Social protests in the Crimea: when to wait for the explosion?

During the three years of the annexation of the “power” of the Crimea, and behind them the Kremlin has not reached any of the set tasks. On the contrary, the standard of living on the Peninsula has dropped significantly. While the protests were local, they were involved mainly representatives of small and medium businesses, state employees, residents of coastal villages, dissatisfied with the action of Moscow’s “Vikings”. But it will not always.

A big part of the Kremlin’s promises of three years ago failed miserably. Before the “referendum” Crimeans promised growth, welfare, quality of health care, upgrading aging infrastructure, increased recreational potential, the rotation of bureaucracy and more. Most importantly, Moscow promised that after “joining” the rights of Crimeans will not be limited. Nothing of the above was not done. Moreover, the level and quality of life were significantly below “pre-war” 2013. Bravura reports of officials and massive propaganda can’t hide energy shortages, logistical problems, loss of jobs and wages.

The public is increasingly forced to use street protests to draw the attention of the “authorities” on their own problems. Crimean teachers on 20 February held in Gagarin Park Simferopol rally “for a decent life For teachers.” As the head of public organization “Crimean Republican anti-corruption Committee” Ilya Bolshedvorov, the protesters demanded to pay the salaries of the teachers of the Crimean Cossack cadet corps and sought the resignation of Republican “Minister” of education Natalia Goncharova, increasing the salaries of teachers and employees in the sector.

It is reported that the picket was coordinated with the local “authorities of the city.” Although the event was held outside the capital’s center. Protesters outraged that teachers ‘ salaries differs depending on place of residence. They complained that “the authorities” of the Republic give the appearance of high salaries. In the Simferopol district the average salary of preschool teachers is at the level of 25 thousand. rubles, technical staff and receives about 15 thousand. In schools teachers earn 30-40 thousand rubles. The salary of Directors reaches 100 thousand rubles. In other regions, say the protesters, the situation is much worse.

“In Belogorsky area salary of a kindergarten teacher starts from 11 thousand roubles. Of particular concern is the wages are not teachers. So, the assistants receive a salary, the amount of which is below the subsistence level, and sometimes does not meet even the minimum of 7 thousand 500 rubles,” — outraged Bolshedvorov.

The authorities in the field adds fuel to the fire of popular discontent, forbidding employees to complain to Simferopol. Recently the head of the Republic Sergey Aksenov visited the village Vasilevka of Belogorsky district. “So the teachers, the authorities from the Department of education even forbade, under pain of dismissal, to complain about the salary,” — said social activist.

The irony of the situation is that the Cossacks were active members of the “Crimean spring”. They, along with the “self-defense” has provided armed support to the Russian army, but after the “referendum” Moscow has forgotten about them. Last spring, they tried to hold in Simferopol rally against the closure of the Cossack cadet corps. In the end, the police beat the protesters, and after the city “court” has imposed on them a fine.

The “power” of the Crimea firmly in control of the information space. Regional journalists overlook acute problems. If the situation becomes critical, it is reported, but with the obligatory assurances of officials about a speedy solution to the problem. Most of the dissatisfaction on the ground percolates through the social network. Recently in a network there was a rumor about the alleged “rebellion” of employees of Vodokanal of Yalta, angered by pay cuts and dismissal of staff.

Practice of the Crimean protests shows that the inhabitants of the Peninsula are ready to defend their rights on the streets only as a last resort: layoffs, liquidation of business, reduction of wages or the tyranny of superiors. The last refers primarily to the public sector — doctors and teachers. Since the beginning of the annexation on the Peninsula regularly fueled the scandals surrounding medical institutions. The reason in each case was common: the hospital management had written themselves bonuses and allowances, leaving subordinates to “dry rations” or just ignored the legitimate interests of the employees. The situation in medicine exactly follows the style of the control in the “Ministry” of education. Officials in Simferopol created a “Potemkin village”. They mimic the highest average salary in the industry due to the exorbitant salaries of administrations of clinics.

While Crimeans pushes the protests only the prospect of being without a piece of bread. The atomization of the Crimean society and the lack of a sense of solidarity — the main reasons why residents of the Peninsula rarely go to rallies in support of civil rights, fair elections, or against corruption in the organs of “government.” By the way, this feature of the Crimean mentality explains the rejection of the Euromaidan. Crimeans middle-aged and older can not understand those who came out against arbitrary power and for the sake of the European future for their country.

If the current trend continues, the degree of social discontent can significantly jump after a year and a half. The talking point about the social explosions that may affect the South coast and depressed regions. Potential protest groups are the same: entrepreneurs and public sector workers. Early in the year some opposition activists predicted that social and national protests could merge into a single stream. But while this is not expected. It is hard to imagine, for example, that the Cossacks will hold a meeting together with the Crimean Tatars, demanding that “authorities” civil rights and raising living standards. “Power” and the Russian security services are struggling to prevent the joining of state employees with political activists. Against the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians fabricate criminal cases, are labeled “terrorists” and “extremists”, in order to deter them from the rest of the Crimean people.

In many ways, the situation on the Peninsula depends on the General economic situation in Russia. Experts indicate that Moscow, with great difficulty, retains macroeconomic stability. People at risk of poverty. Even residents of large cities are forced to save money on clothes, food and medicines. In the annexed Crimea rising prices and falling real incomes is outstripping the Russian mainland. This social inequality is one of the main reasons leading to social upheavals and political turmoil. The Republican “government” does not have an effective program of economic development of the Peninsula, preferring to mask the problems “nice” reports and demagoguery. The protests of the Crimean people, they can only reply crackdown and the persecution of dissent.