UNESCO notes deterioration in situation with education, use of Ukrainian language, preservation of cultural heritage in Crimea
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine declares that the latest report by Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay notes the deterioration of the situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea in the sphere of education, the use of the Ukrainian language and the preservation of cultural heritage.
"The published document provides facts of gross violations of the rights of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars by the occupation authorities in the sphere of education, the use of their native language and ensuring freedom of the media," the press service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
The report notes that, despite the order of the International Court of Justice dated April 19, 2017, which obliged the Russian Federation to ensure the accessibility of education in the Ukrainian language, the occupation authorities continue destroying the education system for the Ukrainian-speaking population of Crimea. Thus, the number of pupils studying in the Ukrainian language in general educational establishments of Crimea has also decreased by over 98% in comparison with 2014.
"The report states that there is no possibility for Ukraine to access its cultural heritage sites, historical and architectural monuments, museums, biosphere reserves, scientific centers, etc. The facts of illegal archaeological excavations and export of cultural property from the territory of Crimea are being recorded," it says.
It is noted that the state of conservation of the Khan Palace in Bakhchisaray, which was included in the preliminary list of UNESCO's cultural heritage, is of particular concern. "These works are aimed at the complete destruction of the monument through the loss of its authenticity," the Foreign Ministry said.
In addition, the document notes the need to establish an effective monitoring mechanism for the situation in the occupied Crimea and reports on consultations between Ukraine and the UNESCO Secretariat on the format for introducing direct monitoring in the sphere of the organization's competence.