Sergei Markov goes to Crimea

I’ve been following Russian ‘analyst’ Sergei Markov on Facebook for over one year now. I was first inspired to do so by journalist Robert Coalson. Markov was very vocally pro-Kremlin throughout the Euromaidan protests, so initially, the idea was to save the posts for history. Particularly since Facebook does not seem to allow you to see all the posts.

I wouldn’t say the tone of the entries has changed so much since the beginning. But they’ve remained militant, while the Russian regime has sometimes appeared to waffle on certain points. What Markov’s statements reflect is a certain point of view of a particular sector of Russian society. At times he has criticized Putin for not being strong enough in dealing with the government in Kyiv (which Markov consistently refers to as a ‘junta’ who came to power by means of a ‘coup’).

At the same time, Markov has appeared on several English language news shows, including Amanpour. Frankly, it’s not clear who he is representing. He was an MP, though he no longer is. He is presented as a “Putin ally” on Amanpour, as you can see below.

I’ve called for Markov to not be allowed on shows like Amanpour because I think it does not add anything to the conversation, and in fact only distracts from the crimes of the Russian regime.

At the same time, I believe it is important for people to understand the point of view of people like Markov, something that I don’t think is presented properly by shows like Amanpour’s.

So I’ve continued to follow Markov, and share his thoughts on Twitter.

Markov was in Crimea this past week at a summer camp for what he said were “200 people from all across Russia”.

Campers at Donuzlav
Camp Attendees at Donuzlav in Crimea. The banner reads: “For Russia! For Victory!”

Markov then posted a portion of a speech he gave to the camp attendees. In the speech, he called Donuzlav (which used to be a Ukrainian military base) “an historic site”. Markov then recounted a story of a group of “pro-Russian activists” who prevented NATO from landing on the site during exercises with the Ukrainian military. This was the beginning of Russia’s return to Crimea, Markov continued.

I was skeptical of this claim, so I went looking. This video was what I found (buried deep in Google search):

If you can bear the nearly 10 minutes, you’ll see that it didn’t quite end how Markov says it did.

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