Since the beginning of the full-scale war, we have been carefully monitoring the processes that are taking place in the temporarily occupied Crimea. They quite clearly demonstrate the reaction of the self-proclaimed “authorities” and ordinary Crimean residents to the Kremlin’s aggression against Ukraine.

In fact, these processes are a kind of litmus test of public reactions that take place on the occupied peninsula. Considering that the “official Russian media” create their own “parallel reality”, the analysis of individual areas of public relations allows us to form an idea of the real situation in the conditions of war.

Today we would like to dwell on the “real estate market” of the occupied Crimea, which instantly reacted to the outbreak of the war. Very revealing transformations began here, especially on the part of the Crimean collaborators, who showed their real face.

The situation was investigated by the experts of the Association of Reintegration of Crimea.

Since the beginning of April, information began to come from the occupied peninsula about the aggressor’s initiatives to “amend the Civil Code” on “forced seizure of the property of foreigners” who “committed unfriendly actions against Russia.”

According to the Crimean collaborators, the amendments they proposed will make it possible to “take away the right of ownership” to the property of Ukrainians in Crimea, because, in their opinion, it is the citizens of our state, defending their homeland, that “commit such unfriendly actions” [1]. It is very interesting by what criteria the Kremlin plans to define the category of “unfriendly actions”, most likely, they can include everyone who is not beneficial to the political elite of Russia.

This simply resembles a scheme of illegal appropriation of other person’s property, which the Crimean traitors will tritely appropriate in the future. In fact, the invaders have been using such methods since the beginning of the occupation of the peninsula, but a year ago, the situation with the real estate market in Crimea was very beneficial for collaborators.

So, in 2021, real estate prices in Crimea reached “six million rubles for a one-room apartment.” In “new buildings” in general, the “price per square meter” reached 150 thousand rubles. According to “Crimean realtors” “demand for real estate on the peninsula exceeded supply by 30%”. The highest prices were in Yalta, Sevastopol, Alushta, Simferopol and Kerch, the rental market also developed, since everything that was not for sale was rented out [2].

It seems that such demand was due to the introduction of numerous sanctions against the aggressor state. Sub-sanctioned oligarchs and officials bought up Crimean real estate, thus investing the money they earned in the territory controlled by the aggressor. With the outbreak of a large-scale war, this situation has changed dramatically. The market reacted to this event with a rapid drop in prices for a significant increase in offers, such trends almost immediately began to be fixed by experts.

The fact is that since the end of February 2022, there has been a sharp increase in the number of ads for the sale of real estate on the occupied peninsula. This happened in parallel with the rapid increase in food prices and the beginning of the forced criminal “mobilization” of the Crimeans. Most of the announcements relate to the secondary housing market.

Moreover, real estate prices have dropped significantly, that is, the Crimean residents began to sell housing for almost nothing [3]. For the inhabitants of the occupied peninsula, escape has essentially become the only way to escape the war, especially when the aggressor state does everything to involve the local population in armed confrontation.

The specificity was that among those who want to quickly sell their property were representatives of the Russian special services and the occupiers’ “enforcement bloc”. Already from the first days of the war, they began to urgently get rid of apartments and houses. Most likely, they had information about the scale of the invasion and the possible consequences for the peninsula. Such activity led to a fall in real estate prices [4].

Surely the Crimean traitors began to see clearly and felt the speedy approach of the de-occupation of Crimea. Separate points of the “negotiation process” only increased the panic among the collaborators, in particular, with regard to Russia’s agreement that “the status of Crimea and Sevastopol will be decided within 15 years” [5]. That is, it became obvious to the aggressor that someday the supposedly “illusory” responsibility for high treason and numerous violations of the rights of Crimean residents becomes quite real. The first consequences of the war through numerous corpses in refrigerators only increased the effect [6].

Then officials from the self-proclaimed “government” began to realize that the fiasco of Russia was inevitable, and in the near future, hostilities could continue on the territory of the peninsula [7]. Ukrainian bloggers immediately drew attention to the rapid increase in the number of housing sold in the Crimea. They even made an interactive map with the marks of apartments and houses, immediately after the Russian invasion, they were put up for sale [8].

