- Posted May 14, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Banking in Crimea: back to Neolithic
It was some sceptical comments on my last column (see http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1110583 ) said that things are not too bad yet. Okay, that was true - but now they're going worse.
Ukrainian banks were forbidden to service their clients in Crimea by Ukrainian Central Bank, then by Russian Central Bank (everybody say no!). Branches of Ukrainian banks were expropriated by self-proclaimed Crimean Government and given to some Russian banks, which are almost unknown previously - like 'Russian National Commercial Bank' or 'Krayinvestbank'.
These banks obviously consider their Crimean opportunity as lucky chance to jump from their obscurity to the premium league of Russian finance industry. But leading Russian banks - like Sberbank, VTB or Alfa-Bank are not so happy to work in Crimea due to the international sanctions.
There are some related anecdotes already: Sberbank decides to provide its ATM service in Sevastopol from...a ship (it's reality, not a joke! - see http://gazeta.sebastopol.ua/2014/05/12/v-artbuhte-dolzhno-pojavitsja-sudno-s-bankomatami/ ) No need to mention that this is ex-Ukrainian ship stolen by Russian 'Green men'... Putin obviously believe that water is not under sanctions yet... Commentators joke that there is another good option: to use Zeppelins for money delivery from air...
Everything looks fun but not for people who have their money in banks not resides in Crimea. Like me. As web-entrepreneur I get my income in Alfa-Bank and Sberbank. When I come to Ukrainian Crimea a year ago everything was smooth and I just didn't care about technologies - every ATM gave me a cache.
But now, when Crimea become Russian, it is hard for me, Russian citizen, to get access to my money. Personnel of Russian National Commercial Bank told me that they can't help. Their ATMs do not work. But I grateful to them a lot, because they advised me to visit Krayinvestbank.
When I visit I saw huge crowd of people trying to get their money from several ATMs. After a hour queue was the same with very few change. So I failed, will be trying tomorrow. I will report result in comments - stay tuned.
I think it's good tradition to share some Russian cousin after the main topic with my fellow readers.
In this times of uncertainty we need something cheap, root-driven and tasty - to give the spirit a hope. Do you aware of buckwheat (I'm not sure of its right spelling)? As I know it considers inedible by human in some countries.
But it can be tasty, if you know how to prepare it in right way. In Russia we have a lot of such almost inedible food as our heritage from peasants times (they were almost slaves, but with some cosmetic differences).
It's funny but every buckwheat you can buy now in Crimea is Ukrainian one, because there is a huge difference in prices of Russian products witnessed by some Russian marketing ambassadors visited Crimea in last weeks. They've valued prices as unbelievable and decided do not compete with their Ukrainian colleagues.
So you need buckwheat (now we have even organic one), butter oil, pickled cucumber (another peasants thing) and canned goose liver. Buckwheat need to be boiled and then fried with butter oil to make it crisp. You should eat it with cucumber and goose liver (see the photo).
If you want you can give your spirit even more support by some Crimean wine. They are known as very average ones, I know. But local wines are always felt better then foreign. And they have some outstanding products like Cabernet Kachinskoye Grand Reserve (see http://www.inkerman.ua/grand_reserv_collection/view/33/ ).