Five years ago, Vladimir Putin, with mass support of Russians annexed Crimea. Today, they talk a lot about the “price of Crimea”, give figures, the size of subsidies, allocations, expenses for the construction of a bridge, etc. However, this is not so much about Crimea as about the stagnant Russian economy and inefficiency of governing. By the way, few people believe that with these considerable expenses, people in Crimea began to live much better, freer, safer than before, until 2014, and corruption actually fell for the five years. True, many people there have preserved their Ukrainian passports. In fact, Russia’s payment for Crimea is huge. The price we pay for Crimea is not to be counted in dubious official figures, percentage of the budget share or GDP. The price is different: 

1) in breaking and dismantling (apparently, now forever) of the post-Soviet space, opposing Russia to its closest neighbours. After Crimea, no country in the post-Soviet space sees Russia as a strategic refrence point and key partner – neither the EurAsEC countries, nor the CSTO, nor Belarus, with which we are formally close. On the contrary, all the nearest neighbours are scary and it is pleasant for them to deal with us. The perfidious and heavily mixed with lies and propaganda violation of all international and Russian treaties and laws has led all former republics of the USSR to irreversible disappointment. 

2) in isolation, in which Russia found itself (see the article “A Conscious Choice” of February 2015). Vladimir Putin has turned Russia into a country that is perceived throughout the world today as an aggressive mafia state. 

3) in the economic damage from sanctions, which amounted to approximately 6 per cent of GDP since 2014. But even more damage to Russia has been caused by the fact that the Russian economy, being peripheral, is cut off from world connections and is opposed to them. 

4) in the criminal war in Donbas, where dozens of thousands of people died, the victims and hostages of which were primarily residents of the east of Ukraine. Millions of people lost their normal lives, becoming a bargaining chip in a stupid and hopeless geopolitical game. Five years later, life in Donbass was destroyed literally and figuratively. 

5) in the return of total state lies unlimited in scale and cynicism, comparable to Soviet times. As in the USSR, the present authorities can no longer talk to the people without lies and hypocrisy. A lie justifies dirty means and drugs the mass consciousness. As a result, it is this continuous and comprehensive state lie, that destroys the country more than anything else. 

We are citizens of the country, and we are all responsible for what is happening here. Direct non-participation in criminal actions of the present government does not exempt us from liability. If we are not indifferent to the future of our country, we are responsible 

Certainly, there is a solution. Five years ago, we proposed an action plan to break the Crimean deadlock (see the article “Peace, Not War. How to achieve the former and prevent the latter” of March 2014 ). This plan remains relevant to this day. We will use all possible forces to build a large party and conduct an all-Russian anti-war campaign. Today it may be unpopular, difficult and even dangerous, but necessary. Join us! Make your voice louder!