Writer Aleksander Prokhanov describes the place Crimea holds in the hearts and minds of the Russian people
This article originally appeared at Izvestia.ru. Translated for RI by Thomas Beavitt
It has been a whole year since Crimea has been with us – in Russia. And now it is even clearer why reuniting the peninsula with its Russian motherland was a most necessary, and irreversible step. When Maidan ignited and its burning, toxic plasma flowed eastwards, burning down everything in its path and leaving chaos, hatred and destruction in its wake, on its heels could be heard the iron footsteps of NATO .
NATO was aiming directly at Crimea, desperate to get rid of the Russian Black Sea base and to replace it in the bay of Sevastopol with the 6th American fleet. This would have been Russia’s worst possible nightmare. American battleships armed with nuclear weapons would have controlled the whole peninsula, the entire Black Sea basin, and American marines would have been marching on the holy stones of Crimea. The return of Crimea placed a hefty spanner in these diabolical works, snatching the region from under the noses of the NATO generals. Crimea was the primary object of brutal Ukrainisation. If this ferocious flow of nationalistic energy had brought the territory of Russian Crimea under its control, this would have begun the spilling of Russian blood and Crimea would have groaned from reprisals and torture. It would have been horrifying to witness the destruction of Simferopol, gaze on the smoking Livadia Palace and view the dreadful "Right Sector" goose-stepping past the house of Chekhov along the coastal farmstead of Voloshin. We couldn't let that happen.
In 1991, when most tragically, our great Union fell apart, the Russian people were left completely divided on an unprecented scale. And this divide continues to be a terrible scar on every Russian soul. Crimea is the land where we can find the holy Russian spirit still breathing; where its sacred memory is still preserved. It was seeking mother Russia. It was stretching out its hands towards Russia, but these hands were being chopped off by the cruel Ukrainian pole-axe. At last our long- awaited reunion took place. The Russian nation came together in Crimea. That is how the eternal dream of the Russian reunification of spirit, united Russian consciousness was realised.
Crimea is an enigmatic and mystical part of Russia, a sacred altar upon which Russia read its prayers before battles, national celebrations and reformations. Crimea is covered with kisses, where Russian history pressed itself close to its holy places, where great artists created their greatest works, where the greatest Russian monuments were created, where in hallowed graves lie the heroes of the Crimean War, who fell in the battles of Malakoff and Mount Sapun.
Crimea is the place to which Prince Vladimir was mysteriously transported and christened in Chersonesus. By means of this baptism Russia acquired the admirable energy of Russian Orthodoxy. That is why the return of Crimea is the second christening of Russia. We have once again given this sacred altar a place in Russian history.
After a year we can say Crimea and Russia are now one. The Black Sea Fleet has been enlarged by new frigates and new submarines. Today, Crimea is the centre of Russian power in the Black Sea area. In this torturous time, when again we are hard pressed by Europe and NATO, Crimea is a breakwater, dissipating this aggressive force. Crimea is now linking itself to Russia again with a great number of threads, by means of visible and invisible contacts. Ferry routes, the planned Kerch Strait bridge, water and electricity conduits and many other cultural, economic and spiritual links that have been rebuilt during this last year have ensured a much stronger bond between Crimea and Russia.
Crimea is Russia’s sun. During these uneasy and gloomy times, Crimea shines above us like a miraculous star, inspiring us, reminding us that we are the country of the continuously accomplishing Russian miracle, Russian victory and Russian revival. Crimea is with us eternally. The Crimean sun will rise above all of us in the days of our glorious victory, in the days of fulfilment of our unique Russian destiny.