Since Russia launched its large-scale attack on Ukraine, occupied Crimea has been directly involved in various ways. By collecting information via our own channels as well as by monitoring open sources, the Mission of the President of Ukraine in Crimea/Office of the Crimea Platform has identified the following trends:
- Crimea is being used by the Russian Federation as a full-fledged military base to support and launch aggression against Ukraine.
Crimea’s residents have been illegally conscripted into the Russian army throughout the past 8 years of the occupation and are being thrown into a war against their own country and its people. Conscription into the army is ongoing. Conscripts are forced to sign contracts and then sent to the battlefield in mainland Ukraine.
Representatives of the Crimean Tatar community are being mobilized for propaganda purposes. The Mission/Office of the Crimea Platform has received dozens of appeals about this.
Our sources say that relatives of those conscripted are invited to meetings where it is suggested that they receive psychological assistance. They are told that their relatives are participating in some “special operation”. They are given no details on the whereabouts or state of health of their relatives. Families of servicemen will be able to know about the fate of their relatives only after the “special operation” is over.
Crimean residents have been identified on the lists of prisoners of war captured by the Ukrainian Army, including Crimean Tatars (however, it is important to admit that mostly these fighters are of Russian origin, with illegally obtained passports of Crimean residents). Footage of some of the interrogations have been published, in particular, of those coming from Simferopol and Sevastopol (footage is available here: https://cutt.ly/xAfG3dm).
On Sunday, March 6, the Security Service of Ukraine published information that Ukrainian Armed forces bombed a group of Russian troops. Most of the members of that group were from Crimea, who betrayed the Ukraiunian state and sided with Russia back in 2014 when Crimea was occupied.
Via our own sources the Mission/Office has information about the constant movement of Russian troops, military personnel and vehicles in Crimea from Kerch (which is close to Russia) to northern Crimea – closest to mainland Ukraine. The Kerch bridge, which was illegally constructed after the beginning of the occupation, is used for transferring troops from Russia to Crimea. They are marked by a “Z” symbol. Submarines have been seen in the sea, and fighters and bombers are in the sky.
The territory of Crimea is used also to launch air strikes as well as to fire rockets and missiles at mainland Ukraine. Not only military bases but private yards in northern Crimea are used as launch sites.
- Crimean hospitals are used for treating wounded soldiers of the Russian Army.
Hospitals of Armyansk, Krasnoperekopsk, and Dzhankoi are full of wounded servicemen, at least 1000-1500 in every single hospital. Only servicemen are treated in those hospitals, which means civilians are sent to private clinics or must look for hospitals in other cities.
Mobile hospitals and crematoria have been set up in northern Crimea. RFE/RL has reported that the morgues in Armyansk and Krasnoperekopsk are full of dead bodies of Russian soldiers.
Civilians are forced to collect humanitarian aid and food for Russian soldiers in Dzhankoi, Alushta, Simferopol.
Mobile blood collection points are traveling around Crimea. The Crimean population is urged to donate blood.
- Propaganda, including brainwashing children.
Propaganda lessons, so called “lessons of modern Russian history,” are going to be forcibly taught in Crimean schools, in particular, with the aim of justifying full-scale aggression against Ukraine and mass shelling of Ukrainian cities. The Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation has prepared new materials for teachers, that are planned for implementation in the school curriculum of 6-8 grades. You can access these materials under the link: https://cutt.ly/8AyDacJ They call the “Revolution of Dignity” (Euromaidan of 2014) terrorism and claim that Ukrainians have renounced the occupied territories of ORDLO and Crimea and that NATO troops are actively engaged.
- The large-scale aggression against Ukraine is accompanied by another wave of repression against the Crimean Tatar population, in particular, against activists.
In the past few weeks two more people were arrested. Emil Emirov was arrested in Bakhchisarai on charges of high treason. Nasrallah Seidaliyev was arrested in the Simferopol district on charges of alleged involvement in a Ukrainian battalion. Well-known Crimean Tatar human rights activists Abdureshit Dzhepparov, Zair Smedlya as well as Roland Osmanov received warnings from the occupying authorities about possible further arrest.
- The access of Crimean residents to mainland Ukraine is literally impossible now.
Back on February 24 all the check points were destroyed under Russian artillery. Therefore, Crimean residents are able to travel only to Russian territory. In the meantime, occupying authorities claiming that check points are operating in the regular regime, and in this way, endanger the life of civilians. The Russian attacks at the check points destroyed centres of the administrative services and made impossible for Ukrainian government to provide the administrative services to the Ukrainian citizens in Crimea. Coronavirus vaccination for the Crimean residents is blocked either.
In the meantime…
- According to information of the Mission of the President of Ukraine in Crimea, Crimean residents come to military units to show recruits videos and photos of killed Russian servicemen and colossal losses of the Russian army in order to convince them from joining the army by any possible means.
- Some Ukrainian political prisoners in Crimea have published statements in supoort of Ukraine and against the Russian aggression, in particular, Nariman Dzhelyal and Vladyslav Yesypenko.
- The Mission of the President of Ukraine in Crimea receives hundreds of appeals from Crimean residents with information on developments in Crimea and messages in support forUkraine.
- The Mission of the President of Ukraine in Crimea jointly with partners has launched a hotline for youth from Crimea enrolled in Ukrainian universities in order to help them with evacuation to safe places.