Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 03.11.2017
Crimea is bleeding. Russian invader-occupiers have brutalized Ukraine’s southern peninsula for three and a half years, and their brutality is getting worse. Russian persecution of the Crimean Tatars is particularly acute, and amounts to slow-motion ethnic cleansing. The Putin regime has an escalating policy of harassment, intimidation, kidnapping, and torture against the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainian patriots. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has launched a #CrimeaIsBleeding appeal to coincide with a resolution being submitted to the United Nations General Assembly. The appeal and the resolution are meant to focus the world’s attention on the plight of Ukrainian citizens who are captives of the foreign invader-occupiers from Muscovy.
On 31 October, a draft resolution was submitted to the United Nations General Assembly titled “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine).” The UN General Assembly is expected to support this resolution, given its strong support for the resolution “Territorial integrity of Ukraine” which was adopted on 27 March 2014. The UN General Assembly adopted an identically titled resolution, “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine),” on 19 December 2016. The UN General Assembly has consistently condemned the temporary occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and affirmed and reaffirmed the non-recognition of its annexation.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued a new report on 25 September 2017, documenting some of the horrors of the Russian occupation regime in Crimea. Extensive grave human rights violations were catalogued, including extra-judicial murder by the foreign invaders from Muscovy. The OHCHR report was shocking and blunt, and revealed abuses by the Russian occupation regime in Crimea that were far worse than previously thought.
Russia’s invasion of Europe in Ukraine breaks the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, signed in Helsinki on 1 August 1975; Putin’s War therefore weakens if not destroys the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe – the OSCE. Russia’s invasion of Europe in Ukraine breaks the Memorandum on Security Assurances in Connection with Ukraine’s Accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Budapest Memorandum) of 5 December 1994; Putin’s War therefore weakens if not destroys the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons – the NPT. Russia is already banned from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), and is crashing out of the Council of Europe as a whole because of its grave violations of human rights in temporarily occupied Crimea and Donbas.
Europeans who live in Ukraine are suffering, and it’s because of foreign invasion and illegal occupation of Crimea and part of Donbas by Muscovy. Two Crimean Tatar leaders, Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chiygoz, are recently released hostages of the Russian occupation regime. They said that it is known of the the Russians that “the cruel repressions towards our people in Crimea are of a large scale.” The European Union demanded that Russia release its more than 30 known Ukrainian hostages.
Russia completely ignores the European Union, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, the Ukrainian government, the UN General Assembly, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Amnesty International, and everyone who demands that Russia respect its obligations under international human rights law. But the world will not ignore what Russia is doing. #CrimeaIsBleeding will focus attention on what the brutal, violent Putin regime is doing to people who live in Crimea. The new UN General Assembly resolution will once again shine a light on the grave violations of human rights that Russia is committing in Crimea. Russia will never return to the family of civilized nations until Crimea stops bleeding. Russia will forever be “beyond the Pale” until Russia gets out of Ukraine.