In February 2022, as part of growing Russia’s militaristic propaganda, the Russia-controlled occupiers intensively carried out various “patriotic” measures in Crimea aimed at further intimidating the peninsula population and convincing them of the alleged “steadfastness” of the invaders’ “administration”. In particular, on the anniversary of the end of the Soviet aggression in Afghanistan, solemn “rallies” and “flower-laying” were held with the participation of leaders of the so-called “Crimean regional branch of the Russian Union of Veterans of Afghanistan”, Vladimir Tereshchenko and Samir Aslanov and witn representatives of the local Russian military “administration”. In addition, on February 18, the occupiers held in the Crimea, with the involvement of “personnel” of their punitive units and representatives of church structures, “mourning events” in “honor of soldiers of the special unit “Berkut” who died in the winter of 2014 in Kyiv”.

The occupiers also celebrated the “Cadet Day” on February 17 in militarized Crimean schools with appropriate manifestations of hate speech and war propaganda. Our Association has already written about the militarization of Crimean education and, in particular, it sent relevant communications to UN and OSCE agencies. It should be added that, according to the occupiers’ statements, in Yevpatoria alone, they have created more than 20 “cadet classes” where more than 500 schoolchildren are ideologically and militaristly treated. In addition to it Russian invaders conduct “lessons of courage” in school institutions, both these veterans of the Soviet-Afghan war and purely fake personalities, who allegedly had experience of service in the Soviet Army, are involved there en masse.

At the same time, on February 18, Andriy Kozenko, the so-called “coordinator” of the “Russia-Donbass” Integration Committee”, said that “groups of Cossacks and volunteers were being formed in Crimea” to be sent to Russian-occupied Eastern Ukraine. It should be remembered that Kozenko’s collaboration with Russia has been engaged in Crimean “politics” since 2001 under the control of Russian special services, in the framework of the “Russian Community of Crimea”, under the auspices of Sergei Tsekov. And after Russia’s occupation started Mr. Kozenko received the post of “vice-head of Crimea’s State Council” till 2016, when he has been appointed aggressor-state as a “deputy of the Russia’s  State Duma” from the “Simferopolsky District”.

Mr. Kozenko distinguished himself on his “parliamentary path” with a lot of propaganda statements on various issues – on UN General Assembly’s Crimean resolutions, on marking Crimea on “Apple” maps, on the consequences of the incident in the Kerch Strait, on the renaming the street in Simferopol “in honor” of the war criminal Zakharchenko (Kozenko was sent to his funerals in Donetsk by the Duma) and on the spread of “Russian citizenship” in Eastern Ukraine. As part of his business interests, Mr. Kozenko was concerned about the smuggling of fuel on the “Delphi” tanker and on the “extension of licenses” for Crimean healthcare facilities. Since 2017, Kozenko has been appointed by aggressor to lead the work of the aforementioned invaders’ “integration committee” of the Eastern Ukraine, which, however, did not “excel”, except for a number of semi-fake gatherings and stillborn structures, such as the “Center for Academic Development “Russia-Donbass”.

Unlike Russian propagandists, our Association covered the real range of “deputy” Kozenko’s interests. These include attempts to seize the “Yakir” (“Anchor”) recreation center in Koktebel, together with the deputy’s own “aide” and part-time scammer Denis Volkov, which resulted in Volkov’s escape to Vietnam. This includes also the housing construction of new high-rise buildings for Russian colonizers on the territories of the former health care facilities of Yalta, including a children’s clinic and women’s consultative clinic, together with Kozenko’s “senior partners”, Andrei Rostenko and Sergei Aksyonov.

In his Yalta deals, among other things, Mr. Kozenko himself agreed to become a “roof” for “black builder” Dmitry Tyukayev, who paid many thousands of dollars a month for political and forceful “cover-up” of his machinations, both for the “deputy” and for the “police”. Mr. Tyukayev, known for setting fire to rivals, beating journalists and outright fraud, was imprisoned in September 2020, but has paid off and continues to build housing for colonizers on the Southern coast of Crimea. However, both participation in these scams and in a leap with a series of replacements of the Russia-controlled “mayors” of Simferopol led to the fact that Kozenko’s “subscription” to the State Duma was not “extended” by the Russians in the fall of 2021.

Since then, the politician, who has amassed considerable wealth from these frauds, has focused in the public sphere on the “Donetsk issue”. Given the above, it is obvious that Kozenko’s statements about “Cossacks and volunteers” may be purely fake or it may mean the transfer of a purely criminal element to the East of Ukraine, which will rely on looting and other theft of property seized from the local population and Ukraine’s public ownership.

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