Every now and then, a western media employed reported feels the need to write an article about “the horrible situation on Crimea under Russian occupation” and the “despair of the people on Crimea”. Favorite examples to prove their case are lack of food, collapsing economy and terrorizing the population by Russian authorities. Of course, these reporters don’t write their articles by spending time on Crimea, speaking to the people there and find out for themselves. Those articles are written from a comfortable desk, somewhere in Europe or the USA. It makes we wonder if these people are then still reporters or simply paid copywriters for a script, but that is an entirely different topic.
Last week, Mr. Juerg Vollmer, a notorious Russiophobic copywriter, apparently needed some “totally original and convincing” words published so he added all the sagas about the “despair in Crimea” in an article which was accompanied by a picture of empty shelves. Why don’t we have a closer look at this article, just for arguments sake…
The picture of the empty shelves is a real eyeopener after we take a closer look at it. At first, it looks convincing. Shelves are almost empty, he must have a point there. But the picture looks so familiar, so “haven’t I seen that before in an entirely different context?”. Yes, I have. The picture is from a series about empty shelves, empty stores, shortages and despair. As a result of the collapsing economy and failed politics. In Ukraine! Yes, you read that correctly, to substantiate his article about Crimea, the author used a picture from an article about the empty stores in Ukraine.
The Crimean people on internet responded to this article by a flood of pictures of full stores, marketplaces and the great food Crimea has to offer. Someone jokingly announced that the food on Crimea is now supplied with Stealth Technology so no western reporter is allowed to see it. Another friend from Yalta had an even better explanation for the miracle of food being unseen by so called reporters – smart businessmen have discovered a new market by offering photo-opportunities during cleaning of the shelves, repair of the coolers, etc. And so far, every major news agency has bought a time slot to show how desperate the situation really is…
The copywriter makes rather amazing statements about shortages of basic food and supplies on Crimea. These statements are amazing, because Crimea has a strong agricultural background and is actually exporting food and of course also importing other food. Crimea, with its mild climate, is a regional supplier of vegetables, fruits and global exporter of for example the famous regional wines and “Krimsekt”. And if that would not be enough, there is of course the natural resource of the Black Sea. Contrary to what the author claims in his article, Crimea does take rather good care of itself and even if there are occasional issues due to importing restrictions or blunt blockades by Ukrainian authorities of the roads leading to Crimea, the Crimeans have neither shortage of food, nor are dealing with enormous inflation.
The author could have found this out for himself by simply booking a flight to Crimea and discover what I did earlier this year during my short vacation. Stores filled with healthy food, markets flooded with fresh fruits, vegetables and fish. Delicious dishes served in restaurants.
But the author didn’t check for himself. Instead, the author writes about enormous waiting times for the ferries to and from Crimea and that flights to Crimea are so expensive that nobody can actually effort flying there in the first place. And of course the usual mambojambo about how difficult life is for the Crimeans under Russian rule.
There is a single line of truth in the article by Mr. Juerg Vollmer, besides maybe his name and the date. There are actually long waiting queues for the ferries to and from Crimea. What the author however doesn’t explain is his article are the following reasons for these queues. For starters, the authorities of Ukraine continues to restrict and even bluntly block the land connections to Crimea which would normally be used by Crimeans. Besides being obstructed, the majority of Crimeans simply don’t feel safe in the area’s which are under control of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the notorious Volunteer Battalions. So Crimeans and their many guests from mainland Russia opt for taking the safe ferries in stead of the dangerous and restricted roads through Ukraine.
What the author also doesn’t mention in his article, possibly because it would immediately expose his claims as untrue, is that tourism on Crimea is once again growing and on the other hand, many Crimeans celebrate the opportunity to explore their Motherland Russia. My aunt for example, has undertaken 3 trips to Russia so far. When queues for a ferry are an indication for the situation as the author is suggesting, I kindly invite him to take the ferry to Corsica…
The flights to and from Crimea are yet another interesting statement by the author which show his true intentions. As the author claims, the flights to Crimea are so expensive that barely anyone can afford to take such flights except for some rich Russian businessmen. The other could have simple checked the many travel agencies who offer flights to Crimea from a rapidly growing amount of Russian cities and find out for himself that there are even discount carries offering such flights. Or, but that would give the author a somehow amazing impression, the author could have easily checked the departure and arrival schedules for Simferopol and come to the conclusion that the amount of flights have quadrupled since Crimea became part of Russia again. Why would there be so many daily flights to and from Crimea when nobody could afford the tickets as the author is suggesting? Or is the author suggesting that these flights are empty just to keep up appearance? Well, if that would be the case, Russia is really heading for the big show now because construction of the Simferopol airport has started recently and will extend the capacity by 150%! A lot of effort to handle empty flights, isn’t…?
Reality is, that Crimea has been and is still dealing with the following issues:
- Supplies of fresh water being cut off by Ukrainian Authorities.
- Supplies of electricity being cut off by Ukrainian Authorities.
- Land connection being restricted and regularly blocked by Ukrainian Authorities.
- Trade restrictions imposed by Ukrainian Authorities and their Western Partners.
- Jobs lost at formerly Ukrainian companies who abandoned Crimean branches under pressure of the Ukrainian Authorities.
So those issues Crimea are dealing with are caused by the Ukrainian Authorities with full support and approval of their Western Partners. And those issues are pointed against the population of Crimea, the fast majority of which is ethnic Russian and now celebrating finally being Russian in Russia again. And that is what makes people like Mr. Juerg Vollmer dip into despair and create such nonsense articles about how hard life now is on Crimea.
Let me tell you this, Mr. Juerg Vollmer. The Crimean population has made a clear choice. A choice which is based on their Constitutional Rights as well as the Human Right on self determination as declared by the United Nations. Whatever challenge this choice might bring, the Crimeans will deal with it as proud Russians. As a friend’s friend once said:
Crimean Russian are prouder Russians than any other Russian will ever be!
Maybe that is the result of being deprived of the right of being Russian in Russia since 1954. Maybe it is the result of being in the center of each attack on Russia in the last centuries. I personally belief, it is the result of both.
Crimea is Russia, get over it Mr. Juerg Vollmer!