Artūras Morozovas, a Lithuanian photojournalist who recently returned from Crimea, spoke about how the region has changed over the two years since it was annexed by Russia.
© V.Moiseev nuotr.

Morozovas said that the region has become more isolated and that many of its residents are not happy with their new government. “The region has no international cell phone signal and you can't pay with credit cards,” said Morozovas.

He also experienced issues with journalistic freedom. “When entering Crimea, journalists receive many questions at the border, and during official reports, they are registered and watched. Journalists are tracked very closely,” said Morozovas, who spent a total of 10 days in Crimea during his most recent visit.

The photojournalist said that many who had torn up their Ukrainian passports now regret the euphoria that had seized them at the time, as they cannot travel to Ukraine and access the savings they have held in Ukrainian banks. Educated people and business owners (or former business owners) have suffered the most from the annexation.

However, said Morozovas, there are attempts to suppress these sentiments with patriotism. “You can't help but notice the dose of Russian patriotism – all of the symbols that we've forbidden fly there in all their glory. I mean the sickle and hammer, portraits of Stalin, and shirts with Putin's face,” Morozovas said.

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