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Russian delegation presents report on situation in Crimea at UNESCO session

October 21, 2014, 23:45 UTC+3 PARIS
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PARIS, October 21. /TASS/. Russian delegation has presented a report on the situation in Crimea at a session of the UNESCO Executive Board where it refutes the claims by the Ukrainian government and mass media on an alleged removal of cultural values and repressions against media workers.

Russia’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Eleonora Mitrofanova told the session on Tuesday the endless carping on the part of Kiev was overtly untrue.

“There are no confirmations whatsoever to the absolutely unfounded accusations over an alleged removal of cultural values of some kind from Crimea to other cities of Russia,” she said. “At any rate, it’s untrue in the interpretation of the Ukrainian side that means ‘robbery’ while saying ‘removal’.”

“The situation is totally opposite,” Mitrofanova continued. “Crimea is a vault of historical relics and a total of 318 big and small museums are located in the peninsular region today.”

Equally groundless are the charges with putting obstacles to reporters in Crimea. The region has 47 television channels and 59 radio stations today, including the ones run by the Crimean Tatar community. The workers of the latter media outlets plan to set up a professional journalistic association.

“Ukrainian media outlets can operate freely in Crimea, too, in the status of foreign media,” the report said.

Along with it, the Russian delegation called the attention of the Executive Board members to the numerous facts of attempts on the safety of Crimean reporters working in Ukraine.

In part, the report mentioned the detention and beating of photographer Maxim Vassilevsky and reporter Yevgeniya Korolyova working for the Krymski Telegraf publication, who suffered at the hands of the Right Sector grouping militants, and the detention of Anna Mokhova, a string correspondent of the Krym broadcasting company, who was stopped by officers of the Ukrainian Security Service during a trip to the war-torn Eastern Ukraine.

In spite of the current highly complicated stage in Russian-Ukrainian relations, Russia is highly interested in an onward and gradual cooperation with Ukrainian partners, Mitrofanova said.

“UNESCO that was set up on the ruins left by World War II is entering the 70th year of its history and we think this is a good reason for considering the harsh lessons that should be drawn to prevent the horrors of the Holocaust, Khatyn (a village in Belarus where the entire population was burned alive by Ukrainian punitive squads at the peak of the war) and Babiy Yar (a site in Kiev that evidenced mass extermination of Jews by the Nazis),” she said.

“The fifty million people who died /during World War II/ appeal to our memory,” Mitrofanova said.

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