Analyzing this map, we can conclude that the excitement has arisen in a significant part of the peninsula, which indicates a total panic, since the Crimean collaborators have already begun to take their families out. Moreover, most of the apartments and houses put up for sale are located on the coast of the occupied Crimea. This indicates that during the years of occupation, traitors plundered the island and bought up “luxury real estate”. Fewer apartments are sold inland, because ordinary Crimean residents live in them, who simply have nowhere to run from the war unleashed by Russia.

But here the Crimean collaborators are in for a huge surprise. The fact is that, according to Ukrainian intelligence, the Kremlin plans to tighten the movement from Crimea to mainland Russia. It should be noted that officially they justify such actions by “fighting Ukrainian saboteurs”, although in reality they are tritely holding Crimean collaborators hostage [9].

This is further evidence that the Kremlin’s attitude towards Ukraine’s traitors has never been humane. However, it is a pity for ordinary Crimean residents who have never supported Russia and are now trying to leave through its territory to Europe, saving their families from the war. They also became hostages of the Kremlin, which in no case should destroy the “picture” of the “saved peninsula”, allegedly returned to its “native harbour”.

For this, Putin is ready to hold even his own citizens hostage. The fact is that currently about 600,000 Russian citizens reside illegally in the Crimea, who can also be blocked. Having succumbed to Kremlin propaganda, they entered the peninsula in violation of Ukrainian legislation, and now they have already felt the precariousness of their “legal position” in full [10].

According to insiders, “Crimean realtors” today are loaded with work to the maximum. Most of their clients, “officials” and “punitive officers” of the self-proclaimed “authorities” ask to to sell housing quickly and “without advertising”, and for any money. For many, this situation recalled the plot based on the play by Mikhail Bulgakov about the hasty departure of the White Guard from the Crimea [11]. It is very interesting to observe such metamorphoses, when ardent supporters of the “Russian world” are ready to run wherever they look, leaving not only their own ideals, but also property.

Powerful global sanctions have also caught up with the Crimean collaborators. Thus, according to “real estate companies”, the local “market”, contrary to high demand, is practically frozen, since “purchase and sale transactions” are not actually made. The reason is that now it is difficult to buy foreign currency in the occupied Crimea, and the Crimean traitors do not want to sell real estate for rubles. In parallel with this, real estate prices in Moscow skyrocketed [12], which certainly indicates that the local realtors “are waiting for fugitives from the Crimea in the Russian capital.”

However, they are most likely wrong, since the fact that they do not want to sell Crimean residents’ real estate for rubles indicates that the Crimean collaborators are planning to run away from Russia, for example, to Europe. But only those who have not yet fallen under Western sanctions for occupying Crimea and supporting the war in Ukraine will be able to do this. It should be noted that every day there are fewer such persons, since diplomacy is actively working on this issue.

In this situation, ordinary Crimeans suffer, having “dollar loans” and receiving “wages” in rubles. Fluctuations in the exchange rate of the ruble led to the complication of the process of paying off such “loan obligations”. The local population hoped for a “tourist season”, but in the conditions of a large-scale war, it is unlikely to happen effectively [13].

With each victory of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the excitement in the real estate market of the occupied peninsula only increases. Even the Russian media are discussing the mass sale of real estate on the peninsula and asking whether it is worth participating in this sale [14]. That is, in Russia itself, they are no longer sure whether they should buy the previously “attractive” Crimean real estate even at reduced prices. This rhetoric questions the Kremlin’s ability to “secure” the peninsula, and also raises questions about the “change of mind” of the 2014 events, which were presented as a fake “salvation” by the aggressor state.

