Putin Rehabilitates Italians

Today, as promised, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree which rehabilitates Italians.  Putin:  “I wish to inform everybody, that this morning I have already signed an amendment into the decree, by which Italians who reside in Crimea have been rehabilitated.”

Putin promised to do this yesterday (Friday), when travelling around Crimea with Italian ex-President Silvio Berlusconi.  The two old friends visited with representatives of the Italian diaspora in Crimea.  Previously, other Crimean ethnic groups and nationalities had been rehabilitated, but not the Italians.  This has been rectified now.

Back story:  Italians have been living in Crimea since the time of the Roman Empire.

During the Great Patriotic War (=WWII), Italians were deported from Crimea and other parts of European Russia, along with Germans, because they were suspected of harboring sympathies for the invading enemies (=Nazis and fascists).  The Italians were deported to Kazakhstan.  [yalensis:  I don’t necessarily believe the numbers or the horror stories in wiki, though, because this account sounds pretty biased to me].

The descendants of these disgraced Italians, living in Crimea, only number around 300, according to wiki.  These 300 people can now rest well at night, knowing that they have been officially rehabilitated.

Meanwhile, Berlusconi was very excited to visit Crimea.  He and Putin laid flowers upon the monument to soldiers of the Sardinian Kingdom who perished in the Crimean War of 1853-56.

Just for the record, the Sardinians were fighting against the Russians and on the side of the English, French, and Ottoman Turkey.

But all of that is forgotten now.  Later, when Putin and Berlusconi were strolling along the Yalta shore, they met with members of the Italian diaspora, and that was when Putin made his promise to formally rehabilitate them.  Afterwards, they all celebrated by visiting the world-famous wine cellars of  “Massandra”.

The following day, Saturday, the two old friends went to see the famous Khan Palace of Bakhchisarai.  As they were leaving the palace, they were greeted by a large group of local residents, chanting:  “Putin!  Putin!”


Гирей сидел потупя взор;
Янтарь в устах его дымился;
Безмолвно раболепный двор
Вкруг хана грозного теснился.
Всё было тихо во дворце;
Благоговея, все читали
Приметы гнева и печали
На сумрачном его лице.
Но повелитель горделивый
Махнул рукой нетерпеливой:
И все, склонившись, идут вон.

Один в своих чертогах он;
Свободней грудь его вздыхает,
Живее строгое чело
Волненье сердца выражает.
Так бурны тучи отражает
Залива зыбкое стекло.

Что движет гордою душою?
Какою мыслью занят он?



 Александр Пушкин

Alexander Pushkin in Bachchisaray Painting by Grigory Chernetsov

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