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Crimea in the dark: silencing of dissent

15
dec
2016

In the two and a half years that have passed since the occupation and annexation of Crimea by Russia in violation of international law, in February-March 2014, the peninsula has changed beyond recognition. In violation of international humanitarian law, Russia has fully incorporated the peninsula into the Federation and imported its legislation wholesale, including its more repressive elements.

The annexation of Crimea was presented in Moscow and proclaimed in Crimea as the righting of a historical wrong, indeed, a return to the natural order of things. It has certainly been hugely popular in Russia and was backed by a great many in the peninsula itself. Just how many it is impossible to say: it is difficult to take the results of the “referendum” held shortly after the occupation at face value given the intensity of the repression of opposing voices. Almost two years on, there has been no let up on the part of local and national authorities, for whom the incorporation of the peninsula into the Russian Federation is not enough: they demand complete submission to this brute fact, characterizing – and prosecuting - those who oppose it as extremists and terrorists.

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