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Former First Deputy Minister of Ukraine's Ministry for Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons Yusuf Kurkchi has said Russia's controversial initiative to rename annexed Crimea to Tauris is an attempt to divert peninsula residents' attention from existing problems.

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"This is another attempt to divert the attention of citizens who live in the occupied territory from real problems, which are related to the environment, low wages, medical care, etc.," Kurkchi said, according to the Ukrainian news outlet Obozrevatel.

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He said it was the aggressor country that had brought the entire range of problems in the occupied territory.

"And inventing such newsworthy events is just a publicity stunt," said Kurkchi, who dealt with Crimean issues at the ministry from 2016 to September 2019.

The expert added some members of the so-called "occupying authorities" in Crimea did not support the initiative, they say: "This is not what we need to do today."

"That is, they have an internal struggle at the political level there," Kurkchi added.