Crimean Residents Find Quiet Ways To Protest Russian Occupation And Display Ties To Ukraine – OpEd


Despite the repressive measures of the Russian occupiers, Crimeans of all ethnic groups have found various ways to quietly express their continuing identity with Ukraine, according to Viktor Vorobyev. They wear blue and yellow clothes, they purchase items like footballs with Ukrainian labels, and they even carry blue and yellow flowers.

(For a selection of photographs of some of these displays of pro-Ukrainian positions by Crimeans and for a comment about this phenomenon, see

Commenting on this phenomenon, Irina Brunova-Kalisetskaya, a psychologist at Kyiv’s Institute of Social and Political Psychology, says that for many in Crimea now, this is the only way for them to express their position without getting them in trouble with the Russian occupation authorities.

“It is no secret that far from all the residents of Crimea asked Russia to come and were glad of the occupation,” she continues. But at present, “they do not see any other opportunity to express their position on this issue.” The fact that so many of them choose to do this, however, indicates that they feel they have to do something, acts that others should be attentive to.

“It is natural that for those who continue to consider themselves to be citizens of Ukraine and who await the day when de facto Ukraine will return to Crimea,” to want to do this and to declare in this way: ‘We are citizens of Ukraine; we are here,” Brunova-Kalisetskaya says in conclusion.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

3 thoughts on “Crimean Residents Find Quiet Ways To Protest Russian Occupation And Display Ties To Ukraine – OpEd

  • July 26, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Dear Paul,

    Would appreciate yr comments regarding the visit of French MP’s to the Crimea who stated in a pressconference that most Crimeans are happy. Personally I don’t give a penny for what the French MP’s were saying.
    Best regards,
    Albert van Marion

  • July 26, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    When I read that Mr. Goble has served in “various capacities” in the US State Dept. , in the CIA, at the Voice of America, I am not to surprised to read this piece of propaganda about Crimeans who want to be reunited with
    Ukraine buying blue and yellow objects. But it is just a piece of propaganda. The reader does need to consider that the 2/22/2014 putsch in Kiev was led by US money, the US State Dept., the CIA, by Blackwater mercenaries fighting alongside Ukrainian neo-fascists from the Right Sektor, and that its purpose was to install compliant US-chosen puppet leaders (Yatsenyuk/Poroshenko), who would take orders from their masters in Washington, D.C.
    The one stringent factor Mrs. Nuland of the US State Dept didn’t count on was the fact that Russia could not afford to allow its naval base in the Black Sea and its military base at Sebastopol to be taken over by the US once it had control of Ukraine. So, of course, Russia had to annex the Crimean peninsula, which up to 1954, had belonged to Russia anyway. Most Crimeans are strongly pro-Russian and do not object, any more than Spanish-American citizens in N. Mexico and Arizona would object to the reversal of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo that would give them back the enormous tracts of land in the SW that they once owned.

    • July 27, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      The Mexican immigrants to the U.S. become some of the most voracious supporters of stopping illegal immigration once they have their legitimately obtained residency permits.

      Their is no proof, just propaganda that the U.S. had any influence or even dramatic interest in Ukraine. The billions cited are from investments and aid since 1991. But Russia pledged 15 billion, during the Maidan… And that influence is discounted?

      Three of my friends in Crimea were strongly pro Ukraine and are missing about a year now. The polls just before and a year before the invasion by Russia, these polls showed a majority favored remaining with Ukraine, and a decreasing sentiment for rejoining Russia, not a non significant minority, but below a quarter and decreasing yearly.
      The loss of Sevestopol wasn’t a factor. Russia had a long term lease, and plenty of time to build another base if they worried about such a loss.
      So, the arguments you pose to justify the rape of Crimea by Russia are impotent. The question arises that why would some country be justified in the facist takeover of sovereign territory of another nation they call friends. Why the world allowed it to go unanswered is a more important question. One can hardly consider oneself civilized to stand and watch another fall victim, and not come to their aid.


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