Crimea – Confiscation
Since Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula 10 months ago, more than $1 billion in real estate and other assets have been stripped from their former owners, according to estimates from the owners and lawyers. The assets include banks, hotels, shipyards, farms, gas stations, the major bakery, a vital dairy and even the storied lots of Yalta Film Studio, which 50 years ago made this now shabby seaside resort the Hollywood of the Soviet Union.
Property seizures on such a sweeping scale have not occurred since the Russian Revolution, owners said.
Russia’s finance minister has blurted out the truth about how Russia, faced with low economic growth and all but cut off from external financing, is funding the annexation of Crimea and the peninsula’s many emergencies: with $7.2 billion confiscated from Russians’ pensions.
“Our church has no legal status in the Russian Federation, so it’s uncertain which laws will be applied if Crimea is annexed. We fear our churches will be confiscated and our clergy arrested,” the priest stated, ahead of Sunday’s referendum in Crimea in which the territory could decide to join the Russian Federation.
Russia’s Federal Migration Service is not extending residence permits for foreign citizens who have been working for Crimean religious communities, leaving Simferopol’s Roman Catholic parish without its senior priest, Polish citizen Fr Piotr Rosochacki, who had worked in Crimea for 5 years. All other Catholic priests and nuns will have to leave by the end of 2014. Similarly, almost all Turkish Muslim imams and religious teachers have been forced to leave Crimea. The Federal Migration Service in Crimea told Forum 18 News Service that only registered religious communities can invite foreign citizens. No Crimean religious communities have registration, and under a Russian law which entered into force on 1 July all religious communities must apply for re-registration by 1 January 2015. There is uncertainty about what will happen to applications from communities under bodies outside Crimea or Russia – including Crimea’s Armenian Apostolic, Old Believer, Moscow Patriarchate, Roman Catholic and Kiev Patriarchate parishes.
CRIMEA – UNMARKED TROOPS
CRIMEA – YANUKOVYCH
Posted to YouTube 2/25/2014.
Obama – Putin – Blue vs (?) Red Brown Green
. . . As the ruble crashes, as Russia’s oil income dives, and as sanctions start biting the man in the street, Putin, in counterintuitive fashion, is apparently more popular than ever.
Why? Because he has become an easy mechanism for ordinary Russians to vent frustration and anger over what they perceive as a too-powerful and bullying West.