What Crimean Residents Think Of The Attack on the Bridge
- Can you tell us where we are now? - This area in Kerch is called Zmeinka. There are a lot of water snakes here, and here there are mostly boat cooperatives. - For relax. - For fishing. - Are you local? - Yes, in the summer we live here, and in the winter in an apartment, at home. It is already autumn, we moved home a few days ago, and now we came to check the roof, in case something fell apart. - Because of yesterday's explosion? - Yes, there was an explosion. We live behind Mithridates, and we can't see the bridge. There is Mithridates, and we are on the other side. We heard an explosion at about 6 o'clock, jumped out onto the balcony and saw black smoke coming out. And now we have come on advice, because my sister lives on the other side. That is our famous fortress, it was built by Totleben, who is from the Sevastopol defense.
Behind it, some of her neighbors had their windows broken. But for some reason hers were not broken. - Well, she is in the 5-story building, and the rest 9-story buildings, on the foothills. - Ours were not broken. In our area, there are few windows broken on the waterfront. In the Bogatnikov Cultural Center, glass on the central door burst. They say in the administration too, I did not see it myself. Because the blast wave went there. The explosion was quite strong, because we are behind Mithridates and the building shook. - We live on the 9th floor, and I actually woke up from that .. the explosion was not so much heard, but at first the bed began to wobble. - Why do you think Ukraine makes such provocations? - Oo! There's a lot to be said here. - And for a long time! - It's the real... - Not the first silent pun in the local dialect. We were under occupation for 28 years, Ukraine forced us to keep documentation in Ukrainian,
court cases, in general, we suffered. But we know how poor Donetsk suffered for 8 years. - But Europe, the USA and Ukraine and the whole world say that Crimea is Ukraine. - What Ukraine?! Crimea has never been Ukraine, even when it was believed that we were in Ukraine.. I am a native Kerch citizen, and when I was forced to learn Ukrainian at school, it was my least favorite subject. - They ere learning it only because of the grades at school, so .. And what they think, let the EU, America and Ukraine figure out what's going on with themselves, do you understand?
And only then, they can think of something else. - When there was a referendum in 2014, the grannies, who didn’t even walk, asked me to drive them down, they wanted to vote. - We loaded them into our car and drove them! - My classmate never went to vote, neither under Soviet rule, nor under Ukraine. And then he says "I'll go!" On March 16, 2014, people went to the referendum as if it was a holiday. - I was here. - Were you? - Yes. - Everyone was happy, the children were with balloons. There was such happiness. - Regarding the bridge, how do you feel about it? - I feel hate. - It hurts me, so much has been done, so much work has been invested. And some rubbish, you can’t name it differently, took it and blew it up. How else can you feel? - We followed the construction at all stages, and we watched it from hereand went out to the site, took pictures. We were looking forward for the contruction to end. And here it is built. Amd a bad state of Ukraine.. - Terrorist. This is a real act of terrorism, which is against people. Well, Crimea is understandable.
We understand that the Americans laid eyes on the Crimea even under Ukraine. They themselves said that $5 million, or how much they paid there, so that this ... - 5 Billion. - Do you think Ukraine will stop there? - This is my personal opinion, but until we take Kyiv and remove that government, this is how it will be. On each bridge, on each .. you can’t put guards. - Can I ask you how old are you? - I'm 71. - So you were born in 1951? - When Ukraine united.. - No. What year were you born? - In 1951. - Were you born in the Crimea? - Yes. - That is, when you were born, Crimea was in Russia? - Yes, in like in 1954, Khrushchev, a bad person ..
- He just sold it. - As under the tsar, when there was serfdom, the tsar could give the village together with the serfs from one owner to another. And we, my parents and I, as slaves were transferred from Russia to Ukraine. Without asking my parents, let alone me. I was then 3-4 years old. We were handed over from Russia to Ukraine. Well, what to do? No referendum, no nothing. They just passed it on. - Just as a gift. - Thanks a lot. - Good luck. - Hello! - Hello! - Can you tell me about what happened yesterday? - We slept at home, and at 6:03 there was a terrible explosion that everyone jumped. The child began to .. cry. And I started crying. I started to get scared. I went out to the balcony, and there was a glow. Terrible glow. Of course, everyone was scared. All the people went out onto the balconies.
