How Crimea was annexed: March of 2014 in the eyes of Moscow, Kiev and Sevastopol
21 March 2014, Vladimir Putin signed a law formally securing the entrance of Crimea to Russia. It took the Kremlin and pro-Russian forces in Crimea less than a month to “connect” the new territory. Neither Ukraine nor most countries of the world recognize this “accession” and consider it an annexation. "Medusa"Talked with more than two dozen participants in the events in the Crimea and on both sides of the Russian-Ukrainian border - and made an oral chronicle of how Crimea became" part of Russia "and how those who made history with their own hands felt at that time.
February 21. President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych signs an agreement on resolving the crisis with representatives of the opposition and leaves Kiev on the same day. "Euromaidan" wins.
- February-2014: director of the Yalta zoo "Fairy Tale" and the park of lions "Taigan"
- March-2017: continues to lead both businesses
In January, 2014, I was passing through Kiev and went to the Maidan. And I saw it all with my own eyes - a cage with Yanukovych on the golden toilet and the rest. I was disgusted, even though I never voted for Yanukovych. He was elected, suffer, there are some rules.
And we began to act when the signals went that it was possible to separate from all this, and Russia extended a helping hand. There was no fear.
- February-2014: Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People
- March-2017: deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine; Russia is on the international wanted list
A few weeks before the direct invasion, we had a sense of danger, and this danger was associated with Moscow. One of the reasons for the danger was the increasing contacts between the leadership of the [Supreme Soviet] and Moscow politicians. [Speaker of the Supreme Council Vladimir] Konstantinov stated that in the event that forces came to power in Kiev, which would not be accepted by the Crimea, Crimea did not rule out asking Moscow for help; I publicly condemned this statement. But, to be honest, no one thought that Moscow could make a direct invasion. If someone had told me before February 27, I would simply not have believed it.
- February-2014: deputy of the Supreme Council of Crimea
- March-2017: Vice-Speaker of the State Council of Crimea, head of the movement "Kyrym"
The Crimean Tatars looked at the second Maidan with caution, because nothing of what they had promised in relation to them on the First Maidan was done. I was then in the [Crimean] parliament, I worked as a simple deputy and was a member of the Majlis. The information was contradictory, I argued with [the chairman of the Majlis Refat] Chubarov about the methods of work. [From Chubarov to the leader of the pro-Russian forces Sergey Aksenov] there were constant threats and blackmail: if you don’t do something in 10 days, we will do that. If you behave in a military way, then you will behave this way.
Artem "Samvel" Martoyan
- February-2014: entrepreneur, owner of Simferopol restaurant "Fortune"
- March-2017: Chairman of the Union of Veterans of the Crimean Militia, Chairman of the National Armenian Cultural Autonomy of Simferopol and Simferopol District
One evening, the numbers of February 15, I'm going past Lenin Square [in Simferopol]. I see - 10 – 12 elderly people have gathered, they are yelling. What? They say: the Majlis people gathered to throw down the monument to Lenin. It hurt me. Awakened sense of duty to the ancestors. Actually, Lenin was an enemy for the Armenian people, because in 1921, he surrendered the territory of Armenia to Turkey. But my grandfather was a communist, my father respected Lenin too.
I called friends - half from here [from Simferopol], half from Yalta and from Feodosiya - I say: come. A 35 man arrived: someone had a weapon in the car, bits, batons. They set up two tents and began recording volunteers who would defend Lenin. One group is those who were willing to stay; the second - those who left their coordinates and was ready to come in case of aggravation.
- February-2014: Deputy General Director of Tavrida Electric Alexei Chaly (sibling Michael)
- March-2017: Member of the Legislative Assembly of Sevastopol
For many years, I helped not rassevastopolit Sevastopol. He was the project manager for the restoration of the monument to the battle of Inkerman, responsible for the construction of the museum of the 35 battery. When events began on the Maidan, Sevastopol shrank like a spring, it was expected that Yanukovych would outrun them all. But February 22 all collapsed completely: the Supreme Council of Crimea swore a new government, and the leaders of Donbass too.
Back in January, I began to create a military dozen. Sevastopol grouped in teams. One of the most popular teams was Gena Basov from the Russian Bloc. True, he now sits on another case, but then he was useful. We had a self-defense unit of high category. We studied the experience of Bishkek, when there were riots with looting. Then an understanding came that charging a gun, lowering a dog and hiding in a house is just a complicated way of suicide, nothing more. And if you unite, then you can pitch so that does not seem like a little. I had a military dozen of the highest category - with their own means of notification, with contacts with the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Groups were created by themselves, no one organized us - we were, in fact, intelligent people involved in military affairs.
22 – 24 February. Vladimir Putin gives a tacit order to begin preparations for the annexation of the Crimea. In front of the Supreme Council of Crimea in Simferopol, a rally of pro-Russian organizations is held. As a result of a similar rally in Sevastopol, power in the city passes to entrepreneur Alexei Chaly.
- February-2014: the head of the Kerch branch of the “Russian unity”, the director of the recreation center “Light of the lighthouse”
- March-2017: entrepreneur, owner of the Rus-Crimea-Tour travel agency
There were comrades from the [Russian] side who coordinated everything. February 22 someone contacted our mutual friend; we met on the waterfront. One introduced himself as Sergei, the other Andrei, but not sure that these were their real names. They asked for help to coordinate actions. Like, we know that you are pro-Russian activists, we know that you are cooking something. We are from the other side, from the mainland, help is at hand. No one understood what kind of help. The Olympic Games were going all over, Putin clearly expressed that there was no other business.
February 22 on the square in Kerch gathered at a rally representatives of the party of the Pyongnibok. Then the police simply did not let them tear our people - we showered them with eggs. Nerves at all then pretty naughty.
- February-2014: Warehouse Manager at the Crimea Brewery
- March-2017: unemployed
It all started with the death of three guys from the "Golden Eagle" on the Maidan. I remember now: they were brought to the Crimea and solemnly buried with the entire parade, and [the Russian military did this], the Black Sea Fleet, which had no relation to the Berkut. (The funeral took place on February 22; the participation in them of the Black Sea Fleet administration is not confirmed - note “Medusa.”) So it was clear that Russia is not standing by.
After the mass execution on the Maidan, rumors were circulating that the Ukrainian Right Sector (the organization was recognized as extremist in Russia and banned — note by Medusa) would demolish all power in the Crimea and that there would be raider attacks on factories. Therefore, all large enterprises created their own self-defense. I then worked as a warehouse manager at the brewery "Crimea" - and we organized about thirty people. Everyone perceived the events in Kiev as a complete mess, and they were afraid of the mess here.
- February-2014: MP of Ukraine from the “Batkivshchyna” party, head of the party’s branch in Crimea
- March-2017: MP of Ukraine from the Batkivshchyna Party
We count events in Crimea from February 23, when a large rally was held on Nakhimov Square [in Sevastopol]. As my friends from Sevastopol told me, the Black Sea conscripts dressed up for the extras were driven there. Launched the scenario of electing the national mayor. At that time, people were killed every day in Kiev, and it was definitely not up to Sevastopol for everyone.
