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Celebrating the Illegal Annexation in Cyprus is Unacceptable

A year ago, Russia announced the "reunification" of four regions of Ukraine — Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia — seized during the military aggression. This marked another chapter in Russia's ongoing series of war crimes against Ukraine and the civilized world. The announcement of annexation was preceded by a completely false and poorly executed spectacle of a so-called "referendum" in the temporarily occupied territories of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, and Donetsk regions of Ukraine.

Under the barrels of the occupiers' guns and the cameras of Kremlin's propagandists, a small number of local residents were forced to participate in this Kremlin puppet show called a "referendum." The results of this Kremlin production were predetermined, just like other circus performances called "elections" in Russia.

This caused outrage and condemnation worldwide. Not a single civilized country recognized the fictitious "referendum" as legitimate, and none of them recognized the results of this show with the so-called "free will of the residents" of the four occupied regions. Everything was done in the old Soviet traditions of forcibly annexing countries and territories. In the same way, in 1939-1940, the USSR captured Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Moldova, and eastern regions of Poland. During the same period, Soviet Russia seized part of Finland — Karelia. Now, the mad Russian dictator Putin is trying to replicate Stalin's "successes."

Russia hasn't changed and will never change. It has always been and will always be an empire of evil and lies until it is destroyed. Hopefully, this will happen soon. All hope is with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Everyone remembers the statement by Russia's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Grushko, addressed to NATO on the eve of the full-scale invasion of the Russian army into Ukraine: "NATO should pack its bags and return to 1997 borders." In human terms, this means that all of Eastern Europe belongs to us, and if you don't voluntarily give it to us, we will take it by force. When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, it began implementing these plans. Only the unprecedented heroism, courage, and resilience of Ukrainian soldiers and the Ukrainian people prevented the Kremlin's plans from materializing, saving Europe from the invasion of the wild horde of Moscow barbarians.

In the Kremlin's plans, Ukraine was just the first stage in the war against the West. The appetites of Kremlin maniacs extend far beyond Ukraine's borders. Only clinical idiots can fail to understand this.

The European Union has condemned Russia's illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions, which contradicts all international norms and rules. Each EU member state has clearly and unequivocally condemned the criminal seizure of a part of Ukraine's territory. On September 30, 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus also issued a statement condemning Russia's illegal annexation of part of Ukrainian territory. The statement said that "recent fictitious 'referendums' held in the occupied parts of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine are illegal, null and void, and contrary to the fundamental principles of international law." The Republic of Cyprus, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has unmistakably supported Ukraine's territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and condemned Russia's criminal actions.

In addition, the network of Russian intelligence influence operating on the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, following Moscow's instructions, plans to conduct an active event on September 30, 2023, in the city of Limassol to commemorate the so-called "reunification" of the Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia, seized during the criminal aggression, with Russia. This event is announced by a pseudo-public organization called the "Coordination Council of Russian Compatriots in Cyprus (CCRC)." Simulating public activities, CCRC serves as a cover for numerous Russian intelligence agents in Cyprus. The "special operation" to legitimize the illegal seizure of foreign territories is planned to take place near another unit of Russian intelligence — the honorary consulate of the Russian Federation in Limassol.

As in previous cases, Dmitry Apraksin, the chairman of CCRC, will be the leading figure in this thoroughly deceitful operation. CCRC has officially organized all pro-Russian propaganda events on the island since February of the previous year. Dmitry Apraksin typically acts as the leading and chief speaker at these events, expressing support for the military criminal Putin, glorifying the war crimes of the Russian army against Ukraine, and calling for the continuation of the war until the complete destruction of Ukraine. As a citizen of Cyprus, he refers to the European Union as a "Satanic entity," claims there is no freedom and democracy in the EU, and speaks disparagingly of European values. He spreads lies from Russian state propaganda and disinformation. He calls Russia a peaceful state defending itself from aggression by the European Union, NATO, and the United States, while referring to Cyprus as a non-sovereign state under the external control of Washington and Brussels. Whenever possible, Apraksin expresses loyalty to the terrorist state and personally to the war criminal Putin.

At the same time, he prefers to live in the European Union, not Russia.

He sent his daughter to study at the American Academy in Nicosia, not in a Russian state school in his hometown of Ukhta. He arranged for her to study at one of the universities in the United States through a student exchange program, rather than in some Russian university in Magadan.

He prefers to spend vacations with his family in Paris, not in Moscow.

This strange inconsistency is typical of all Russian patriots on the Kremlin's payroll.

It's worth noting that Apraksin also holds the position of Chief of the IT Department at the University of Nicosia and has access to the computer networks of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Cyprus, essentially the government of the country.

Celebrating the illegal annexation of several regions of Ukraine is unacceptable in a European Union member state. This is unacceptable from moral, ethical, and international legal perspectives. This act violated the principles of international territorial integrity and sovereignty enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

If the authorities of Cyprus allow a group of supporters of the criminal aggressor state to celebrate the illegal and criminal seizure of part of the territory of an independent state, it would mean that the island's authorities would automatically become accomplices in this international war crime. References to freedom of speech do not apply here. In that case, the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus should allow everyone to hold celebratory events marking the occupation of the northern part of the country by Turkish troops. If any government officials or the Limassol municipality refer to freedom of speech and self-expression, then freedom of speech and self-expression should apply to everyone, not just Russians. By the way, most members of the Limassol City Council are members of the Communist Party of Cyprus. This party has long been on Moscow's payroll and serves as its conduit of influence in Cyprus.

Celebrating the criminal and barbaric seizure of the territory of an independent state, a member of the UN, on the territory of the Republic of Cyprus will have long-term negative consequences for the stability and security of Cypriot society and the state. Allowing the legitimization of illegal actions, such as the annexation of part of the territory of sovereign, independent Ukraine, must be countered.

We must work on strengthening sanctions and diplomatic isolation of Russia, rather than turning a blind eye to its crimes. Any activity of the Russian intelligence agency's influence on the territory of the Republic of Cyprus aimed at legitimizing illegal actions, such as the annexation of part of the territory of sovereign, independent Ukraine, must be stopped.

Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Armed Forces of Ukraine! Glory to General Zaluzhnyi! Respect to General Budanov!

Source: Boris Demash

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