And there were also neighbors from Moscow, they just left yesterday, also a terrible explosion. My niece on Budenov Street had her windows knocked out. - Was it here? - Here. Well, just a few stops to go. - A lot of places where they felt a strong explosion? - Yes, they were hurt. - What do you feel about this explosion? - Of course it's all unpleasant. They said that the bridge is very well guarded and now, such an explosion happened. We didn't expect this.
- Why do you think Ukraine creates such provocations? - Or did Ukraine do it in general? What do you think? - I think America. - Of course. - Maybe Ukraine. Who knows, you understand? Only God knows who did it. - Do you think Ukraine will stop there? - I think not. - Do you think Russia needs to answer or can they just talk? - I do not understand. - What should Russia do? Reply somehow or do they need some kind of negotiations? - I would like peace. - Peace? - Of course. Why do we need this.
- Ukraine, the USA and Europe and the whole world in general say that Crimea is Ukraine. - It's not that way, right? - Of course not. It's all a provocation. - How is this a provocation? If we buy a map in any country today.. - I want to say that when we had the Soviet Union and when we had elections, everyone voted to stay with Russia. But anyway, Ukraine did everything possible for us to stay with them. Who was our president then? - Yanukovych? When? - No. Then we had... I forgot his last name. Well, in general, we did not want to be a part to Ukraine. We wanted to stay .. As we lived under Russia, we wanted that. But they didn't listen to us. That's all. - But for 30 years.. Ukraine has not listened to our voice. - And now .. - And now everything is fine. - But if you buy a map in Europe or the USA, it would show that it is Ukraine here, how so? - No! No!
- Yes! Only in the Russian maps it is written that Russia is here. - No, everything was fine. And in Ukraine it was normal. But when these leaders came power, who supported the Nazis, the fascists. This started the whole war. This started the whole war! - Poroshenko? - Yes, Poroshenko and his whole gang with Yulia Tymoshenko. They did it all. If they didn’t touch people, didn’t kill, didn’t rape, everything would be fine.
But why are they now fighting not with the military, but with civilians? Why are they shooting at kindergartens? Why are they shooting where our children study? Why don't they fight the way they should fight, and not with civilians? That's why people stood up! That's why the people don't want to come back! That is why the Donbass was outraged. Because they were forced to. Do you want to be forced? No, you don't agree? This is where they disagree. - I just want peace. Of course everyone wants peace. - Nobody is against it. - How can peace come? - There will be no peace. - How? - Because your president and Zelensky do not want this. They won't compromise even if we meet them halfway. They won't go for it. - What do you think about Zelensky in general? - Zelensky? He is not a Jew. He is a fascist who has no nation. - Even in Israel they said so. - He has no nation, you understand? This is not a person. He himself came out and told reporters that we should not live. I shouldn't live, she shouldn't live. Why shouldn't we live? - And Biden. - Biden in general .. I wanted to say a bad word .. but I'm sorry. - Well, what? - He's not a good person. He also has no nation. He is not an American, he also draws you into poverty. Isn't it so? - And Putin? - Putin - no. On the contrary, he compromises with everyone, but you do not want to listen and your presidents do not want to. And Europe does not want to.
I don't know why they get into this shit, but apparently they like this shit. To bathe once a month or even once a year. they like it. And we don't like it. - Thanks. - Hello! Can I ask you a few questions? - What happened yesterday? - Where? - Here. - You probably know what happened. - Yes, but I would like to know how you feel about it. - Well, at 6 am there was an explosion. Well, a clap. I jumped out, I look - something is burning on the bridge. There was black smoke. I looked through binoculars, and there are burning tanks. Well, that's all. - Who is to blame for this?
- A government commission has been created that will establish this, but according to the video observations that are on the bridge, it was clear that a truck was driving, and when it caught up with the freight train, there were 7 tanks next to it, this truck was blown up and the tank was set on fire with all sorts of striking elements. And 2 car spans fell into the water. - Do you think it is possible that Russia did it? - And why does Russia need it? - And who then? - Who are we fighting? We are at war with Ukraine. They don't deny it. Actually, they put up a billboard before they blew up the bridge. They have already hung a billboard with a blown up bridge near them. - You said that "we are at war with Ukraine." Are you a local resident of Crimea? - Yes. - The US, Europe and every map in the whole world except for Russsia claims that Crimea is Ukraine. What can you say about it? - When the so-called revolution began in Ukraine in 2014, or rather a coup d'état, a train was sent to us to bomb the Crimea. Entrepreneurs and people united and prepared to meet them in Simferopol. They found out about it, stopped the train near Melitopol and fled.
