Skip to main content

CREMEA ENDS UKRAINE OCCUPATION

Russian flags were flying high in the historic naval city of Sevastopol today as people looked forward to rejoining what many see as their homeland after a crunch referendum on Crimea's future. Several thousand people -- many waving the white, blue and red Russian standard or holding flowers -- gathered for a celebratory concert in the city's Nakhimov Square, named after one of Russia's most illustrious admirals. Shortly after polling closed, exit polls confirmed what spectators never doubted and showed that 93 per cent of voters favoured joining Russia and breaking away from Ukraine. "We're free of the occupation," shouted Lucia Prokorovna, 60, carrying a giant Russian flag. "Ukraine was attached to Crimea like a sack of potatoes. Today I visited the polling station -- I only slept half the night hoping for the moment we would be with Russia." Russian rock band Lubeh, known for their patriotic songs, were at the event, drawing a young crowd who cheered as lead singer Igor Matvienko shouted "Hurrah Sevastopol!" and "Success for you!" between songs. Samadova Viktorovna, 39, brought along her two children aged 11 and eight to the concert, which was marked by a conspicuous police and security presence plus plenty of alcohol. "It's magnificent -- look at how many people are here," she said. "We have big hopes because there has not been order in Ukraine for years." The square is a stone's throw from the waters where Russian warships are stationed as part of the Black Sea Fleet -- a constant reminder of Moscow's influence over the city, both past and present. Sevastopol was founded by Catherine the Great of Russia in 1783 and has been home to the fleet -- a strategically crucial naval unit which provides Moscow with access to the Mediterranean within a day's sailing -- ever since. It was one of the Crimean War's main battlegrounds and was rebuilt under Joseph Stalin after being destroyed during World War II as German forces held the city under siege. Sevastopol has a large majority of ethnic Russians among its 350,000 residents who yearn for Crimea to switch from being Ukrainian territory to being part of Russia, as it was until 1954.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

MUNSHI PREMCHAND STORIES IN COMIC FORMAT

Stories by modern Hindi and Urdu literary legend, Munshi Premchand are now available in comic format published by Amar Chitra Katha. The comic books in Hindi detailing two stories by the late literary phenomenon, is part of the publisher's contemporary classics section, which began in 2012 with stories by author Ruskin Bond. "We are launching the comics at the World Book Fair and it is our tribute to Premchand. The idea is to make his stories familiar with children," Reena Puri, Editor, Amar Chitra Katha told PTI. The stories "Buddhi Kaki" (The old Aunt) and "Do Bail" (Two Oxen) have been scripted and illustrated by Pratima Singh and Surendra Murthy. The English version of the comics translated by Nandini Nair is also set for launch within a few weeks, says Reena. The books are priced at Rs 50 each. "Buddhi Kaki" first published in 1921 is the story of an old childless widow who craves for love after she bequeaths her entir…

WORLD's FIRST UNDERWORLD TENNIS COURT IN DUBAI

Dubai, which boasts of the world's highest tennis court, may also become home to the first underwater tennis centre where spectators can watch games from below or above the sea life through a massive glass dome. Krzysztof Kotala, a Polish architect who owns a studio in Warsaw, is currently seeking investment from local players to make the ambitious project a reality. Interestingly, the proposed location for the project (arguably one of the world's lowest tennis courts) is just next door to the highest tennis court atop the Burj al Arab skyscraper in Dubai. "There is not an investor but I would like to get interest (from them) as I think it is a good idea," Kotala, 30, was quoted as saying by a local magazine. When asked why he chose Dubai for his project, Kotala said the Gulf city had a rich tradition of tennis. "This will be something original. This should be somewhere where there is the tradition of tennis. Dubai is perfect for this idea," he said. The in…