The politics of false reality

This ambiguous phrase was heard several times on December 11, 2019 by the State Enterprise “Crimean House” during the angular cristol on the subject: “Issues of Crimean occupation in the state policy of Ukraine”. The initiators and moderators of the event were co-coordinators of the public association “Coordinating Council of organizations of IDPs from Crimea” Andriy Shchekun (NGO “Crimean Center for Business and Cultural Cooperation” Ukrainian House “) and Olga Skrypnyk (Crimean Human Rights Group). Both the roundtable and the research presented at the meeting were supported by the British Embassy in Ukraine.

Issues of Crimean occupation in the state policy of UkraineIt is therefore logical that the first word was given to a representative of the Embassy, ​​Ms Shannon, who said that a government strategy for Crimea was underway and it was important that civil society, occupied Crimean and civil society representatives were involved in the process. immigrants from Crimea. Only with such widespread participation can the full representation of the rights of Crimeans be realized – both those who have remained in Crimea now and those who have moved to mainland Ukraine.

Issues of Crimean occupation in the state policy of UkraineAccording to Andriy Shchekun, the project has been underway for the third month, and during this time the activity of state authorities – the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the issues of the occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol was monitored. During this period, the Crimean Center for Business and Cultural Cooperation “Ukrainian House”, with the support of the editorial office of the newspaper “Crimean Light”, sent 17 requests to the state authorities, where a total of 56 questions were asked about what is happening in information policy. education, culture in relation to Crimea. Unfortunately, not all answers have been received today. “It is appropriate to note that 5 information requests were sent to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Ukraine, with 23 questions in the field of information policy and culture. Responses to 3 of them were canceled by the Ministry of Information Policy, and the remaining requests were ignored or re-qualified by the Ministry of Culture, which, in our opinion, was unjustified in order not to provide us with an answer. Of course, we will appeal to the law enforcement agencies, in particular, the Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, ”Andriy Shchekun emphasized.

The questions posed to the state authorities in the requests were formed in the light of resolutions and tasks that were submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and other state bodies at the I and II All-Ukrainian Congresses of IDPs from Crimea in 2014 and 2015. The result of these congresses was the creation of an inter-factional association “Crimea”, which was formed in December 2015. In addition, due to the fruitful and titanic work of civic organizations and the activity of organizations of IDPs who have been involved in this activity, committee hearings were held in the spring of 2015 and, in June 2016, parliamentary hearings, which resulted in the Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine # 1602- VIII of September 22, 2016 “On the Recommendations of the Parliamentary Hearings on the Strategy of Reintegration into the Temporarily Occupied Territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol in Ukraine: Issues, Ways, Methods and Methods”. And on December 27, 2018, another document was issued – Order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 1100-r “On Approval of the Strategy for Information Reintegration of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol”, which provided for the Ministry of Information Policy together with the interested central executive authorities to develop and submit a six-month period for the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to draft a plan of measures to implement the Strategy approved by this decree.

Issues of Crimean occupation in the state policy of UkraineHaving worked out the answers, the organizers of the study concluded that in almost every area where the requests were sent, there is a rather deplorable situation regarding the implementation of legislative acts. For example, when asked by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine whether it is monitoring the current state of education in the field, especially regarding the destruction of Ukrainian-language education in Crimea, the answer was negative. The same answer to the question whether the Ministry appealed to law enforcement agencies, the Prosecutor’s Office of the ARC about the change in the educational process of the Crimea, the destruction of Ukrainian-language education in Crimea, and whether the Ministry of Justice of the International Court of Justice in the Hague 2017 is aware of the need for Russian-language education in Crimea and accordingly, whether the ministry appealed to law enforcement agencies on the basis of these documents. That is, it becomes apparent that the Ministry of Education and Science is not addressing this issue.

Considering the results of the study, it can be stated that there is currently a large gap in the state policy on the Crimean issue, since it is very important for the state to take the steps that it should take.
An example of such steps, in Olga Skrypnyk’s opinion, would be the repeal of the notorious Law of Ukraine “On Creation of a Free Economic Zone” Crimea “and on the peculiarities of economic activity in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine”, since it had a significant impact on ties with Crimeans, living in occupied Crimea and the rights of internally displaced persons from Crimea. This law does not create any positive consequences, even from an economic point of view, but from the point of view of human rights it has only limited them, given that all Crimeans are recognized as non-residents. Unfortunately, this law is still in force, although there have been many meetings of human rights organizations with the authorities, but no changes have been made so far.

Issues of Crimean occupation in the state policy of UkraineAndrei Senchenko, a well-known Crimean politician, leader of the public movement “Power of Law”, presented at the roundtable, in his speech emphasized no less acute problem: how to make it clear to the people who live in the occupied Crimea and in the free territory that we see the future of unity? By what rules are we going to live? After all, in case of de-occupation, a certain percentage of the population will start to resist, precisely because they are aware that some claims may be made, but the Ukrainian legislation does not give a clear answer to this topic. According to Mr. Senchenko, the Force of Law has long developed a “Law of Accountability” that regulates liability for crimes committed in the occupied territories (these are not general criminal offenses but specific crimes) in favor of the aggressor state against its state. This law is long overdue, but needs to be initiated by the president.

