UWC honors heroes of resistance to occupation of Crimea

#UWC news
February 26,2023 1240
UWC honors heroes of resistance to occupation of Crimea

Today, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) joins Ukraine in commemorating the Day of Crimean Resistance to Russian Occupation and honors all brave men and women of Crimea who stood up to protest the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

Nine years ago, when the world witnessed the dramatic events of the Revolution of Dignity in Kyiv and the Ukrainian people’s fight for freedom and dignity against the criminal Russian-controlled and kleptocratic regime of President Yanukovych, the Russian aggressor had started a covert invasion and occupation of the Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

On February 26, 2014, up to 15,000 Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians gathered for a rally outside the parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to break Putin’s evil plan. The next day, heavily armed Russian terrorists seized Crimea’s parliament and government buildings, unleashing the annexation scenario.

During the long 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 conduct systemic gross human rights violations, persecute Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian community members for their nationality, religion, and language, and have been implementing a policy of artificial population replacement in Crimea.

However, even after nine years of Russian occupation and one year of full-scale war, Ukrainians are rock-solid in refusing land trade for peace. They remain confident that Crimea must return to Ukraine like any other Ukrainian territory under Russia’s occupation. As the Armed Forces of Ukraine move closer to Crimea, the pro-Ukrainian resistance in the peninsula becomes more visible.

From the first days of the occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula, the UWC 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 drew the world’s attention to human rights violations in occupied Crimea and advocated for the release of political prisoners.

On this Crimean Resistance Day, we would like to reiterate the words of Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine: “What has started in Crimea must end in Crimea!” The Russian occupation of Ukrainian lands, which started in Crimea in 2014, will end with Ukrainian defenders’ liberation of the peninsula.

Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Crimean Resistance fighters!

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