Report from Simferopol, 15th march
The situation on the streets of Simferopol is calm. A pro-Russian euphoria and post-Soviet nostalgia prevail among the population. The referendum evoked sincere emotions among the people. Everyone seems to be happy, some of them are even crying. Young people are screaming “Russia! Russia!” until they lose their voices. They are chanting “Glory to Russia!” and hear the same cries in response. It’s easy to draw a parallel with the first stage of the Maidan – the euphoria and the false hope shared by the people.
The economic situation in Simferopol (judging by the state of buildings) is tragic. Everything is dirty, houses (facades) are not renovated and only in the centre of the city are roads in good condition.
On the ‘day of silence’, actions and concerts in support of the referendum are being held at Lenin Square in Simferopol. Many young people have come from out of town, and many of them are drinking alcohol (you can literally smell liquor everywhere). People are celebrating (photo attached). Men in uniforms ask photographers not to take pictures of their faces.