Tags: ukraine | russia | crimea

Fearing Ukrainian Forces, Russians Abandoning Crimea

By    |   Friday, 18 November 2022 04:54 PM EST

With Ukrainian forces preparing to recapture Crimea, Russians are fleeing the territory Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed in 2014.

"We saw a video and, according to the locals, many [Russian] people left Crimea after strikes by the [Ukraine] Armed Forces," Newsweek reported Emil Ibragimov, the head of the Crimean project and educational platform Q-Hub, telling Radio NV in a video published on Friday. "And we know about the relocation of local occupiers or occupier officials to the Krasnodar region of Russia, where they are currently renting apartments, moving there to live."

He said that the Russian nationals are "fleeing" the peninsula on the Black Sea to the Russian region of Krasnodar because they are afraid Ukrainian forces will retake the territory.

"That is, we see this trend and can conclude that this is, of course, panic and fear that the [Ukraine] Armed Forces will be able to liberate Crimea in the near future," he said in the Newsweek article.

Putin "annexed" the territory from Ukraine in February 2014 using "a few thousand well-equipped and heavily armed Russian troops" from the Russian Southern Military District on the border with Ukraine, as well as backup from some 15,000 soldiers of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace reported at the time.

According to the article, around a third of the 2 million people in Crimea were born in the former Soviet Union and settled there after 1944.

Putin sought to sway the Ukrainian government following the ouster of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, demonstrating a loss of control over the eastern region of the country, largely populated by Russians, the report said.

Ukrainian forces, however, have been mounting an offensive in Crimea, taking advantage of Russian forces withdrawing from the eastern region, CNBC reported in August, including infrastructure bombings in that territory.

"It is quite obvious that Crimea is turning from a safe region into a dangerous one, and this is a direct consequence of the fact that the war has dragged on," Andrei​ Kolesnikov, senior fellow and chair of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told CNBC in August, adding that this was "another of Putin's strategic miscalculations."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed then to retake the territory and continue on through the contested Donbas region.

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With Ukrainian forces preparing to recapture Crimea, Russians are fleeing the territory Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed in 2014.
ukraine, russia, crimea
381
2022-54-18
Friday, 18 November 2022 04:54 PM
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