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Je Suis Crimea – A First-hand Witness to the Referendum

Svetlana Miroshnichenko is a resident of Sevastopol in The Crimea. She was among the tens of thousands of Sevastopol residents who gathered every evening in what has to be described as direct Democracy, sharing their thoughts, opinions, and views about the coup in Ukraine and their fears that violence would erupt in Crimea. Thousands of residents dubbed the Citizens Defense Force protected their city and borders from possible attacks by the right wing, neo-nazis in Ukraine. Svetlana explains that the referendum came from the bottom up – the people and their local government and not from Russia.

It was only after the overwhelming results to rejoin the Russian Federation from across The Crimea that President Putin accepted the return and made it official in a public policy document. The overwhelming majority of Crimeans were ecstatic and hold President Putin in high regards. His picture appears on billboards all over The Crimea, on coffee cups, and t-shirts.

The background to this story is that Crimea had always been part of Russia, for centuries, in fact. Nikita Khrushchev, in order to gain political favor from the Ukraine during the Soviet Union, gifted Crimea to the Ukraine. Under an agreement between Russia and Ukraine, Russia could station thousands of troops in Crimea because it had always been Russia’s warm-water naval base. At the time of the referendum to return to Russia, there was NO invasion by Russian troops because they were already in Crimea. Everyone made it clear that even with the gift of The Crimea to Ukraine, Ukraine was not a separate country, but part of the Soviet Union.

After the coup in Ukraine in 2014, the vast majority of Russians who made up The Crimea, did not want to remain under the right-wing, neo-nazi government in Kiev, and hence, the referendum. This is another first-hand testimony that contradicts the US narrative that President Putin and Russia invaded The Crimea and annexed it to the Russian Federation.


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