Reddit user 2positive has a unique perspective on the situation in Crimea: he grew up in a half-Ukrainian, half-Russian family and now has a Crimean girlfriend.
In a candid Reddit AMA, he says he participated in the pro-EU protests in Ukraine and claims most of the ideological divide over Crimea stems from leftover feeling toward the USSR.
“I was there on two of the three police assaults, I was there when violence on Hrushevskogo street started and I’ve seen dead bodies and streams of blood on Institutska street right after the shootings,” says 2positive, a portfolio manager in a Ukrainian investment firm. “I’ve seen it all with my own eyes.”
Even when asked about police killings, 2positive gave a straight answer.
2positive’s Russian father was a doctor on one of the first USSR nuclear submarines, making their family upper-middle class by USSR standards. Upon retirement, his father chose to live in Kiev, where the government gave him an apartment and a car.
“They miss the glory days in USSR, regret it collapsing and are definitely pro-Russian,” he wrote. He added that many other retired Russian officials chose to settle near Sevastopol, a Ukrainian military base in Crimea and a “very nice place.”
2positive’s Ukrainian grandfather had six siblings, all of whom died during the Holodomor, a forced famine in Ukraine perpetuated by the Soviets. His grandfather’s wife’s father also “died in prison for nothing.” After that,
2positive’s grandfather’s wife and great-grandmother couldn’t find jobs, forcing them to live in a train station for a year.
“It’s quite natural that this part of the family hates USSR and Russia and believes that Nazi soldiers during German occupation were much nicer than soviet NKVD, I am not kidding, this is an actual quote by my grandmother,” 2positive wrote.
Considering his background, 2positive tried to remain neutral, but he expressed some strong feelings on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motivations for trying to take Crimea from Ukraine.
He also blames the media and Russian propaganda for much of the misconceptions in public opinion, especially in the West.
Aside from the current clash, 2positive said he believes both Ukraine and Russia are kleptocracies, or governments that steal and bribe to retain power. And he worries about the future of an independent Crimea — even fearing another ethnic cleansing in the area.
Click here to read his full AMA.
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