Anyone who travels to the occupied Crimea without a Russian passport can be a designated spy

May 5, 2023

After the start of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine, we see that getting into the occupied territory without a Russian passport is too risky. Unfortunately, anyone who today travels to the occupied Crimea from Ukraine without occupation documents can be a designated spy or saboteur.

For example, this happened to a simple 25-year-old Crimean Tatar woman Leniie Umerova, who was going home to the occupied Crimea to look after her sick father.

As it became known to the CTRC from the girl’s brother Aziz Umerov, Leniie, after 5 months of illegal detention in places of captivity, was taken to the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center in Moscow and accused of espionage.

We remind you that on December 4, 2022, Russian security forces detained Leniie Umerova after crossing the Georgian-Russian border, allegedly for violating the rules of the regime zone and for the lack of Russian documents. The girl was traveling from Kyiv to the occupied Crimea due to her father’s deteriorating health. Until March 16, Lenia was held in a temporary detention center for foreign citizens near Vladikavkaz. The occupants found the girl guilty of violating the regime of the state border (part 1 of article 18 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation) and fined her 2,000 rubles. After that, she was repeatedly assigned new administrative arrests under various pretexts, in particular, allegedly disobedience to law enforcement officers. At this time, the passport of a citizen of Ukraine was taken away from Leniie.

On May 4, her parents tried to visit Leniie in the pre-trial detention center, but they were not allowed in, saying that she was no longer there. They physically went around various Russian services and looked for her. As a result, it became known that Leniie was already in Moscow at Lefortovo.

As it turned out, the occupants kept the girl under the pretext of administration in order to prepare a criminal case against Ukrainian citizen Leniie Umerova.

The Crimean Tatar Resource Center strongly protests against the arbitrariness of the occupiers and declares that such actions of the occupiers are illegal, politically motivated and criminal. By such actions, the Russian authorities violate the provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

The Crimean Tatar Resource Center demands the immediate release of Leniie Umerova and other political prisoners of the Kremlin.

At the same time, the Crimean Tatar Resource Center notes that now visiting the occupied territories without the person having occupation documents carries significant risks for those who are trying to do so. The occupiers, without any legal grounds, can detain you and put you behind bars on trumped-up charges. Unfortunately, in modern realities, anyone can become a hostage to the occupants.

We believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and hope that soon everyone will return home to our de-occupied Ukrainian Crimea. Therefore, we call now to refrain from trips to the occupied territory!