Friday, October 31, 2014


Transmission

Czech Hotel Owner Stages One-Man Protest Against Russia

Tomas Krcmar next to his hotel in Ostrava
Tomas Krcmar next to his hotel in Ostrava
OSTRAVA, Czech Republic -- As far as hotels go, the Brioni Boutique is pretty nondescript.

Except, of course, for the neatly printed note on its door with the following message: "As of March 24, 2014 we refuse accommodation to citizens of the Russian Federation because of the annexation of Crimea. Our apologies to all decent citizens of the Russian Federation. Your Brioni Boutique hotel."

The hotel's owner, Tomas Krcmar, said he decided to bar Russian citizens as an act of protest against Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and out of frustration at what he considers the EU's and the Czech Republic's weak response to the move. 

"As long as Russia stops in Crimea, the EU is ready to sweep the whole thing under the carpet and continue in a business-as-usual manner, so as to get rid of an uncomfortable headache," Krcmar, who has a Ukrainian grandmother, says. 
 
“If one’s memory is too short to learn lessons from what happened in 1939, then at least try recalling 1968 or Georgia in 2008 for that matter," he adds, referring to Nazi and Soviet invasions of Czechoslovakia and Russia's invasion of Georgia.

Critical of society's passivity, Krcmar decided to take a one-man-stand. 

“As long as we are seen unable to take any pain, Russia translates it as our weakness. It is in their strongman mentality," he says.

But he adds that he is under no illusions that his lonely protest will change anything.
 
Krcmar's sign
Krcmar's sign

And with just under a million Russians visiting the Czech Republic last year, Krcmar guesses it will probably cost him some money in the end as well. 

"I am fully conscious of the fact that my boycott of Russian tourists will hurt my pocket more than anyone else’s," Krcmar said, adding that about 10 percent of his guests are Russian citizens. "I know my attitude will inflict losses on me but I am prepared to live with it for a year or two."

In theory his boycott might cost Krcmar more than just a 10 percent drop in revenues. It might be illegal.

Czech legislation prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, age, sexual orientation and a number of other grounds. 

The Czech Ombudsman's Office says as long as a hotel offers its services on a public domain -- such as being online and visible outside -- Krcmar's decision may no longer be treated as his private choice and could, in fact, constitute discrimination.

But the law's wording leaves some wiggle room: it only punishes discrimination on the basis of one’s ethnicity, not citizenship.

One way or the other, Krcmar seems unfazed by any potential consequences. 

"I am not afraid at all. No way anyone can corner me with all sorts of lame tsk-tsking," he says, adding he has already received several angry and even threatening e-mails following his boycott announcement.

Krcmar says, nonetheless, that he is prepared to bear the cost until the EU toughens its stance against Moscow. 

"I don’t mean a war -- no one needs it -- just something less fearsome than all that polite talk from Brussels. I don’t know what that could be -- they are the ones to do the job," he says. 

"I think Russia should be isolated as it has no place in Europe. Until politicians make a move, I’m doing it my way."

-- Andrius Kuncina
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Oleksandr Zheleznyak from: Kyiv, Ukraine
April 16, 2014 14:36
I hope he will eventually benefit. A lot of tourists wish to stay in a hotel without Russians. Well, without citizens of Russia :)
And yes, thank you, Tomas Krcmar!
In Response

by: Anonymous
April 18, 2014 18:33
MAybe in
but in italy a lot of hotel do everything for have russian tourists
In Response

by: Oleksandr Zheleznyak from: Kyiv, Ukraine
April 19, 2014 06:19
Money has no smell?
In Response

by: Anonymous
April 20, 2014 01:00
smell ?
Is not our problem Ukraine .
Ah , no
it is our probem when ukraine do chaos with transit and stolen gas
in this case we remember that exist also UKR .
In Response

by: Bill
April 21, 2014 01:38
The featured hotel person is a bigot. Imagine the outcry if a Russian singled out a given ethnic group - especially the ones that RFE/RL are hypocritically more sympathetic towards.

No surprise to find some supporting the creep. This is the kind of extremist thinking that has been favored by the Rada regime, which overthrew a democratically president, in contradiction to the how things are legally stated to run there.

Crimea made a prudent choice to reunify with Russia.

by: Demetrius M from: Putins House
April 16, 2014 20:18
It will not change anything, but in my opinion, Mr.Krcmar has done more for Ukraine than NATO has. Good for him and a double thumbs up from Cynthia.
In Response

by: jojnjo from: Dublin
April 17, 2014 03:16
Well done Tomas...now I wish Obama/Merkel/Cameron/Hollande etc would match your courage against Russia & for once stop playing "Tiddly-winks". The world needs to stand up against bullies & this is one bully they should stand up to because each day this passes unchecked then the Bully steps one more step into succeeding in his dirty lowdown game of taking back (ALL) of Ukraine.

That's what he & his ilk in the East of Ukraine are aiming for & then who knows? Where else?