- February-2014: Director of the Museum Historical and Memorial Complex "35-I Coastal Battery"
- March-2017: continues to manage the museum
It so happened that I formally spoke as the organizer of the rally at which Chaly became the people's governor. Chaly - CEO of an industrial group of more than a dozen enterprises. And at the same time a powerful analyst and no less powerful patriot. He created the TV channel “Independent Television of Sevastopol”, organized the main information portal “Outpost”. He sponsored the release of a series of textbooks on Sevastopolevdenie for schoolchildren, which the teacher Altabaeva wrote. Built a museum that I manage.
In November, Chaly signed an “69 letter” [against European integration]. In January, he created the public organization "Republic" - to prevent the emergence of fascist symbols on the streets of Sevastopol. And February 21 comes to me from Gorelov, one of the employees of the [Chaly] company of Tavrida Electric, the head of the design bureau. He says a serious question - you need to apply for a meeting from your public organization. I didn’t explain for a long time, I simply said: Alexey Mikhailovich asked.
We wrote an appeal addressed to the leadership of the Leninsky district, Gorelov took this application to the district administration. There was a tense situation, an urgent visa was needed for the district administration. The police chief saw the application and became nervous: “Five to eight thousand people ?! We will not be able to maintain order! ”Redone two thousand.
The head of the law firm working with Tavrida Alexander Kulagin organized the creation of accounts to help Sevastopol, they were accepted by our accountant. My guides sat in social networks and pasted flyers, gathered people for a rally. As a result, there came to 35 thousands of people.
- February-2014: Senior Lecturer, Department of History, Sevastopol City Humanitarian University
- March-2017: Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of Sevastopol
Until February 23 in the Crimea there were no active actions of the broad masses at all. Before the rally, Alexey Mikhailovich [Chaly] did not call me - even though I knew him from 1995 of the year, I learned about the rally from the news and went there with my friends, I stood, like everyone else, in a crowd. Honestly, how much I live here, I have never seen such a confluence of people. And it was not initiated by anyone except the people of Sevastopol themselves.
It was decided that a coordinating council was being created [on the organization of the Sevastopol city government], and Chaly was elected people's mayor. I understood that he was a very systematic and consistent person. Before that, he had not spoken to anyone and did not know that Russia would take a political decision.
The first days I was very seriously afraid. At night I woke up and listened - is there some kind of technique or not? At first, the Black Sea Fleet did not interfere in the events at all. The first days he was nowhere to be found. This position was balanced - non-interference.
Before the rally, we made shafts, bought flags, pulled up people. The most important thing - Sevastopol was morally ready, the seeds fell on fertile soil. We gathered people with the help of only two of our resources, the NTS channel and the “Forpost” edition, plus telephone calls and leaflets. 30 of a thousand people has arrived - never before has there been so much.
All decisions were made on the day of the rally. At first we wanted to join the South-East of Ukraine. But on the morning of February 23, the situation has radically changed. The Southeast stopped resistance - we hoped that Yanukovych would not surrender and give resistance to the right-wing forces from there. No coordinating council was chosen there, there was no one to join. If Yanukovych had stayed in Kharkov or Donetsk, had consolidated people there, there would have been another matter.
There was very little chance. After the rally, when the brother was elected chairman of the coordination council, it was necessary to convene a plenary session of the [City Council of Sevastopol] in order to legally approve it. The deputies tried to escape, we caught them and shoved them back [into the building].
We were lucky that the state machine was slow. The attempt to arrest [Aleksey Chaly] was clumsy. We received information that armed people enter the government. They were summoned by [the first deputy chairman of the city administration of Sevastopol, Fyodor] Rubanov — he is now pro-Russian, and then he gave the command. We left the building through the back door, wanted to enter the Moscow House opposite, but we did not open the doors, and we dived into another building in the same block. When people learned that an arrest was being planned, a large crowd gathered around the government building, blocking the administration and the square. After that, we were told that you can safely enter. Alexey Mikhailovich [Chaly] Rubanova almost nailed back then.
These days, not a single crime was recorded, although the police did not work at all. Because all these thieves and pimps were on the barricades. As they say, fascism came - there was something to do. Several thousand units of military weapons were distributed. And not a single non-combat loss! Moreover, all the weapons then passed.
- February-2014: entrepreneur, gift maker
- March-2017: Chairman of the Association of Self-Defense of Sevastopol
24 February I was discharged from the hospital and drove into the square in front of the government of Sevastopol, where the rally was held the day before. I saw very few people there - 10 – 15 people. I saw Chaly who left the building. There was a rumor that Rubanov did not let him go, kicked him out. People were called, the full square was again gathered, and [Chaly] was returned.
I admit that, if Kiev began to act harder, everything could not be so straightforward. Initially, the people did not leave for Russia. Initially, they did not believe that this could happen - so that the state would change.
The 23 number was the point of no return. The people gathered at the city hall; right on Lenin Square [in Kerch] cried out that we were separating, and I tore off the Ukrainian flag. Mayor [Kerch Oleg Osadchy] fought for him as best he could. In the evening after this rally, we were detained until two in the morning at the police and SBU. In principle, no one knew that they had summoned me for interrogation — it would have been very easy to lose me — but the police were demoralized. And then everything began to grow like a snowball.
On January 28, we had a rally in support of Euromaidan, and we announced that, on February 23, we traditionally gather at the prison in Sevastopol and on the central square of Simferopol at a rally in memory [of the Crimean public figure and politician killed in 1918] Noman Chelebidzhikhan. We linked the two topics and came up with the fact that Crimea can finally get rid of the dominance of one political force. We called for the dissolution of the Supreme Council as the center of separatism and the holding of elections in the Crimea. In Sevastopol, on this day, the popular assembly took place. Their representatives came to the rally near the prison, but managed to avoid confrontation.
Before the rally [in Simferopol] a group of young people came to me - there were Crimean Tatars, Russian nationalists and Ukrainian nationalists. They wanted to dump the monument to Lenin during the rally. They burned with this very much - they prepared KamAZ, cables. I tried to explain to them that this would lead to the fact that no one hears about the problems of the Crimeans, all attention will be directed to the monument. As a result, we have inserted this demand into the resolution along with the demand to dissolve the Supreme Council of Crimea. And it worked: the next day, February 24, some heads of administrations reported how they would get rid of the monument. The mayor of Simferopol Ageyev also called.
[Our] rally of February 23 throughout Ukraine was perceived as an act of surrender [by the Party of Regions] of its positions in the Crimea. February 23 almost all of their functionaries went quieter than water below the grass and were ready for all the changes. I assure you, no one planned any upheavals until the moment when they saw the equipped Russians.
- February-2014: Assistant to the Head of the Tax Service of Ukraine in the Republic of Crimea
- March-2017: member of the LDPR party, unemployed, chairman of the public organization "Russian Crimea"
From February 23 we began to form a militia. On that day, the radicals with representatives of the “Right Sector” gathered in Simferopol; how it could end further, it was not clear. I began to call public organizations, which stood on the protection of the rights of the Russian-speaking population, there was such a rise in civic activism.
- February-2014: MP from the Party of Regions
- March-2017: Secretary General of the Crimean Football Union
The first days, especially when Sevastopol announced the beginning of self-defense, were, of course, tragic. I understood that there was no point in talking about something to the fascists. And people only had hunting rifles. Our Berkutovs went to Perekop.
