A Change in Government

I expect there are a few examples like this:

In 2008, eight years into his addiction, doctors told him he had one year left to live and Georgy realized he needed help. He began a drug substitution therapy called OAT to safely wean himself off drugs.

At that point, Crimea, where Georgy lived, was still part of Ukraine and substitution therapy (OAT) was legal. But when Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014, the peninsula’s new leadership announced the therapy would be banned.

By May that year, more than 800 drug users who had been receiving OAT, including Georgy, found themselves cut off from treatment. Now local and international rights groups say the ban is fueling a resurgent HIV epidemic with fatal consequences.

Amid the many legal and ethical problems with Russia annexing Crimea in the manner it did, it’s hard to claim it was actively opposed by the majority population. However, I suspected they thought there would be only upsides – understandable, given the shambolic state of Ukraine – but over time various drawbacks would present themselves. Some were obvious: being cut-off from the rest of Russia and dependent on Ukraine for electricity and water were two, as well as the collapse in foreign tourism. This ban on OAT treatment is another, and I suspect it’s only a matter of time before a Crimean mother is weeping over the death of son drafted into the Russian army. Whatever the situation becomes in Crimea, I suspect decent reporting on the subject will be scarce and we’ll be squeezed between propaganda on both sides supplemented with the occasional rumour.

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11 thoughts on “A Change in Government

  1. “Amid the many legal and ethical problems with Russia annexing Crimea in the manner it did, it’s hard to deny it was actively opposed by the majority population.”

    “Supported” rather than “opposed” was intended here?

  2. “it’s hard to claim it was actively opposed by the majority population”

    If you can get around the 97%, then you will be doing pretty good.

  3. If you can get around the 97%, then you will be doing pretty good.

    The 97% was likely bollocks, as was the entire referendum. What amuses me is that had they held a proper, free and fair referendum, the result would probably have come back around 85% in favour.

  4. Some more fun with numbers.

    google Putin Hitler Crimea 405,000 hits
    google Why did Russia invade Crimea 277,000 hits

    google Battle of of Crimea 538,00 hits
    Killed in Action 0 Injured 0 Taken Prisoner 0 Shots fired 0
    Snowballs thrown 0 Russian Troops invading Crimea 0

  5. “decent reporting on the subject will be scarce”: decent reporting on any subject is scarce. I saw a lovely remark recently, to the effect of “journalists, or stenographers as I call them ….”.

  6. Number Killed in Action since Russian Crimea reunited with Mother Russia 1.

    Nazi Germany’s capture of Denmark: 127 killed. Almost peaceful, we should encourage more of this.

  7. Did the Nazis kill as many people in Crimea as Britain and France did in the Crimean War? (I don’t know the answer, it’s just that the Crimean War is on my list of “what can they have been thinking of?” wars.)

  8. Buried lede: he’s been “clean” for ten years and still needs the methadone. The OAT isn’t working.

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