“Even as Ukraine is building a peaceful, democratic, independent nation across 93 percent of its territory, Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine are suffering a reign of terror,” she confidently told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
© Sputnik/ Konstantin Chalabov
Fireboat of the Russian Ministry for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Relief hoses down city residents during Russian Navy Day celebrations in Sevastopol
“Today Crimea remains under illegal occupation and human rights abuses are the norm, not the exception, for many at risk groups there,” she said.
Nuland also claimed that several groups — Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians who refuse to surrender their passports, gays and lesbians, journalists and others — are at risk of persecution.
In eastern Ukraine, Russia and its separatist puppets unleashed unspeakable violence and pillage,” she claimed.
What Victoria Nuland however opted not to mention is the poll result of the Ukrainian branch of Germany’s biggest market research organization, GfK.
One year later, 82 percent of those polled said they fully supported Crimea’s inclusion in Russia, and another 11 percent expressed partial support. Only 4 percent spoke out against it.
Just over half (51 percent) reported that their well-being had improved in the past year. That especially concerns retirees, who have started receiving much higher Russian pensions.
The vast majority of Crimeans are not interested in going back to Ukraine.
According to the group, in 2015, the peninsula will receive 47 billion rubles ($705 million), or 75 percent of its budget, from Russia, not counting the increased pensions. Ukraine never financed the peninsula at that level: in 2014, it had planned to transfer 3.03 billion hryvnias ($378 million at the time) to Crimea.