Crimea contributes to achievement of inter-ethnic peace in Russia

By Vestnik Kavkaza
Crimea contributes to achievement of inter-ethnic peace in Russia

Two years after Crimea reunited with Russia, the Russian population still believes the decision to be correct and meeting the national interests. According to VCIOM, Crimea is associated not only with sea resorts (35%) and positive emotions (16%), but also with the feeling of ‘Crimea is ours’ and the notion of Russian land (37%) for Russian citizens. Sevastopol is connected with the military navy (29%) and the Great Patriotic War (17%).

The majority of citizens have a positive attitude toward the new Russian regions (Crime and Sevastopol) (79%). 95% of respondents believed the decision on the merger was right. According to 79% of them, the merger has positively influenced the lives of the residents of the peninsula. The opposite view is typical for 3% of people – they point out problems with electricity power supplies from Ukraine.

According to the respondents, with the merger with Crimea, Russia has proved that it is able to protect its national interests (92%), and the Western countries will recognize the reunification of Crimea and Russia some day (84%). 53% of people think that after the event, Russia’s positions have improved in the international arena. 73% of respondents state that Crimea and Sevastopol play a key role in providing the defense of the country. People also think that in the near future Crimea will become a resort of the world level (82%); 63% of respondents believe it is the best Russian resort at the moment.

The director of the Strategic Communications Agency, a political scientist, Oleg Bondarenko, believes that the Crimean factor has been decisive over the last two years in Russian politics, and it will remain decisive for many years to come: “Our whole life, both state and even private, has acquired certain changes over the past two years. Let's start with the fact that, of course, Russia regained its status as a great power only in 2014, by and large, after the events associated with the return of Crimea. And generally speaking, by returning Crimea, we returned Russia. All further steps, starting from the operation in Syria and finishing with some possible upcoming new international initiatives of Russia, became possible only thanks to Crimea. It was a geopolitical and a military claim. I doubt that we could somehow seriously resist Turkey if NATO bases were located in Crimea now.”

Bondarenko thinks that anti-Russian sanctions became a cause for the development of our own production: “If our country would live in the mode of 100 dollars for a barrel of oil for another ten years, in general this economic model that unfortunately existed, it is, simply speaking, the principle that now, rather than recovering our production, let's purchase various technologies abroad and import everything possible and impossible. In general, after 10 years, if we project this situation, I believe it could be already impossible. Even if, excuse me, half of the 'Sukhoi' aircraft consisted of French components, what could be said about it? Now this import substitution also became a consequence of Crimea. So Crimea has influenced the development of our country in economic terms very seriously. Crimea has affected interethnic peace in the Russian Federation.”

Bondarenko is sure that Crimea influenced the interethnic peace in Russia: “Two years ago, the interethnic issue was on the agenda. After the return of Crimea, this topic was gone; it was also gone thanks to the public role that was played by [the head of Chechnya] Mr. Kadyrov and [the head of Tatarstan] Mr. Minnikhanov in negotiations with the Crimean Tatars. And after that, the role that was played by Chechens and representatives of other Caucasian republics in Donbass, who fought there. So in my opinion, of course Crimea contributed to achieving interethnic peace in the Russian Federation, and this very dangerous situation disappeared from the agenda.”