Five years on, the role of local people in Russia’s annexation of Crimea has been underestimated. Yet their help was vital in seizing the peninsula for Russia. From openDemocracy. You have reached a premium content area of TOL. To read this entire article please login if you are already a TOL subscriber. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today for access to: Full access to the website, including premium articles videos, country reports and searchable archives (containing over 25,000 articles). You can subscribe here to gain access to the entire website.