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Crimeans happy to be with Russia, but tension with Ukraine a concern

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  24 Oct 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Yalta (Crimea) Oct 23: Its two years since a referendum returned Crimea to Russia from the Ukraine and life goes on as usual in the popular tourist destition. The referendum has been largely rejected by the West, but for the locals, the result was largely like “returning home”.

The majority ethnic Russians, who make 65 per cent of the population against 15 per cent ethnic Ukrainians, are happy with the result, but the tension with Ukraine is not welcome.

“Crimea has historically been a part of Russia. It’s our tiol honour,” business executive Alexe Baturkin, walking with his son sitting on his shoulders said, adding that while he was happy Crimea is back with Russia, the politics around the referendum is unnecessary and the tension is like fighting with one’s own brother. “Different countries can live together. Ukranians are our brothers. We have lived together for many hundred years. I have been to Moscow, I have been to Kiev, we don’t want to shoot them. For my son, I want peace,” Baturkin said. In the referendum, held on March 16, 2014, the Russian government said 97 percent of the votes cast were in favour of Russia, which subsequently annexed the region.

Soon after, however, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution with 100 countries, including the US, the UK and Japan, backing Ukraine’s “territorial integrity”.

India, Pakistan and Chi were among the 58 countries that abstained from voting.

For tasha, a singer in her 30s who is a Ukrainian, the tension is more than a political issue. She has her family and a son in the Ukraine and has not been able to visit them for almost two years now. tasha did not vote in the referendum. “I like Russia, but I also like Ukraine. My family is there in Ukraine, I wish the countries to remain friends,” she said. Alan Kamarzaev, a musician by profession, termed the situation post the annexation as “complicated”. “We wanted the referendum to happen. We are pleased with the results and it is absolutely true, not fake. The atmosphere during the time of the referendum was good. People liked the winds of change,” said Kamarzaev. (IANS)

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