INFORMATION REPORT ON THE MAIN TENDENCIES ON TOT FOR JUNE 13-19, 2020
Within the framework of the information reintegration strategy the Ministry for Reintegration carries out monitoring of developments in the situation on the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol.
During last reporting period (June 13-19, 2020) the following tendencies were observed:
Russian occupation administrations ignore threats of COVID-19 epidemic to achieve propaganda goals
As of June 18, 2020 Russian occupation administrations have released the following information on the COVID-19 incidence:
- Crimea - 575 confirmed cases (20 fatal, 389 recovered),
- Sevastopol - 195 confirmed cases (3 fatal, 163 recovered),
- TOT of Donetsk oblast - 926 confirmed cases (52 fatal, 255 recovered),
- ТOT of Luhansk oblast - 466 confirmed cases (11 fatal, 418 recovered).
- Three circumstances deserve special attention.
First, 129 new cases of coronavirus infection and 17 fatal cases from COVID-19 were recognized at the TOT of Donetsk oblast of Ukraine in the last week. In particular, 7 fatal cases were recognized during June 17, which is an abysmal record.
For comparison, the Russian occupation administration in Donetsk for the period from March 31 (when the first case of infection of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 on TOT of Donetsk oblast was recognized) to May 19, 2020 recognized only 7 fatal cases from COVID-19. During the month, the number of fatal cases according to the occupation "authorities" increased by 7.5 times.
Secondly, the Russian occupation administration in TOT of Luhansk oblast of Ukraine has not published any statistics on incidence for almost two weeks. In no way the quantitative and qualitative parameters of the "spike" of the disease were defined, which allegedly led to the introduction of "quarantine" in Antratsyt district and Rovenky city.
De facto "quarantine" was introduced in order to block the dissemination of information about the strike of miners of "Komsomolska" mine, who held a protest action underground, demanding payment of long-term wage arrears on June 5-12. However, the purpose was not achieved by these restrictions - the information about the mining protest sparked public outcry. The protests at other mines are likely to continue, as wage arrears are a systemic phenomenon that emerged as a result of consumer and plunderous approaches to the management of coal, metallurgical and other enterprises by the occupation "authorities" in TOT of Ukraine.
Thirdly, the most obvious example of disregard for the safety of citizens by the occupying state is the behaviour of the so-called "Head" of the Russian occupation administration in Crimea, Serhii Aksonov. On June 16, taking into account the difficult epidemiological situation, Aksonov cancelled the parade postponed to June 24 in Simferopol, which was scheduled for May 9. However, a few hours later he changed his point of view to the opposite and again allowed the parade to take place after consultations with the Russian leadership.
As of June 19, more than 30 cities in the Russian Federation either cancelled or postponed the celebrations of May 9 because of the coronavirus epidemic. However, Simferopol temporarily occupied by Russia was included in the list of cities where the parade was defined as a priority by the Russian authorities. Therefore, the occupation administration was forced to review its decision, which could pose threat to the lives and health of citizens.
It should be noted that during June 17, no new cases of coronavirus were recorded on the territory of the Ukrainian Peninsula Crimea, which is absolutely unusual for the last period and may be a consequence of political pressure to hide the state of incidence before the "celebrations".
Occupation administrations at TOT of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine conduct large-scale rehearsals of parades, which they plan to organize at the same time with Russia. Moreover, on all the territories of Ukraine temporarily occupied by Russia, there is a tendency to conceal information on the incidence in the Russian occupation military contingents.
The Ministry for Reintegration will continue to inform on the epidemiological situation in the TOT of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and the TOT of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol in order to alert citizens of the danger.
Russian-controlled occupation administrations have been blocking the operation of EECPs in Donetsk oblast
Given the rapid deterioration of the socio-economic situation on the TOT of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine, and given epidemiological situation, the Government of Ukraine has begun to introduce adaptive quarantine, which provided for the gradual lifting of restrictions when crossing the EECPs in Luhansk, Donetsk and Kherson oblasts.
Therefore, starting from June 10, in addition to the possibility to cross the EECPs on humanitarian grounds, the decision was adopted to open two EECPs in a limited regime - "Mariinka" (Donetsk oblast) and "Stanytsa Luhanska" (Luhansk oblast) for the movement of citizens with social and humanitarian purposes.
Special emphasis was given to provision of applicants from TOT of Ukraine, who are going to enter the Ukrainian higher education institutions, with an opportunity to apply to the educational centres "Crimea-Ukraine" and "Donbas-Ukraine" (this year, a unified list of higher education institutions for admission is offered for the first time for future students from TOT, and their number was increased to 101), as well as if necessary to pass EIT. The expected number of applicants together with accompanying persons, by calculations of the Ministry of Health, did not have a significant impact on the epidemiological situation.
These intentions were announced in advance, however, as previously reported, the Russian occupation administrations at TOT of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts simultaneously refused to unblock the movement across the contact line with the same unreasonable explanation, which is another evidence of Russian external control on TOT of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
On June 15, the Government of Ukraine has adopted a decision to ease the crossing regime of the administrative line with TOT of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Since June 15, 1012 crossings to the territory of mainland Ukraine have been recorded through EECP.
