On this ninth anniversary of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) calls upon the United Nations and its members to continue to increase sanctions on Russia, its political and military leadership, and its enablers for their breach of international law, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine.
We call upon the international community to stand with Ukraine as it prepares for a counter-offensive to liberate all its occupied territories and restore its sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders.
“Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine started nine years ago in Crimea and became possible due to the lack of resolve and determination of international leaders. Today the world is a different place. The leaders of the free world are resolute and principled. Unlike 2014, we are confident that the global alliance of democracies and peace-loving countries will provide Ukraine with the means to stop Russia’s senseless war on Ukraine and bring its leadership to justice,” stated Paul Grod, UWC President.
On March 16, 2014, Russia’s armed forces staged an illegal referendum at gunpoint. Two days later, on March 18, 2014, Moscow declared that a massive majority voted to join the Russian Federation. Vladimir Putin signed an “entry agreement” occupying Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. This occupation was the first time since the Second World War that an armed invasion altered the boundaries of Europe. This sham referendum has never been recognized and remains illegitimate by the United Nations.
During the nine years of occupation, Russia has transformed Crimea into one of its largest military bases, which it used in 2022 to achieve a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The Russian occupiers continue to conduct systemic gross human rights violations and persecute Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian community members for their nationality, religion, and language. Russia has been condemned for abducting Ukrainian children, conducting ethnic cleansing, and delivering indoctrination camps in Crimea.