#CrimeaisUkraine: opposition to Russian occupation continues
February 26 is Resistance to the Russian Occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol Day. February 2014 marked the beginning of Russia’s planned armed aggression against Ukraine, which began with the invasion of the Crimean Peninsula by Russian armed forces.
Seven years ago, armed troops in uniforms without identification markings seized the building of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea, Simferopol Airport, Kerch Ferry, and other strategic facilities.
During the illegal occupation of Crimea, the peninsula was militarized and large-scale military construction began. Since 2014, hundreds of thousands, according to various estimates, Russians, predominantly military, have moved to Crimea. Every year, articles of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples are violated on the Ukrainian peninsula. According to human rights activists, 109 people are illegally convicted in detention centres. Russia has taken steps to prevent the world from observing Crimea’s slide toward a police state. No international monitoring of human rights has taken place in Crimea since 2014, often blocked at gunpoint by Kremlin.
From the first days of the occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula, the Ukrainian World Congress has consistently called for increased international pressure on Russia to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, and, side by side with the Crimean Tatar people, continue to draw the world’s attention to human rights violations in occupied Crimea and fight for the release of political prisoners.
“Illegal occupation, militarization, and resettlement of Russians to the Ukrainian peninsula are Moscow’s attempts to destabilize the entire Black Sea region, a powerful lever of influence on international security. On the Day of Resistance to the Russian Occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol, the UWC joins the international community in affirming: Crimea is Ukraine. No compromises with the aggressor until Crimea and Donbas are de-occupied,” said UWC President Paul Grod.