So one year later, the Crimea is now a police state like the rest of Russia. There are plenty of articles you can read on the subject, but I think this one by anti-dill crusader Shaun Walker covers it pretty well for the purposes of my own commentary on the topic. I chose it because Walker highlighted a key incident from the recent trial of three men who were arrested for publicly celebrating the birthday of the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko.
“During the trial, the Ukrainian flag was described as “extremist”, “provocative” and “forbidden” by police witnesses. In her verdicts, Urzhumova said that, as Ukraine had not existed as a state at the time Shevchenko wrote poetry, the Ukrainian flag could not have any link to him.”
Let me start backwards by addressing the point about the Ukrainian flag. Russia is a country that can’t shut the fuck up about the Second World War, and yet Russia didn’t exist as a state when the Nazis surrendered in 1945. Therefore the Russian flag and in fact Russia can have nothing to do with Victory Day. I could continue with dozens of examples, but I think it’s perfectly clear how insanely idiotic the Russian government and its judicial system are from that example alone.
To address the first point, I want to issue a challenge. All you RT fans. All you Chomskyites and Pilger readers. You have been made aware that three people were arrested and sentenced for holding the flag of a recognized state, a state which is not officially at war with Russia, according to Russian leaders’ own strenuous insistence. Below you can even witness what happened at the event. Note that some people who appear to be part of the Ukrainian celebration are holding Russian flags too.
Now considering what happened and what you witnessed, please explain to me how there’s no free speech in the West, or how it’s no better in America. Please tell me about how oppressed you are under Obama’s police state. There are plenty of things to protest in the West, and you have far more right to protest them. So get out into the streets and fight, but don’t give me a load of shit about how Russia’s no worse.
Walker also recounts Putin’s appearance in a long documentary about the annexation of the Crimea, admitting that he and his government planned it themselves as opposed to the lie about responding to the wishes of the Crimean people. Putin also said in the documentary that he was prepared to use nuclear weapons in case the annexation didn’t work out well. Yup, he was ready to murder millions of people in case there was resistance to his illegal annexation of a resort area. Think that’s bad enough? Well as my friend at Russian Avos points out, Putin probably never considered using nukes over Crimea; he just said that for the domestic audience. In other words, millions of Russians think it’s okay to murder millions of people and render untold square miles of Europe uninhabitable because Crimea is “theirs.”
Think that’s an exaggeration? Recently a friend of mine told me how he asked a student if they felt that 6,000 lives was a good price for the Crimea. She answered that it was worth it, because “the Crimea is Russian.” Keep in mind that many of the people who think this way have never been to Crimea. Many had no plans to visit. Many cannot visit the Crimea. Whatever the case, prior to the annexation all a Russian citizen had to do if they wanted to visit the Crimea was take their domestic passport. Their domestic passport. In other words, visiting Crimea for a Russian citizen was like someone from Minnesota driving down to Arizona for the winter. But that wasn’t “theirs.” Now it’s “theirs,” even if they can’t afford to go there or don’t even want to.
In any case, Russia has decided to declare war on reality, and as history has proven numerous times, reality will win.