protection of cultural heritage in the territory of occupied Crimea: pursuit of international legal channels by Ukraine

At the seminar on archaeology in occupied territories and in zones of armed conflict, the former Director-General of Bakhchisaray State Historical-Cultural Reserve, current Project Coordinator of the Crimean Institute for Strategic Studies, Elmira Ablyalimova (Ельміра Аблялімова) discussed protection of cultural heritage in the territory of occupied Crimea [and] pursuit of international legal channels.

LB reported that Ablyalimova observed that the Kerch-Sevastopol highway-building project had been driving an ‘archaeological boom [археологический бум]’ in occupied Crimea, which had involved around 1,000 people, who had found ‘more than 100 important cultural sites [более 100 важных культурных объектов]’ across 600,000 square metres of land. Yet, ‘only three [только три]’ have been preserved and those three have nothing to do with the Crimean Tatar community. Furthermore, there has been misleadingly inauthentic reconstruction of historic Crimean Tatar buildings in the Bakhchisarai Nature Reserve.

Meanwhile, as paraphrased by LB, Ablyalimova addressed ‘massive movement of museum objects from Crimea to the territory of the Russian Federation [из Крыма на территорию РФ массово перемещаются музейные предметы]’, such as pieces from the Central Museum of Tavrida, Bakhchisaray Palace and the Yalta Mountain-Forest Nature Reserve, which were displayed in the exhibition on the Golden Horde: History and Culture at the Hermitage-Kazan Exhibition Centre (in Kazan).

As quoted by LB, according to Ablyalimova, ‘all these facts are consistent manifestations of the policy of Russia, [which is] aimed at leveling [in other words, flattening or razing] the Crimean Tatar factor in the history of Crimea [все эти факты являются последовательными проявлениями политики России, направленной на нивелирование крымскотатарского фактора в истории Крыма]’.

Her presentation was recorded and shared by Wild Fox, on Facebook as well as YouTube.


Ablyalimova, E. 2019: “Захист культурної спадщини на території окупованого Криму: пошук міжнародно-правових шляхів [Protection of cultural heritage in the territory of occupied Crimea: Pursuit of international legal channels]”. Paper presented at the Seminar on Archaeology in Occupied Territories and in Zones of Armed Conflict [Археологія на окупованих територіях та у зонах збройних конфліктів], Kyiv, Ukraine, 16th May. [YouTube, 2nd June.] Available at:


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