According to art. 55, 56, 59, 60 of the Convention relative to the protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of August 12, 1949, maintenance of occupied territories is an obligation of the occupying party. As the Crimea was illegally annexed by Russia in spring 2014, responsibility for an ecological situation is the Russian obligation.

Let’s briefly run back over chronology of events. In the north of the Crimea, in the city of Armyansk there is the biggest plant in Eastern Europe on production of titanic products – Ukrainian Chemical Products better known as “Crimean Titan” owned by the Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash who is currently taking shelter in Austria from extradition to the USA. Notwithstanding occupation and sanctions, the plant continues its work, receiving raw materials through shell companies and carriers. A process of titan production is followed with a large number of dangerous chemical wastes used to be unloaded in special precipitation tanks nearby the plant. For neutralization of their negative impact on environment, they were filled in with a large amount of fresh water received from the North Crimean channel. After occupation in 2014, the Ukrainian authorities used their legitimate right, blocked the channel, thus depriving the Crimea of water from Dnieper. In consequence the management of the enterprise and officials had to cover requirements of water, using local resources: small reservoirs of rain water and artesian wells. But they were quickly exhausted, and the summer of 2018 was hot, that caused accident.

On the night of August 24 there was an emission of harmful substances about what locals reported. Metal subjects were covered with unclear oxidation, trees started perishing, in air there was an unpleasant chemical smell. The local occupational administration tried to hide this event, having neutralized emission consequences by filling up of settling tank with soda. But the factor of high temperature of air was not considered, and as a result the situation was aggravated. In vicinities of the plant and in the city death cases from suffocation of birds and small animals (rodents, domestic cats) were reported. It was also reported about death of people, but there is no reliable information on it. Nearly two weeks later (on September 4), the Russian officials declared the beginning of partial evacuation of the population, so far only children, from Armyansk and neighboring villages. But the central Russian TV channels keep silence over technogeneous accident. Though the Russian authorities got used to hide such information as it was with emission of a radioactive element ruthenium-106 at the end of 2017 in Chelyabinsk, in the south of the Urals. The fact of the emission is confirmed by measurements carried out in Germany and France.

However, let’s talk about the Crimean case. There is an opinion that accident was deliberately provoked to force Ukraine to resume supply of water to the peninsula. Even the Ukrainian border service stated poisoning of its several employees who are on duty on border with occupied territories. However, the similar version looks very far-fetched. It is much more probable that the human factor is the main cause of the accident: habitual for Russians ” trusting to luck ” and postponement of the solution of small problems as a result lead to such deplorable consequences. And after all this situation is not simply environmental disaster for Ukraine and Russia, but for the whole Black Sea region, even for Eastern Europe and Asia Minor. The cloud of chemicals does not care of geopolitics and nationalities, and the poisoned rainfall depends on the wind. It is worth remembering the tragedy in Chernobyl – accident happened in the USSR, but all Europe suffered. Here the situation is very similar.

Russia once again confirmed its inability to maintain the occupied territories. After all the plant where this tragedy happened is not the only potentially dangerous undertaking in the Crimea. Also it should be taken into account that for the last 4 years Russia has provided the peninsula with the weapon, including nuclear. And the only exit from the current situation – a full and unconditional deoccupation of the Crimea. Only this way is a possible resolution of all those problems.

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The conference “disputed territory on the border of Europe” is going to be held in Bucharest on September 7, 2018. The organizer of this event is the Institute for Connecting Science and Society (ICSS), Geneva, Switzerland. The most interesting thing is that the participants of this event will not discuss those lands that are already hybrid annexed or occupied, for example, Crimea, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transdniestria or LDPR, but are going to determine whether it is expedient to consider Transcarpathia, Bukovina and Bessarabia as Ukrainian territories. In other words, it is an attempt to undermine the territorial integrity of Ukraine. And all this goes under the patronage of the “Swiss” institute and in the context of the Kremlin’s strategic concept for the near future.

“It is proposed to examine three main cases – three cross-border territories that are disputed “in both international and anthropological aspects: Transcarpathia, Bukovina and Bessarabia”, – the announcement of event said.