There were difficult negotiations with the commanders of military units. Many people knew me, I spoke with many. In fact, no one was going to shoot. The vast majority of the soldiers remained here. They understood that if the situation did not change, everyone would go under the criminal article. It was necessary to help people save face. The revolution is a revolution, but life goes on.
In Sevastopol, they did not shoot, the city was monolithic. When 25 February appeared "green men", there was relief. It is understood that if there are difficulties, we will be supported and helped. And the first week we didn’t see any armed people in Sevastopol. People armed themselves, bought hunting weapons. Everyone understood that there could be a meat grinder and there was no way back.
In my opinion, it was three days, from 23 to 26 in February, when it was possible to change the civilian power in Crimea - the prime minister and the speaker. For the most part, the Crimean deputies were ready for this and bargained for places, as local deputies usually do. But then machine guns and machine guns appeared - and, of course, their determination was lost.
26 – 27 February. At the building of the Supreme Council of Crimea in Simferopol, meetings of the Majlis in support of “Euromaidan” and a meeting of the “Russian community of Crimea” simultaneously take place; as a result of clashes between their participants, two people are killed. Russian troops are beginning to enter Crimea in the form of unmarked marks and occupy strategic sites, above which flags of Russia are raised. The Supreme Council appoints the leader of the “Russian unity” Sergey Aksenov head of the government of Crimea.
That Russia is with us, it became clear to me on February 26 - then I received information that Moscow had made a decision. It was a joy, a signal that everything will be fine with us.
However, there were serious counter-forces - including in law enforcement. Deputies of the city council is not easy to make decisions. We received information most often through the Independent Television of Sevastopol. Since this is a non-state media, they objectively reflected what is happening (NTS belongs to Alexei Chalom - REM. Medusa).
These days I did my job, I worked as a teacher, and in my free time I went to the administration. Everyone was waiting for a referendum. I usually traveled by minibus, trolleybus, and the grandmothers sat there and said: “I would sooner have decided everything, I have no strength to wait! And God forbid, Ukraine will arrange a provocation. ”
- February-2014: Member of the Soyuz Party, Member of the District Assembly
- March-2017: retired
On the 26 number, I stood with a megaphone on the square [at the Supreme Council], Mejlis people were around me, and all five hours I was yelling about Russia. Grenades flew noise, gas, blows rained down one after another - we came with flags on the rods, and those with wooden ones. Then I hid a megaphone in the next building, I looked - they were already wearing people. For our part, there were about fifteen thousand, I ran and drove people to come closer. And we began to push them a little. And then we look - their women began to leave, there are only men, and they have a team to crush us. People began to fall through the flower beds, many had broken ribs, two were crushed. I managed to jump into the fountain. As a result, Chubarov was scared - and gave the order to disperse. Dummy! If he said to stand, it is still unknown whether the “polite people” would come in or not.
The shock was in the morning of 27, when I woke up after this massacre, and they call me and say - the flags of [Russia] in the Supreme Council and the Cabinet of Ministers. Indescribable effect. No one understood what happened. But [everyone] understood that ours had come. There was confidence that we will not be abandoned and everything will be fine.
On February 26, when I learned that the Majlis [like the pro-Russian forces are also going to] hold a rally, like the building of the Supreme Council, I categorically objected [against holding it]. I told Chubarov: what are you doing, the rally of the “Russian unity” is going there, do you understand what could be there? To this he replied: they say, let them build a dividing line and ensure order, their problems. But who is afraid of the police today? Then no one was afraid.
I attended the rally, but was not active. I have seen people of different and young people who call themselves the “Right Sector” as well. At some point, the police took and the system left. And immediately went clashes. As it turned out later, two died. I was in Fergana during the clashes of Meskhetian Turks and Uzbeks and I know from there: when the crowd comes, it is already impossible to control it.
- February-2014: entrepreneur, chairman of the republican society of the Germans of Crimea “Wiedergeburt”
- March-2017: Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Inter-Ethnic Relations of the State Council of Crimea
On February 26, we stood at [parliament building] at arm's length from [the leader of the pro-Russian forces in the Supreme Soviet, Sergei] Aksenov. Then they pulled out the wounded. They washed the eyes of a self-defense fighter who was poured with gas. We told nobody to go ahead: there were knives. When the police turned and stepped out, it was generally difficult to feel my condition - everything was in seconds from something terrible. It was important to prevent open fights.
- February-2014: Vice-Rector for Educational Work of the Crimean University of Culture, Art and Tourism, Head of the Crimean Branch of the Eurasian Movement
- March-2017: Vice President of the Power of Thought Charitable Foundation
I came to the rally at the Supreme Council with a huge sign in Russian and in the Crimean Tatar "Crimea chooses the world." He walked around the perimeter, talked with the Crimean Tatars and approached very aggressive people with Ukrainian flags. And on the other hand, I received first support. And then we threw a plastic bottle of water. The bottle was thrown back - and the process started. Behind me, friends led the girls out, formed a corridor, a crush began. It turned out that I stayed with strangers with the Crimean Tatars. We were taken into the ring. They surrounded me, made a couple of blows, took away and threw out a sign, then collected the flags, ribbons, my poster left from ours - and started to burn. When I tried to put out the fire, I immediately got hit. I started to leave, but Ukrainian television did not let me out; they made me say that the police were not with the people and everything was bought; that chaos is going on and the police went over to the side of Russia. I was rescued by a familiar Crimean Tatar who pulled me out of there.
In the evening, we [with like-minded people] met and coordinated - and it was decided to switch to another format. We were not ready for such events. I looked and realized that my poster is not particularly working. In the center was a tent "record in the militia" - we came up and signed up. So I got into the thirteenth company.
When it became known to me that February 24 in February that the Supreme Council plans an extraordinary session in order to dismiss the government headed by Anatoly Mogilyov, I offered to postpone it for a few days, so that, as required by the Constitution of Ukraine, to agree to the resignation in Kiev. Konstantinov replied that he was afraid to go to Kiev; the session was not postponed. [At that meeting] there were many people previously unknown to me in the Supreme Council — then I realized that, most likely, they were EFs.
Then we announced on February 26 a rally in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. I learned that at the same time the rally and Aksenov also planned. I called him - he said that they were going to be two o'clock in the afternoon, and our rally began on 10 in the morning. Understanding that standing on one square is unavoidable, we selected a person to separate people. Before lunch, the supporters of “Russian unity” were only a few thousand people. But after lunch, reinforcements began to arrive from Sevastopol - columns of buses. When the skirmishes began, I told Aksenov that his people provoke them, he replied that they were Sevastopol, whom he could not control.
No one set out to take the Supreme Council. But the annoyance that stupidly insist on holding a session splashed into it. The rally broke up as soon as it was decided that there would be no session due to the lack of a quorum. Generally, Konstantinov is a very cautious person, but then he stood at the meeting to the last. At some point I realized that this was no longer his decision - when I saw a well-knit middle-aged peasant in gray clothes peeking into his office and, seeing me, he carefully closed the door. I realized that these people already have more power over Konstantinov than the fear of the protesters.
February 26 in the evening we really were in euphoria. We proceeded from the fact that we defended ourselves, the Crimea, Ukraine, that the attempt of the coup was stopped, and gave the order to everyone to go home, on the assumption that the same structures that usually are responsible for security. Already then I read the testimony of one of the policemen, who told me that in the evening the enhanced security of the Supreme Council had been transferred to normal mode. This means that even then levers were involved through traitors in the main police department of the Crimea.
