In April, ARC expert Professor Borys Babin presented to Dmytro Symanskyi his position on the current issues of countering the occupation of Crimea and ways of its reintegration in the program “In Sight” on the “Black Sea Television and Radio Company”.
Here is a summary of the main theses of this interview.
Host Dmytro Symanskyi (D.S.): Greetings, this is the “In Sight” program on the “Black Sea Television and Radio Company”. We will talk about the life of Ukraine in the conditions of war, in particular, what is happening in those territories that are close to hostilities, are under temporary occupation, about what we will do together after our victory. Today’s studio guest is Borys Babin, an expert of the Association of Reintegration of Crimea, professor, doctor of legal sciences, former Representative of the President in the AR Crimea. Good day!
Borys Babin (B.B.): Good afternoon!
D.S.: May I first talk about a very local story. This morning I studied with great interest Aksyonov’s absentee “discussion” with Razvozhaev in the Telegram, the topic of the discussion was whether or not to organize the so-called “parade” on May 9. So, Aksyonov claims that there is no need to do anything, because “there is no time”, and Razvozhaev tells him that “there is no need to rush”. So why suddenly what happened?
B.B.: Well, it’s a “normal occurrence”.
D.S.: No, no, no. About the reasons, so to speak, that went wrong?
B.B.: They have a standard “love” for each other. This is normal and understandable. And for example, when in Russia itself, governors cancel parades and, in principle, everyone perceives this as: “Well, ok”. Well, there is already a media issue, it is “sacred” after all, it is occupied Crimea, and therefore all these statements, they are perceived very neurotically in the Kremlin. And that’s all: “to be or not to be a parade”, that is, people are really thinking about it, that is, for them, even in these conditions, they are thinking or conducting. This, as they say, is already a diagnosis. And the fact that they really “wetted” Mr. Aksyonov there once again does not surprise me now.
D.S.: Well, of course there are spiders there…
B.B.: Yes, spiders in a jar, and in general, as they say, “there would be no misfortune, so happiness helped”. I think that if the criminal plans of the Russians had somehow been realized earlier on the mainland, more successfully than today, I think that Mr. Aksyonov and his criminal “armchair” would no longer exist.
D.S.: Interesting. On the contrary, he was there, at the beginning of the full-scale aggression, he said that he would be the new “governor”, “Taurian”, and “all of Novorossiya”…
B.B.: Yes, yes, there is such a Soviet film “Wedding in Malinovka”, it reminds me of something.
D.S.: Ataman Gritsian of Taurian, there was such a…
D.S.: When the same Aksyonov digs trenches on the beach in Chornomorske and in Yevpatoria, well, you and I understand what digging and trenches are, is it not schizophrenia, is it not a mental disorder?
B.B.: No, this is a propaganda campaign. This “demonstration of presence”, moreover, you and I understand that it is stupidity. And the grandmother in the village does not understand.
D.S.: Why doesn’t she understand, well, how, a trench in the sand. My children dug holes in the sand on the beach.
B.B.: She will not be in this hole, she will see on television, as they say, a portrait of Aksyonov, an excavator, some kind of thing, and everyone will say: we are digging very, very hard. All this is propaganda, and the rest is stolen.
D.S.: Aksyonov says, I quote: “Crimea is ready for any possible development of events”. And what kind of “anti-state propaganda” is this? What other “development” is this, what other “events” are these?
B.B.: Again, it’s all the same, they include the “calm mantra” technique. That is, you know, like slaughtering a cow for meat, you can’t scare it, because otherwise the meat won’t be tasty. It’s the same here, don’t scare until the last minute, imitate “tumultuous joy”, as it was in Kherson. They also talked about “everything is under control, we are ready for all options, the crossing is almost working, everything will be fine…” Well, we see a very similar set of theses.
