Our Association sent in August, 2021, the submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Ms. Tendayi Achiume, for her forthcoming report to the General Assembly on the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. Our submission was devoted to the issues of contemporary forms of racism, xenophobia and racial discrimination in the Crimean peninsula. We pointed for the UN Rapporteur to the details of the ongoing Case 166 “Ukraine v. Russia” in the International Court of Justice devoted to the brutal violations the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, committed by the Russian “authorities” in the Crimea.

We stressed in the submission that article 14 of UN Durban Declaration recognizes that colonialism has led to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and that indigenous peoples were victims of colonialism and continue to be victims of its consequences. This thesis directly apply to Crimean situation as Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians are the peoples who are victims of Russia’s colonialism and imperialism and Crimean Tatars are the indigenous people, recognised in such statute by the international community and by the Ukrainian state. Racial discrimination of Crimean Tatars as the indigenous people is a part of a modern Russian policy and a ground for myth on the allegedly “historically Russian Crimea”.

Our submission pointed that the article 15 of Durban Declaration recognizes that genocide in terms of international law constitute crimes against humanity and are major sources and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; and acknowledges the untold evil and suffering caused by these acts and affirm that wherever and whenever they occurred, they must be condemned and their recurrence prevented. This thesis directly apply to Crimean situation as exactly Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars become in XX century the victims of the genocides committed by the Russian Soviet authorities, as Holodomor of 1932-1933 against the Ukrainians and the Surgun (illegal deportation from the Crimea) of 1944-1967 against the Crimean Tatars. And modern Russia’s policy in the Crimea is the direct attempt to justify those genocides and to create the prerequisites for their repeated commission.

And more, as our Association reminded to the UN Rapporteur, article 20 of Durban Declaration recognizes that racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance are among the root causes of armed conflict and very often one of its consequences and recalls that non-discrimination is a fundamental principle of international humanitarian law. This thesis directly apply to Crimean situation as the Russian chauvinist and discriminative policy against Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars is the main ground of the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict, including the illegal occupation and the attempted annexation of the Crimea by Russia since 2014. Modern Russian highest authorities, making attempts to justify the Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, even refuse criminally to recognise the existence of Ukrainians as a segregate people, distinct ethnic group.

So our Association believes that a Special Rapporteur’s report on the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration will reflect the urgent duty to enforce the monitoring of the situation of gross and systematic violation by Russia the Declaration’s demands in the modern conditions, including current situation in the Crimea.