Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 11.01.2019
The worldwide micro-blogging platform Twitter has given a blue “verified” checkmark to an entity calling itself “Russia’s MFA in Crimea.” The Russian Federation invaded Ukraine in February 2014 and claimed to have ‘annexed’ Ukraine’s territory of Crimea subsequently. The Russian Federation has been waging war against Ukraine ever since, on a battlefront that stretches across Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine. Twitter has given a seal of approval to Russian aggression and said “yes” to the changing of borders by force. Twitter has insulted the memory of the thousands who have died defending Ukraine and the millions of others who are suffering in Putin’s War.
The Embassy of Ukraine to the United Kingdom sent this tweet on January 10: “We have sent official complaint @TwitterSupport. It's absolutely unacceptable to give so called #Russia's MFA in occupied #Crimea a blue tick! RU illegally annexed Crimea, militarized it & commits gross violations of human rights. Twitter must block that account! #crimeaisukraine”
Twitter is almost alone – outside of the Russian Federation itself – in officially recognizing the claim to legitimacy put forward by the invader-occupiers of Ukraine. The United States, the European Union, the UN General Assembly, the OSCE, the Council of Europe – the civilized world, in fact – insists that the so-called ‘annexation’ of Crimea by the Russian Federation can never be recognized.
On January 10, the European Union foreign policy spokesperson, Maja Kocijancic, released a statement calling for the immediate release of all Ukrainian citizens illegally detained by the Russian Federation. Over 70 Ukrainian political prisoners are being held in the Russian Federation and in Crimea, Ukraine (Russian-occupied); 24 Ukrainian Navy sailors are prisoners of war after a Russian attack on 25 November 2018; and an untold number of hostages are being held in dungeons in Donbas, Ukraine (Russian-occupied). The EU spokesperson went on to say “The EU remains committed to fully implementing its policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol.”
A little over seven percent of the territory of Ukraine (Crimea and some of Donbas) is illegally occupied by the Russian Federation. Over 11,000 Ukrainians have been killed in Putin’s War. Over one and a half million Ukrainians are officially registered as “internally displaced persons” – meaning they are homeless because the Russians have invaded and are occupying their land. Ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars face violent persecution in their Ukrainian homeland of Crimea. It is unforgivable that Twitter gives its imprimatur to the illegal, foreign occupation regime on the southern peninsula of Ukraine.
Over 336 million active users of the Twitter platform are being told a lie. “Russia’s MFA in Crimea” is not a real person and is not a recognized entity and cannot possibly be “verified” as such. Twitter should not be on the side of evil. Twitter should withdraw its blue “verified” checkmark from the so-called “Russia’s MFA in Crimea” and should delete that account from its platform.