Chapter 22: The Crimean borderscape: a changing landscape of political compassion and care
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Going back to Europe as an illustration of cases, Uehling explores what has been transpiring at the contested border between Russian Federation and Ukraine over the disputed territory of Crimea. While it is well known that Russian Federation annexed the territory in 2014, few know of the civilian blockade, which has been successful in modifying the flows of people, capital, and goods. Indigenous activists opposed to Russian rule stopped the illicit flow of goods, made Russian electricity more expensive to supply, and took on functions of the state in monitoring the human rights of border crossers. The differences that can be observed between this border and more paradigmatic examples trouble current theorizing on border regimes in two principle ways. First, it was indigenous activists, not the authorities of either statethat imposed more rigorous filters.Second, the activists responded with counter measures that expose the mirrored and performative nature of border security. The chapter contributes to the volume as a whole by vividly describing the lived experience inside the activists’ armed compound; demonstrating how border restrictions are not the sole purview of state border and security services; and revealing the micro-solidarities and emotional resilience of people seeking to ameliorate the human rights situation in Crimea.

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