Wake up...supposedly...World Leaders & stop stuttering!
In Response

by: danica from: los angeles
April 17, 2014 09:46
YOU ARE ABSOLUTLY RIGHT!! THANK GOD ONE PERSON HAD SPINE!!

by: Anonymous
April 16, 2014 22:00
this is racial discrimination
Absolutly out of law
I hope some russian denounce he
In Response

by: Vladimir Val Cymbal from: Los Angeles California
April 20, 2014 14:32
Anonymus talks brashly and argumentatively as he/she hides. If one wants to pontificate, one should have the courage to use their real name. I pay no attention to loud mouthed cowards. That also goes for those that take the side of evil, that is Putin and Stalin admirers.
In Response

by: Bill
April 21, 2014 01:39
Nenver mind the hate mongering Bandera lovers.

by: Vladimir Val Cymbal from: Los Angelse California US
April 17, 2014 10:29
Id all people of principal stand up for the right thing they each can make a difference. Alone by them selves perhaps not, but together our voices will shatter the wall of tyrants and evil. Do not despair nor be afraid. Great things have been accomplished by individual action. As long as there is life and a voice to be heard there is hope of justice. This is true throughout history. Remember, all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to keep silent.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 17, 2014 10:40
Very good: now this Czech hotel owner will have a lot of empty rooms where he will be able to welcome all those Ukrainian servicemen who have been kicked out of Crimea and of the Donetsk region - and soon from Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa and other regions of the "Ukrainian" South-East :-)).
In Response

by: Vladimir Val Cymbal from: Los Angeles California US
April 18, 2014 04:36
If the whole world reacted to Hitler's aggression like the French government we all would be cowering and speaking German. I can understand self preservation, but not cowards.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 19, 2014 05:16
Thanks God that Stalin reacted to Hitler's agression the way he did: by kicking Germans' ... . And one can be sure that Putin will respond to the agression of the US-sponsored fascists from Maidan the same way. So, prepare, Vladimir from Los Angeles.
By the way, Los Angeles is a historically Mexican territory. I hope Putin will help the Mexican people of California to liberate themselves from all sorts of Anglo-...it.

by: Oleksandr from: Kyiv
April 17, 2014 12:07
Thank you Tomash for your initiative to boycott Russian citizens!
In Response

by: Anonymous
April 18, 2014 18:34
aren't also many ukrainian russian ?
In Response

by: Anonymous
April 18, 2014 22:51
Doesn't matter, Orks must be punished

by: peter from: ottawa
April 17, 2014 14:01
Tomas, the one man Hero show stands tall against Vlad the Annexer and his army of slave conscipts. Its the planet versus Russia and Russia is going to lose. Jelayou uspexa Tomas.
In Response

by: Bill
April 21, 2014 01:43
Not at all.

93 out of 193 countries didn't vote against Russia at the UN General Assembly vote on Crimea. The number of nations recognizing Crimea's just reunification with Russia will rise.

The Rada regime in Kiev that overthrew a democratically elected president has been soft on the nationalist goons that have provoked fatal violence.

Rossiya! Rossiya!
In Response

by: peter from: ottawa
April 21, 2014 12:55
Bill aka Ivan, Eugenio, 100 countries voted against Russia at the UN. Russia s friends are North Korea, life support Cuba, Belarus , Russian vassal state Armenia and the rest of the cesspool dictatorships that infest the planet and make life miserable for their hopeless citizens. Russia again is on the losing side , tourism is down, investment is down, the ruble is down even the toilet seat is down. Dog breath Putin is stuck in his Moscow bunker with nowhere to go but his outhouse. Cheers
In Response

by: Chris from: Morgantown
April 21, 2014 17:57
I don't even want to know what "Bill" would have shouted in 1939...
In Response

by: Bill
April 21, 2014 19:55
Nations are generally cautious when a territory changes hands with some opposition.

Crimea is well on its way of gaining greater formal acceptance as part of Russia.

1939!? I'm not the one favoring a Soviet dictator's dubious decision in 1954.




by: Mike from: Prague
April 17, 2014 19:26
I'm proud to be Czech! Ukraine, we are with you!
In Response

by: Oleksandr from: Kyiv
April 18, 2014 13:21
Thank you, Mike!!!

by: RadicalCenter from: California
April 18, 2014 21:16
What a sanctimonious jackass, and very rude. What the people of Crimea decide is none of his business whatsoever.

Russia probably would invade and oppress other countries if it still could, but it lacks the power to do so on a sustained basis and hasn't done so since the fall of the USSR.

"My" government, on the other hand -- the US -- has invaded and attacked many countries who didn't attack us, weren't preparing to attack us, and posed no threat to our people, land, and freedom.

So, Czech guy, I fully understand that you and Czechs do not want to be ruled by Russians again. Good for you. I wouldn't want to be ruled by Russia either. But the people in Crimea who voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia WERE RUSSIAN-SPEAKING, ETHNICALLY RUSSIAN PEOPLE who had every right to do as they did under the international law we supposedly care so much about.

The same is true of people in eastern and southeastern provinces of Ukraine. A majority there, though not nearly as large a majority as in Crimea, will vote to join Russia if given the opportunity.

The US and NATO are just as much bullies and killers as Russia generally, and in this instance the US and NATO are dead wrong.
In Response

by: Bohemian from: Prague
April 19, 2014 18:14
Oh my god, tell me you're from Russia! You lack basic judging skills to say the least. One cannot accept the Crimea annexation and referendum simply because it was clearly unlawful-it didn't have yes or no type of question for a referendum. Don't you just see everything that's wrong with that? From the time frame to a military presence and pressure, intimidation.
You call that acceptable? I feel sorry for you or rather to your fellow citizens!
In Response

by: peter from: ottawa
April 19, 2014 20:12
When will you be leaving the US for Crimea ?
In Response

by: Bill
April 21, 2014 19:56
Perhaps the same time when you will be leaving Ottawa for either Lviv or Kiev.

by: Bohemian from: Prague
April 19, 2014 18:06
Another proud Czech here. Thank you mr Tomas and yes, Russians who support Putin's regime and his aggression are not welcome in our country and Europe should follow suit.

Close your eyes now and the price you'll have to pay next time will be much bigger.

We support free Ukraine. Stand up against Putin!
In Response

by: Bill
April 21, 2014 01:48
"Free Ukraine", as in people who ousted a democratically elected president, violated an internationally brokered February 21 accord that they signed - doing all this as part of a group with nationalist anti-Russian goons, who've been disproportionately given some key ministerial positions..

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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