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21 Ways life in Crimea has changed since the Russian anschluss

A Ukrainian base in Crimea surrounded by the "little green men," heavily armed troops wearing no ensignia to hide the fact that the troops were Russian special forces. February 2014
A Ukrainian base in Crimea surrounded by the “little green men,” heavily armed troops wearing no ensignia to hide the fact that the troops were Russian special forces. February 2014
21 Ways life in Crimea has changed since the Russian anschluss
The Russian occupation of Crimea has affected residents of the Ukrainian peninsula in large ways and small. Now, Novy Region-2 has published a list of 21 ways in which life has changed for all the residents of that region, establishing a useful checklist for all concerned.

There are other, more high-profile changes that affect the Crimean Tatars, for example, but here is a list of changes that the site suggests are affecting everyone in Russian-occupied Crimea:

  1. Vodka costs more and isn’t sold after 10:00 pm.
  2. Residents can no longer take part in spontaneous political meetings, “even if they want to thank the authorities and Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin personally.”
  3. Crimeans can no longer rent out rooms to visitors.
  4. Crimeans are to be drafted into the Russian army and serve not in Yalta but in Chechnya, Daghestan, the Far North and the Far East.
  5. Pregnant women can’t “hope for direct compensation for the birth” of children. Any money the state does give them will only be for their children and well into the future at that.
  6. Those with Russian passports and Crimean residence permits can’t travel abroad for vacations: they are expected to stay in Crimea “or go to Sochi and become patriots.”
  7. Crimean residents can no longer make money by serving as informal taxi drivers: there simply aren’t enough visitors to allow them to operate.
  8. Because Moscow doesn’t allow elections for mayors anymore, Crimeans are not subjected to a constant barrage of campaign literature and promises.
  9. Those who served in the Ukrainian army may get a chance to serve again – in the Russian one.
  10. Participating in demonstrations no longer brings in money from the authorities; it can lead to “up to 15 years in prison.”
  11. “Seven parties of Russian nationalists will monitor suspicious ‘Russians and Crimean Tatars’ who have been subject for 23 years to the influence of ‘Banderite propaganda’ in Ukraine.”
  12. Crimeans who have received Russian passports are learning about an important aspect of Russian geography: the location of prison camps in various parts of the Russian Federation.
  13. Crimeans won’t get paid for taking part in May Day or City Day holiday marches. They also won’t be allowed “to carry their own signs or shout their own slogans when they pass the tribune.”
  14. Crimeans long accustomed to cursing their own presidents on social networks are having to learn that now they must never do that. Instead, they must praise whatever the Russian president does.
  15. Crimean school children are having to forget much that they had been taught by “’falsifiers from Ukraine’” about such subjects as the Mongol yoke and the terror famine.  “How could Russians survive hundreds of years under the Tatar yoke?”
  16. Crimean residents are now having to learn not to be proud of themselves and their families but of the Russian state.
  17. Crimeans also now have to remember that “there is no sex in Russia just as there was none in the Soviet Union.” They can no longer be tolerant of gays or lesbians, and they have to remember that they must “love a young woman just as they do the Motherland, the army, the president, and the Fatherland.”
  18. They have to adapt to Russian dietary traditions including some that are very confusing involving Russians who like Ukrainian dishes but may not call them that.
  19. “Young people of Crimea must become accustomed … to ‘a second national-regional language’ if not for [themselves], then for [their] children in schools.” And they must speak it better than Ukrainian because they may be sent anywhere in Russia in the future.
  20. Crimeans can “curse other nationalities (for example, Ukrainians and their culture) in blogs and social networks only if they are in Ukraine. In the Russian Federation,” on the other hand, that can lead to jail.  But the list of approved and disapproved peoples keeps changing “after each ‘reset’ in ties between the Russian Federation and the United States.” It is thus best to avoid “the nationality question altogether.
  21. Crimeans must now always carry their passports because they may be asked for them by officials, something that wasn’t true six months ago.
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