Crimea as Unter-Russia

Author : Olena Serheyeva

Source : 112 Ukraine

In the 21st century, the Kremlin tried to restore the imperial grandeur of the "New Russia" project, but without a success
21:56, 3 November 2016

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Russian imperial thinking requires an expansion of the boundaries of meaning and fixing in the mentality of the Russian everyman ancestral status of certain territories. This is how "Little Russia" and "New Russia" appeared in relation to Ukrainian lands. In the 21st century, the Kremlin tried to restore the imperial grandeur of the "New Russia" project, but without a success. They also failed with Crimea, in spite of the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, the Russians themselves acknowledge that the region has not only become Russian, but not really aspired to it. So it turns out - "Unter-Russia".

Related: Embassy of Ukraine in Finland holds the day of Crimea in Helsinki

For the first time this term in relation to Crimea was used by the foreigner who, observing the Ukrainian laws, entered the temporarily occupied the peninsula through one of checkpoints on administrative border. Russian FSB officer, checking documents, politely warned the foreign guest that Crimea is not quite Russia, but rather "Unter-Russia".

The status of Crimea has not changed: a few years after the annexation of the peninsula, which presented itself part of the "Russian world", did not become Russia. And it is not in a transition period, which, incidentally, has already ended, and registration of real estate by Russian standards. The fact that "passionately seeking to Russia" Crimeans did not understand what will give them the booklet with the double-headed eagle. When passing the seven circles of hell and stand in the queue many kilometers, they finally got the coveted document their lives for the better has not changed. Medicine does not become available, salaries are not higher, and roads are not better.

Related: Crimea: zone of lawlessness

As part of Ukraine Crimea had differed special position - autonomy with a fairly broad rights. And for residents of Crimea that was not enough - they did not feel part of Ukraine, they were annoyed by the Ukrainian language. In general, according to a poll by the Razumkov Center, conducted in 2008, 75% of Crimean residents recognized the existence of "forced Ukrainization" on the peninsula.

Crimean youth, which was less sensitive about Ukraine and filled the stadiums during "Okean Elzy" concert, opposed the transfer of education in universities in the Ukrainian language. According to a survey conducted among the Crimean students in 2009, only 5.5% would like to learn the state language, and 58.5%, on the other hand, called for giving the Russian language official status.

Related: Crimean Tatar autonomy in terms of the law

Special status, a strong Russian influence in the media and all sorts of pro-Russian organizations, combined with ill-considered humanitarian policy of Ukraine contributed to the growth of regionalism in the peninsula. As a result, more than half of Crimean students considered their homeland Crimea, although they were born in the independent Ukraine. At the same time, with the possible choice of the Crimean youth citizenship, according to the poll, divided almost equally between Ukraine (37.5%) and Russia (33.5%). But the Crimean regionalism did not prevent 70% of Crimean residents consider their homeland Ukraine.

Related: Pro-Russian Mufti-squealer in occupied Crimea

Related: Ukraine sues Russia for illegal capture of its gas assets in Crimea

Accustomed to special status as part of Ukraine, Crimeans hoped to be special in Russia. But no - the Crimean euphoria in Russia lasted for a year and then worsening financial situation for the Russians overshadowed the joy of a photo with the hashtag "krymnash" (Crimea is our – Russian). Cheap and comfortable Ukrainian Crimea suddenly turned for them into a difficult point in terms of transportation, expensive and poorly maintained resort. Russian bloggers began scribbling opus, why they would not go to rest more in Crimea, indignant paid services everywhere from toilets on the beaches to the trolleys in airports. These charges Crimeans immediately retorted with peremptory arguments that the Russians spoil the airport property.

Related: Crimea has nothing to do with Ukraine: myth or reality?

Russian tourists suddenly saw greedy Crimean people whose incomes have fallen sharply compared with the Ukrainian period. Crimeans were also complaining for either greedy, or for the poor Russians, who, could not buy anything in "Russian" Crimea.

As a result of these recriminations, people in Crimea use to tell that Crimea - is not Russia. This is claimed by people disappointed in the Russian financial opportunities and social justice, having forgotten that free cheese is only in a mousetrap. However, in the case of Russia, Crimeans occurred in a mousetrap without cheese.

Related: Ukraine in UN: Occupied Crimea militarization is dangerous for Europe

This is indicated by the Russians, who visited the peninsula, who now see Crimeans as the ungrateful freeloaders. And it is increasingly separates Crimea from Russia: Crimeans, having stayed in the shoes of Russians get rid of the illusion of the "Russian paradise" and Russians gradually realize that Crimea is a bottomless pit into which they leave billions. Therefore Unter-Russia would unlikely become Russian, but the belief that "Crimea is Crimea" would only increase.

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