This year, on March 18, the annexation of Crimea to Russia will be celebrated in accordance with the current situation: there will be no concert in the capital, similar to the one held last year at Luzhniki. According to Vedomosti’s interlocutor close to the presidential administration, there are no plans to organize a wide celebration this year, although targeted events – flash mobs, lectures, concerts, car rallies, etc. – in a significant part of the regions will still be held with the support of representatives of the ruling party and public organizations.
In some regions, festivals called “Crimean Spring”, which include lectures, master classes, exhibitions and concerts, have already begun. In particular, the festival is held in Karelia, Orenburg, Bryansk, Orel, Murmansk, Leningrad, Chelyabinsk, Samara, Kemerovo, Omsk regions, Primorsky Krai, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, Buryatia, Udmurtia, etc.
In the Magadan region, for example, they will hold a campaign “letter from Magadan” – it will be possible to send postcards to the peninsula for free. According to local media, everyone in Pskov will be able to participate in the creation of the Scarlet Sails art object and learn how to cook Crimean pasties. A motor rally is planned in Vladivostok, which will end on the central square with a flash mob: the motorcade will line up in the heraldic sign of Crimea – the sun.
TASS, citing the press service of the Department of National Policy and Interregional Relations of Moscow, reported that on March 20, a photo exhibition “Crimean Spring. We’ve been together for 9 years”, which will be dedicated to the anniversary of the annexation of the peninsula to Russia and “the events that took place from February 2014 to the present day”. The exhibition will include photographs of the events of the spring of 2014 in the Crimea, infrastructure facilities that were built there after that. State Duma deputies from the region should take part in the opening.
On March 18, the Knowledge Society will hold an educational marathon “Crimea: from the past to the present.” The marathon will be held in Moscow and in the children’s camp “Artek”, historians, scientists, officials, deputies of the State Duma will perform there. “The spectators of the marathon will discuss with the invited guests the difficult historical periods of relations between Crimea and Russia through the centuries, and will also address the issues of modern advanced development of the peninsula,” the report says.
And since March 18 falls on a Saturday, on Monday, the 20th, an extracurricular lesson dedicated to the “Day of the Crimea’s reunification with Russia” will be held in schools. Materials for teachers have already been published on a special website “Conversations about the important”.
But at the highest level, the date will not be ignored. Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov told reporters that on the eve of Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting on the socio-economic development of the republic and Sevastopol via videoconference. Earlier, Peskov said that on March 18, “a rather important object – cultural, historical” will open in Crimea.
Now the agenda has changed, and approaches to the holiday are also changing, political analyst Alexei Makarkin notes. “Now there are other emotions, and the emphasis on the euphoria that was in 2014 will not be very appropriate when it comes to mobilization in various areas, and not about celebration,” the expert says.
The very topic of the annexation of Crimea has also become history, rather than an actual political agenda, political scientist Konstantin Kalachev notes. Now the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions are “at the forefront”, and all attention is riveted on them – here they are mentioned, and trips, and events, and it is hardly worth changing the emphasis.
According to another Vedomosti interlocutor close to the presidential administration, the next important holiday in 2023 will be Victory Day on May 9 – in terms of promoting the heroism of the past and present.
According to Makarkin, events dedicated to the annexation of Crimea will be more ambitious next year, when it will be the 10th anniversary of its admission to Russia.