At the same time as the Yanukovych regime’s cultural property crimes are being exposed, (pro-)Russian activists are mirroring them with propaganda that accuses the resistance of equivalent crimes (in this case, corruption and illicit export) and sins (unpatriotic behaviour).
The ‘absurdity [Абсурдность]’ of the ‘fake [фейк]’ news is ‘obvious [очевидной]’. But it can be convincing to people who do not have and have never had reliable access to reliable information. And it can be convenient to locals and outsiders who want to promote their favoured political-historical narratives. So it is important to disprove it.
On the 13th of March, Russian LifeNews stated that Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had ‘supposedly exported Scythians[‘] gold [worth $20 billion] as a guarantee of IMF debt repayments [якобы вывез золото скифов [оценивалась ими в 20 миллиардов долларов] как гарантию возврата долга МВФ]’.
The head of Ukraine’s Museum of Historical Treasures (Музей Історичних Коштовностей), Lyudmila Strokova, has explained that (apart from artefacts that have been legally and temporarily loaned out for international exhibitions),
Scythian gold, just like the rest of the museum’s collection[,] is in the museum that is located on the territory of Kiev-Pechersk [Lavra] reserve [the National Sanctuary of “Sofiya of Kyiv”]. It was not exported anywhere. Nobody even tried to do that.
[Золото скифов, как и вся коллекция музея исторических ценностей Украины, находится в стенах музея, который находится на территории Киево-Печерского заповедника… и никуда оно не вывозилось. И даже не было таких попыток.]