“This week, as Russia attempts to validate its cynical and calculated ‘liberation’ of Crimea, we reaffirm that sanctions related to Crimea will remain in place as long as the occupation continues. The United States continues to support Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and right to self-determination.”
“Many Crimeans came out, no matter their nationality,” said Andriy Shchekun, a Simferopol-based activist. “It was a consolidation, a demonstration of how all Crimeans felt. In principle it was the real majority, and we saw the real picture. We organized a major event without allocated money or political connections. It was a true civil protest against what was happening in Crimea.”
Many of the protesters extended their activities to include aiding besieged Ukrainian soldiers and fighting off members of the so-called self-defense forces of pro-Russian youths harassing activists and others.
“We cultivated our audience to think,” she said. “Our performances weren’t light entertainment. They forced people to think critically about the things going on around them. So the people who went to the theater, who came to see our performances, were independent-minded.”
World leaders have cast their support for Ukraine and Crimea, pledging not to reverse their position until Crimea is returned to Ukraine.