Illegal Visits of Foreign Citizens to the Territory of the Occupied Crimea in October 2017 – Monitoring Results
Daniil KHMELNIK, BlackSeaNews
Translated by Tetyana PUCHKOVA
The monitoring group of the Maidan of Foreign Affairs, the Black Sea Institute of Strategic Studies and BlackSeaNews has summarized the results of monitoring the illegal visits of foreign citizens to the occupied Crimean peninsula.
A number of the foreign October "guests to Crimea" had already been to the occupied peninsula previously. In other words, by now, there is already a pool of the foreign "Crimea-infected" individuals who promote the occupied peninsula and organize the trips to Crimea for their fellow citizens.
Almost everyone who came to Crimea in October had some original connection to Russia, such as cultural, scientific, business or political, was of Russian origin or simply naively considered Russia to be the “savior of the world." Together, the illegal visitors and the Crimean occupation authorities have a perfect symbiosis – the otherwise unknown and unimportant at home visitors bask in the glory and honor showered upon them in Crimea, as long as they have a suitable citizenship, while the invaders get an image of the "international recognition". For the sake of that, the occupiers do not disdain anything, even involving children in their political games.
Just as before, for propaganda purposes, they continue to actively use not only political, but also seemingly completely innocent events, such as scientific and cultural. In October those included:
- IVth International Peace Forum
- IInd All-Russian Educational Forum: Children's Camp - a New Educational Space
- Congress of Ukrainian Diasporas in Simferopol
- Safety, Efficiency and Resource – 2017, an International Scientific and Practical Conference on Atomic Energy
- Crimea X Run international trail run competition
- XIXth World Festival of Youth and Students
- Chekhov's Autumn VIIIth International Literary Festival
- Crimea-France Friendship Cup
- International scientific conference Floriculture: Theoretical and Practical Aspects
For now, the monitoring group has identified 38 foreign (non-Russian) October violators of the occupied territory regime. As always, the blacklist may be expanded later, as the identification process continues.
The majority of the October offenders came from Norway.
Russian media presented a group of retired tourists led by a couple of public men as "a large Norwegian delegation of politicians and businessmen."
The visit was held at the initiative of a small-town German politician, chairman of the left faction of the of Quakenbrück town council, Andreas Maurer, who repeatedly visited the Russia-occupied and already announced further visits.
Of the 11 members of the delegation (including two German nationals) announced by the occupiers, we have identified five Norwegians. The couple - Hendrik Weber and Mate Rosenlund - visited the previously occupied Crimea in 2016 as part of the "German-Norwegian delegation" within the "German Culture Days".
Two their compatriots, Kirsten Engelstad and Osa Vig Berget, on their return home, shared with their readers the prepped picture of life in Crimea as presented by the invaders. Another notable member of the group was Mons Lie. According to the Mirotvorets database, once upon a time, the Norwegian worked in the scientific institute that this year has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for an international campaign to ban nuclear weapons. He has also participated in various Russian-Norwegian grant projects.
In addition to the above-mentioned Maurer, three more German citizens visited the occupied Crimea.
All of them became participants of the IVth International Peace Forum at the Massandra Palace (Yalta). Niko Urytsky is a public figure from the Hamburg Russian community. Wilhelm and Liz Augustat - father and daughter - president and vice president of the World through Culture. The society, claiming to be based on the Nicholas Roerich ideas, has a controversial reputation in the Roerich circles, while Wilhelm himself is accused of almost sectarianism.
Four citizens came from Italy.
Of those, only the pianist Stefano Addebo fits the profile of a foreign guest so desperately wanted by the invaders. Together with Janina Yatsevskaya, born in Yevpatoria, he gave a concert of classical music at the Simferopol Art Museum. Another "Italian" who visited Crimea was the singer Artemy Tarasenko-Nagy, originally from Simferopol. Artemy was noticed at the Congress of Ukrainian Diasporas in Crimea among marginal politicians who tried to portray "Ukrainians abroad". As for Giuseppe Sparta, he has been developing his own business in Russia for the last 20 years and permanently lives in Kazan, where he owns a restaurant, a pizzeria and a hotel.
Citizens of Latvia, Moldova and Poland also were spotted among the Congress of the Ukrainian Diasporas’ foreign guests.
A Russophile Andrei Gerashchenko, Chairman of the Coordinating Council of Belarusian Public Associations of Russian Compatriots, arrived from Belarus. Two more of his compatriots - Alexander Trifonov and Ellina Mikhalycheva – participated in the Safety, Efficiency and Resource scientific and practical conference on nuclear energy in Sevastopol.
A scientific conference dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Department of Dentistry of the Vernadsky Crimean Federal University Medical Academy (the Crimean Medical Institute before the occupation) was attended by the President of the International Federation of Dentists Michel Arden from Belgium and the senior instructor at the Mohammed Bin Rashid University, Rashid El Abed, from the United Arab Emirates.
Luo Binsheng, an instructor of the Minzu University in Beijing, in the company of three more citizens of China, took part in the conference Floriculture: Theoretical and Practical Aspects in the Nikitsky Botanical Garden.
Meanwhile, Yin Zhen Yu, general director of the Dayu Chinese children football club visited the “Crimean Football Federation" with the intent to organize competitions and training camps in Evpatoria and Simferopol for his teams.
Speaking of the underage foreigners involved in the political games of the occupants, we cannot skip the name of. The chess coach brought young chess players from France to Evpatoria for the Crimea-France Friendship Cup.
The visit of the French actor Sami Naseri became perhaps the most striking foreign event in October. Together with the "silver voice of France", as the singer Murada Buravi was dubbed by the pro-Russian media, the famous "taxi driver" added chic to the IVth international "Peace Forum" at the Massandra Palace. According to Mirotvorets, Buravi also attended the "Peace Forum" in 2015.
In addition to the French and Germans, citizens of Benin, Israel and Bulgaria were also spotted at the forum.
The 19th World Festival of Youth and Students deserved a separate mention. Although the festival was held in Sochi, as part of the regional program, some participants visited the occupied Sevastopol. We have identified a girl from Jordan. In addition, young people from Germany, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Iraq, and other states visited Sevastopol as well.
While students certainly cannot be considered unsuspecting children, together with the French and down the road possibly Chinese minors, they become yet one more vivid example that there is nothing the occupation authorities would disdain to gain a semblance of international recognition.
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Foreigners and stateless persons are allowed to enter the temporarily occupied territory and exit from it in accordance with Article 10 of the Law of Ukraine "On Securing the Rights and Freedoms of Citizens and the Legal Regime on the Temporarily Occupied Territory of Ukraine".
Violation of this rule of law is the basis for prohibiting the entry of such persons into Ukraine in accordance with Art.13 of the Law of Ukraine "On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons."
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The monitoring of the violations of international sanctions against Russia and the legal regime of the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea is supported by the European program initiative of the "Renaissance" International Fund. The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect the position of the position of the "Renaissance" International Fund.
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