Chersonesos is under Putin's immediate control, - Crimean Platform expert

16.08.2022, 15:45
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An important component of the complex of issues discussed within the framework of the Crimean platform is the fate of the cultural, in particular archaeological, heritage of Crimea under Russian occupation. One of the most striking Crimean archaeological sites is the city of Tauric Chersonesos and its Khora (agricultural district), which, in 2013, on the eve of the Russian occupation, were included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Evelina Kravchenko, archaeologist, expert of the Crimean Platform network, and an employee of the Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, who has worked in Crimea for 15 years, told ArmyInform about the difficult fate of Chersonesos under Russian occupation.

"Russia has decided to use Chersonesos for ideological purposes and shift the focus. From an ancient or Byzantine monument, they began to make it primarily a religious, Christian, or Orthodox monument. And not even in the dimension of Byzantine Orthodoxy of the Middle Ages, but in the format of "Russian Orthodoxy" — they tried to pull a certain "fofudya" of the "Russian World" on Chersonesos. This idea of "Russian Orthodoxy" has less and less in common with true Christianity. After the occupation of Crimea, Russian propagandists and church leaders began to assert the thesis that "Russian Orthodoxy" originates directly from Chersonesos to Moscow, bypassing even Kyiv and the Baptism of Rus.

There is an irreconcilable logic behind it: the Baptist of Russia, Prince Volodymyr, was baptized in Chersonesos, and Russian Moscow Orthodoxy stems from Chersonesos. The fact that Volodymyr was a Kyivan prince, went from Kyiv to the Korsun campaign and then baptized Kyivites in Kyiv, and from there, the inhabitants of all the cities under his control, Russian propagandists prefer not to remember," the expert says.

According to her, during the occupation of Chersonesos, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation played an important role:

"If the Church is responsible for "spiritual bonds", then the Russian Defense Ministry is responsible for political and ideological ones, as well as for financing large-scale construction works around Chersonesos. It is the Ministry of Defense of Russia that is the main contractor for the work that takes place on the monument. Other organizations work under the contract of the Russian Defense Ministry, including archaeological expeditions."

Evelina Kravchenko notes that the so-called Moscow Orthodoxy has very little in common with true Christianity. This is an ideology imbued with the cult of death and the justification of war.

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The main church of the Russian army


"The creepy swamp-colored Church of the Russian Armed Forces, which was built near Moscow, clearly proves this. Apparently, they are planning something similar, if not worse, in Chersonesos, only on an even larger scale. What is planned to be built under the New Chersonesos project is something gigantic and monstrous. Within the protected area, it is planned to build a new museum complex, which pays special attention to the creation of a museum of Christianity. The planned huge structures with their ensemble will completely distort the historical landscape of the ancient city, they will become the architectural dominant of the space. Rumor has it that they want to transfer the modern buildings of the Tauric Chersonesos Nature Reserve to the monastery. And that is why the Orthodox Church is so actively involved in the process," she says.

Evelina Kravchenko claims that scientists actually act on a contract with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation:

"There were some attempts to protest at the beginning of the work, after which the head of the expedition and the executing organization were changed, and no more questions emerged. Scientists are not an influential independent force — they do what they are told. Since they are required to do everything very quickly, they carried out excavations with an excavator, which is a blatant violation. In other words, the funding solved all the issues: who pays, he orders music. And these are the Russian Defense Ministry and the Russian Orthodox Church. In general, there are good reasons to believe that all activities around Chersonesos are under the immediate control of Vladimir Putin. Apparently, Vladimir from the St. Petersburg gateway really wants to get closer in his significance in history to the Kyivan Prince Volodymyr the Saint."

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St. Volodymyr's Cathedral in Chersonesos


The expert notes that the consistent position of Ukraine on the protection of the monument necessarily sooner or later plays a positive role.

"Ukrainian scientists fully comply with the norms of international legislation. We represent the side that protects the monument, not destroys it. The international scientific community understands this. This is understood by the international monument protection community. And this is understood by adequate Crimean scientists who are in Crimea and are waiting for their release."

Crimean Platform is an international coordination mechanism initiated by Ukraine to return the issue of Crimea to the agenda, protect human rights in Crimea, promote the de-occupation of the peninsula, and strengthen European and global security.