In general, at first glance, it may appear that this is about another betrayal from Europe. However, every time something like this happens, it comes to mind the letter of the State Duma of Russia of March 24, 2014, sent to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, Poland and Romania, with a proposal to split Ukraine into four parts. This conference is definitely something similar to this provocation.

That is why we’ve decided to consider and analyze, under whose “flag” the conference actually will be held. And do not be surprised, it will take place under the flag of the Kremlin, despite the Swiss organizer.

Fictitious institution

According to the data of the commercial register and economic information “Moneyhouse”, ICSS was established in Swiss Geneva, just over a year ago. Its registered office is ch. de l’Ancien-Puits 11, 1213 Petit-Lancy. Its legal form of ownership is an association. Its aim is to bridge the gap between the production of scientific knowledge and its accessibility, and to strengthen the relationship between science and society.

The question immediately arises: where are the issues related to politics, security, and the belonging of particular territories? This means that the Institute goes beyond its statutory activities. And the form of property unlikely allows it to interfere with the affairs of foreign states.

Further, we learn that the structure itself functions at the expense of projects, donations, subsidies, contributions, as well as any other sources, not prohibited by the law of the Swiss Confederation. Curiously, but the founders of ICSS are two persons: the president, Mercier-Peschoux Chantal, a citizen of France, the city and municipality of Lance, the Ile-de-France region; the vice-president of the Institute – Irina Koval-Leskova, a Ukrainian citizen, a resident of Odessa.

Therefore, be patient, and you’ll see the same hybrid Russian trace after story about each of them.

From Paris with Love … to Putin

We, perhaps, will not go by chronology, in order to make history more interesting. So, on March 21, 2016, under the patronage of Mercier-Peschoux Chantal (he did not participate himself), the conference with a rather catchy title “Ukraine: Maidan – Odessa, two years later” was held in Geneva. As you already understood, the subject of this arrangement is the events of May 2, 2014, occurred in the Ukrainian seaside city, when 46 people were killed. At this conference, the participants blamed and blackened the Ukrainian authorities and shielded the Kremlin and urged international partners to put pressure over the official Kiev.

The conference itself was held at the Palais des Nations (UN building, Geneva). It is significant that the announcement of the event was posted on March 13 on one of the French sites (gray segment of the Internet) – “Arrêt sur info”. This site, created by a Frenchwoman with Italian roots, Silvia Cattori, is engaged in covering wars and various conflicts that the world media “do not talk” about. We suppose that we are talking about giving false and biased information.

The moderator of this event was the representative of the Agency for Human Rights (ADH) – Amir Forotan, and here it is necessary to explain: this agency is one of thousands of non-governmental organizations with which one of the six main organs of the UN, the Economic and Social Council, cooperates.

In 2015, the Agency for Human Rights received a special consultative status, that formally gives an opportunity to hold events in the premises belonging to the UN. Therefore, the conference was held at the Palais des Nations. Such NGOs should annually publish a report on the work done, but for some reason this one does not do this. You also will not find information about the founders of this structure on the site, but on the official website of the Trade of Switzerland. It turns out that the only one founder, participant and head of this organization is the same Amir Forotan. Once he was known as a member of another organization also “defending human rights” – Global Network for Rights and Development (GNDR).

It was registered in Stavanger (Norway), and had units in Jordan, Spain, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland (Geneva). The activities of this structure were accompanied with accusations of grave criminal offenses. In 2015, the Norwegian police detained its head, a Norwegian of Palestinian origin Loai Deeb on charges of money laundering and misappropriation of property. The Israeli media suspected GNDR members in illegal intelligence activity under the cover of human rights work. This structure went bankrupt in 2016.

In addition, Forotan is close to the French political association “Egalite et Reconsilliation” (“Equality and Reconciliation”), supporting the policies of Russia and other rogue states. For example, in 2009, during the arrival of Putin in France, it organized a “welcome committee” to Putin together with the Russian embassy and the French Russian community.

