Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

What is the strategy for returning Crimea?

“First of all, we need to ensure effective broadcasting in the occupied territory,” a ministerial advisor believes
21 March, 2017 - 11:22

On this day three years ago, the Russian parliament finalized the annexation of Crimea by ratifying the so-called Treaty on the Accession of Crimea to Russia. Ukraine and the rest of the world have not recognized the occupation of the Crimean peninsula, and the Kremlin has been hit with economic sanctions. Still, this Ukrainian territory is under de facto control of Russia. Moreover, the latter has effectively turned it into a military base. Military exercises involving the Russian Airborne Troops as well as its Black Sea Fleet and Aerospace Forces have just started in occupied Crimea.

Russia’s efforts go beyond purely military matters. The criminal policy aimed at all-encompassing occupation of the peninsula involves other fields as well. Speaking of the information and culture field, Crimea is completely isolated as well, as only Russian media and Russian schools are allowed to operate, and only Russian history can be promoted... For example, the Livadia Palace recently hosted the first meeting of the so-called Integration Committee Russia-Donbas, whose attendees included leaders of the terrorist organizations known as Donetsk and Luhansk ‘people’s republics,’ Oleksandr Zakharchenko and Ihor Plotnytsky. They came to Crimea to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the annexation of the peninsula. According to those present, the new body will work on “the Donbas’s integration with the Russian Federation.”

Serhii KOSTYNSKYI, advisor to the minister of information policy:

“Russia creates commemorative dates, celebrates them, and makes every effort to hype them up, for celebrating certain dates has powerful information effect, even if it is not supported by reality. We have commemorative dates of our own. We just have to celebrate them and simply ignore the Russian ones. March 18 is a fake date, as it is, in fact, a symbol of lawlessness, aggression, occupation, violations of international rules, and not an occasion for celebration. February 26, meanwhile, is a date which is very important for Ukraine and which we have to draw the world’s attention to. It is the first day of Crimean resistance to the Russian occupation. March 27 is the day when the United Nations General Assembly reaffirmed the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Russia may celebrate as much as it wants, gather people and organize visits of star performers, but if the standard of living in Crimea is collapsing, no shows and no propaganda will be able to overshadow this fact. Before the occupation in particular and Russia’s war against Ukraine in general, life was much better, especially in Crimea. We need to ensure effective broadcasting in the occupied territory using all sorts of ways. Ukrainians should be able to watch Ukrainian TV and listen to Ukrainian radio. Should it be implemented, this step will strike a very powerful blow against the invader. One of the reasons behind the Soviet Union’s fall was the fact that propaganda became completely divorced from reality, and the empire went down in tandem with decades-old myths. As soon as information from the West found a way into the USSR, it became unstable. The fact that Russia persecutes journalists, including Crimean ones, like Mykola Semena, only proves that the Kremlin is very afraid of objective information. It fears it more than condemnation for trampling on the freedom of speech in such a brutal way. Accordingly, the Russian Federation will put behind bars those who write and speak freely and take to the streets. The international community should be as active as possible in supporting political prisoners of the Kremlin and ensuring their release.”

By Ivan KAPSAMUN, Valentyn TORBA, The Day