On February 27th, 2014, Russian forces seized the Supreme Court Council of Crimea. Less than a month later an illegal referendum was held and Moscow enforced its presence on the peninsula. Since the annexation, Kremlin-installed Crimean authorities have taken more than 60 people as political prisoners in a bid to quash any form resistance.
Iryna Brunova-Kalisetska, from the Integration and Development Center for Information and Research, who herself is also an internally displaced person from Crimea, said Russia’s policy is to threaten any kind of resistance or opposition, both in Crimea and mainland Russia.
“What Russia tries to do is not only to threaten by these cases and detainment, but not also in very evident way like splitting Crimean Tatar population, rewriting national identity into religious one in order to diminish any kind of claiming, the national movement among Crimean that we have for 70 years nonviolent,” she said.
Hromadske spoke to Brunova-Kalisetska about how Russia is asserting its power in Crimea in lead up the anniversary of Moscow’s seizure of the peninsula as well as the elections that will be held there illegally on March 18.