February 27 in 4: 40 in the morning, the head of the Crimean Security Service of Ukraine Gennady Kalachev called me and said that armed people broke into the Supreme Council and the Council of Ministers and drove the guards away. He warned: if you collect people, you know, they have weapons, a lot of weapons. Half an hour later, Aksyonov called and asked: Do you know who captured the parliament and the State Council? It seemed to me that he asked sincerely that he did not know that they were Russians.
In the morning I held an improvised press conference and said that Russian soldiers were walking around the cities and streets of the Crimea and that this is fraught. I already understood that Russia is invading the Crimea. As chairman of the Majlis, I was most concerned with how to ensure safety and avoid bloodshed. In some areas, crosses were drawn in chalk on the houses of the Crimean Tatars. We organized from the very first days in all places of the compact settlement of the Crimean Tatars youth detachments, which, day and night, observed and traveled around these villages. Somewhere it helped to avoid provocations.
26 February at half past ten in the morning Tatars [at the rally at the Supreme Council] was actually more [than supporters of Russia]. At the end they entered the building. We were a 15 man, when in the evening they broke into the State Council building for the last time. They poured gas over us, and it was hard to resist gas, we even had to knock out the door to the State Council building and take refuge in the building - from there the police released us through the back exit. The radicals broke into the building, but stopped because they did not know what to do next.
The story of my company begins in the morning of February 27. We set up a tent, 150 man signed up. All at first there are such heroes, but ten of these 150s come in, and as soon as these ten see that the machine gun is aimed at them, two or three people remain.
In the evening, my company was entrusted with the protection of the prosecutor's office of the Crimea. The task was that none of the pro-Ukrainian prosecutors came in and took out computers and documents. They tried to break through. Once at a shift change, when there were about ten of us, the head of the prosecutor's office came with the police and prosecutors, the 50 – 60 man. There was a military confrontation, the boys were torn off their jackets, but then we still kicked them out, calling for reinforcements.
If we were shot, in a few minutes there would be "green men". It was not in my head that anyone could open fire because we were not armed. The first days we were completely civil, who in what. I had permission from Ukraine for a traumatic weapon - I was with him.
Until 26, we did not know how Moscow would react. It was decided to appoint Chalyu as the head of the coordination council and conduct this decision through the legislative assembly, so that later [the official mayor of Sevastopol Vladimir] Yatsuba would delegate some of his functions to the people's mayor. The rally was not supposed to end, the press was supposed to be in the center of the city. It was supposed that the law enforcement agencies would force the power off on the stage, but our comrade Victor Posmetny, the lawyer of the republic’s Internal Affairs Directorate, resolved these issues.
Mikhail Chaly solved all the issues with the security forces. Alexey Chaly financed the construction of roadblocks. At the same time, he was not subordinate to any of the executive authorities. He could not control, could only interact. The city has stopped any transfer of funds. Chaly allocated 120 million hryvnia (approximately 420 million rubles at the February exchange rate of 2014 of the year - approx. "Medusa") from "Tavrida Electric" for the purchase of at least insulin.
Calm came after 27 – 28 in February, when Russia came in the form of “polite people” and the Black Sea Fleet was ordered to block all military camps. [Then] we realized that this is already a government decision. Before that, the state was very nervous and uncertain.
February 26 was called by the same guys [“from the mainland”, whom we met a few days before] and said: they say, this way and that, the Cossacks should be placed.
- Where to place them? Home [to himself], or what? And how many will be?
- In the area of four, but first about two hundred. Will arrive tomorrow.
An hour later they call back - they say that the Cossacks will be in a couple of hours. The only place where we could place them was in the church. The church was after repair, the father suggested that they sleep on the floor. Ran, opened, settled Cossacks, and the next morning they started up further - on Armyansk. Then others went, for them we were already able to open a recreation center. The Cossacks had whips, which was more awesome too.
What is passport control ?! The first thing the Cossacks seized the crossing. The border guards even gave away their weapons and ran back home. Here such columns went that oh-oh-oh. The people rejoiced, the soldiers waved their hands in response. When the troops entered, we had a rally in Kerch. Immediately after the rally, we drove into the market, where we were just given buckets of carnations for the soldiers. We with these buckets directly at the crossing met the soldiers with flowers. They were even a little taken aback.
Once we were standing with friends along the road in the evening, one military “Ural” stopped in front of us, the second, third, fourth. We assumed the idea that this is Russia. I wake up in the morning and hear that we raised the flag of [Russia] in the Crimea.
At the same time, detachments began to form. These were chaotic movements. [In Sevastopol] on Sovetskaya, 65, they made the headquarters of self-defense, appointed Colonel Oleg Roslyakov, the former commander of the marines regiment, as the head. He went to my yard - we were going there with friends-athletes.
26-th, we captured a police stronghold [in Sevastopol]. There were several rooms, but there was no precinct officer, only an assistant was sitting. We just went there and said that we need this room. Then they changed the police chief. Came [the former head of the city’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, deputy of the Sevastopol City Council, Vitaly] Malikov, we blocked the way for him, they said - we will not let him in, agree with Chaly.
I thought that it might all end badly. I was not so much afraid of physical violence, but of the fact that tomorrow the Security Service of Ukraine will take you and call you a separatist. I see it this way: at some point from February 23 to February 27, if they had not missed the moment and were tougher, then all of this could not have happened. If at first one hundred people, and then at night, two hundred people were arrested, would have been thrown into basements, taken away - nothing would have happened.
The protection of Alexey [Chaly] for the first three days was made according to the concepts, on enthusiasm and his comrades. He had the head of the car-care center, Sanya Selitsky, the driver Igor, the electrician Kolya and Stas Borisenko - he was the only shobl who had a Makarov pistol. The first days of the revolution every day spent the night in a new place, changed turnouts, passwords. Already closer to March, Russia gave him the right guard.
Explicit support from Russia began on the 26 – 27 number. When we started, there was no obvious support - at first Russia was engaged in preparing for the evacuation of military units, and we coped on our own. Lined up relations with "Berkut" our Sevastopol.
On 25, I had the following task: Sevastopol was already captured by us, there were still a few dozen military units left in the city that the citizens had blocked. We were not ready for an armed confrontation with the army, and it was decided to throw the "Berkut" to the north and block the isthmuses. Already 26 in the morning there were attempts to break through, but “Golden Eagle” from an ambush shot at the wheels, and the car turned around.
There was even a plan to undermine the tunnel and the rails. As a result, the trains were stopped for an hour and checked for the presence of provocateurs. We blocked the runway [Belbek Airport in Sevastopol] with heavy equipment. They just kicked out the excavators and dug it up a little.
A separate story came out with the airport [Simferopol]. He was captured by Sevastopol. In the evening, a full train arrived, hammered by guys with bats and shields. Somewhere 350 – 400 people. They were organized. Straight from the train, they left, broke into columns and headed in three columns to the airport - on foot from the station. I saw it with my own eyes, and in the morning [February 28] the military had already entered the airport.
Artem "Samvel" Martosyan
In the evening of the 26 number after the collision near the Supreme Council, we gathered in my "Fortune". There was, of course, the feeling that we were losing. Of our two died, and we retreated. We decided: the next day we gather near the Supreme Council, build and ensure the security of conducting the session, where the issue of holding a referendum on secession of the Crimea will be raised. After the session, Aksenov came out and gathered the commanders of all the companies right on the street. He said that we need to block all strategically important objects. I took over the airport [of Simferopol].