After that, as you know, we had a referendum, 97% of the people.. We went there as if on a holiday. This confirmed that we do not want to.. Do you understand that in the 20 years during which we were near Ukraine, not a single kindergarten, not a single school was built here, not a single kilometer of roads, water supply, sewerage, or enterprises were repaired. That is, everything was abandoned. That is, Kyiv did not allocate money here. It did not consider Crimea its territory. Therefore, let's say, managers who know how to lead, they sent such terrible ones, that is, they did nothing. And after we voted in the referendum, you know these events, Russia then accepted us. Then they blew up power lines, blocked our water.
For example, here I live, and for exactly 100 days I had no electricity. There was no light at all. An energy bridge from the Kuban was stretched here, cables under water. We were given the light only then. Water, as you know, only now, in 2022. Before that, there were problems with water. We can not say that we were dying of thirst, no, but it was on schedule. We drilled underground wells. By the way, before the North Crimean Canal, Crimea was fed by underground wells all the time. That is, we had these wells sealed and they were unsealed, some new ones were opened. In general, we lived this time. Of course, agriculture was not very good, neither rice nor all irrigated fruits and vegetables. Therefore, it was hard. But on the other hand, a grandiose construction project has begun, you know. The Tavrida highway, this bridge, that's all. A lot of money was thrown here. And if earlier our leaders, mayors of cities, said that "we can't do anything, we don't have money." Now there was so much money that the mayors could not master it.
That is, somewhere around 60% remained and passed on to the next year. I mean, there was a lot of money. New schools, kindergardens were built, roads were repaired. Not to mention the Taurida highway with its branches. And the economy starts with infrastructure. If there are roads, airports, railways, then the movement of goods and cargo will begin, and from here some kind of movement into industry will begin, it will start to develop. Naturally, the direction in the Crimea was taken not for industry. For example, Kerch was an industrial city, it gave 33% of the Crimean budget. There was a railway plant and a metallurgical plant.
And of course they were toxic. They gave money, but they also poisoned the atmosphere. Now it's all closed. They closed the nuclear power plant, which they wanted to build in Shchelkino. The direction was taken to tourism and agriculture. These are the main directions. And also the industry that serves the army and navy. That is, all sorts of repair bases and so on. Of course, jobs were cut, people left for the mainland. Here they left grandparents with their grandchildren and so on. But in time, it all begins to revive, people return. New residential complexes, new houses, schools are being built. And everything is back to normal. - What do you think Ukraine wanted to convey by this act of terrorism?
- It does not hide, and says that Crimea, as they consider, is theirs. And the bridge is an infrastructure built without their consent. Therefore, they always stated that... Firstly, when it was still building, they said that it was impossible to build here. And their scientists were speaking, there was a big noise. And even when they showed photos, they said that this was not a bridge, but that Mosfilm had built the scenery. But when the movement began, and when the Ukrainian bloggers themselves drove over these bridges and filmed it all, it all calmed down there. But they kept saying that they would blow up this bridge. It was clear and understandable. - Do you think it's a terrorist attack or just a war? - The attack is natural. - Really? - Yes, it's a terrorist attack.
- Well, maybe this is a war, everyone is shooting at each other. - But as I said, they blew up the truck. This is not a war. This is a terrorist attack. And the Ukrainians themselves admitted yesterday that yes, this is a terrorist attack. And even they admitted. - Do you think they will stop there? - No, they won't stop. They now want the Americans to give them missiles that fire 360 km. And the Americans give them these missiles and allow them to shoot at objects that have become Russian.
- What do you think needs to be done to end this war? - This war will end with the capitulation of Ukraine, there is no other option. Our president announced denationalization and demilitarization, that is, they must be disarmed. And all national battalions must be liquidated. The goal has been set. - We spoke to so many people in Ukraine, and every person we found was for Russia. How can we find a person who can be for Ukraine? Where are they? - The fact is that when the accession took place, when they made changes to the constitution, and officially fixed it, we were all asked to choose. Seems like we were given 3 months. Either you go, write an application and get a Russian passport, or go to Ukraine. I will not say that everyone stayed here, no, someone left.
Not many, but people left. Who wanted. They didn't change their passports. They left with Ukrainian passports there. That's why you can't see now those who... They're not here just physically. During these 8 years, a kind of Russian society has been formed. We got used to it. It is clear that there was a difference in political systems, different economy, tax, documentary turnover. It's all different comparing to Ukraine. And it took us a long time to get used to this whole new order. - What year were you born? - In 1946.
