How, why and what should one talk about with the residents of the occupied territories – the co-coordinator of CrimeaSOS explains14 / 11 / 2023
Almost ten years have passed since the beginning of russia’s invasion of the territory of Ukraine and more than a year and a half of a full-scale war. Now more than ever, it is important to take into account and not lose sight of the context in which Ukrainians live in the temporarily occupied territories. Sabina Iliasova, the co-coordinator of CrimeaSOS, spoke about this, as well as how to conduct a dialogue with the residents of the TOT, at the Donbas Media Forum.
“Things that are obvious to us in the territories controlled by Ukraine can be perceived quite differently in the occupation. In particular, due to active propaganda, the militarization of various spheres of life, primarily education, the diverse ethnic and social composition of the population. In the 10th year of the occupation, when talking about the reintegration of Crimea, it is important to remember the multi-layered propaganda: the russian empire, the soviet union and russia, which dominated even after gaining independence”, —Sabina Iliasova said.
However, russian propaganda was and is widespread not only on the occupied peninsula. In one way or another, all Ukrainians should move away from the perception of Crimea that was imposed during the times of the USSR. It is necessary to get rid of Soviet stereotypes about the peninsula as a resort place, and stop perceiving the Crimean Tatars through the prism of betrayal and Chebureks. It is important to form new narratives that would help to reintegrate Crimea after its de-occupation.
For this purpose, a bridge of communication and trust should be formed between the residents of the controlled part of Ukraine and the occupied peninsula. The quality and results of this communication are also influenced by our ability to correctly choose channels and wording.
“When explosions are happening more and more often in Crimea, it is important to remember and carefully choose the wording. Especially now, people under occupation need instructions and explanations. It will be possible to talk about the issue of reintegration when people close their basic need for security”, — Sabina Iliasova said.
Now, when the inhabitants of the peninsula are worried about their safety due to shelling, we need to talk more about the arrangement of shelters, ways to preserve life, while the occupation administration silences the danger.
Donbas Media Forum is an annual conference that gathers journalists and media managers from Ukraine and the world, provides an opportunity to discuss current problems of the profession and establish communication. It was founded by DII-Ukraine media organization in 2015.