Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 20.01.2019
Where Russian invaders go, looting follows. After the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine in February-March 2014, the Muscovite occupiers in Crimea began to haul away the cultural and historical heritage of Ukraine en masse. Since then, the Russian Federation has pilfered at least a million archaeological artifacts.
A Ukrainian government department administers the affairs of Ukrainian land that has been occupied and Ukrainian citizens who have been made homeless by the Russian invaders. The Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Person of Ukraine stated that, at a minimum, one million artifacts of archaeological importance have been transported from Crimea, Ukraine to the Russian Federation.
Ukraine has introduced sanctions against the Russians who are responsible for committing vandalism against the cultural heritage of Europe. Russian archaeologists who illegally carry out excavations in occupied Crimea should carry the stigma of being unworthy of their profession for the destruction that they wreak. On 18 December 2018, Ukraine listed 23 people due to their illegal archaeological exploration of cultural heritage sites or “participation in activities aimed at legitimizing the illegal occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.”
The Ministry of Culture of Ukraine has launched a world-wide effort to name-and-shame the Russian vandals. Appeals have been made to UNESCO, for example concerning the deliberate neglect by the Russian occupation authorities of the Khan’s Palace in Bakhchysarai, Crimea, Ukraine. While persecuting the Crimean Tatars, the foreigners from Muscovy are desecrating the only example of Crimean Tatar architecture in the world. The Russian Federation’s behaviour in occupied Crimea is incompatible with its membership in UNESCO.
After invading and occupying part of Ukraine in 2014, the Russian Federation announced that it was appropriating all objects of cultural and historical significance located on the territory of Ukraine. The Ukrainian government asks that UNESCO put this cultural property – which belongs to the Ukrainian people – under its protection.
Russian invaders of Ukraine violate the rules of civilization and steal the treasures of civilization. They are quite literally barbarians.