Crimea Means More to Russians Than Resorts! National Strength and Pride Were on the Line!
This Saturday in Kiev, enraged nationalist veterans of the war in Donbass came to Maidan to protest against corruption in the defense industry supported by Poroshenko.
The police, and then Poroshenko’s administration building, were pelted with toy pigs as a symbol of filth. They even shot pigs with huge slingshots.
We'll cover in detail the protest and how Poroshenko is going to rig the presidential election to retain power by deceit. But it will be later.
For now, about the bright side. Exactly five years ago, Crimea returned home. We shudder to think what would've happened if Crimean citizens didn't vote for this. The U.S. was about to put its military base in Sevastopol; Poroshenko, who was driven out of Crimea weeks before the referendum...
«Get out of Crimea! Get out of Crimea!»
...would have clearly encroached on the peninsula and its inhabitants. However, all's well that ends well. Crimea holds a record in tourist traffic.
According to Sergei Aksyonov, the head of Crimea, 6,800,000 tourists visited the peninsula last year. It's more than in the entire post-Soviet history. Tourism is an important indicator since it provides jobs for Crimean inhabitants and it also develops the transport system… The Crimean Bridge, the new airport of Simferopol, new roads, and multi-billion investments in other infrastructure, from power to water supply systems. In addition, Russia is sending huge investments to the economy of the Crimea. Last year alone, it was more than $4 billion. Here's the result. The industrial output has doubled in five years. After the reunification with Russia, the region’s own revenues have also increased by 2.5 times. They made $850 million last year.
Much has changed But most importantly, Crimean residents can now breathe with relief. Now they feel safe and confident about their children's future which wasn't like that before. Thanks to the army, aviation, and navy of Russia.
However, Crimea not only benefits from Russia, but it also returns even more. It returns something you can't assess in terms of money. In addition to the fact you can go on vacation there, the point of discussion right now is different. Crimea inspired Russia and taught us self-confidence. The country, in general, benefited from the sanctions we received in response. They helped us to get rid of illusions about our Western partners and stimulated the development of domestic production. In general, there is something to mark on the fifth anniversary.
That's why the Crimean Spring festival is so successful in Moscow. Zaryadye Park is the center of the festival. An exhibition of paintings by Crimean artists was opened there and you can see the seascapes of Aivazovsky himself. Famous writers, journalists, photographers, and travel bloggers share their impressions. The audience at Zaryadye Park is also attracted by the greatest international cultural event… The annual Koktebel Jazz Party festival. Bands from Russia, the USA, and Germany announced the festival of this year which will take place on August 23-25 followed by the first Rap Koktebel festival.
On how Crimea marks the fifth anniversary of reunification with Russia, see Olga Armyakova's report from the peninsula.
Spring in Crimea begins in an instant, when almonds begin blooming against the background of mountains. It's a symbol of the fulfillment of the common dream.
«Crimea and Russia forever».
«New schools, kindergartens, the airport, the Crimean Bridge were built. Lots of interesting things appeared in Crimea. We didn't have such possibilities before».
The human river is endless. People are carrying Russian flags. Self-defense servicemen who were at roadblocks are in one line with Cossacks who came to the aid from Kuban and guarded the border.
Nikolay Doluda, ataman: «Crimeans lived with hope, and confidence they would join Russia. We heard one thing everywhere: „don't leave us!“
The phrase „Crimea is ours“ appeared that spring. To be more precise, it returned after being long apart. This photo became world-known. The photographer was lucky to take it.
Evgeniy Proskurnya: „It happened right here where we're walking. I was going to school, and this soldier, a “polite man», called me all of a sudden and he asked me: «Boy, do you need a cat?»
Here's a monument to the «polite people» who helped keep the peace when the fate of the peninsula was at stake. No one knew what would happen next.
Vladimir Igolkin, builder of the Crimean Bridge: «When we drove the first piles, there was a crowd looking at us from behind the fence. They couldn't believe we had started building the bridge».
Now it seems it's been always like this… 11 miles of the bridge between two seas. We built the bridge with our entire nation, we chose the name together, and then opened it together. Vladimir Putin was the first to drive a Kamaz over the bridge.
— You were fast on the bridge. How is it, is the pavement good?
Vladimir Putin: «Everything is fine. Hope it'll serve long. This is a good modern asphalt covering. I think people will like it».
