MOSCOW (QHA) -

About 150 thousand people annually leave Russia, which is due to the annexation of the Crimea. Ksenia Sobchak, candidate for presidency of Russia made a corresponding statement on February 19, in her article "Courage and freedom: How the illusion of a "special path" hinders the development of Russia".

Sobchak notes that since 2014, after the annexation of Crimea, the number of emigrants from the country reached the level of 1995.

“In 2014, just as Russia has "annexed" the Crimea, the number of emigrants from the country reached the level of 1995, and since then 150,000 people leave the country every year. Moreover, most of them are young or middle-aged people with higher education from economically sound regions. And all this - we will not deceive ourselves - happened because of the Crimea,” she wrote.

Sobchak stated that from the "TV screen" Russians are assured that the issue of the Crimea’s belonging is closed.

“How is it that we are constantly convinced from the TV screen that the question of the territorial affiliation of the Crimea is closed, but almost four years after the "return" of the Crimea we observe the opposite?”

The presidential candidate noted that most of the challenges posed to Russia are a consequence of the "return" of the Crimea, and that the country is getting smaller every year. In comparison with Western countries, Russia remains "objectively poor".

“Crimea influenced the life of all Russians regardless of their political views. Our economy, because of sanctions, lost the cheap western credits - and entrepreneurs immediately reduced investments in the modernization of enterprises. The ruble fell by 30%. Production began to decelerate, and the income of the population is declining. By the way, it continues to decline the fourth year in a row. Because of the counter-sanctions, the Russian middle class was affected, people were deprived of European cheeses and jamons, and were offered Russian products instead, in which the share of counterfeit goods, as the Minister of Industry and Trade himself admitted, reaches 50%.”

Sobchak added that RF has many problems that continue to concern Russian citizens.

“In Russia, there are two realities: The virtual one, in which Russia returns the Crimea, wages a successful war in Syria, opposes intrigues of enemies and detractors, and the real one, where 20 million people are officially considered poor, where police torture people, and officials take bribes, where patients die in pain because of a lack of painkillers.”

Another problem in the Russian Federation, that the presidential candidate specified, is the "self-esteem of the Russians" who consider themselves special and because of this "they did not notice how this feature led to the dark side of history."

"We invented our own rules so persistently that on the "global highway" found ourselves on the oncoming traffic. And, for better or worse, it is impossible to make the modern "changeable world" "bend under us". And it is not needed.”

She added that Russia was able to reborn thanks to the loss of the Crimea, but now this situation is changing again.

“One hundred and seventy years ago, Russia, having lost the Crimean War, realized that it was worth concentrating. And having concentrated, the country has made the right choice in the direction of the most significant reforms in its history. In just ten years or so, the peasants received personal freedom, the foundations of the rule of law were strengthened and an independent judiciary system was established, education reform was carried out, and genuine local self-government appeared. Crimea again became a moment of truth for Russia. I believe that this time we will be able to draw the right conclusions.”

QHA reported that Ksenia Sobchak intends to conduct election campaigning in the occupied Crimea. According to preliminary data, Sobchak will come to the Crimea in the second half of February.

Sobchak earlier said that an international referendum should take place in the Crimea, since this is the only possible solution to the conflict with the occupied peninsula.

She also believes that the poverty of Russians is directly connected to the annexation of the Crimea in 2014. According to her, yet people do not see this connection. She added that at the moment there is no "stability" in Russia either.

Source: RBC

QHA