Yesterday, the Legislative Assembly rejected the idea proposed by Aleksei Chaly, the head of the Legislative Assembly of Sevastopol, to elect the head of the city publicly. Experts believe the idea has been doomed to fail. Local observers said that the conflict between the Speaker Aleksei Chaly and the Governor of Sevastopol Sergey Menyailo started long ago. The “People’s Mayor” of Sevastopol demanded the resignation of Menyailo and decided to play the card ahead of the elections. On February 16th, a group of local deputies presented amendments to the City Charter to the parliament, according to which the governor should have been elected publicly. The draft wasn’t approved.
Speaking about political twists in Sevastopol, Oleg Bondarenko, director of the Strategic Communications Agency, recalled that for more than 23 years Crimea lived as a part of independent Ukraine and absorbed Ukrainian political traditions. Today we clearly see how the Ukrainian political traditions are put into practicing political confrontations in the city of Russian glory, Sevastopol. And if Crimea made us recall Russian national pride two years ago, now Russia should help Crimea to integrate politically. This process may take five years, maybe more. To expect from the Crimean political elites similar reactions as from the elites of other regions of Russia is premature at least. If we do start elections in Sevastopol, we will see a branch of the Maidan in Russian politics,” Bondarenko is sure.
According to him, a Russian Renaissance has begun in the country after Crimea’s merger. But a Russian political nation didn’t form in Crimea. “Such a city as Sevastopol should become the point of assembly of the new Russian policy, of the new Russian political elite. It has all the possibilities for this. It is the city of a symbol, the city of meaning of Russia. A special attention should be paid to achieving a consensus and consolidation of the local elites in Sevastopol. This can be a very important moment for rerusifcation of Crimea and Sevastopol.
Sergey Tsekov, Senator from Crimea, told Vestnik Kavkaza: “Before the reunification of Crimea with Russia, we did not think too much about how successfully the solutions to the complex social and economic problems would develop. We understood that this was important, but it was not the most important for us. For us the most important was Crimea’s reunification with Homeland. Today, we say that the resolution to socio-economic issues is far better than we could have imagined two years ago. We never thought that we would solve very quickly the issues of pensions, that we would quite successfully solve the problems associated with the numerous blockades. We expected that a cut-off or an overlap of the North-Crimean channel would become a very difficult test for us, power cuts. We have passed this period with dignity. It has not frightened the Crimean people, they have not been despondent. We will overcome it and will continue to live in a prosperous region, in one of the most successful regions of Russia. Now we believe that we have the potential to become a leading region in prosperous Russia.”