Its current leader, Alain Soral, was a member of the central committee of the party “National Front” (Marin Le Pen) until 2009. He is a supporter of anti-Semitism, against the US, for cooperation with Russia and for the territorial division of France.

But let’s go back to the conference and find out who was involved in this action?

The main speaker was Xavier Moreau, a French entrepreneur, who has been living in Russia for 15 years. He is the author of the book “The New Great Russia and Ukraine. Why did France make a mistake”. It is about Paris’s wrong policy with regard to Putin’s Russia, and that aggression and occupation should be understood and forgiven.

What was Mr.Moreau’s task at the conference? Everything is very simple: he had to tell about the reasons for the “political evolution of Ukraine after the revolution, regime change, murder in Odessa; describe the root causes – international and national, that plunged the country into a fratricidal civil war”.

Certainly, there are immediately discernible stamps used daily by Russian propaganda against Ukraine – both in the Russian information space and in the media of Western countries.

Speakers at this event were two Ukrainians, residents of Odessa: Elena Radzikhovskaya and Victoria Machulko, who created the public organization – “Mothers’ Council of 2nd May”. At the same time, the organization does not indicate that the tragedy occurred because of provocations by Russian special services, because of their incitement to the mass separatist movement in this region.

However, not only Victoria is interesting in this context, but also one of her two sons – Eugene Machulko (born on December 25, 1975), a representative of the pro-Russian illegal armed formation “Orthodox Cossacks”, unit of Special Forces “Cossack”. On May 2, 2014, he participated in the attack on the pro-Ukrainian demonstration and in the subsequent armed confrontation with human toll. He was arrested and taken into custody. However, the court ruled him to house arrest with a ban to leave the apartment during a certain period of the day – from 9.00 to 13.00 and the electronic control was not applied as a preliminary measure of restraint. However, then due to the expiry of the judicial decision (August 31, 2014), all the measures of restraint were lifted. And now we do not know his location.

The second participant of the conference is a resident of Odessa Elena Radzikhovskaya, a mother of Andrei Brazhevsky, deceased in the House of Trade Unions of Odessa, and who supported the Russian aggression. She also appeared in the European Parliament talking about “Odessa Nazis and Fascists”. Now she is considered to be involved in organization of a terrorist group in 2001-2002, appeared in the so-called case of the Odessa Komsomol members.

At that time a gang led by the first secretary of the city committee of Komsomol of Odessa, Andrei Yakovenko, committed a series of terrorist acts in Ukraine, led anti-Ukrainian propaganda in military units, calling for liquidation of Ukraine, the “revival” of Tavria and the “Black Sea SSR” on the lands of Ukraine, inclusion it in the revived USSR, that is into Russia.

Here’s initial project “Novorossia”. It was the first year of Putin’s rule as president, and means that the plans to seize some lands began to be realized even then. And such conference with such participants was organized by Mr. Mercier-Peschoux Chantal. So, who is Mr. Mercier-Peschoux Chantal?

Who are you, Mercier-Peschoux Chantal?

Mercier-Peschoux Chantal is one who wrote a petition addressed to the former French President Francois Hollande in 2013, calling to stop the participation of the French forces in Syria, as it was contrary to the national interests of France.

It is noteworthy that Mercier-Peschoux Chantal pointed out in this petition that the evidence regarding the chemical attacks of Assad submitted for international consideration is unreliable. Meanwhile, there was another petition, though collective, sent in 2012 to the presidential administration of Hollande. There, the signatories also called on the former president of France to stop participation of the French forces in the Syrian campaign. It is clear that one of those who signed the document was Mercier-Peschoux Chantal.

In the last paragraph he wrote: “I am a member of the party “Republican and Civil Movement” from 1993 to 2006; close to the position of Nicolas Dupont-Enjan (without membership); I’m not deaf to the position of Marin Le Pen (yes, I know that this is not good)”, and my ballot remains available, in some cases. I resolutely oppose the diarchy of the Union for the People’s Movement (leader – Nicolas Sarkozy), but still the atlanticist to the bones”.