D.S.: In Russia, a law was passed on “electronic summonses” to military personnel and on “accounting” and on the fact that “military conscripts”, respectively, “cannot leave the country”. And a “conscript” is a person, if I understand correctly, it’s not even the person who saw this “electronic summons” on his smartphone, but the person to whom this “summons” was sent…
B.B.: In general, the issue of what is happening in Russia and in the occupied territories has long ceased to be a legal issue, except in terms of international crimes for The Hague. This is not a legal matter, it is really a question of the aggressor, somehow to create such a criminal “regime”, regarding “own cannon fodder”. Let me explain, in principle, there is “cannon fodder” in Russia. In the occupied territories, they have problems with this, because there is also “cannon fodder”, but there is no motivation there, the motivation is the opposite.
D.S.: We are talking about the occupied territories, does the Crimea also count there?
B.B.: Definitely. There are certainly very, very few people willing to die for it, and those who were – already on Abdal.
D.S.: Abdal, this is for our viewers, this is the largest Simferopol cemetery.
B.B.: Yes, in Russia itself, maybe they are trying to find someone, but here they have a standard problem, there really are millions of people, but when it happens manually, and as they say, by the methods of Nicholas I, every 20th, and it turns out that by the “law of evil numbers” they accumulate in such way that they “tear their hair out”. This “electronization” is caused, in fact, by their desire to understand themselves that they have “cannon fodder” there. I understand it this way, and indeed, in the future it is possible to predict, if these “e-mails of happiness” start to become real, there will be a new wave of emigration. But it will be more expensive for those who do, I mean the fugitives.
D.S.: I saw reports that in some countries neighboring Russia, for example, in Armenia, those who have left have begun to be caught and forcibly sent to Russia.
B.B.: There was one such case in Armenia, everyone monitored it, the person was not sent anywhere yet, even released. I don’t want to talk about any big trend yet.
D.S.: So this is propaganda?
B.B.: Maybe so. Maybe someone is quietly expelled.
D.S.: But the reason is not so much in circumvention of execution, but in some, perhaps, criminal history, or not?
B.B.: First of all, the “migration” situation, that is, in fact, people are not fleeing directly to Armenia. People start circling, cut these Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, a bunch of others. Somewhere there “incorrectly entered and left”, and they are gladly returned to Russia, because, let’s put it this way, they are not such a valuable “goods” to be “sold out for a rainy day”.
D.S.: The Georgian authorities do not think so.
B.B.: Well, the Georgian government is not the Georgian government, in fact, it is the government of a well-known oligarch
A: Gazprom authorities.
B.B.: Let’s put it this way, they are led by ethnic Georgians, but from the point of view of politics, most likely, they are really Russians.
D.S.: I have a philosophical question, who should we replace the population in the de-occupied territories, what should we do… We have a huge difference between the occupied Crimea and the occupied Donbas precisely in the demographic dimension. If the population of the Crimea increased during the occupation, the population of the occupied Donbass decreased dramatically and will continue to decrease…
B.B.: In the Crimea, I want to say right away, the demography is really bad there, right now, already. Even the occupiers admit that in 2022 they will have the largest decline in birth rates on the peninsula since 2010, to be honest. Without boring you with numbers, the situation is like this, until 2014, before the occupation, the birth rate, I’m not talking about population growth, it decreased, but the birth rate increased year by year, and at its peak it was 24,000 newborns per year in the Crimea, without Sevastopol.
After the beginning of the occupation, it decreased a little, but this decrease was like this, 300-500 positions per year, if you believe their “statistics”, but in these matters, you know, it is difficult to lie by a thousand. In 2021, a drop of 500, in 2022, a drop of 2,000. Less birth rate, because you cannot deceive people. You can talk for a long time about “meetings”, about “logistics”, about “the greatness of the Kremlin” and all other things… But when a person plans a child, well, you understand.
D.S.: And here it “claps”.
B.B.: And here it “claps”. This is just a marker, I believe that their demographics are already falling and nothing can be done here. You can’t force anyone to change that. So that’s what I’m talking about. In fact, today, the demographic situation in the Crimea is deteriorating due to occupation, worsening due to great aggression, but it is still not as critical as in the Donbas. In simple language, there will be someone to live and work in the reintegrated the Crimea. That is, all these questions arise with the subsequent deportation of the colonizers, but it will not make the Crimea uninhabited.