White arches over the Kerch Strait are the gate to Crimea which can be seen even from space. For 10 months from the date of opening, almost five million cars have gone over the bridge. This is not the end — the construction project of the century is still on.
«5338, we're moving forward».
«You won't travel far on this train. You can only cross the Kerch Strait. This is a special machine that aligns the rails and creates the smooth path of the Crimean Bridge».
Along the seascapes, trains will be going quickly and almost silently on this road. The tourism boom is expected here then.
On the crest of the Crimean wave, the peninsula has become even closer… There's a new airport terminal which has brought a record, simply unthinkable passenger traffic… Almost 7 million tourists a year… And a completely new level of comfort to put visitors in the resort mood right away.
Vadim Volchenko, Minister of Tourism: «We're preparing new events, new festivals. We're launching a new tourist project along with several regions of Russia the Golden Ring of the Bosporan Kingdom».
The Crimean hospitality begins with an oriental flavor in the winding streets of the old Bakhchysarai.
Meriem Seitumerova, Khans' palace director: «When in Crimea, you definitely should visit the Khan's palace. Missing it is like avoiding to cross the house threshold when you pay a visit».
This building is being saved from destruction after the barbaric excavations in the Ukrainian period. The Khan's palace hasn't been seen in such a state. This part of the museum has been closed to tourists for 25 years. No one wants to show something like this. Everything is falling apart. The walls diverge. But the most interesting part is behind these doors… The secret life of the palace. It's hidden from prying eyes. This is the Khan's private quarters overlooking the harem courtyard. The northern part of the palace will open only after a large-scale reconstruction. Millions of dollars are allocated from the federal budget.
This is for the culture, but what about agriculture?
Oleg Repin, winemaker: «Crimea is the last point on the world winemaking map, which is still Terra incognita. Great potential is hidden here».
Vineyards in the Kachin Valley is a local Burgundy. There are 8 varieties of red vine and 8 varieties of white vie. The saplings are from France, the terroir is Crimean. Such wine made quite a stir on the international market, as well as the numbers — the peninsula vineyards have tripled over five years. But traditions remained unchanged. Good wine is still aged in oak casks.
Crimea looks like one big construction site from a car's window. This is the sign of a new era. It wasn't always like this. You can see the Taurida route on both sides. It's an ultramodern, comfortable main road of the peninsula. Five years ago, it was impossible to imagine it would appear here. The way Crimea returned home wasn't easy at all either. Everyone remembers the rolling blackouts — The energy blockade by Ukraine. Transport and tourist traffic was blocked as well. The whole country worried about Crimea.
Alexander Medvedev, Night Wolves motor club: «The spirit of Sevastopol strengthened Russia and the Russian people. All these sanctions are so unimportant».
This is what Sevastopol all about. Much has changed but the mood has remained. The city has transformed. The opera returned to the ancient Chersonese… A fantastic festival on the Black Sea coast.
Here's Malakhov Kurgan, a tactical height, where two wars, two defenses met. A large-scale reconstruction is being finalized in the museum complex. Sevastopol, of course, owes its character to the fleet, which has been here for almost 250 years.
Slavish Karabashevich, restaurateur: «These are the famous ćevapčići. Fantastic marbled beef. This is just beef».
Steaks with rosemary and Balkan pljeskavica are cooked with just salt and pepper following the chef's advice. But it's politics that seems the main course on the menu.
Slavish Karabashevich, restaurateur: «I only want to feed people. If someone attacks Crimea, I'll be the first to defend it».
The French parliamentarians also recall the sanctions. The French delegations visited Crimea first, four years ago. Ignoring the nervous reaction of Kiev and a prohibition of their own Foreign Ministry, they're back in Crimea.
Thierry Mariani, President of Franco-Russian Dialogue: «When Crimea was part of Ukraine, it reminded me of a sleeping beauty. Now she is awake. Crimea's changing».
New roads, schools, hospitals and even the largest cathedral mosque in Crimea. This footage shows the energy future of the peninsula. The newest Balaklava and Taurida power stations are ready for operation. After their launch, Crimea will be able to forget about the power shortage forever. These are only some intermediate results of the jubilee Crimean spring.
Olga Armyakova, Konstantin Morozov, Valery Vinokurov, Vesti Nedeli, Crimea