Also, it was possible to establish the process of crossing the contact line through the EECP "Stanytsa Luhanska" this week. The work of the EECP was established in reverse mode, from 7 am to 1 pm citizens crossed from the TOT of Luhansk oblast to the territory of free Luhansk oblast, and from 1 pm to 6 pm crossed in the opposite direction. In total, since June 10, 2020, 494 persons arrived to the territory of free Luhansk oblast through the contact line EECP "Stanytsa Luhanska".
However, operation of EECPs on the territory of Donetsk oblast was completely blocked due to the position of the Russian occupation administration on the TOT of Donetsk oblast of Ukraine. Since June 10, 2020, armed groups controlled by the Russian Federation let only 13 persons to the territory of free Donetsk oblast.
It should be noted that the Russian Federation, which has already distributed around 200 000 Russian passports among the residents of the TOT of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine, planned to attract the residents of Donbas to vote for amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. For this purpose, 12 special polling stations have been opened in Rostov oblast. At the same time, the process of granting Russian citizenship to the residents of TOT of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine is being gradually restored for the period of quarantine.
On June 18, 2020, a bus with 42 persons was scheduled to the sector of the Migration Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation in Matveev Kurha city (up to 30 engineers and technicians of coal mines, the rest were militants of Russian controlled illegal armed groups).
On June 17-18, 7 trucks that contained 95 tons of humanitarian aid from international organizations (food and hygiene kits, safety goggles, masks, building materials, and the like) crossed through the EECP "Novotroitske" (Donetsk oblast) to the territory of TOT of Donetsk oblast. The Ministry for Reintegration, within its competence, provided cargo clearance support.
Further transformation of the temporarily occupied Crimea into a military training area of the Russian Federation
Over the last period, the forces and means of the Russian occupation contingent in Crimea and Sevastopol were massively involved in rehearsals of the parade, which was scheduled for May 9, and conducted scheduled training.
Rehearsals were held in Sevastopol, Simferopol and Kerch.
Expansion of forms and methods of militarization of the Crimean Peninsula of Ukraine that the occupying state uses to increase the combat capacity of the forces of the Southern Military District and other formations should be noted separately.
Specifically, the International Military-Technical Forum "Army-2020" is planned for August 23-29. Commander of the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation, Colonel-General Oleksandr Dvornykov, stressed that the largest events of the Army Forum will take place in Rostov oblast and Sevastopol. In total, more than 40 units, as well as defence industry enterprises, scientific and educational institutions will take part in the exercises.
The Ministry for Reintegration will follow closely the list of participants and take measures to prevent the use of military forum to legalize the illegal occupation of Crimea by attracting foreign guests.
In addition to the training of air defence units, live fire of coastal defence units, which the occupation forces conducted last week, the patrol boat "P-834" of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the framework of the experiment had a female crew, who received basic training at the Joint Maritime Training Center in St. Petersburg (3 months), and now trains in Crimea in the subversive detachment of marine special forces.
Nerve-wrecking experience of war criminals over Ukraine's desire to create an international platform for the de-occupation of Crimea
The clear position of the Ukrainian authorities on the need to create a high-level negotiating platform for the preparation for the de-occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol caused a nerve-wrecking experience of the actors who took an active part in ensuring the capture of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014.
In particular, war criminals Mykhailo Sheremet (the so-called "Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation"), Serhii Tsekov (the so-called "Senator from Crimea" in the Federation Council of the Russian Federation) and the Russian-controlled "public" actor Zaur Smirnov spoke on this topic and tried to emphasize the "hopelessness" of this path but at the same time admitted that such a platform could be created with the support of Ukraine's international partners.
Ukraine will continue to make efforts in this area, in particular, to protect human rights, which are systematically violated by the occupying state.
Therefore, last week the human rights center "Memorial" recognized another 6 figures in Crimean "Hizb ut-Tahrir" cases as political prisoners. Also, Amnesty International organization recognized as prisoners of conscience the other six Crimean political prisoners, figures in Yalta "case of Hizb ut-Tahrir" Emir-Usein Kuk, Muslim Aliiev, Vadym Siruk, Enver Bekirov, Arsen Dzhepparov and Refat Alimov (on June 22, the appeal against the sentence dated from November 2019 will be considered).
On June 19, the Kremlin-controlled "Supreme Court of Crimea" considered the appeal filed against the decision of the occupation "Kyiv district court" of Simferopol on the election of a preventive measure against the Ukrainian servicemen Yevhen Dobrynskyi, who, according to available information, was kidnapped in the end of May 2020 from his place of duty near the administrative line with Crimea.
The Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimean UOC of KP Kliment currently tries to obtain the status of public defender in the criminal case of Ukrainian activist Oleh Prykhodko, who was detained in October 2019 and accused of preparation of a terrorist act and illicit manufacture of explosives. In fact, the Archbishop's appeal will be considered at the next court session.
The information was prepared with the assistance of the intelligence community of Ukraine, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Command of the Joint Forces Operation, and Mission of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Civil-military administrations of Donetsk and Luhansk, Kherson Regional State Administration.
We thank colleagues for their cooperation.