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“Prime Minister” of Crimea appeals to Odessa to secede Ukraine

March 11, 2014

Well here is an interesting appeal.

The Prime Minister (perhaps) of Crimea, making an appeal to the people of Odessa to overthrow the politicians, demand a referendum and secede from Ukraine.

http://vk.com/video18631635_167893324?list=961b907af95f7b5a69&og=1

I’m not quite sure how much traction he thinks his appeal is going to get, but I suspect he is going to be very disappointed.  The only Russian flag flying in Odessa at the moment is raised over the Russian Consulate.  Everywhere else the flag of Ukraine flutters in the sea breeze.

It may be that Odessa is a Russian speaking city.  It may be that residents of Odessa may see things through a slightly different lens to those in Lviv and Kyiv – but it is also true that they see things in a slightly different way to those in Donetsk and Kharkiv too.

There is a saying repeatedly heard in Odessa born out of centuries of cosmopolitan exposure via the ports that perhaps other parts of Ukraine have never really been subjected to  – “Ukraine is Ukraine, but Odessa is Odessa”.  In normal circumstances that is entirely true.  Normally nobody here pays much attention to who says what in Kyiv or Donetsk or Lviv – no matter how important those people may think they are.

But these are not normal circumstances.

Flags of Ukraine and the Odessa City flags are far more noticeable than ever before.  Not simply on government buildings as is normally the case, but on commercial premises, domestic property, and hung out of car windows.

Odessa collectively will continue to speak Russian as the language of first choice – come what may, of that there is no doubt.  But be also of little doubt that there is a strong Ukrainian patriotism that is equally robust and stubborn that will not wilt to the overtures of appeals from Crimea – or strong arm tactics from The Kremlin should they come.

As an aside, unsurprisingly, Moscow has PR firms now rapidly canvassing those with previous election monitoring experience to go to Crimea to monitor the referendum.

As always the ultimate issue with monitoring is who writes the reports – and who decides who writes the report.

The issue at hand for Moscow is how to make an illegitimate referendum appear a little more legitimate – naturally.

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4 comments

  1. look, I think people in Odessa need to make sure that there are no banderovtsi in Odessa – as this video shows

    I hope people enjoy it


    • I’m sure people who watch it will draw their own conclusions – I’ve seen it before and I have to be honest and say that on several local Odessa social forums it has been the subject of derision and mockery.


  2. The world is a visual place – we see before listening. The link is to a map of Ukraine color coded to reflect the areas of language. Naturally, Russian is crimson and red; red being historically Russia, and red being a danger sign. Innocent on its face. However, this map appears in many US news broadcasts and has been used to display everything from areas of unrest (we’re told of Odessa pro-Russia demonstrations, but rarely hear of pro-Ukraine demonstrations), Russian leanings, Russian interests, and so on and so forth. The media tells us how Russia ultimately wants to control the areas in red. We hear how we need to fear that the areas in red may side with Russia.

    So, why shouldn’t Russia send out letters and messages of secession? After all, our media, in its continual thirst for sensation, is unwittingly helping to spread their propaganda.
    http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/02/world/ukraine-divided/

    We need to hear voices like yours, so, please keep posting on your blog. We need to hear the unblemished truth, not what increases ratings and garners viewers.

    On another note, I’m aware there are ex-pats who have begun trying to leave their Crimean homes, and how unstable their situation has become. Our media hasn’t mentioned any of that. I truly hope they, and their families, stay safe.


  3. The question is whether monitors from Russia will be doing more than monitoring – in other words, yet another form of intimidation

    dezinformatsiya, provokatsiya i maskerovka



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