How did Crimea change after 2014 Russian invasion?

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SOUTH BEND, Ind.--In 2014, the Crimean Peninsula, a part of Ukraine, was invaded and annexed by Russia. However, before Crimea was invaded, Ukraine and Russia had an agreement that they would share a military port where Russia’s Black Sea Fleet had been stationed.

“It’s very important to understand what happened in Crimea because this is basically the whole idea of Putin recreating the Soviet Union and making Ukraine also part of a Russian territory or at least very loyal to Russia and Russian values," Dominican University Professor and Doctor Elvira Kizilova said.

At this time, Crimea was one of Ukraine’s top 3 destinations and the economy was thriving, with 5 to 6 million tourist arrivals, numerous sea cruises, direct flights, and more than 200 trains. This all changed almost instantly and things became very difficult when Russia invaded amid large protests, Crimean's refused to sign an agreement for closer ties with the European union.

“There were people who were killed and there were people who were kidnapped and they’re still missing,” Kizilova said. “There have been no developments because the west in both sanctions on Crimea, the life became very complicated.”

Kizilova says the relationship between the two countries, has drastically changed as a result of the annexation.

“I did not have any negative attitude towards Russia before. I did not have it because it was a different country, a country we were doing business with,” Kizilova said. “We hate them all now”

What was once a feeling of respect, is now a feeling of disgust and hatred of Russia for many Ukrainians. Kizilova was born and raised in Russia as a young girl and moved to Crimea when she was 10-years-old. The thriving economy in Crimea, turned into no more cruises, only direct air flights to Russia, and only one train versus what used to be 250.

As Ukrainians are still trying to pick up the pieces from that invasion 8-years ago, Russia is now invading the entire country; a flashback of a horrific, and tragic past.

“When someone says why do you guys not give up and why do you not accept Putin’s requirements, Putin’s demands on Ukraine? That’s what we are trying to say. There is no life after Russian invasion.” Kizilova said.

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