Since the beginning of the occupation of the Crimean peninsula, Russia has called up about 30,000 citizens of Ukraine for military service, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Emine Dzhaparova said.
"The Kremlin is violating international humanitarian law, using the population of the Ukrainian peninsula to replenish its army. Since the beginning of the occupation, about 30,000 Ukrainian citizens have already been called up for military service in Russia. Russia is artificially and deliberately replacing the composition of the Crimean population, it squeezes out disloyal and replaces them with hundreds of thousands citizens, which, in fact, commits a war crime," Dzhaparova said at the Ukraine 30. International Politics all-Ukrainian forum in Kyiv on Tuesday.
She said the most acute problems created by the occupying Russian authorities are unprecedented militarization, massive violations of human rights and persecution of religious communities, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Muslims of Crimea, violation of international humanitarian law and, in particular, the replacement of the population of the occupied territory by citizens of Russia, transformation of Crimea and surrounding waters into a military outpost in the Azov-Black Sea region.
"Russia is constantly increasing the number of servicemen and equipment in the occupied Crimea. Recently, the Kremlin went even further. Under the guise of military exercises, it closed part of the Black Sea for six months, including in the direction of the Kerch Strait, to foreign warships and state vessels. In addition, the Russian president gave the Russian National Guard the right to block the waters of the Black and Azov Seas. This really creates significant obstacles to international navigation, threatens the security and stability of Ukraine in the world and South-Eastern Europe," the deputy minister said.
Dzhaparova also said that Russia is actively developing the Crimean military infrastructure for its nuclear weapons, reconstructing the infrastructure of Soviet-era nuclear warhead storage facilities.
"Potential carriers of nuclear weapons have already been deployed on the peninsula. Russia is trying to strengthen its planning in Crimea by turning it into a huge military base. At the same time, it suppresses all possible forms of opposition to the occupation, forms of resistance. The main factors of this process are unprecedented and harsh repression against dissidents, and first of all, we are talking about Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars," she said.