June 16, 2024

Ten Years of Russian Crimea


Ten Years of Russian Crimea
A beach in Crimea, flying the Russian flag. Andrey Butko, Wikimedia Commons

In March 2014, Russia occupied Crimea (sovereign territory of a neighboring country) then annexed it. The change came about through a local referendum, in which 97% of voters supported integration into Russia, with 83% voter turnout.

Despite the suspiciously unanimous vote, surreptitious Russian occupation, and a larger background of Ukraine's turning towards the West, this year, Russian state news agency Izvestia has created a celebratory profile of the "advantages that the peninsula has given Russia over the last 10 years."

And, frankly, it's not super surprising.

The piece breaks down a handful of ways that the annexation has impacted Russia (for the better, of course).

First on the list is, of course, "Safety"; that is, national defense. This section details how Russian naval bases and regional power projection have meant a safer Russia. Indeed, the subpage for this section draws parallels between the German Second World War invasion and NATO's involvement in Eastern Europe.

Interesting.

Also on the list: "societal unity," "economics and trade," "wine industry," and, last and most importantly, "new possibilities for the country."

Ukraine as a country is hardly mentioned; the ongoing war there is also neatly sidestepped.

Overall, the special report is worth reading for its Kremlin-ified lens; something that's become all-too-common in recent years, even as the reality seems to stray ever further from what the press says.

 

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