The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has called on the international community to step up joint efforts to debunk the myths of the Russian propaganda, which is part and parcel of the Russian aggression and destabilizing actions against Ukraine and other democratic states.
In a statement released May 21, MFA Ukraine has strongly condemned "the continuing deterioration of the human rights situation" amid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Crimea, temporarily occupied by Russia.
"Russia persists in disregarding its duty of an occupying power under international humanitarian law to ensure and maintain public health of the population and uses the recent aggravation of the humanitarian situation as a smokescreen for further attacks on the rights and freedoms of the Crimean population," the statement reads.
The spread of the pandemic did not stop Russian authorities from announcing another draft to the occupying army, "which is a war crime", diplomats stress.
"In March, a decree by the Russian president to deprive Ukrainian citizens of a right to own land in Crimea became yet another uncouth demonstration of Moscow's disregard for its responsibilities under international humanitarian law," reads the statement.
Also, Russia has been showing utmost disrespect for the International Court of Justice by ignoring its order demanding that the occupation power "restore the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and protect the identity of the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar communities under temporary occupation".
Instead of following the letter and spirit of the decision of the world's highest judicial institution, Moscow resorted to its traditional methods – fabricating controlled "pocket" national organizations to create an alternative reality, diplomats say.
Neither Kremlin’s propaganda operations nor quasi-legal acts can change the legal status of Crimea as an inseparable part of Ukraine or shake 🌍community’s common position to support 🇺🇦sovereignty &territorial integrity.#CrimeaIsUkraine— MFA of Ukraine 🇺🇦 (@MFA_Ukraine) May 21, 2020
Full MFA statement:https://t.co/uHX73ZQ6ulpic.twitter.com/azs8jMsZwa
Handing over of so-called "warnings about extremist activities", ongoing trials, politically and religiously motivated illegal imprisonment, persecution of civil society activists are intended to consolidate the total atmosphere of fear in the occupied Crimea and forcibly expel or intimidate the most pro-active whistleblowers.
"While repressions continue in Crimea, the Russian Federation abuses procedural opportunities and manipulatively promotes its emissaries to various international events. According to the Russian creators of the network of fake public organizations, their main task is to justify aggressive policy and instill tolerance to Russia's occupation of the Crimean Peninsula," MFA Ukraine wrote. "However, these endeavours have no future."
Neither Kremlin's "blatant propaganda operations" nor the occupying power's "quasi-legal acts" can change the legal status of Crimea as an inseparable part of Ukraine within internationally recognized borders or undermine the international community's "common position to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine".
"We call on the international community to step up joint efforts to debunk the myths of the Russian propaganda, which is part and parcel of the Russian aggression and destabilizing actions against Ukraine and other democratic states," the statement stresses. "It is also unacceptable that Russia continues to block a proper and unhindered access of international monitoring missions, primarily by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol."