How Ukrainian “refugees” are being greeted in Crimea

27 / 03 / 2022

Last week Russian security forces have been transporting Ukrainian citizens from besieged cities of Mariupol, Berdyansk, Melitopol and other settlements into the occupied Crimea and Russian Federation. According to the Representation of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (PPU ARC), Russian troops are deliberately shelling humanitarian corridors in the direction of Zaporizhzhia and other Ukrainian controlled territories – so that people have no choice in what direction to go. 

“The settlers say that they had to wait for over 20 hours at Chongar border crossing. At night, the air temperature drops to -8 C outside. To save fuel people must turn off their car engines and end up waiting without any heat. According to eyewitnesses, many hastily fleeing Russian shelling get into these queues without warm clothes, some women stand in the cold wearing robes and slippers,” writes the ARC PPU. 

In addition, Russian border guards interrogate most people, search cars, etc. After crossing the administrative border [into the occupied Crimea] they end up being recorded in the so-called special registry. People are forced to sign a “certificate of temporary asylum on the territory of the Russian Federation” as their Ukrainian passports are taken away. 

“The so-called certificate of asylum in the Russian Federation, issued by the occupying authorities of Crimea, is a piece of paper that has no legal power in Ukraine and almost no other country in the world. Ukrainian citizens who ended up in the occupied Crimea due to forced deportation from the areas of hostilities, cannot be considered refugees, since they did not cross the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine. Such persons are victims of a war crime, namely the forced deportation or displacement of the population of the occupied territory (Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The persons responsible for such deportation are war criminals who must be prosecuted,” notes Yevgeny Yaroshenko, an analyst at KrymSOS.

On March 25, INzhir media reported that “refugees from Ukraine” were being settled separately and living in “poor conditions.” People do not know what awaits them in the future and are faced with a biased attitudes on the part of the occupiers. This is the situation in Dzhankoy, where Ukrainians were placed in school No. 8. In doing so Russian authorities are trying to create a media spectacle of Ukrainians who are supposedly fleeing en masse to the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea.

According to INzhir’s reporter “Ukrainian citizens chanted “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!!!” while in the school that became a temporary shelter. Sounds of Ukrainian anthem and protest chants against the Russian invasion filled the school premises. The security forces of the self-proclaimed Crimean government did not interfere for fear of violent resistance that could become public.” 

Refugee camp at G8 School in Dzhankoi

We hope that our citizens will be able to return to the Ukrainian controlled territory soon. 

We remind you that Ukrainian citizens from the occupied territories and cities where active hostilities are taking place, are now being forcibly taken to the Russian Federation, ORDLO or the occupied Crimea and into the so-called filtration camps where people are interrogated, their belongings are searched, and their phones are checked. Read about one of these cases on the CrimeaSOS site. 

This article was translated by our volunteer Nata


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