We went by three buses - 120 – 140 people. I have immersed my people in a gazelka. 10 – 15 Molotov cocktails loaded. They took the tires, wooden pallets, metal barrels empty. There were people with hunting rifles; I gave them the task in the event of an attack with a weapon to shoot into the air. As a diversion to capture the runway in any way. Shut off the runway to prevent Ukrainian military aircraft from landing at the airport. We arrived, unload pallets, tires, cuttings from shovels. The police came. “What are you doing?” I jokingly answered them: “Now the plane must fly, we are the construction team, we will ship.”
On the left was Terminal B - a group was sent there to simulate that they were breaking into the runway through the terminal. And here I say [to the police]: “Guys, we will block the runway. While we are talking, my main group is already going there. ” They began to shout in the radio, they all ran with guns there. At this time we are breaking the wrought fence, taking barrels, tires, trays in our hands and let's run to the runway. More than a kilometer ran on arable land, barely reached. They put all these barrels, tires, doused them with gasoline, I lit a torch and called [the head of the Crimean Defense, Mikhail] Sheremet: "Mikhail Sergeyevich, we are ready, we took the runway." Sheremet says: wait, Samvel, do not, Kiev already knows that they seized the airport [and the Ukrainian planes themselves will not fly here].
We come back - machine gunners run towards us. When they began to distort the valves, it became scary. I shouted: “No provocative movements. In a column of four to five people. " They took us to the chain, I began negotiations: “Guys, do you want Maidan here too, so that the Right Sector also starts doing what is happening in Kiev?” The situation is getting more and more heated [situation]. Nerves are already passing. And at that moment I heard the buzz of KamAZ. We turn around: military trucks drove up, the military began to jump out of them completely unmarked. I think - well, everything, the Ukrainian special forces, now will nullify us. And the military jump out and pass by one by one into the column. And here we understand that they are Russians. Began to applaud, someone even began to cry. And the police - when I turned around, there was no one there.
The next day I captured the linear police department of the airport. I say: look, our task is to prevent a weapon from here. My two people will be on duty around the clock at the armory room. After half an hour of conversation, they agreed. After a couple of days, they realized that power was in our hands, and began to cooperate. About four days I personally sat in the control room of the airport.
Russian transport aircraft landed at the Guards. It was [28 February] on the day Poroshenko and Zhirinovsky arrived. I sat in the control room, saw these planes. At this moment, the dispatcher from Kiev receives an order: the position of "carpet". This means that no aircraft should fly over the Crimea, and if some ships are in the air, they can be shot down. We contacted Guards, they confirmed: yes, Russian aircraft. Here I see [on the radar]: from the north, a small point is rapidly approaching the traffic points. Along the way, a military fighter of Ukraine. Flew up, made three laps - and flew back. He had every right to shoot down, the order was. For some reason, did not knock. Transport aircraft sat down slowly one after another.
Here comes Poroshenko - fly away. And the “carpet” position has not yet been canceled, and Zhirinovsky is also sitting. From the side of Zhirinovsky they call: “Samvelchik, they are not letting us in.” Contacting Poroshenko, we say: call to Kiev - until Zhirinovsky flies away, Poroshenko will not fly away either. As a result, the “carpet” position is canceled for 15 minutes. Zhirinovsky flies first, Poroshenko in five minutes.
[The leader of the Radical Party Oleg] Lyashko flew to us along with [the leader of the “Ocean Elzy” group and the politician] Vakarchuk, a singer like that (Lyashko flew to Crimea 8 in March 2014 of the year; nothing was reported about the visit of Vakarchuk - “Medusa”) . Arrived, they were met by the Tatars. I quietly cut them off, I say: let's go to the VIP-hall, let's talk. Logged in Look, this Lyashko (and I do not know him, nor Vakarchuk) something greyhound behaves. I say: who are you? He infuriated me, as I gave him a slap in the face. He fell on the sofa and said: “I understand when I fly back?” I set the table for them, homemade sandwiches, compotes, he said - behave yourself decently, fly back and don’t fly, I ask you. Do not spoil the atmosphere here.
Putin used the moment when there was a difficult situation in Kiev. The government appeared only 27 February, the acting president - 25 February. And the armed seizure of the Crimean parliament occurred on the night of the 27 number. At that time there was only Rada, in which backbone was made up of supporters of Viktor Yanukovych.
I was 26 February at a rally under the Crimean parliament. That day I met with Prime Minister [Anatoly] Mogilyov and Speaker [Vladimir] Konstantinov. Mogilyov clearly said that he would implement the Constitution of Ukraine and all decisions that Kiev would take. And Konstantinov was already in a deranged state. When I went to meet him, there was a 20 man of characteristic appearance in the foyer and with a strange, not Crimean dialect. A few more such characters were in his reception. And I lived all my life in the Crimea and I know every dog there.
In Simferopol, I moved without security. They know me there well, people greeted each other, stopped and asked - what was there in Kiev? Even then, in the Crimea, there was no access to any adequate information about events. I have not met aggression.
When decisions were made on the referendum, total control was in the Crimea and Russian special services were involved in everything. Ukraine then was in a very difficult position. It was possible to enter the territory of Crimea only by war. And the strength for this was not enough. On the other hand, the West put pressure on the Ukrainian authorities. They demanded not to start sharp hostilities, because there was a threat of a full occupation of Ukraine. Western partners said - you are not in a hurry, we will settle everything.
Early March. Sergei Aksenov appeals to Vladimir Putin for assistance in ensuring law and order. The Federation Council agrees to the President’s request for the use of armed forces on the territory of Ukraine. Russian troops are blocking all Ukrainian military installations in the republic. A referendum on the status of autonomy is appointed; his date is constantly being transferred.
- February-2014: MP from the Udar party, secretary of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security and Defense
- March-2017: MP, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Social Policy, Employment and Pensions
Once in two days we [in Kiev] received information from the first security officials about what was happening in the Crimea. Some deputies of the committee of the [Verkhovna Rada on national security and defense] constantly asked for a meeting with [the acting president of Ukraine] Oleksandr Turchynov. We offered a clear scenario of how to solve all these issues. I remember how local leaders of the Crimean Tatars approached me and said: "If you give us some status and weapons, we are ready to bring order there." The head of the border service came to the committee, he said that our military stand with sticks, and they are opposed by armed Russian soldiers.
Planes with "green men" landed after the SOS signal. They took off from the Russian side, gave a distress signal, ours calmly received them, and this was done systematically. I think it was a crime. We offered to strengthen the border. Many servicemen asked the deputies to clarify what they should do. I know for sure that neither [the acting head of the presidential administration of Ukraine Sergey] Pashinsky, nor Turchinov simply picked up the phone when the officers called.
The country was on the eve of the presidential election. Then there was a brilliant relationship between Yulia Vladimirovna [Timoshenko] and Turchinov. They naively believed that by physically eliminating Crimea from the vote, Tymoshenko would be able to get ahead. The government actively communicated with the Russian security forces, they openly said: if you start active actions, a landing party will land in Kiev and will sweep you all away as an illegal power. It is clear that all those who came to power were not ready for governing at critical moments.