We do not know how Mr. Mercier-Peschoux Chantal as an atlanticist, but those people, whom he supports, profess the right, often radical ideas.

Let’s start by order. The party “Republican and Civil Movement” adheres to vague left-wing views based on the ideology of social democracy, populism, euroskepticism, patriotism and anti-Americanism, and requires a full-scale re-industrialization of France. Its former leader is Jean-Pierre Schevenman (now he has the status of honorary chairman). Shevenman is a fairly influential and well-known politician.

According to information for 2017, Shevenman is a special representative of the French government on issues of relations with Russia. On November 4 of the last year, he was awarded the “Order of Friendship” personally from the hands of V.Putin. Then, in November 2017, he visited Moscow and conveyed to the Russian president the message of the leader of France – Emmanuel Macron. This message spoke about cooperation in resolution of the Syrian conflict.

In an interview with Interfax (Russia) he indicated: “US sanctions imposed against the energy and military-industrial sector of the Russian Federation harm international relations”.

It should be noted that he also said that it was necessary to implement the Minsk Agreements (by two sides) and about the inadmissibility of creating conditions for “freezing” of the conflict.

He also drew attention to the fact that Minsk-2 should ultimately lead to the definition of election parameters in the occupied territories of Donbass, the definition of the special status of these lands and the expansion of decentralization. However, it should be clarified that in the first place the politician has put the component related to security.

Among other things, Shevman’s thoughts on the status of extended autonomy in Ukraine are interesting in this interview. He says: “As for the status of extended autonomy in Ukraine, it should include the right of citizens of that country to choose the language of education for their children”. Shevenman’s words told at the meeting with the Speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Vyacheslav Volodin, also attract interest.

We will provide a holistic statement: “I think that now it is necessary to focus on the problem of Ukraine. It is necessary that Ukraine becomes a bridge between Europe and Russia. I think that it is not a need to continue this stupid conflict. In Europe, however, most smart people do not want a return to the Cold War. So it seems to me that the problem today is from the Americans”.

We don’t know if Mercier-Peschoux Chantal and Shevenman are familiar each other, but it is obvious that the first one especially mentioned the French special representative in Russia in the text of the petition – to focus attention on the fact that he adheres to identical views, when the main thing is the resumption of relations with Russia and the gradual surrender of Ukrainian positions.

But let’s return once again to this petition. Mercier-Peschoux Chantal says: “I’m not deaf to the position of Marin Le Pen (yes, I know that this is not good), and my ballot remains available, in some cases”. We have to recall that Marin Le Pen – a former candidate for the presidency of France. She personally supported the so-called referendum in the Crimea, came to a personal audience with Putin before the elections. And now she is going to make a united front with other radical politicians and undermine the general European political institutions.

At once the question has appeared: whether it is possible to prove connection of Mercier-Peschoux Chantal to Le Pen? The adherence to these or other, even selective, positions is not a proof that these political figures cooperate. This does not mean that Mercier-Peschoux Chantal works for the Russians, even if we take into account his connection along the line: Forotan – Soral – Le Pen. But in his note to the notorious petition for Hollande, Mercier-Peschoux Chantal points out that he “is close to the position of Nicolas Dupont-Enjan”.

On March 15, 2016, Dupont-Enjan announced his candidacy for the presidency in elections 2017. In foreign policy, he proposed to withdraw unilaterally from the process of sanctions against Russia, to settle the situation in Donbass by giving Ukraine the status of a neutral state and turning it into a region of Russian-European cooperation. He also called for the security of Eastern Europe through the conclusion of a comprehensive treaty between Europe and Russia on peace and cooperation, thus reaching agreements on resolving frozen conflicts in Cyprus, Kosovo, Transdniestria and the Crimea. How do you like this idea?

