Ukrainian independent journalists, analysts and civil rights activists contributed to a series of recommendations on EU support to the Crimean peninsula, based on an advocacy visit to Brussels on 26-29 September 2016
The major trends in Crimea are militarization, restriction of freedoms, and population substitution. It is no coincidence that Russian military forces in Syria came to Syria from Crimea. The old Soviet nuclear weapons storage facilities have been reopened (though there is no confirmed information about actual stationing of nuclear weapons there). The cruise missiles fired from the Caspian Sea to Syria (‘Caliber’, with a range of 1,500 km), are already placed in Crimea, effectively covering most of Europe.
Violations of human rights in Crimea (against Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians and ethnic Russians loyal to the Ukrainian state) are frequent from the side of Russian law enforcement bodies and well documented by local organisations and activists. Over the last 2 years, media in Crimea decreased by 88%, and the few remaining independent journalists live under constant pressure. People are imprisoned for not recognizing the illegal annexation.
While around 40,000 IDPs moved from Crimea to continental Ukraine, approximately 120,000 people moved from Russia to the peninsula. The EU sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation are working; it is necessary, however, to promote strict enforcement of the current restrictive measures and to develop further smart sanctions.
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