The unity of the Crimean Peninsula and the mainland of Ukraine has been anchored for centuries not only by historical events but also mentally. Year after year, citizens gathered at Kobzar’s monuments throughout Crimea to honor the poet’s memory and his contribution to the cultural heritage of Ukraine. This was before the arrival of the occupiers, who have been trying to destroy any mention of Ukrainian identity in Crimea for 9 years.
However, it was the mass protests on March 9, 2014, that showed that no pseudo-referendum and intimidation by force will overcome the Ukrainian resistance. Several hundred people in Sevastopol and about a thousand in Simferopol declared this in one voice.
Since 2014, the occupying administrations have been trying to take over the role of the monument to Kobzar, and later to ban pro-Ukrainian organizations from organizing Shevchenko Days and persecute those who disobey. However, despite all the threats and obstacles of the occupiers, flowers appear at Taras Shevchenko’s monuments every year, and not only on March 9.
Because we are united within internationally recognized borders, historically, culturally, and, most importantly, mentally. And our unity gives us faith and inspiration to continue the struggle, at the front and under occupation.
Soon – in Shevchenko Park – in de-occupied, Ukrainian Simferopol!