Threats to the Ukrainian Community in the Occupied Crimea: Ways to Address it

Public dialogue «Ukrainian Community in Occupied Crimea»In early spring, a public dialogue “Ukrainian Community in Occupied Crimea: Potential of Self-Preservation, Discrimination by Occupiers and Supportive Actions of the Ukrainian State” took place in Kyiv and the presentation of the expert-analytical report of the Candidate of Historical Sciences Andriy Ivantsev challenge to the policy of the aggressor state. “ During the event, a wide range of problems of one of the two most discriminated against occupation regimes of the ethnic communities of the temporarily occupied Crimea was discussed and ways of their solution were suggested.

Organizers of the event Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine, Scientific Research Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, State Enterprise “State Information Service”, NGOs “Union of Forced Migrants”, Crimean Center for Business and Cultural Cooperation “Ukrainian House” and “Tavriya Humanitarian Platform. The event was held with the information support of the newspaper “Crimean Light”.

Among the participants of the dialogue were representatives of the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine, the National Council of Ukraine for Television and Radio Broadcasting, the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territory and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine, the Representative Office of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, the State Enterprise “State Enterprise” Research Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, Tavrida National University. V. Vernadsky, Majlis of the Crimean Tatar people, experts from Crimea, Kiev and Lviv, activists of public organizations “Ukrainian Community of Crimea”, “Crimean Bukovyna”, “Maidan of Foreign Affairs”.

Representatives of the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine Viktor Litvinov, Member of the National Council of Ukraine for Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine Serhiy Kostynskyi, Acting Director of the Research Institute of Ukrainian Studies Vitaliy Terletsky welcomed the participants of the public dialogue. contains the results of the research carried out in the framework of the implementation of the research work “Humanitarian Aspects of the Military-Political Crisis in Crimea and the Donetsk Territory”. He stressed that the Institute is contributing to understanding the problems associated with Russia’s aggression and to finding ways to liberate the temporarily occupied territories and protect the rights of their populations.

In a report, a senior researcher at the Institute of Ukrainian Studies and coordinator of the Tauride Humanitarian Platform A. Ivanets revealed mechanisms of discrimination against the Russian occupation regime of the community of ethnic Ukrainians of the Crimea in 2014–2018, including anti-Ukrainian information-propaganda and moral-psycho-bullying, repression or “squeezing” of Crimean leaders and activists from the Crimean Ukrainians community from Crimea, discrimination and persecution of denominations, the vast majority of which are parishioners Ukraine, the artificial isolation of Crimea from the information and humanitarian space of Ukraine, the prohibition of the activities of Ukrainian political and most public structures, the abolition of institutions of Ukrainian / Ukrainian-language education and culture, a sharp restriction of the spheres and possibilities of using the Ukrainian language in public life, restricting the right to freedom of assembly and use Ukrainian national symbolism, changing the ethno-demographic composition of the Crimean population, through the illegal mass migration of Russian colonists to the Crimea.

“We have a steadily negative tendency: Russia’s discriminatory policy towards the second largest ethnic community in Crimea, the Ukrainian community, poses a threat in the long term to assimilate a large part of it,” A. Ivanets said. He regretfully stated that the experience of 2014–2018 testified to the lack of understanding by the Ukrainian authorities and the expert environment of the problems of Crimean Ukrainians. The Ukrainian authorities respond to the challenges they face, but do not take a proactive stance on protecting the interests and rights of the Ukrainian community of Crimea, consolidating it and turning it into a post-occupation period as one of the factors in stabilizing the ethno-political situation of the southern region. The scientist has developed a number of recommendations for the authorities to protect the rights of this community and its representatives. In particular, he proposes that the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons for the period of the occupation and reintegration of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol develop a program of measures to meet the ethno-cultural needs and protect the rights of the ethnic Ukrainians in the Crimean parliament, The Constitution of Ukraine on the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to consider the expediency of guaranteeing the representation of this community in the bodies of autonomy. In order to preserve the identity of Crimean Ukrainians, in particular, it is recommended that the relevant authorities develop a set of commemorative measures and provide a study of the past and cultural heritage of the Ukrainian community.

Director General of the State Enterprise “National Newspaper and Publishing House” of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, representative of the Crimean Center for Business and Cultural Cooperation “Ukrainian House” Andriy Shchekun urgently sent the proposals outlined in the report to the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine and the Ministry of Territorial Affairs whereas in December 2018 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the Decree on Information Reintegration Strategy of the Autonomous Republic In June 2019, an action plan for its implementation should be established. He also considered the problem of meeting the information needs of Crimean Ukrainians and, in particular, the state of Crimea’s leading Ukrainian-language newspaper, Crimean Light. Last year, due to the inactivity of the Ministry of Culture, the newspaper’s staff failed to undergo a reform process in accordance with the law, which resulted in the loss of the state registration certificate for the print media. And already with the efforts of the Crimean civic activists and the labor collective, this year’s edition was re-registered.

Director of the State Information Service, ex-Deputy Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine to the Crimea Bohdan Dubas stressed the importance of finding mechanisms to protect the rights of Crimean Ukrainians, and suggested that the government of the Crimea be restored in the free territory of Ukraine.

The discussion during the public dialogue was actively attended by, in particular, the Head of the Crimean Branch of NTSh, UEAN Academician Petro Volwach, Member of the Majlis of the Crimean Tatar People Eskender Bariyev, Deputy Chairman of the Majlis of the Crimean Tatar People Ilmi Koeminsky of the National Television Council of Ukraine. Oleksandr Polchenko, a member of the All-Ukrainian Literary Competition “We are Your Children, Ukraine!” Named after Crimean Ukrainian poet Oleksandr Polchenko presented to the participants a dialogue on the collection of works of the winners of the competition in 2018 and spoke about raising funds for its holding through social networks.

During the event, Andriy Ivanets announced the intention of Crimean migrant organizations to erect a tombstone on the grave of the head of the Provincial Ukrainian Council in Crimea in 1919–1920, Pavel Goryansky, located at Lukyanivskyi Cemetery in Kiev, and urged to join the fundraiser ‘ leader of the Crimean Ukrainians during the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917-1921.

Acting V. Terletskyi, director of the Institute of Ukrainian Studies, said that soon it would be possible to get acquainted with the electronic version of the report on the state of the Ukrainian community in the occupied Crimea, and its text is planned to be sent to the authorities of Ukraine.

Press service

Taurian Humanitarian Platform

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