- So you were born when Crimea was Russia, right? - No. I was born in Odessa. - Oh, okay. - My dad was a military man, this is the post-war 1946. And he was a military man at the airfield. Then that airfield was disbanded, and he was offered to move to Kerch. And in 1953, I went to the 1st grade at school already here. - What year? - In 1953. - So, it turns out that in 1953 it was Russia, right? - No. - And a year later, in 1954, it was already Ukraine, right? - The fact is that in the Soviet Union there were no borders, and there was no such vivid manifestation that this is Ukraine, but this is Russia.
There were no borders, no customs. - That is, everything in common? - Well, for example, after school, I went to study in Taganrog. And this is Russia. We had training programs. They were all the same. I took exams there and no one told me: "Here, he came from Ukraine." No, I just live in a territory that is administratively Ukraine, but not politically. - But administratively, Crimea became Ukraine only in 1954, in 1953 Crimea remained Russia. - Yes, next year, in 1954, Khrushchev ..
Well, there was such a situation that Crimea was Russian, but Ukraine was around, right? There was no bridge, boats came, and later a ferry was launched. And therefore, it was economically difficult to supply Crimea to Russia, let's say so. The trains were coming here. I think the economy was the reason back then. I lived at that time .. Although, at that time we all lived well. Well, that's all. - Ok, thank you very much. - You are welcome. Port of Crimea - Hello! - Good day! - Can you introduce yourself? - First Deputy Head of the Administration of the city of Kerch, Shevchenko Oleg Olegovich. - Where are we now? - At the moment, on the territory of the Kerch ferry crossing. - And what happened here? - Nothing happened.
Transport is organized here, a ferry operates. Everything is in normal mode. For passengers without transport, boats are organized that ferry them to the other side. That is, everything is organized for pedestrians. - And as I understand it, this is because the bridge was blown up yesterday. Or is it a normal job? - This is the usual work of the crossing, but in view of the circumstances that exist at the moment, this is the usual work of the crossing. - And probably there are more people now. - In connection with the incident, the crossings here have increased. But everything is working normally. - And what is the forecast? Will something change? Will it get better? - Everything will change soon. Everything is fine with us. - Really? - Yes. Everything is working normally.
- When do you think the bridge will be restored? - I'm not an expert, I can't say. I don't know how the work will go. - Thanks. - My pleasure. Have a good day. - What are you doing here now? - We're trying to get through. - Why exactly here? - Well, there is no other way. - They blew up the bridge yesterday, didn't they? - Yes. - And what do you feel about it? - We wait. They arranged a ferry. Only from here, there is no other way. - Where are you from? - From Gelendzhik. Krasnodar region. - Understood. - And you were often on the bridge, right? - Yes. - And what do you think? Are you waiting? - And what else remains. - How long are you waiting here? - Since yesterday. - What are the forecasts? - I do not know. Here come the soldiers. Now we will be after them too. And I don't know how to get there. There's not an option. We wait. We'll see how it goes.
- How many cars have passed? - I do not know. The military were passed to be the first. First them, then us. In general, 15 cars fit, and since the military drove through, only 1 car turned out. - Is it 1 hour or 2 hours? - About 2.5 hours. An hour there and then back. It turns out to be 2.5 hours. - Thanks a lot. - Hello! - Hello! - Can you tell me what you are doing now? - Are you a foreigner? - Yes.
- Well, it is calm. The situation is calm with the drivers. Everyone is very nervous, but waiting for their turn to cross. - How long have you been here? - Since yesterday. We already drove up to the bridge itself and this emergency happened and we left here. - And how do you feel because of this situation on the bridge? - It was anxious, nervous. There were people hurt. And now it is not clear what will happen. - What do you think should happen next? - I can not say anything. I can't even guess. There are more superior people who look at this situation more competently. I can't even imagine what will happen next. - Why do you think Ukraine made such a provocation? - Or maybe you think that this is not Ukraine? - No, I assume that this is from Ukraine. I can't say anything specific. But I guess from the other side. - What do you think, why is so?
- The situation with Donetsk, Luhansk, the current situation, I think because of this. Sabotage. - Do you think it will stop there? - I think that there will be somthings in big cities. I think there will be something else from the other side. - What do you think Russia needs to do? Or vice versa? - Can not say anything. Strengthen its borders, to be more carefully at the checkpoint. They should perform its duties more carefully. A little oversight and you could be in trouble. I think so. - Thanks. - Thank you!