As one says in Russia: “Impossible is possible.” Russia is trying hard to justify the Crimea annexation and to “close the issue” of recognising the Crimean Peninsula to be Russian territory forever. After the peninsula capture, the Kremlin tried many options for legalising stolen land: “former prime ministers” from Europe visited these territories and gave ambiguous interviews. And the parties, which are fed out of the Russian secret services’ hands, appealed to their parliaments. Then, actors, athletes and singers loyal to the system were involved. But nothing helped: Crimea was and is the territory of Ukraine under international law.

These information and propaganda efforts cost the Russian budget a lot of money, which, in the end, was not enough. After all, inviting Berlusconi or Depardieu is an eye-watering pleasure, and Moscow has decided to go the other way. Since it is more or less clear that the next “cry” of a foreigner that “Crimea is Russia” will be heard nowhere, the Kremlin has decided to use for free some regimes in the world that still “love Lenin”…

Flags Russia NikaraguaSuch considerations of Kremlin authorities caused the appearance of exotic Nicaraguans in Crimea. Unlike many other “paid tourists” whose main task is to tell the camera “Crimea is Russia,” future “Nicaraguan partners” know first-hand about the peninsula and even keep warm memories of it. Some of them may have studied in the past at the 165th training centre for foreign militaries. This training camp is known as the 165th centre of the Ministry of Defence of the USSR in the village of Perevalne near Simferopol, where members of various national liberation movements, or rather international terrorists, were “trained” in 1965-1990. About 18,000 fighters from Asia, Africa and the Middle East were trained throughout the “secret base” existence in Perevalne. Therefore, it is likely that the “guerrillas” from Nicaragua were trained here, too.

To solve the problem of “belonging to Crimea,” the occupying authorities plan to play a combination that painfully reminds one of Soviet realities, namely planning of a Nicaraguan delegation visit to Crimea, which violates Ukrainian law. The purpose of this visit is the opening of an “honorary consulate” of Nicaragua in the Crimea.

Oleg Belaventsev, a well-known vice-admiral and an experienced GRU employee who was expelled from Great Britain in 1985 for espionage, is to become a “consul.” He was also awarded “the Russian Federation hero star” for Ukraine, as the Russian Federation North Caucasus Federal District head, by Putin’s secret decree in 2014. Ukrainian justice “did not sleep” and Belaventsev Oleg Yevhenievich was sentenced in absentia to 13 years in prison in our country. According to the Ukrainian investigation, Belaventsev in 2014, organised the Crimean Peninsula seisure by Russian military and “Cossack organisations.” He also tried to persuade the Ukrainian military personnel, located in Crimea, to commit treason.

Apart from this, Belaventsev became famous for his provocative statements and repeatedly boasted about his crimes against our country, in particular, during the Crimea occupation. He is from the Shoigu’s “close circle” and took part in the Russian defence minister’s “shadow schemes”, related not only to the Crimea invasion but also to the supply of weapons to “friendly regimes,” including Nicaragua.

Dirty money

Criminal groups that rule in Russia now use every opportunity for personal enrichment. Konstantinov, Belaventsev and “Nicaraguan friends” can be just partners in the illegal business, albeit under different schemes, but still in one location – the Crimea.

Apparently, Laureano Ortega Murillo is the “trustee” in the withdrawal of “dirty” Russian money to Nicaragua with their following legalisation and other illegal schemes. He is the son of President Ortega and Vice President Murillo. The figure is already known: Laureano Ortega Murillo is under personal sanctions according to the Executive Order (EO 13851) by the US government, as the country’s Foreign Assets Control Department has proven his involvement in large-scale financial fraud. By the way, in April 2019 he was already in the Crimea.

The special operation “Crimea Legalisation,” most of all, started on 29 January 2020. Then Belaventsev and Nicaraguan Ambassador to Russia Alba Asusena Torres met with Georgy Muradov, the so-called “Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea.” and Dmitry Malov, Vice President of the Friendship Association of the Russian Federation and Nicaragua. By the way, Malov is suspected of ties to the Russian secret services. At this meeting, the prospects of co-operation were discussed. And it is known Belaventsev used the acquaintance with Ortega and probably made an offer that “could not be refused” during this meeting. Thus, at the meeting, the candidacy of Oleg Belaventsev for the honorary consul position was announced.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine considered the opening of the honorary consulate of Nicaragua in Crimea as a “direct violation of the Ukrainian legislation and an unfriendly step by Nicaragua” and sent a note of protest. Kyiv has warned Nicaragua that if the consulate in Crimea is not closed, Ukraine will impose sanctions on the country. And if these measures do not work, Ukraine is “ready to take tougher action.” Nicaragua keeps silent in answer.

Ukraine must react harshly to such “forced diplomacy” manifestations: if you do not pay attention, then Nicaragua may be followed by other countries – for money or other handouts from the “imperial table.” Such Kremlin actions must be stopped as harshly as possible because it can be too late.

Yuriy Fedorenko expert

Yuri Fedorenko, an analyst, expert on public communication

The author’s opinion does not necessarily reflect the position of the editors

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