On the 18th of March 2016 Crimea and Sevastopol celebrated the second anniversary of the joyous event of their reunification with Russia, after a 60-year long separation.
Lada Ray published a very much needed recap of the events that lead to the reunification in:
Following the February Ukraine coup, on March 16th, 2014, Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and reunite with Russia. 95% to 97% voted for reunification, depending on the area. Simultaneously, a referendum whether to accept Crimea and Sevastopol as two new subjects of the Russian Federation took place in Russia. 95% of Russians said ‘yes.’
On March 18-19, Crimea and Sevastopol joined the Russian Federation as two newest subjects. The transition went smoothly and peacefully, not a single shot was fired and only two casualties were registered on both sides, shot by a provocateur Ukrainian sniper sent there to attempt inciting violence (by the old CIA playbook).
At the time, 16,000 Russian troops were stationed in Crimea, based on the Black Sea Fleet Sevastopol base lease agreement with Ukraine. Simultaneously, 20,000 Ukrainian troops were stationed on the peninsula as well. Out of these 20,000, about 18,000 Ukraine troops pledged allegiance to Russia, while only 2,000 chose to leave back to Ukraine. They were allowed to leave peacefully and with dignity.
The article also contains video from the celebrations in Crimea and from the Beautiful (Red) Square. Here I want to present one very significant song, the anthem of Sevastopol.
The Legendary Sevastopol
Music: Vano Muradeli
Text: Petr Gragov
Ratified as the official anthem of Sevastopol on 29.07.1994
Russian text of the song and some history can be read in this Wikipedia article.
Fly winged wind.
Over seas, over land,
Tell the whole world,
About my beloved city.
Tell to the whole world,
How on the Crimean shores,
Our grandfathers fought,
And glorified in battle.
Impregnable to enemies.
Sevastopol, Sevastopol –
The pride of Russian sailors!
Here we went to the rightful and holy battles,
For our Motherland,
And your previous glory,
Have we multiplied.
Having shrugged of black sailor overcoats,
The Black Sea sailors, during the days of War,
Went against tanks with only handgrenades,
Your sons went to their deaths,
If across the sea
enemies should come to us with swords,
We’ll meet the unwelcome guests
with annihilating fire
The whole of our dear country knows,
That the battleships do not sleep
And are guarding surely
The shores of the homeland
Some trivia: During the most vicious period of Ukranisation of Crimea in 2006, Ukrainians tried to re-write the text, replacing “Russian sailors” with “Ukrainian sailors”, “Sevastopol” with “white-stone fortress”, and “Cossacks” were added. The reaction of the citizens was strongly negative, to say the least.
You can hear a rendition of it, where a girl spontaneously performed it at an election locale on the 16th of March 2014: