Not much to report on so far today. The intimidation of foreign journalists ahead of the referendum in Crimea is escalating. By next weekend the vote will be as transparent as mud. The Cossacks and other irregulars (i.e. pro-Putin thugs) have developed a taste for beating opponents with whips. I first noticed this when they attacked Pussy Riot in Sochi last month. Is this deliberate neo-tsarist symbolism? Bring back the knout ? Maybe they've been watching Battleship Potemkin for some tips on how their ancestors handled these things. Sevastopol Steps.
There's more historical symbolism in the rival protests in Simferopol (pic). The pro-Ukrainian side have gathered round a statue of Taras Shevchenko. The pro-Russian crowd's totem is the Lenin monument. A poet versus a dictator.