2 – 3 March, we met with the management, met with Belaventsev. The main thing was to prevent opposition on a national basis. We made a decision in our settlements of compact residence to provide round-the-clock watch in order to prevent provocations for real information to flow. The second is work on ensuring representation of the Crimean Tatars in power. Successfully had her. And after our negotiations and the decision of the Supreme Council of Crimea [deputy of the Verkhovna Rada and the former head of the Majlis] Mustafa Dzhemilev simply rejected everything. He acted against his people. 14 March Putin talked to him, and Dzhemilev said: no, Crimea is Ukraine, withdraw troops, and that’s it.
Crimean Tatars have a good trait that hurts them - to obey their leaders whom they elect. And the leaders are more engaged in their intestinal affairs. I have always said that it is impossible to give all power to Dzhemilev.
People from Russia tried to contact me. There was Oleg Morozov from the State Duma, then [State Duma Deputy Leonid] Slutsky was. At the very beginning of March, a large delegation from Tatarstan flew to me, headed by [Tatarstan President] Rustam Minnikhanov. We had a tete-a-tete conversation. He said: we, as brothers, want to help you. Still, they were expressed in an Aesopian language, no one said: I flew in from Putin.
At the first stage, it was a great desire to attract the Crimean Tatars to their side. I was told that if I advocate for participation in the referendum, and Tatars deputies take part in forming the government, Moscow will eliminate many years of injustice and make sure that one of the top positions - the chairman of the Supreme Council, the chairman of the president or the plenipotentiary of the president - will be Crimean Tatar. In fact, Minnikhanov directly offered me one of them to choose from. “You may be late to drop into the last car. But it's not you who will be late, but all your people will be late, ”he said. In response, I frankly stated my position to him.
- February-2014: MP of Ukraine from the Batkivshchyna Party, member of the Permanent Delegation of Ukraine to PACE
- March-2017: MP from the “Petro Poroshenko Bloc”, President of the PACE Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media
When the decisions on the [date] of the referendum changed, we kept in touch with the Crimean Tatars. Mustafa Dzhemilev was then a people's deputy of Ukraine, he followed the situation, and we all tried to do it. Many who went to the Crimea, Petro Poroshenko also went there. We understood that we would have to go to international courts. Russia's participation in these events became apparent, and when the first "green men" appeared, the word "annexation" sounded.
There were very serious debates and discussions about what and how to do. The equipment and the morale of the army, as well as the number of traitors in its ranks, raised doubts. The Ukrainian army was then completely destroyed by the previous minister, Pavel Lebedev. We were not sure that we could enter into direct armed conflict with Russia. There was a meeting of the National Security Council of Ukraine, at which it was decided that the main thing was to save lives. We could make heroes, but posthumously, and the result would be exactly the same. There was an expectation of a more serious war and tactically it was not possible to concentrate on the same Crimea. Because they understood that an attack could be all along the border. Then it, at least, looked logical.
When the Russian military entered the city, we started writing about it on the Internet - and they started calling us provocateurs. The military came in separate groups directly to military units. One of the first buildings they captured was the city archive. Then came the military units. The problem is that almost 70% of the military were local. So most of the parts surrendered - just the parents came in, no one would shoot at their parents.
How can you capture a military unit numbering 10 thousand people in Perevalnoe? And she was not captured. Firstly, Privatbank blocked all operations at ATMs in the Crimea, and the military could not withdraw money. Avtomaydan and I went to them, took the cards from the guys and took them to Kherson in order to at least remove something. Parents start driving to them, bringing food and taking everyone home en masse. What else to do? Nobody brings supplies, money cannot be removed, there is simply nothing to eat. They just threw. The question was not about capture, but about the fact that they need to somehow survive.
We mainly pasted flyers aimed at helping the military and mobilization. A list of Ukrainian self-defense was created. At that time, no one forbade them. For a while, three groups walked around the city. Cossacks, pro-Russian self-defense and pro-Ukrainian. We just went to show that there are other people. And on the one and the other, it was a window dressing. On March 8, up to a thousand people gathered on the square, and we moved in a large column towards the military unit. There, under the guise of congratulations to the girls who serve, ours made a statement that, if necessary, ready to call.
9 March, my wife was at a rally in Shevchenko Park [in Simferopol], where they spoke openly about Russia's aggression and independence of Ukraine - and then they openly harassed those who vehemently advocated the Ukrainian position. The first to suffer were those who traveled to Maidan. It was easy to find them - they traveled from parties, lists were publicly available. Everybody came home demanding to leave the Crimea. The families of the Crimean Tatars were the first to leave; we helped them.
Until the referendum, we slept for three hours a day. I went to all the posts on the green "three" sovdepovskoy, we handed out gasoline, supplies, inspected the transport. There were fighters there who suddenly started firing into the air with hunting rifles. We got a call from the cops, they say: yours are crazy. We ran to them, and they: they say, we are a club of hunters, we show the townspeople that we have. I say: "You are fools, not hunters, half of the town put on his ears."
16 March. In Crimea, there is a referendum on the status of autonomy; a similar referendum is being held in Sevastopol. According to the organizers, there is a high turnout at both, and at both, more than 90 percent of voters are in favor of entering Crimea into Russia. Ukraine and the international community do not recognize the results of the referendum.
No one in parliament or in power [in Kiev] was ready for a referendum. No informational doctrine or any action plan was created. They knew about the referendum a long time ago, but the state did not release a single rag that would explain to the residents of the peninsula still under our control what was happening. The government began to engage in the redistribution of property.
Among other things, no one believed that all this was serious. It was naively believed that this was a fake story, hoping for international organizations that showed their inability to solve something. The same UN Security Council printed a bunch of pieces of paper that in fact did not affect anything.
When the buildings began to make out the billboards about the referendum, I realized that this is already irreversible. We, like all people of our views, did not go to the referendum. After all, according to the law, the referendum was supposed to be held throughout Ukraine. Ukraine is a unitary state, and the referendum on its separate part is not valid. But we understood that, since Russian troops are here, in any case there will be the scenario that is planned.
In Yalta, the referendum was quiet. Yalta is always on the sidelines. There is a swamp that is difficult to swing. But I have a BRDM [armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicle] - I bought it even for the last election, when I ran for mayor of Yalta. And so I started it again, turned on the song “Holy War” and drove into my safari to the territory where lions walk freely. I patted a lion on camera and asked to respect the choice of Crimeans. It went well on international channels. BRDM still stands [in my park] as an exhibition instance.
We expected that there would be an attempt to make a big bjaku with blood before the referendum or during it. Almost hundreds of patrols on cars and on foot [worked] 16-th. The Russian and Ukrainian security officials, who by that time came over to our side, helped in full measure.
On the day of the referendum, we guarded four schools and a technical school. To avoid provocations. Worked with 6 in the morning and until the evening. When the information about the voices went - there was such a feeling, I don’t know what to even compare with. Doge.
Our task was to ensure order, so that the referendum was calm. Did I go to the referendum? To each his own. I ensured order, was among the people and performed the functions that I was told. We went to the countryside, met with people so that there were no conflicts. God forbid if someone shoots. I was asked questions - and why is everyone so happy? I answered - and you would not be happy if your dream came true? "Well, you can be more modest." Well, not a man of his joy. Concerts arrange. It was a little pressure on the Tatars. It was difficult to explain to ordinary people that this is a temporary euphoria. The smallest insulting word, and everything - you are Tatars, you did not go to a referendum, you are traitors.
