Ukrainian society is consolidated and ready for resistance – Bariiev

February 24, 2023

Chairman of the Board of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, head of the Department for Legal and Foreign Affairs of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Eskender Bariiev, during his speech at a press conference dedicated to the Day of Resistance to the Occupation of Crimea, said that in February 2014, when the occupation of Crimea began, Ukraine was not ready to resist Russian aggression, but now everything has changed.

Full text of the speech

Fight back then! Let’s win now!

Yes, it is with this slogan that I want to start my speech.

When the occupation of Crimea began in February 2014, neither the Ukrainian authorities, nor the Ukrainian society, nor the Ukrainian army, nor the countries guarantors of Ukraine’s sovereignty, the signatories of the Budapest Memorandum, nor the international community were ready to resist Russian aggression.

We, as a civil society, carried out non-violent actions:

– took to the squares to protect the sovereignty of Ukraine;

– carried out mass actions along the roads against the import of Russian military equipment;

— created a human chain to protect the Ukrainian military units from the attack of the Russian terrorist army;

– handed over food and household items for the Ukrainian army;

– they suggested that our men be allowed into the military units in order to defend their land together with the Armed Forces of Ukraine;

– asked military units to issue weapons for resistance, as was done in 2022 in Kyiv and other cities of Ukraine;

– For 8 months from the beginning of the occupation of Crimea, the state flag of Ukraine fluttered over the building of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, until the occupants arrested the building.

All these years, we have been doing a great job of consolidating Ukrainian society in the struggle for the liberation of Crimea. All these 9 years, we have been actively involved in all international venues and informed the international community about the crimes of Russia in Crimea and that Russia will not stop there.

All these years, our compatriots have been persecuted in Crimea, and the numbers speak for themselves: 284 political prisoners and those prosecuted in criminal cases during the occupation of Crimea, 195 of them are representatives of the Crimean Tatar people.

We will win now, because the Ukrainian society is consolidated and ready for resistance, the Ukrainian authorities have a principled position, the Ukrainian army is waging a heroic struggle, and the international community is providing military, political, diplomatic and economic assistance in the fight against the occupant.

Unfortunately, even today, in the 9th year of the Crimean resistance, some state bodies of Ukraine violate the legislation of Ukraine.

Thus, the office of the Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubents, in violation of the Law of Ukraine On Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine, the resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine appointed a representative of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Crimea without consultations with the representative body of the indigenous people, as well as without consultations with the representative The authority plans to hold a public event in Crimea on February 26, 2023.

There should be no such actions and violations of the legislation of Ukraine by officials, because we fought and are fighting for a European legal democratic Ukraine.