It isn’t immediately clear how truly grim the situation in Crimea is until you’ve gotten a first hand look of the situation developing in the autonomous republic within Ukraine. 

In the third installment of Vice News’s reporting on Russia and the Ukraine, Vice correspondent Simon Ostrovsky manages, despite protest from the supposed “Crimea Self-Defence Force,” to interview the captain of a Ukrainian Navy vessel blockaded by the Russians.

(Screencap from Vice News)

(Screencap from Vice News)

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(Screencap from Vice News)

Surrounded by looming men in uniformed men without insignia claiming with futility that they represent domestic interests or the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, the message purveyed by the ship’s captain was a grim one. Faced with the bleak prospect of Russian military action by means of armed snipers and the threat of possible saboteurs, the video’s brief interview managed to appeal to emotions within the scope of a serious topic, something with which contemporary news outlets tend to have difficulty in doing.

It becomes evident that, although the diplomatic situation regarding the Crimean conflict is being altered and skewed for political purposes and has already been used as an excuse to promote largely irrelevant issues (such as the KeystoneXL pipeline), this goes to show us the real people behind the conflict in Crimea.

Not just the people in Crimea who wish to absolve themselves of the spotlight of international affairs, but for the brave men and women stationed in Crimea right now, surrounded on land and in sea by Russians and protestors. It’s time to stop playing politics and to come up with a real solution to the standoff, because in the end, it’s the ordinary folk and the proud people of Ukraine that have to pay the price.