On the day of the referendum, I spent the whole day in the headquarters in the building of the Majlis, which was constantly under attack, and also in the headquarters in the Marakand hotel. We were pleased that only one thousand of 200 thousands of Crimean Tatars voted (Sergey Aksenov claimed that about 40% of Crimean Tatars participated in the referendum - note “Medusa”). On this day, I still proceeded from the fact that we are waiting for the Abkhaz version. I was sure that Crimea proclaims independence, Russia recognizes independence, and the great bidding and the great pushing on a small platform between Russia, Ukraine and America begin. It would be better for Russia itself and Putin. He would have kept a backlash for himself in order to avoid the fact that Russia will not escape now. She swallowed the Crimea and no longer digest him.
That day is very memorable. It was raining in the morning. I drove to my site by four o'clock and was amazed that, despite the rain, people were walking. They sang songs and danced.
People had an incredible desire to participate in the referendum. My mother lived, and on March 16, she and her friend gathered in the morning, at eight o'clock. It was a nasty weather - rain and wind. I told them: "Let's take you a little later." “No, just now.” And, by the way, it is far for 80.
I brought them to the site. The queue was incredible. What are the guns there? When we are told that this is illegal actions, that the Russian Federation has violated international norms, I answer: did you come, did people ask? This is the will of the people. Then a woman of mature age ran around our yard and asked: tell me, is there anyone who did not vote? Maybe someone help urn bring? Residents of the house sincerely made sure that the people voted.
I decided to go to the referendum in the costume of Santa Claus. From the age of sixteen I have been working as Santa Claus in the Crimea - I wanted to show that the good is on the side of the referendum. But I was not given. I put on the bottom jacket, a jacket, came to ask for permission, but I was told that it was undesirable to do it.
Already in the evening after the referendum there was such euphoria! We were hugging strangers, there was a huge energy boost. I wanted to share joy with birds, with strangers, we stopped the cars, people ran out, hugged. In the minibuses they did not take money, and everyone sang the anthem of Russia.
After the referendum was, of course, euphoria. There was a concert in the center. We are so tired, I went outside and I see: everyone is hugging. Euphoria is such a state of altered consciousness. You're kind of tired, you're happy, and it feels like looking from the outside. I did everything I could for this.
18 March. Vladimir Putin and the leadership of the Crimea sign an agreement in the Kremlin on the republic's entry into Russia. Putin addresses the Crimea joining representatives of the Federal Assembly and the government.
Alexey Mikhailovich [Chaly] called and invited me to go with them. Since I was engaged in the course of Sevastopolism, he realized this - there is some part of my work in that that is how it happened. In an hour and a half I threw things into my bag and went. We did not know what would happen, and no one talked about the gala event. They said: they say, the prospects for the development of Sevastopol will be discussed. And only then, when we arrived in Moscow, we realized that we were invited to the Kremlin. I was just lucky that I always take a little black dress with me. And so the dress code was not respected by almost everyone. This Crimeans arrived in costumes, because there are most - current politicians. And overwhelmingly, people did not engage in politics, and the dress code is completely different. If Chaly knew there would be a reception ... I know his wife well, I'm sure she would take care of that. Nobody said anything to us, but we were accepted as relatives. We were dear guests.
After the referendum, we were invited to Moscow - as we were told, to negotiate. At first, they thought that we would fly out of Simferopol, then flew through Anapa for safety. As a result, the bus to Anapa did not have enough fuel, were thrown off on the way to it. We did not know that we were going to such a solemn event. In the evening, 17 March was loaded into the President Hotel. In the morning in the lobby of the hotel we were met by people from the protocol service; I was in a vest and a leather jacket - and they, without making any comments, quickly organized a white shirt for me. I immediately changed into the St. George Hall arrived in a more or less decent form.
- February-2014: Deputy of the State Duma of the VI convocation from the party "United Russia"
- March-2017: Member of the State Duma of the VII convocation from the party "United Russia"
I still remember that meeting, the message from the president for members of the Federal Assembly. I remember what the atmosphere was then in the Kremlin: I had not felt such an emotional outburst in what surrounds us around for a long time. People had tears in their eyes. It was a restoration of historical justice.
- February-2014: State Duma deputy of the VI convocation from the party "Fair Russia"
- March-2017: entrepreneur, politician; accused of embezzlement in Russia, put on international wanted list; lives in Kiev
The final point in my thoughts [on how to vote on the issue of annexation of the Crimea] was put by Vladimir Putin when he gathered everyone in the Kremlin and addressed the parliament two days before the memorable vote. I was surrounded by deputies of all factions, who in the morning, while I was flying from Novosibirsk to Moscow, were forced to sign an appeal to the European Union and the United States with a request to include them in the list of sanctions. By the way, the Europeans, to my surprise, ignored this request. Their mood was unimportant: what about summer cottage in Italy? But what about a house in Switzerland? What about the daughter in England? But when Putin exclaimed: “Our Crimea!” - the hall jumped up and clapped. As we wrote in Brezhnev times about congresses of the CPSU, "stormy and prolonged applause, turning into a standing ovation, all stand up." So I was so disgusted that I did not get up, alone in the whole room. Immediately, one Nashi from the back took me off and laid out on the net: “Ponomarev was sitting while playing the hymn!” Putin did not sing the anthem, he performed something much more sombre and dangerous than the regular verses of Mikhalkov.
On the 18 number, I have a call from the platoon: two hundredth [dead] and three hundredth [wounded] on a topographic detachment, we rush to the car there. There on the unfinished high-rise building was a sniper; in order to provoke a situation, a Ukrainian ensign was killed at a post on a tower, and a Cossack was killed in the militia. Our special units pulled themselves up, entered this part and, thank God, did not provoke anything global.
The first victim in Simferopol happened on [18 March] when they tried to storm a military unit in the Freedom area. At that time, part of the three or four days was surrounded and received an order - to form a column and leave the Crimea. When they began to form a column, they were told: we will not let you get out with full armament. Self-defense was tightened not to accuse the Russian troops. During the assault an ensign was killed on a tower. They rushed to the rumor that they caught the sniper, who shot at his own people, but disarmed the self-defense the next day after this incident.
20 – 21 March. The State Duma and the Federation Council ratify the treaty. Vladimir Putin signs the law on the accession of Crimea to Russia and the creation of the Crimean Federal District.
In the morning, my wife said bluntly: "If you don't vote against it, don't go back home." She removed the burden of responsibility to children for all the consequences. Where was it to go. During the vote was scary, the consequences were obvious. My neighbors on the deputy bench, Alexey Mitrofanov and Igor Zotov, grabbed me by the hand ... Now I feel like a person who has honestly done his job. I regret only that I had to make such a decision in my life.
