Annexed peninsula: Kiev’s plan for a “liberation” of Crimea

Status: 02.04.2023 4:28 p.m

The Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea has been under Russian control since 2014. Now Kiev has presented a twelve-point plan for their “liberation”. There is talk of “cleansing” and “denazification”.

The secretary of Ukraine’s Security and Defense Council has presented a plan of what Crimea should look like after the end of the occupation. He published the twelve-point plan on Facebook.

In it, Oleksiy Danilov proposes demolishing the Crimean Bridge, which links the car and rail link to the Russian heartland and which Russia built after the 2014 annexation, as part of the “de-occupation”.

“Cleansing along the lines of denazification”

He described the representatives of the power apparatus in Moscow as “garbage”. According to Danilov, the civil servants in Crimea who had colluded with the Russian occupiers during the annexation would be subjected to a purge along the lines of the denazification of Germany after World War II.

He also specifically mentioned judges, prosecutors and members of the security forces who had sided with Russia in 2014. Ukrainians who worked for the Moscow-installed regional government are to be prosecuted, lose state pensions and barred from public office.

All Russian citizens who moved to Crimea after 2014 are to be expelled, according to the plan. Land purchases and other contracts are to be cancelled.

In addition, all political prisoners, including many Crimean Tatars, should be released immediately. “A comprehensive program of “detoxification” is being implemented, neutralizing the consequences of the long-term influence of Russian propaganda on the public consciousness of part of the population of the peninsula,” writes Danilov in point 9.

Renaming of Sevastopol

Danilov also suggested renaming the port city of Sevastopol, which has been the main base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet since the 19th century. The city could be called “Object No. 6” until the Ukrainian parliament decides on a new name – something like “Akhtyar”, after a village that once stood there.

The Moscow-appointed governor in Sevastopol, Mikhail Rasvozhayev, described Danilov’s plan in Russian state media as “sick”. “It would be wrong to take what sick people say seriously,” he said. “They have to be healed, and our military is taking care of that right now,” Rasvozhayev said, referring to the war against Ukraine, which Russia calls “special operations.”

Russia wants to defend Crimea

Russia has repeatedly threatened to defend Crimea by any means necessary. The Kremlin warned the Western Allies not to encourage Kiev to recapture Crimea by supplying arms. The Ukrainian leadership, on the other hand, had appealed to its allies not to be impressed by Moscow’s nuclear threats in the conflict. There had been several drone attacks in Crimea, some with deaths and injuries.

Moscow has made recognition of its sovereignty over Crimea and other occupied Ukrainian territories a condition of peace. Kiev, on the other hand, is demanding that Russia vacate all occupied Ukrainian territories as a condition for peace talks.

Danilov’s considerations come at a stage in the war when Ukrainian forces are believed to be preparing an offensive to recapture Russian-held territories. Main battle tanks and other modern weapon systems supplied by the West could also be used. Russian troops are currently concentrating their attacks on the city of Bakhmut in the Donbass. The fighting has gone on for eight months without fully conquering the city.

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