"Crimea. Blockade. Eyes "
The third week in a row on checkpoint Kalanchak I stare into the eyes of people crossing the administrative border with the occupied Crimea. The expressions differ. Eyes of truck drivers, deprived of earnings, were moving around all of us, hoping to find a weak link. However, in the eyes of a guy, who did not reach potatoes to the Crimean market and in hearts unloaded 20 meshes of potatoes to the right wingers ("at least you eat, guys!"), still flashed something - if not understanding, then, at least, an attempt. Eyes of the taxi drivers, who charge fifteen hundred hryvnyas to the novices to drive to Kherson, are tenaciously clutching at everyone and, when realizing that you are not their client, sliding further. People in their own cars look calm; they must be often crossing the administrative border. But those who are leaving for good are eyeing everything closely, as if want to remember something. And those traveling from the peninsula are looking around with zest - where else could they see a vivid conversation of a Ukrainian border guard, a Tatar-fighter from the battalion “Aidar”, and a Rightwinger.
Often I pay attention to those who pass the checkpoint on foot, pulling suitcases on wheels, maneuvering between the concrete blocks and cars. People are passing the border procedures silently. Stretched as a chain they seep through the invisible and incomprehensible to many border to the buses. Mainly elderly. There are some young people. Men are much less than women.
I cannot catch their eye expressions - they often just look down, but most of the time they divert their eyes from the people in uniform.
Yes, everyone has, if not tragedy, then story. Since November 2013 I listened to a lot of them and now, occasionally, I begin talking to the people. Someone in the Crimea left behind parents, others - children, one cannot leave behind the apartment, must visit it periodically, quite a few active women of retirement age was in the Crimea on vacation. Each one has her own explanation of the occupation and blockade. For example, a retiree from Kryvyj Rih simply explained: I had a good job; I get a good pension, why should I not be able to vacation in the Crimea?
And I would like to understand them, to help, even to comfort. However now I remain silent. It was after trying to greet the newcomers from the Crimea with the usual "Glory to Ukraine!" In return they just started faster loading onto the bus.
No, I am not trying to divide citizens of Ukraine on continental and peninsular. While "Russia, please come" was shouted in the Crimea and Donbas, tears were in the eyes of Ukrainians across the entire Ukrainian land. The Right Sector lit the flame of the revolution on Maidan, its Ukrainian Volunteer Corps stopped the Russian aggressor in the Liberation war on the East, and now the right wing volunteers block the occupied Crimea for the sake of a single unified Ukrainian nation.
I will do everything so the eyes of millions of Ukrainians I have never seen or knew and who have no real estate in Yalta or relatives in Simferopol, and who will never go on vacation in the Crimea, or profit on difference in prices, become warmer. Let the tears of mothers from Frankivsk and Cherkassy region dry out, let there will be no anxiety in the eyes of children in Odessa or Luhansk, and let the wives from Rivne and Uzhhorod see their mobilized men alive. Just that.
And until then I will patrol the checkpoint Kalanchak with my fellows, and even without getting an answer, I will continue to say “Glory to Ukraine!" to the silent people that are coming from their parents, or to their estate, and some because of business, or to the Crimean vacation, to all who are crossing the administrative border with the occupied Crimea ... temporarily occupied Ukrainian Crimea.
Glory to the nation!