At that time, I had a campaign for the election of the mayor of Novosibirsk, every day six to eight meetings. So at every meeting with voters for almost two weeks we discussed the situation and voted on it. I tried without manipulation to give arguments for and against. And the situation was the same everywhere: those who came to the meetings were divided approximately equally on the issue of the annexation of Crimea. This was a strong argument that voting in the Duma should not be unanimous. So after the meeting, I tried to return to my Novosibirsk as soon as possible. And when I continued meeting with voters, I was proud that I was clapped on the shoulder and said: “Maybe you vain so vain, but now we know for sure that you are ours, Siberian. Muscovites would never have enough spirit! ”
- February-2014: Deputy of the State Duma of the VI convocation
- March-2017: Independent; intends to run for mayor of Moscow in 2018
I initially understood that the annexation of Crimea to the Russian Federation would hit our economy and throw us back decades ago. It was quite obvious that international law and agreements are thus violated. And that this will lead to serious sanctions, will hit the pockets of all Russian citizens. Therefore, I understood perfectly well that in no case can one vote for the annexation of the Crimea.
In 2014, a group of four deputies was formed: I, Ilya Ponomarev, Valery Zubov, and Sergey Petrov. We decided that our vote should be the same, and therefore did not vote. We did not vote against it, because there was pressure on one of the deputies from above. But the surprise was that Ilya Ponomarev, three minutes [before the vote], informed us about the change of position.
By that time, the family business was destroyed, and [my father] Gennady Gudkov was expelled from the Duma. I already did not care about this pressure, although, of course, I felt it. And after the referendum, too, when it was told on all federal channels that there are four traitors in the State Duma. Many deputies later admitted that they had made a mistake. The decision to annex the Crimea led to a conflict in the east of Ukraine, the death of thousands of people from both sides, a serious economic crisis. And most importantly, we turned the Crimea peninsula into an island: there are no means of communication there. If earlier it was possible to drive there from Russia, now it is impossible.
- February-2014: State Duma deputy of the VI convocation from the party "Fair Russia"
- March-2017: entrepreneur, founder of Rolf
After long discussions, Teeth and Gudkov convinced me to simply not vote. At that moment, everything was already rethought ten times - nonsense, which will cost a lot, but the majority will support and this will prolong the existence of an inefficient and unprofessional team from the authorities. A real leader does not do what the majority likes, but what he needs to do.
- February-2014: State Duma deputy of the VI convocation from the party "Fair Russia"
- March-2017: Member of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg from the Growth Party
On the issue of the Crimea, there was a referendum decision, which turned out to be completely ambiguous: with a large turnout over 90, percent voted for the annexation of the peninsula to Russia. I believe that if they did not decide this, the situation in Crimea would be worse now than in the rest of Ukraine, in the Lugansk and Donetsk republics. This would entail inter-ethnic, interethnic conflict and sacrifice.
I remember that I consciously voted, but there was no euphoria. I clearly foresaw that there would be economic sanctions, problems with the harmonization of legislation, that infrastructure interconnection costs would be required. I then and now believe that Crimea is not a financial kettlebell and a black hole. Many things could be done more efficiently. Chaly on energy proposed effective solutions, but we chose a different path, according to the general system of economic decision-making. A number of issues that have been taken in the Crimea on energy and transport support are simply ineffective. But in any case, I think that the economic prospects for the Crimea itself as part of Russia are much better than if it remained the territory of Ukraine.
The annexation of the Crimea is part of the history of our country. The people there are mentally ours, and they were threatened by another state. The right of people to self-determination was expressed through a referendum and its result - joining the territory of Russia. Independent peninsula Crimea was never considered. Comrade Khrushchev in a fit of incomprehensible passion defined other borders of the USSR. It was always historical inaccuracy that we, descendants, will never forgive him.
It is not so important whether the issue of the annexation of the Crimea was discussed earlier. International politics always comes from two keys. One of them is the sovereignty of the territory, and the second is the right of the nation to self-determination. The nation was the people of Crimea. As a result of the fact that they use the Russian language, they were threatened with extermination and the population. I do not doubt that watching the events in the Donbas and what is happening in Ukraine I realized these threats. People there are inadequate and unable to answer for their words. Let those who still have doubts about the correctness of the annexation of the Crimea, watch any talk show on state television. There the president repeatedly told all the provisions.
My opinion is completely identical to the opinion of the president and the United Russia party. I had no doubt in my decision. And if there was a time machine, I would also vote for it, but I would still give the opportunity to take a picture of me at that moment for further reports.
After the referendum, the numbers from March 27 began to issue Russian passports, and my son works at the Federal Tax Service, and I got one of the first. 30 March, I burned my Ukrainian passport and posted a video on Facebook, after which I became known throughout Ukraine. The discussion went on for three days, then they called me and threatened me. But the first burned another eccentric from Sevastopol! But I became a “hero”. Now I am like a Christmas tree for the New Year: they write something about passports - immediately my photo. And then at the rally I raised the flag of the DPR and had my picture taken - now I also have the financial sponsor of the DPR. They put me on all the lists, now I can travel to Turkey and Egypt without any problems, but not to Europe. In Europe now I can not.
[After March 2014], I first returned to the [Crimean] University of Culture, [where I had worked before], but then I realized that Crimea started a new way, and by the same group that we went to the militia, we decided to form a charitable foundation. We have money, we do not ask for grants, we make clips and documentaries, we build a socially oriented business around the foundation. We came up with a project: a monument to Vladimir [Saint], three hundred meters high and a mosque. After the "Crimean Spring" there was a huge amount of negativity. Only spiritual awareness can repay it. We will settle interfaith relations. All the negative will disappear when people unite under the idea of building a huge mosque.
We connected with the Russian Crimea not only the restoration of historical justice, but also development. But no expectations were met. We did not go to the crowd of Russian tourists, as we expected. As a businessman, I miscalculated. I expected that the relationship would not deteriorate as much as they deteriorated. I was sure that there would be some preferential pass for Ukrainians and that they would go to the Crimea. And he was sure that Russia would be stirred up by nostalgia for the Crimea. But in the end 2014 year was completely failed, there were no tourists at all.
The euphoria quickly passed. Before the “Crimean Spring” in Crimea, the entire leadership belonged to the Party of Regions. Under Yanukovych, we have been euro-integrated with the help of the Party of Regions for a whole year. The overwhelming majority of all current officials called us for European integration. These are professional political prostitutes. They now walk with Russian flags and talk about patriotism, and patriotism from their mouths kills everything inside. This is very insulting for the militia - there was no cleansing of power. I really wanted to change right now, but these changes did not happen - and in many respects because of the local authorities. As a result, veterans of the militia even quarreled, divided into four organizations. We have no fraternity left. It's a shame.
After the referendum, Mustafa [Dzhemilev] calls me and says: work on the issue so that people do not take Russian passports. I answer: I tell them, and the next day they come to me and say - no passports, give me a job. And I also now offered a job. Mustafa: No, do not go, wait. The last dialogue was with him 4 May. After that, I made a decision and went to meet with President [Putin]. And on May 27 I was made vice-speaker of the [State Council of Crimea].
On June 12, we [with other Crimean Tatars] completely dispersed to the Majlis. I urged to take part in the elections to the legislative bodies of Crimea, I got up several times and said that it was suicide and they would close the Majlis. So it happened. Now in Kiev, the Pechersk court is trying me for treason. Announced on the international wanted list. He remained restricted to leave in large Russia. But Russia is a state that is reckoned with in the world. How can we behave differently. Take the example of Chechnya. They have no one to congratulate on Victory Day. Almost all the old men killed. Half of the nation. It is better to be under the protection of Russia than we will come and crash down.
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