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AP PHOTOS: Crimea's people face challenges as part of Russia

AP PHOTOS: Crimea's people face new uncertainties in adjusting to life as part of Russia

In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct.  26, 2014, pro-Kiev branch of the Orthodox Church Archbishop Kliment, right, and priest Maxim, left,  conduct a se...
In this photo taken on Saturday, Oct.  25, 2014, a nearly forgotten  statue of Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin stands in an untidy park on the out...
In this photo taken on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, soccer fans of the team of "Druzhba" (Friendship) from Petrovka village support their team during a ma...
In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct.  26, 2014, a large TV screen shows Russian President Vladimir Putin as he speaks to political experts at a meeting...
In this photo taken on Monday, Oct.  27, 2014, Tatar boys play at a football field in front of a mosque just outside the town of Bakhchysarai, Crimea....
In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, Abdureshit Dzhapparov, whose son was kidnapped on the streets of Sary-Su in September 2014 waits for  Fr...
In this photo taken on Wednesday, Oct.  29, 2014, Yusuf Gafarov, 85, holds a photo of his parents at him house in Sokolinoe village behind the Crimean...
In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct.  26, 2014, a young man rides a bicycle listening to music on his headphones, as two elderly women relax in a Sovie...
In this photo taken on Friday, Oct.  31, 2014, school children listen to a teacher of Tatar language at a Tatar school in Sary-Su, Crimea. Despite the...
In this photo taken on Tuesday, Oct.  28, 2014, Yelena Batrak checks bottles of vintage wine at the state-owned Massandra winery in Yalta, Crimea. The...
In this photo taken on Wednesday, Oct.  29, 2014, tourists take pictures of Yalta from the Ai-Petri, a peak in the Crimean Mountains. The sun-blessed ...
In this photo taken on Tuesday, Oct.  28, 2014, a young man sits during a sunset on the seafront in Yalta, Crimea. The sun-blessed region

Crimea Daily Life

In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, pro-Kiev branch of the Orthodox Church Archbishop Kliment, right, and priest Maxim, left, conduct a se...

Crimea Daily Life

In this photo taken on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, a nearly forgotten statue of Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin stands in an untidy park on the out...

Crimea Daily Life

In this photo taken on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, soccer fans of the team of "Druzhba" (Friendship) from Petrovka village support their team during a ma...

Crimea Daily Life

In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, a large TV screen shows Russian President Vladimir Putin as he speaks to political experts at a meeting...

Crimea Daily Life

In this photo taken on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, Tatar boys play at a football field in front of a mosque just outside the town of Bakhchysarai, Crimea....

Crimea Daily Life

In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, Abdureshit Dzhapparov, whose son was kidnapped on the streets of Sary-Su in September 2014 waits for Fr...

Crimea Daily Life

In this photo taken on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, Yusuf Gafarov, 85, holds a photo of his parents at him house in Sokolinoe village behind the Crimean...

Crimea Daily Life

In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, a young man rides a bicycle listening to music on his headphones, as two elderly women relax in a Sovie...

Crimea Daily Life

In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014, school children listen to a teacher of Tatar language at a Tatar school in Sary-Su, Crimea. Despite the...

Crimea Daily Life

In this photo taken on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, Yelena Batrak checks bottles of vintage wine at the state-owned Massandra winery in Yalta, Crimea. The...

Crimea Daily Life

In this photo taken on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, tourists take pictures of Yalta from the Ai-Petri, a peak in the Crimean Mountains. The sun-blessed ...

Crimea Daily Life

In this photo taken on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, a young man sits during a sunset on the seafront in Yalta, Crimea. The sun-blessed region

SEVASTOPOL, Crimea (AP) -- Crimea, promised Russian President Vladimir Putin, "will be a home to all the peoples living there."

Yet 10 months since the Kremlin tore up the map of Europe and seized the strategic Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine, many of Crimea's 2.2 million inhabitants face a future rife with uncertainty and present-day hardships far different from the instant prosperity they imagined that union with Russia would bring.

As of Jan. 1, Crimea is supposed to be fully integrated legally and administratively into the rest of the Russian Federation. But in many ways, it seems more like a distant island, linked to Russia only by airplane and by the ferries that ply the Kerch Strait.

The sun-blessed region's main industry, tourism, is in virtual free fall, with the European Union adding to its troubles by recently banning the sale of Crimea-bound travel packages as well as stops by EU-flagged cruise ships at Yalta, Sevastopol and other ports.

Since Crimea's annexation by Russia in March, prices for foodstuffs have risen steeply, and the local economy has been hit with the double whammy of Western sanctions and Moscow's slowness to inject the large amounts of capital that was promised to rebuild Crimea's aging Soviet-era infrastructure. Ukraine has also throttled Crimean agriculture by turning off the faucet to a major irrigation canal.

Despite the many problems that accompanied the overnight change in nationality, many residents still support Crimea's fusion with Russia -- including in Sevastopol, home port to Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

Others in a diverse local population that includes Russians, Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars and Armenians remain wary -- or even hostile. Thousands of people have spurned the opportunity to live under Russian rule by leaving Crimea.

Some minority groups, including Crimean Tatars and the pro-Kiev branch of the Orthodox Church, have accused the pro-Russian authorities now in charge in Crimea of an organized campaign of harassment or brutality against them.


Updated : 2021-09-20 00:26 GMT+08:00