President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the signing of a decree declaring February 26 the Day of Resistance to Occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol.
During the opening of the Age of Crimea 2020 forum, the Head of State recalled that on that day, six years ago, the largest gathering in support of the integrity and unity of Ukraine took place in Simferopol.
“Honoring the courage and heroism of all participants of the rally, today I am signing a decree on the Day of Resistance to Occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. This day will be celebrated annually on February 26,” the President said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that the return of Crimea to Ukraine was not only his goal as the President and his position as a citizen.
“This is not just our shared dream. This is the key to security on the planet. This is a restoration of trust. Trust in international law and justice,” he said “President of Ukraine declares February 26 the Day of Resistance to Occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol”
On 13 February 2020 the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky met with the Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in the AR of Сrimea Anton Korynevych and his deputies Darya Svyrydova and Tamila Tasheva.
The meeting began with the discussion of the situation with children in the temporarily occupied AR of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. The Permanent Representative informed the President about the main difficulties facing the children in the occupied territory, including the political prisoners’ children, orphan children, militarization of education and involvement of children and youth into the so-called “Junior Army”. Anton Korynevych passed Volodymyr Zelensky a painting by the daughter of political prisoner Uzeir Abdulayev and children’s letters collected by the initiative “Crimean Childhood” “The President of Ukraine met with the Mission’s team: briefly the major”
Bilateral release of the imprisoned persons took place twice over the past six months and we must continue for a certain purpose to exchange of prisoners on formula “all for all”, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky noted.
“We cannot stop until more than 200 of Ukrainians are being held in inhuman conditions in the temporarily ungoverned territories of Donbas. And about 100 of Ukrainians and Crimean Tartars are imprisoned in Crimea and the Russian Federation”, the Head of the State said in his statement at the Munich Security Conference ““We cannot stop until the Ukrainians are being held in the ungoverned territories of Donbass, in Crimea and the Russian Federation”, Volodymyr Zelensky said”
Almost six years have passed since Russia started its aggression against Ukraine, occupied Crimea and initiated hybrid warfare via its proxies in eastern Ukraine. The consolidation of the civilized world in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and resilience of the Ukrainian people stopped this invasion though failed to prevent millions of people from living in occupation.
Everybody, residing in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol was forced to get Russian passports which are not recognized by Ukraine and international community as well as enforced citizenship of the aggressor is not recognized. In Crimea, it is impossible to live without the Russian passports: people who do not have Russian passports are deprived of social services and medical aid.
Position of Ukraine is clear and consistent – residents of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol remain citizens of Ukraine, and are not considered as citizens of Russia “The key messages, made by the deputy Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in the AR of Crimea Tamila Tasheva at the hearing of the U.S. Helsinki Commission on “Life under occupation: human rights situation in Crimea””
The audience of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the First Lady Olena Zelenska with His Holiness Pope Francis took place in Vatican City State.
The Head of State stressed the important role that the Holy See could play in bringing peace to the Ukrainian land.
“The main thing we talked about is peace. He even called me “President of peace” – this is my image in Europe now,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said after the audience.
According to the President of Ukraine, it is important that the meeting with Pope Francis took place two months after the Paris summit in the Normandy format and before the scheduled meeting in Berlin.
“I urged Pope Francis to help with the release of Ukrainians held in Donbas, Crimea and Russia,” he said “Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Pope Francis to help with the release of Ukrainians held in Donbas, Crimea and Russia”
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy notes that the work is currently underway to return Ukrainian citizens illegally detained in the occupied territories and in the Russian Federation. He expressed hope that an agreement on the date of the release of the first part of captives will be reached shortly.
“Returning Ukrainian citizens is one of our top-priority global tasks,” the President said following the 8th session of the High Level Strategic Council between Ukraine and Turkey “President is hopeful that the agreement on the release of detained Ukrainians will be reached soon”
On 29 January 2020, presentation of Occupation of Crimea: “Without insignia, without names and hiding behind civilians” took place in Ukrinform.
Cases of the International Criminal Court (ICC) which covered the events of February and March 2014 in Crimea became the basis for the study, specifically the cases on usage of human shields by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to seizure the military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
“An issue of human shields as a war crime is very important as there have yet to be any cases before the International Criminal Court over the use of human shields by a state participant in an armed conflict, rather than by organized criminal groups. For this reason, they have sought to present the ICC Office of the Prosecutor with maximum proof. This is not the way States behave in times of armed conflict”, the author of the study, Anton Korynevych pointed out.