And now let’s imagine the most interesting episode in this whole story. On April 28, 2017, Nicolas Dupont-Enjan announced the conclusion of a political agreement with Marin Le Pen, urging his supporters to vote for her in the second round of the elections. According to the reached agreements, in case of victory in the second round of the presidential elections, Le Pen would appoint Dupont-Enjan as the new Prime Minister of France. On October 25, 2017, he and the leader of the Christian Democratic Party, Jean-Frédéric Poisson, initiated a new political project – “Fans of France, a country is more important than parties” – which goal is to form a right alternative to the policy of Macron.

It seems to us that the puzzle has completed. Mercier-Peschoux Chantal, who clearly works against Ukraine, is trying to carry out another provocation in Bucharest, and he is connected in one or another way with right-wing radical forces from France, supporting the Kremlin.

There is a clear question: so under whose flag will the event take place in Romania – under the Swiss, under the French or under the Russian? But, before you answer it, let’s learn about the vice-president of the ICSS, organizing this event, Ukrainian citizen Irina Koval-Leskova.

Activist with “Russian smell”

Irina Koval-Leskova is a resident of Odessa, a founder of the “Formula of Success” agency, producing advertising, printed products and organizing various congresses and trade shows.

On May 27, 2014, immediately after the events of May 2, she organized a conference with the loud title “Democracy and Violence: Ukraine” in Paris where she criticized the Ukrainian authorities, spoke about the persecution, the illegality of the so-called Kiev regime and called on the international community to intervene in the investigation of events of May 2, 2014. She was supported by the socio-political association in support of the “Organization of European Unity” (ROUE).

This organization is also trying to find some common points with Russia, including historical ones. It is even interested in de Gaulle’s relationship with the Soviet leadership and other interesting topics and it’s supported in this by the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Paris.

Such centers are the structures of “Rossotrudnichestvo” – in fact, the structures of cover for Russian special services. They are engaged in attracting foreigners to their activities and with their help try to influence political life in a particular country.

And now, Irina Koval-Leskova, who has rather strange contacts, organizes an openly provocative, threatening Ukrainian territorial integrity event in Bucharest. She organizes it on behalf of the Swiss-registered structure, together with a French citizen, apparently connected with right-wing radical organizations, which have strong connections with Russia.

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Aggressive policies towards neighboring countries, gross violations of international law and breaking up of the international security system have compelled the international community to impose political and economic sanctions against Russia. Military and technical cooperation have become the object of the severest restrictions.

US has taken the strong stand on the issue, and still keep adhering to the commitment of tightening the sanctions regime, especially in the issues of countering strengthening of the military capabilities of the Russian armed forces. However, despite of this, some US companies keep cooperating with the state which is widely thought as a political outlaw. Moreover, they help the Russian armed forces to develop the weapons used in military conflicts in the Ukrainian Donbass and against the civilian population in Syria. As current situation shows there is no guarantee that Russia will not use such weapons against other states.

Here are just a few examples of US-Russian military and technical cooperation. Since 2014, the US FLIR supplies thermal imagers to the Naval Forces of the Russian Federation. Russia equips anti-terror vessels under 03160 Raptor project (P-415 and P-425 ships are in Sevastopol in the annexed Crimea), special fast attack crafts BK-10, BK-16 and BK-18, as well as small missile cruisers (Storm and Okhotsk SMC) under 22800 project manufactured by Sevastopol “More” plant with US-produced thermal imagers.

In addition, study of the two Russian Orlan-10 UAVs (side numbers 10212 and 11057) shot down in the east of Ukraine in 2014 and 2017 showed that almost all electronics, motors and optics were of US Filtronetics, Texas Instruments, Linear, Pulse Electronics production. Also, the analysis of UAV production statistics in Russia indicates that their production is constantly increasing. Thus, in February 2014, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation owned about 500 UAVs, about 650 UAVs were delivered to the armed forces of Russia by April 2015, and about 1000 units in November 2016. Significant growth of Orlan UAVs production in Russia from early 2014 (4 times) shows that the necessary foreign-manufactured spare parts have been acquired just during the military invasion in Ukraine, i.e. during the sanctions regime.

This means that contrary to the official Washington’s statements, US companies keep military and technical cooperation with Russia, disregarding the official stance of their country.

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