The Russian Federation uses the COVID-19 pandemic to intensify the repressive policy in the temporarily occupied Crimea, in particular, the campaign against the Crimean Tatars. The first deputy minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Emine Japarova stated this during the interim interactive dialogue on Ukraine during the UN Council.

As the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry press-service reports, the Deputy Minister noted that political prisoners, as well as persons with COVID-19 symptoms, are deprived of proper medical care in the Crimea. She paid particular attention to the situation with Teymur Abdullayev, who was moved to a remand prison despite his coronavirus disease.

The diplomat stressed that Russia does not take measures to curb the pandemic, conducts mass military events, including illegal conscription despite the Fourth Geneva Convention requirements, and hides the real numbers of cases of illness and death.

Besides, Russia has severely restricted movement between the Peninsula and mainland Ukraine, which negatively affects the demographic situation on the Peninsula and the educational rights of Crimean youth.

Japarova also drew the attention of the world community to the situation in the Donbas’ occupied territories. According to the diplomat, via creating obstacles for the delivery of international humanitarian aid to the local population in the occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Russian Federation regularly supplies weapons to so-called “humanitarian convoys.”

The Deputy Minister informed about the suggestions that Ukraine puts forward to strengthen security and improve the humanitarian situation in Donbas. However, Russia currently blocks many of them. In particular, the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross are under restrictions.

Bohdan Marusyak

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