The ‘ARC’ expert had monitored the so-called ‘side-event on religious freedoms in Crimea’ arranged by the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the OSCE in Vienna, as on this day, 10 November, the ‘ARC’ continued its participation in 2020 OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting. Oleksii Plotnikov, the expert of the ARC, tracked down the abovementioned ‘side-event’ arranged by the Russian authorities and pro-Russian ‘experts’.

The Russian delegation introduced on ‘side-event’ the so-called representatives of the ethnic groups of Crimea, including Ruslan Bairov, member of the “Civil Chamber of the Republic of Crimea” and Ervin Musayev, formed director of Russian-controlled TV channel “Millet”, claiming to be the “Crimean Tatar leaders”. Also Russian diplomats introduced Anastasia Gridchina as a self-proclaimed “representative of the Ukrainian community” in Crimea and Roman Chegrinets, who alleged to have “represented the Belarusians of Crimea”.

The Russian and pro-Russian speakers repeatedly stated that allegedly “no problems with religious freedom exist in Crimea”. At the same time they supported and approved the punishment on decades of imprisonment for Crimean Muslims for their prays and belief, thanked the Russian punitive bodies in Crimea for such “counteracting the extremism”. 

But mush more time of ‘side-event’ such speakers devoted not to the religious issues but to bring charges against Ukraine claiming that the Ukrainian policies, including the so-called “water blockade” that allegedly “violate every possible international convention” and “amount to genocide”.

So ‘ARC’ expert, Dr. Oleksii Plotnikov had to ask the speakers publicly to list the exact international legal provisions violated by Ukraine in water issue. In response, the representative of Russia stated that he does not have an exact list at the moment, but he will provide it later. However, no any further response followed to this day. More, the ‘side-event’ speakers tried to accuse the ARC experts in ‘nazism’ just for asking question not foreseen by the Russian scenario of ‘side-event’. The ‘ARC’ expert was the only person, except the Russian diplomats and pro-Russian ‘experts’ that started dialogue with speakers in such propagandists` event. Diplomats of third countries, legal defenders, OSCE officers and journalists completely ignored this Russian ‘side-event’ in OSCE.

As Professor Boris Babin noted in social networks, a number of Ukrainian human rights defenders had problems with participation and speaking at the sessions of this OSCE conference online, which was explained by “technical problems”. Also, at the last moment, the OSCE explained by “technical problems” the refusal to hold a pre-registered thematic side-event of Ukrainian human rights defenders dedicated to repressions against freedom of religion in Crimea. Instead of it the OSCE organized the aforementioned Russian propaganda event.