It should be noted that the panic concerns not only the housing market. According to Crimean activists, the collaborators began to “sell” other assets, including business real estate [15]. An analysis of “real estate sites” shows that in addition to housing, Crimean collaborators and Russian oligarchs want to get rid of hotels, agricultural enterprises, gas stations and shopping centers, which they bought with pleasure two years ago due to corrupt ties with fake “officials” of the self-proclaimed “ authorities” [16]. Prices start from 100 thousand dollars, although in the absence of currency, most likely, you will have to “sell real estate for rubles”. For ordinary Crimean residents, this is the loss of jobs and earnings, which will lead to a deepening of the socio-economic crisis.

According to experts, it is no longer possible to hide the war from the Crimean residents, they are fully aware of the threat of hostilities on the peninsula. When population daily sees how young guys are buried, smell the putrid smell from the wagons on the railway, anxiety and panic will only increase [17].

We should especially think about the collaborators who became accomplices in the Kremlin’s war crimes in Ukraine, and through their actions actively help to destroy peaceful Ukrainian cities and illegally deport the population. By the way, it was for them that business on the peninsula began to offer “bunkerization” services. The approximate cost of building a bomb shelter on a land plot is more than 1.5 million rubles. On social networks, ordinary Crimeans joke that for those colonizers who did not have time to leave, the price of such bunkers will soon be equal to housing prices [18].

It is quite interesting what the pro-Russian politicians of Ukraine are planning to do with their real estate on the occupied peninsula. It is probably difficult for them to decide whether to sell for next to nothing, or to wait for the de-occupation of Crimea. By the way, before the start of a large-scale aggression, investigative journalists discovered land plots and an estate in the village of Simeiz, acquired in 2013, in the ownership of the Ukraine’s MP from the “Opposition Bloc”, Nestor Shufrich.

After the start of the occupation, this property was “re-registered” by the owners “according to Russian law”, it also became known that the Shufrich family bought property even after the start of the occupation of the peninsula [19]. According to the norms of Ukrainian legislation, if a person “registers” real estate in the occupied territory “according to the legislation” of the aggressor, this becomes an offense [20]. In essence, it is about recognizing the desires of Russian aggression, and in the case of Shufrych, about the actions of the MP, People’s Deputy of Ukraine, who is obliged to represent voters and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state.

Meanwhile, the Crimean collaborators began to act with the usual schemes – to refute everything that was happening. To do this, they used individual “unfortunate experts” who announced “Ukrainian sabotage in disseminating information about the fall of the real estate market in Crimea” [21]. Some “Crimean realtors” emphasize that allegedly “there is no fall, it’s just that the Crimean real estate market reacted somewhat to the depreciation of the ruble” [22].

It is not clear what such “experts” can oppose to open sources, which contain numerous ads for the urgent sale of housing. In “parallel reality” it is probably not necessary to try very hard, it is enough just to call yourself an “expert” from the TV screens and read the phrases provided from the paper.

The fake “head of Crimea” Aksyonov generally ignores this problem, since he is as busy as possible with the “nationalization” of Ukrainian real estate in the occupied Crimea; in particular, this is why he announces lists of Ukrainian top officials who allegedly have such real estate and even “verifies information” about “their payment of utility bills” [23]. This is quite expected, since the Crimean collaborators are not used to admitting their problems and completely copying the experience of the Kremlin.

Thus, the Crimean collaborators, by their actions in a situation of a large-scale war, prove that in the event of the slightest threat they are ready to completely abandon their ideals and flee wherever they have to. They are ready to forget about “love and brotherhood with Russia”, to give up “a bright future in their native harbor”, to cross out the last eight years of blasphemy and betrayal in order to save their own skin.

This, in particular, is evidence that in 2014 Crimean collaborators were driven by ordinary fear and vested interests. It should be recognized that up to a certain stage these interests were fully justified, because the collaborators received an indulgence to plunder the occupied Crimea. However, since the beginning of the war, when the possibility of de-occupation dissipated, they wanted to give up all the loot or sell it for next to nothing.

Of course, this will not please the Kremlin, which has begun to react to such shifts. Most likely, we will witness the reprisals against such “fans of Russia”, which will take place in the near future. In Ukraine, these characters also do not expect anything good, because apart from a prison cell and confiscation of property, the state has nothing to offer for traitors to the Motherland.