26 — Day of Resistance to the occupation of Crimea

Russia certainly did not expect to see thousands of activists outside the Crimean parliament on February 26. It did not expect the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar flags, and it certainly did not foresee the strength of the resistance of Ukrainian citizens. Therefore, it had to follow the usual terrorist path of sending regular military units to the Ukrainian peninsula. Nevertheless, February 26 is remembered as loud and cold, but powerful and united.

By a decree of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in 2020, February 26 was officially recognized as the Day of Resistance to the Occupation of Crimea. It was then that almost 15 thousand activists spoke with one voice. Now, millions of other voices from all over our country and the world are speaking with them.

The resistance did not leave the occupied peninsula for 9 years. From rallies to individual demonstrations, from protests to heroic deeds of the Ukrainian military, who, despite the threat, managed to keep the defense of the fleet and even take some military equipment from the invaders. It was not only an occupation, which was already an unprecedented phenomenon for Europe in the twenty-first century, but it was the beginning of a war.

The incredible citizens of our country have fought and continue to fight without compromising their identity and the territorial integrity of our homeland. In 2014, Russia tried to take away not only the territory but also our people. But despite this, Crimea was Ukrainian.

And it will always be so.

Every day, underground resistance movements, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar activists remind the occupiers that they have no place in Crimea. Cars with stickers of racist symbols are burning beautifully, walls are covered with Ukrainian inscriptions, yellow ribbons appear in different cities, and all the necessary data about collaborators and war criminals is easily available.

The information struggle, distribution of leaflets, coverage of true events on the occupied Crimean peninsula, listening to Ukrainian music, shouting “Glory to Ukraine” – all these things are considered “terrorism” and “extremism” in Russia. We are very grateful to every citizen who continues to fight despite threats, criminal prosecution and illegal verdicts of the occupation courts.

We know that Ukraine’s victory is coming soon, but it is impossible without a free Crimea. After all, the war began with its occupation, and it will end with its liberation. All illegally convicted citizens of Ukraine will return to their families, kiss their loved ones and hug their children. And we will all meet on the beaches, in the mountains, in the middle of the streets of a free Crimea.

We have one road, and it leads to freedom, independence and sovereignty. Yes, Ukraine has a lot of work ahead of it to eliminate all the consequences of the occupation of the peninsula and return it to normal life as part of a European country with democratic values. But it is certain that Crimea misses Ukraine as much as Ukraine misses it. We will liberate it very soon!

In the meantime, we stand, fight and believe. Crimea is Ukraine!