Under the procedural guidance of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, 20 cases of violation of environmental legislation in the Russian-occupied Crimea are being investigated.

This was announced by Serhiy Turchyn, Head of the Department for Supervision of Observance of Laws of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

According to him, every fact of violation of environmental legislation in the occupied Crimea is assessed accordingly. He noted only one problem in the investigation and obtaining evidence of crimes – the lack of access to the scene.

“Prosecutors and investigators cannot directly inspect the crime scene, do any research, take samples, and obtain any documents, for example, on the illegally extracted volume of mining,” Turchyn said.

He added that the Prosecutor’s Office is assisted in obtaining useful information by the State Space Agency, which has the ability to track, for example, open-pit mining in the Balaklava Mining Administration. All the data obtained is collected and analysed, and experts help to determine the damage caused.

Turchyn also said that an interdepartmental working group set up in April this year, which includes representatives of the authorities, public organisations and law enforcement agencies, was helping to investigate these cases.

At the same time, official Kyiv continues to raise the issue of human rights in the territory of the occupied peninsula at the international level. In particular, this issue was discussed during the meeting between President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić.

The President noted that the Ukrainian side was awaiting the Secretary General’s first report on the human rights situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea and was ready to cooperate in this important area.

“I am convinced that your visit to the administrative border with the Autonomous Republic of Crimea has provided a better understanding of the importance of this issue and will help in the preparation of the report,” Zelensky said.

He also called on Marija Pejčinović Burić to facilitate the involvement of all mechanisms of this international organisation for the release of Ukrainians who are illegally detained by the Russian Federation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and in the Russian Federation.

Bohdan Marusyak

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