The statement by Anton Korynevych concerned both the provision of reliable information on the violation of human rights by the Russian Federation in the territory of the Crimean Peninsula and the information on the actions of the Ukrainian Government which are carried out in order to maintain links with Ukrainian citizens who live in temporarily occupied Crimea and to provide necessary services for internally displaced persons from Crimea.
“Political persecution results in the illegal detention of our citizens for demonstrating their pro-Ukrainian position and turning them into political prisoners on charges of extremism, terrorism etc. Today, there are at least 94 Ukrainian citizens who are political prisoners detained by the occupation authorities. Most of them are Crimean Tatars. Server Mustafaev, Seyran Saliyev, Emir-Usain Kuku, Vladimir Dudka, Alexei Besarabov and many other Ukrainian citizens are still being held in Russian prisons for not having committed any crime.
The forced recruitment into the armed forces of the occupier is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law by the Russian occupation authorities in Crimea. This forced conscription began in the spring of 2015, and so far about 25,000,000 Ukrainian citizens from temporarily occupied Crimea have been forcibly conscripted into the Russian Armed Forces. And this forced conscription continues during the COVID-19 pandemic. Such forced conscription into the armed forces of the occupation authorities is considered a war crime under international humanitarian and criminal law and the most systematic war crimes, committed by representatives of the Russian occupation authorities in temporarily occupied Crimea.
Militarization also concerns the educational process in temporarily occupied Crimea. Children at schools study the basics of military training within the framework of the movement «Junarmy», «Cossack» schools and «Cossack» classes. Our Crimean children are taught how to prepare for war.
The educational process in the temporarily occupied Crimea is another problematic dimension – elimination of the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar national identity by the Russian occupying authority, in particular by restricting education in Crimean Tatar language and leaving Crimea without schools with Ukrainian as the language of study. In this way, the occupation authorities tires to destroy the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar national and cultural identities, including identity of hildren and youth as citizens of Ukraine.
The occupation authorities also systematically replace the citizens of the occupied peninsula by the RF citizens. This is done with the specific intention to change the demographic map of the population. Such activity constitutes a war crime under international law.
The Orthodox Church of Ukraine is one of the religious communities of Crimea that is facing an extremely difficult situation. After the temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church found itself in a very difficult situation. Before the occupation there were 49 parishes of the Crimean diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – the Kiev Patriarchate (now the Orthodox Church of Ukraine), including 25 churches and 20 priests on the whole peninsula, but now there are only a few parishes and a few priests.
Parishioners and priests of the Crimean diocese (headed by Metropolitan Klyment) were persecuted, many of the church’s premises were seized, and Sunday schools established by the Crimean diocese with Ukrainian language were closed by the occupation authorities.The ability of the diocese to use its main cathedral is limited, in particular the representatives of the so-called “Self-defense” were located in the cathedral to ensure the protection of the body of the occupying authority, which is located in the cathedral together with the Ukrainian Church.
Other religious groups also face persecution in temporarily occupied Crimea, in particular the «Jehovah’s Witnesses» and some Muslim organizations.
Lawyers also face problems in temporarily occupied Crimea, in particular lawyers defending political prisoners in Russian-controlled courts. In many cases, lawyers were the only source of information to understand what was happening in Crimea, and the Russian occupation authorities wanted to block their ability to defend political prisoners.
It is also worth noting that the COVID-19 pandemic situation is close to catastrophic in the temporarily occupied Crimea, and the Russian occupation authorities are unable to protect the life and health of the Crimean population. There are not enough beds in hospitals, hospitals refuse hospitalization, patients are transferred from hospitals to sanatoriums where they are left without medical assistance, there is no possibility to take a COVID test voluntarily, people sometimes have to wait for more than 24 hours, until an ambulance arrives, Pharmacies have no basic drugs, statistics on the COVID situation in Crimea are distorted by the Russian occupation authorities, there is no objective information for the civilian population about the risks associated with COVID-19, There is no control over the use of personal protective equipment and equipment in crowded public places and places”, the permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in the AR of Crimea Anton Korynevych said.
The event brought together politicians and diplomats from Kyiv, New-York city, Geneva, Vienne and Strasburg.
The participants of the event were the First deputy Minister of Foreign Affasirs of Ukraine Emine Dzhaparova, Vice President of Ukrainian Association of International Law of Ukraine Mykola Gnatovskyy, Archbishop of Orthodox Curch of Ukraine, Metropolitan Simferopol and Kyiv Klyment, the Head of Center “ZMINA” Tetyana Pechonchyk, Deputy Head medjlis of Crimean Tatar People Nariman Dzhelyalov and resently retired civic journalist Nariman Memedeminov.