • Victor Victory

      Go cry on Putins shoulders

    • Mykola Potytorsky

      come on screwie!! Russia, acting like a thief taking other people’s land and calling this land Russian. this was done many times already, what a shame – a bigly shame. so sad

      • Screwdriver

        I would agree with you somewhat when it comes to former Finish, German (Prussia) and Japan territories, but of course we would disagree on Crimea/Donbass. Crimea and Donbass have nothing to do with Malorossiya ( Ukraine).

        • Brent

          “Malo” means “Little” in Russian, correct?

          Congrats, “Malo-Brain”….you have nothing to do with reality….

        • Mykola Potytorsky

          to many people malorussia is actually the russia as we know it today. after all Ukraine was around 400 years before moskcow grew out of the swamp. as well since peter the great you guys have had to rely on foreign experts to get you out of this said swamp into up to date standards. so what Brent said Malo-Brain has always applied to malorussia.

        • veth

          Crimea and Donbass are Ukraine, for ever.

    • Микола Данчук

      At least he does not misrepresent or insert lies when translating like some Bolshevik, right?

    • Brent

      And you’re still acting like a clueless idiotic Russo Nazzi toilet cleaner who fights his war from South Philly instead of risking getting the “Full Mozgovai”….

  • veth

    Chief of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak has reported about the attempt to seize the public reception of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine and the planned provocation in the presidential administration, organized by Russia with the view of destabilizing the situation in Ukraine.

    “Attempts to destabilize Ukraine continue. According to latest information, at a closed meeting of the Russian leadership in May, Putin criticized his assistant Surkov for the failure of the operation to destabilize the socio-political situation in Ukraine and set a new task to undermine the ruling regime in Ukraine within the shortest possible time. Kyiv has been chosen as a site for the provocation,” Hrytsak said at a briefing in Kyiv on Saturday.


  • veth

    “How Ukrainian Army moved hell dozens kilometers away”: 3 towns in Luhansk celebrate anniversary of liberation from invaders Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has greeted the residents of three towns in Donbas – Severodonetsk, Lysychansk and Rubizhne – on the third anniversary of their liberation from the Russian-hybrid forces.

    Read more on UNIAN:

  • Tony

    Kremlin never cared about Crimeans. They only wanted to hurt Ukraine and get a strategic resource.

    Well Crimeans should not dispair there are historic examples of occupiers being crushed and their empires crumbling but it will take planning, preparation and resolve.
    If Crimea stages a serious well planned revolt and sabotages Russian occupiers complete with well publicised Russian repressions and crackdowns on the natives, then Ukraine will be compelled to protect it’s Crimea citizens and the world will be compelled to put pressure on russia. Once Russia looses Crimea, it will be humiliated, then world media needs to reach out to Russians and remind them that they never voted for this annexation, it was forced on them by a short man who cheated the Russian legal system to stay in power well beyond the legal maximum time period. This same man enriched his friends and built a repressive police state while EU former Soviet countries surpassed Russians in GDP per capita and democracy rankings.
    Let russians see that Ukraine and the west is not their enemy, it’s the policies of their mafia government, let them focus their furry on it.

  • veth
  • Brent

    One only need to look at Gagra, Abkhazia to know what happens to a conquered tourist mecca after the Russian locusts arrive

  • zorbatheturk

    RuSSians are imperialists and land stealers.

  • Ihor Dawydiak

    There is little difference between the old saying that “A fool and his money are soon parted” and Putin’s abysmal treatment of Crimea and many of its residents. In particular, the Russian dictator’s persecution of ethnic Crimean Tatars, ethnic Ukrainians and even his disregard for ethnic Russians who are not part of the establishment has only succeeded in further alienating these people from Moscow’s designs for the peninsula in which they live. Furthermore, Putin’s inability and/or lack of serious concern to repair and improve local infrastructure as well as addressing other major issues in the Crimean economy (including tourism) has seriously impaired the image he has tried to project as the “knight in shining armor”. Therefore, this has left the Grand Pederast with few if any options. He could of course try and deport much of the local population to other locations within Russia but that would only be viewed as ethnic cleansing (just as Stalin did with the Crimean Tatars did in 1945) and degrade his image even further throughout the world. So what’s left? Another mini revolution?