Sevastopol, scene ruskih slave, želijo, da "gredo domov’

Sevastopol, scene of Russian glories, eager to ‘go home’

The Ukrajinski zastava ni bil nikoli zares sprejeli v Sevastopol in njeni slavni pristanišče, dom Rusije Črno flota morje, saj v času carjev.

In kot Moskva utrjuje svoj nadzor nad Krim, Prebivalci pravijo, da so veseli, da na dan, ko je ruska zastava, že vseprisotna, bodo leteli kot uradni standard,.

V tem mestu 350,000 — kjer so trgi in ulice nosijo imena junakov krimsko vojno ali Sovjetske zveze — neodvisnost Ukrajine v 1991 je travmatična.

Torej, ko je bil pro-Kremlin režim Viktor Janukovič strmoglavili prejšnji mesec, desettisoče planila na ulice, mobilizacijo na osrednjem trgu in razglašajo pro-Moskva poslovnež, Alexei Chaly, kot nova mesta župana.

“Državljani Sevastopol odločila zmanjšati vse vezi z razbojnikov, criminals and Nazis who seized power in Kiev,” Ivan Komelov, an advisor to Chaly, AFP povedal.

No one doubts the resultof the March 16 referendum in Crimea on becoming part of Russia, je dejal.

During 23 years of independence, Ukraine has done nothing for us. Kiev took our money and that’s it. When the people of Sevastopol have had their say we hope that Mother Russia will answer our call and take us into her bosom.

Chaly, who made his fortune in the electronics industry, is known in Sevastopol for having financed the reconstruction of monuments to the memory of Russian heroes.

Among them is Vladimir Kornilov, the famed Russian admiral who led the defence of Sevastopol against a Franco-British-Ottoman force during the 349-day siege of the city in 1854-55.

Kornilov’s famous last words during the siege — “Defend Sevastopol!” — were emblazoned on a stage this weekend as city residents gathered for a pro-Russia meeting.

Chanting “Rusija! Rusija!” the crowd watched as performer Nadezhda Babkina sang and danced in a multi-coloured dress, embroidered shawl and traditional headdress.

Among the crowd was 47-year-old Pavel Filipov, wearing a red anorak markedRussian National Teamin English.

‘Like a rejected transplant’ –

I have been waiting for this moment for decades,” je dejal. “We are going home, the vote here will be 100 percent for Russia.

His wife Olga, 46, recalls the Soviet era when the city and its surroundings were secret military areas closed to foreigners.

We had peace and security, we left our keys under the mat, children played outside. It was good,” je rekla.

Touring the city, there can be little doubt of the pivotal role Sevastopol has played in Russian history.

A “Hero Cityof the Soviet Union, Sevastopol saw 250,000 Red Army soldiers killed when German forces took control in 1942 after a devastating siege.

It was rebuilt by Stalin after the war, its majestic buildings and statues to heroes lined up along a ledge overlooking the port.

Along the waterfront, shops sell striped sailor shirts to tourists, magnets in the shape of submarines and Red Army souvenirs.

The yellow-and-blue of the Ukrainian flag is nowhere to be seen.

Sitting on a park bench, Anna and Larissa, two women in their 60s with gold teeth, shelter from the drizzle under their umbrellas.

They willhappilyvote for Crimea to join Russia on March 16, said Anna, who would not give her last name.

This city has always been Russian, and despite what was said, we were never part of Ukraine. It was like a transplant that was rejectedwe were Ukrainians in name only. Now we are going home,” Anna said.

Ukraine is a very poor country. Everything will be much better for us when our currency is the ruble,” said Komelov of city hall.

Russia is a rich and powerful country, which Ukraine will never be. Of course the Ukrainians who don’t agree with us will be allowed to stay. Like foreigners living in Russia.


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