Russian journalist Anton Naumlyuk has spent nearly a month in the annexed Crimea and has mixed with local residents.
According to Naumlyuk, the polls in Crimea could not be trusted. “For example, people will never talk in the public eye about what they would say in private in his kitchen. You will never hear honest judgments and estimates from them, and, accordingly, it does not make any media. During those three-plus weeks that I have spent in Crimea, the caution of people expressing their thoughts couldn’t fail to be seen,” he said.
Being asked about the methods used to create this “climate of fear” in Crimea, Naumlyuk answered: “These methods are normal for Russia: requirement toughening to hold mass events, enaction of numerous bans and prohibitions”.
“They absolutely calmly talk about missing people in Crimea: during last two years more than 370 people have disappeared, 26 of them are Crimean Tatars. Russian “Prosecutor” of Crimea Natalia Poklonskaya uses to tell about this and says that proceedings are initiated, but there are no results. Whoever is able to hear and comprehend really understands why those people have disappeared and how the authority looks at such things,” said the Russian journalist.
Naumlyuk said that as a result the locals feel like “anything may happen with anyone.”
“You can even escape from Chechnya to Dagestan and hide there, and you can escape to nowhere from Crimea. A peculiar “island” consciousness is formed,” he explained.
According to the journalist, many Crimeans do not associate their domestic problems and the bureaucracy with the country which has brought the problems. “Many are on the fundamentally pro-Russian positions and openly express it, despite rising prices and other problems. As for the resentment over the officials people prefer to hide their attitude, because no one knows who will rule the peninsula tomorrow,” said Naumlyuk.