By Paul Goble
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 ru.krymr.com/content/article/27148307.html).
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.