Sevastopol – a city of politicised dogs, old communist clichés and modern “politics”

Sevastopol – a city of politicised dogs, old communist clichés and modern “politics”.

Communism is a world’s dead religion. Not in Ukraine! Post-Soviet transition as regress – not progress! Visual evidence provided…

Sevastopol is a city of some 350.000 population with a vivid Mediterranean touch located in the southwestern Crimean Peninsula. West of the modern town stood the ancient Greek colony of Chersonesus founded in 421 BC. In 988 Prince Vladimir of Kyiv captured the town and was baptized there, thus bringing Christondom to the Kyivan Rus. In 1783 the Russians having annexed the Crimea began the construction t of a naval base and fortress, named Sevastopol (in Greek: a city deserving respect) the following year.  Sevastopol’s principal function has been as a major naval base and fortress.

 

In World War II the town underwent a siege by the Germans for 250 days. The town was reduced to rubble with virtually no inhabitants and after liberation in May 1944 it was resurrected from scratch. In 1954 Crimea formally became a part of the Ukrainian S.S.R. Most of the current population was bought from outside – from Russian Federation (over 70%), Ukraine and other parts of the USSR. This fact gave many the idea that “this historical injustice” should be corrected and Crimea given back to Russia.

Sevastopol as remembered by many in the USSR.

The monument to the ships sunk by the Tsarist navy during the Crimean war (1853-56) in order to prevent the British, French and Turkish ships enter the bay of Sevastopol. This monument is the city’s symbol.

A dog apparently interested in a campaign stand of the Communnist party and passing by girls.

Two old women’s slogans read: “No to NATO!” and “NATO Block – Aggressor and Murderer”. When I spoke to them they could not explain me why, though. A passing by dog got interested first, as the novelty of this reasoning caught his eye.

But after a couple of seconds the dog dismissed the Communist ideology as empty rhetoric. He did what the old women couldn’t do for sixty years. How strange…

Russian flags and standard Crimean separatist slogans reading: “Russian Sevastopol”, “No to NATO!”, “Peace!” “No to NATO!” (again) and “We will stand up protect our children against disaster and war”.

Old communist pensioners holding: “Sevastopol – The Patriotic Union of Soviet Officers”, “Sevastopol will not become the base of NATO military”, “NATO! Keep your hands off Ukraine!”.

The old ladies easily recognized me as a typical American spy, as I had a broad smile and “western” camera in my hands.

Communists and Yanuchary play a separatist card in Crimea, which formally belonged to the Russian Federation within the Soviet Union till 1954. In doing so they hope to gain popular support and undermine positions of pro-Western democrats.

Small fish in big games. Organisation of this separatist anti-Ukrainian referendum gave local students a possibility to earn a buck or two.

Sevastopol is also a city of politically active and highly reactionary Homo Sovieticus – the former USSR Navy pensioners who still associate themselves with the Great Russia of Putin, cherish the long-gone dreams of the Communist empire and can’t grasp the reason of Soviet Unions’ collapse.

A disgraceful and highly explosive mixture of separatism and reactionism. The tents of the  Communist party and Yanukovich’s Party of Regions, which stand for ukrainofobic politics of Ukraines’ division and hoped-for annexation by Russia. In the view of these two parties’ supporters, Ukraine does not deserve the right to exist. For them Ukraine is merely derogatory “Malorossya” – “Small Russia”  And for Yanukovich’s oligarchs (Yanuchary) Ukraine is nothing more than a business project, where political, cultural and mental backwardness of general population is something to be sustained and promoted. Apolitical and disoriented people are easy to manipulate with primitive slogans of NATO aggression against Ukraine, Putin’s saint status and American spies especially in times of pre-election campaigns like these.

Relics of the past making Ukraine’s politics of tomorrow. This plaque mentioning a 100-year jubilee of Vladimir Lenin is located in the midst of a living district. 

A Tatar selling vegetables from a rather weird stand in between house blocks. He wasn’t particularly happy when I filmed him.

Crumbling nine-storied blocks of flats side by side with new offices buildings.

A pony, three horses and a dog crossing a beautiful street rebuilt after WWII in both Greek and Stalinist Classicism styles. There are many streets like this in the downtown Sevastopol.

 

A homeless dogs’ problem first came to Sevastopol with Perestroika.

A dog selling souvenirs to the tourists.

A typical garbage can cat.

But Sevastopol should be remembered as also a city of brave and smart cats licking off spoilt condensed milk…

…and also a city of brave five-year old girls…

…apart from other rare artifacts…

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