Yuri Smelyanskiy, an expert on the temporarily occupied territories of the Maidan of Foreign Affairs, named the state policy on the creation of false realities in his speech. In his opinion, “Crimea is Ukraine” is only a slogan, and it will not be an empty slogan only when it is filled with real meaning. In the 6th year of the war, it is possible to say that something positive is happening from the point of view of formation and implementation of the Crimean policy only when there is some concrete result: not a bill, but a law, passed and laid down for implementation, or adopted some strategic documents, etc. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Therefore, for the time being, only slogans are being told to us, and as a result, we have only the negative consequences of all these 6 years in terms of forming a consistent transparent Crimean policy on the return of Crimea and its reintegration. Unfortunately, it can be stated that the previous and the present issue of the Crimea is not timely. Therefore, efforts need to be consolidated to shape the policies needed to at least open the horizon for progress towards the liberation of Crimea.

Issues of Crimean occupation in the state policy of UkraineThe issue of sanction policy was considered by Serhiy Mokrenyuk, Head of the Department for Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine, noting that last year 15 145 packages of sanctions and 65 legal packages were applied to the draft ILO orders persons in completely different spheres: both for those who built the Crimean bridge, and for those who built the gas pipeline Crimea – Krasnodar region, and for those who destroyed our cultural heritage – an archeologist ies, directly to individuals, and to foreigners who participated in so-called elections as observers, as well as those who supplied goods or services to military sites in the Crimea.

Issues of Crimean occupation in the state policy of UkraineThe presence of major problems in the educational field, which was discussed at the beginning of the discussion, was confirmed by Valentina Potapova, head of the Center for Civic Education “Almenda”. After all, in her opinion, over these five years that have passed, we are, first, beginning to lose touch with the youth of Crimea and, secondly, is Crimea today, after five years of occupation, in the Ukrainian territory for non-Crimeans. “It is in the policy of the Ministry of Education that we see a lack of state policy. Because a major educational reform took place during this period, a large number of documents related to the new Ukrainian school were approved, but there are neither Crimea nor occupied territories. That is, in a few years of such a policy, there will be completely the territory of the Russian Federation, the mentality of Ukrainians will disappear. Therefore, the absence of this state policy will lead to the fact that the Crimean theme will not be supported by the Ukrainians themselves, ”Valentina Potapova stressed.

And the state we currently have in the cultural sphere in the Crimea, according to Mykola Yakovina, Honorary President of the Ukrainian National Committee of ICOMOS, is an attempt on our mentality, on our historical memory, an attempt to clean up the cultural and ethnic environment, change it to the benefit of the enemy. Instead, our state, for the time being, primarily shows in the person of the Ministry of Culture, the shortcomings, defects and shortcomings.

Issues of Crimean occupation in the state policy of UkraineAnd the final bold point in discussing the absence of state policy of Ukraine in the issue of Crimean occupation was made by the Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimean CCU Clement. On December 10, just before the round table, Bishop Clement came under the walls of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and declared an indefinite hunger strike because of the inaction of the Ukrainian authorities on the protection and preservation of the Ukrainian Church in Crimea. “All the questions that I have raised for five years before the Ministry of Culture, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and now raise questions regarding the protection of religious freedom in the Crimea, the protection of the church, I put in the field of laws that would comprehensively solve this problem. The essence of the question: in the territory of the Crimea there is property, which is managed by the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea, local self-government bodies. The Verkhovna Rada of Crimea ceased to exist. Who will decide the fate of this property? Who will decide on the alienation, appraisal, lawsuits? The Russian Federation declares to me that I illegally occupy the property because it is the federal property of the Russian Federation. And I ask the government of Ukraine again, what can Ukraine say as opposed to what the state can say? Whose property is this? The state says to me: it does not belong to us, because Crimea does not belong to us, and we will not accept anything – these are the candid answers that were heard in the Ministry of Culture, even recorded on paper. Another ministry says – there is no mechanism, there are no laws, the question is: what have you been doing for almost 6 years? Therefore, due to the inaction of the state authorities, I resorted to this action – declared a hunger strike. And I demand that this issue be solved, which would guarantee the security of the faithful of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in Crimea, which would be preserved by the Office of the Diocese and the Cathedral, because in the absence of the Office and the Cathedral, it is impossible to say that something Ukrainian is preserved in Crimea. ” .

Unfortunately, the conclusion of the meeting is disappointing. It is quite obvious that in all the mentioned areas of the event, there is a complete absence of a state policy on the occupation of Crimea. Therefore, according to the participants, only the consolidated and systematic work of all Crimean NGOs and activists will be able to push the state authorities more actively and productively to deal with the Crimean issue. For this purpose, the participants of the round table decided in the spring of 2020 to hold the Third All-Ukrainian Congress of Forced Migrants from Crimea. Another proposal was to create a Crimean Occupation Fund, similar to the Ukrainian Cultural Fund, where, on a competitive basis, grants would be given to implement projects on the Crimea and NGOs would be able to compete. And it is desirable that this fund be approved at the state level.

Author: Igor Svitlychanin

Photo: Vyacheslav Yurchenko

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