Politics

Sevastopol voters speak out about the Crimea referendum

"We’re a Russian city that accidently found itself in Ukraine" - Crimean citizens speak to AA.

16.03.2014
Sevastopol voters speak out about the Crimea referendum

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine 

As Crimea held its referendum on joining the Russian Federation, voters in Sevastopol - home of the Black Sea Fleet - spoke with AA and offered insights into their decision.

Vitaly, 40

I voted to join Russia because fascists came to power in Ukraine. If the government was different I’m sure things might have gone the other way. Economically it’ll be hard for everyone in the beginning, but things will pick up eventually.

Olga, 35

I voted to join Russia. Things are already so bad now. They couldn’t get any worse than they already are. I have a young daughter and want some stability.  Stability will come once we join Russia.

Tatiana, 41

After 20 years, Ukraine still hasn’t become our motherland and we would never accept it as our home. It is the country we live in, but we feel no affection for it. We have very different points of view.

The language issue, for example. Sevastopol is a very special city. People who got their education before 1998 didn’t learn Ukrainian. That means finding a state job or anything owned by the government is impossible because we can’t speak Ukrainian. We were never offered lessons by the state to learn. 

Imagine what that’s like; I was born here, grew up here, educated here, but can’t get a job in my own city because of that. 

In any state institution, fluent Ukrainian is required.

You know, we also have two very different interpretations of history. We say (World War II nationalist leader Stepan) Bandera was an enemy, and they say he was a hero. His portrait was everywhere all over the Maidan.

We’re not enforcing our values on them, but they’re enforcing them on us. 

I think the relations between our two countries might improve after we’ve had some time apart from one another.

Yevgeny, 48

Our roots and our history are here. We’re tied to Russia. We have no ties to Ukraine. Our grandparents spilled their blood for this land. 

Russia is a great, multi-national country. They all speak one language and can understand each other.  We have many nationalities here in Crimea – Russians, Greeks, Ukrainians, Tatars, Moldovans, Armenians, Jews. There’s no priority or preference given to any of them.

Katya, 28 

Sevastopol is a Russian city. It’s a part of our history. My father and brother are both in the Russian Navy. It would be very stupid to vote for Ukraine when we completely reject the authorities in Kiev.

We’ll finally have stability…a normal government and no corruption.

I can’t wait to get a Russian passport.

Svetlana, 25

Why would a city with a Russian soul vote for Ukraine?  Russians have always been very quiet about being a part of Ukraine. They weren’t asked when they were given to the Ukrainians. 

Now we’ve decided to take things into our own hands. 

We all want stability. 

Oleg, 30

I just think life will be better once we become a part of Russia.  We’re a Russian city that accidently found itself in Ukraine.  

I never had any problems with Ukrainians, but the new language laws they’ve passed changed everyone’s opinion.

For me I really hope the economic situation changes in the country so I can think of a normal future. 

Russia is a great power and I know our situation will change.

englishnews@aa.com.tr

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