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Crimea, two years later


On March 18th many Crimeans celebrated the second anniversary of the annexation, or the "return" as they prefer to say, to Russia. Putin paid a visit to the peninsula to check out construction sites of the bridge over the Strait of Kerch and the highway to the capital. Meanwhile, the cities are in the dark and people complain about the prices that continue to rise.

None of what you read on the Crimea is hundred percent true. Yet, in all things written by media there is a bit of truth. The enthusiasm of most of the population for the “return” of the peninsula to the motherland Russia has not vanished, but the everyday life makes people struggle. “The bureaucracy is crazy,” said a woman who runs a restaurant in Sevastopol. “You can go bleeding to the hospital and they will ask you to fill a thousand papers. With Ukraine it was like this”. This seems a paradox, given that Kiev is not less famous for its Byzantine bureaucracy.

While in front of the Moscow House a thousand people – not that many, actually – gathered to sing the Russian anthem and wave their flags, there were some Crimeans that had nothing to celebrate for. Like a group of Ukrainian folks – definition: Russian language, born and raised in Crimea and Ukrainian by ethnicity and cultural affiliation – who toasted whispering ‘Glory to Ukraine“. Or like many of Tatars who continue to complain about the drastic crackdown on civil rights. Or like the majority of post-Soviet Millennials, who were born in Ukraine, raised with Hollywood movies and hamburgers, and now fascinated by the new myth of the Russian renaissance. For them, many say, Russia or Ukraine does not make much difference. Wealth is the only thing that matters.

Who are the inhabitants of the Crimea

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