Crimea Announces Failed Ukrainian Attempt to Sabotage the Kerch Strait


Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

26th June, 2016


The organizer of the blockade of Crimea Lenur Islyamov was preparing a diversion in the Kerch Strait, but the attempt to interrupt the ferry service with mainland Russia failed, said Deputy Prime Minister of the Crimean government Ruslan Balbec.

According to him, the operation was scheduled for the beginning of June, but it was disrupted at the last moment for technical reasons: the breakage of one of the ships that was out at sea under the guise of a fisherman to perform the operation on blocking the Strait, reports RIA “Novosti”.

“Islyamov has once again confirmed his terrorist nature. He planned to block the path of the ships and ferries in the Kerch Strait with special scattered long steel cables that could be caught on a propellor and lead to tragedy,” said Balbec.

According to him, the video footage of the preparation of diversion was obtained by a Crimean, who fraudulently got into the volunteer battalion of Islyamov, and when he learned of the impending operation, he returned to Crimea and surrendered the footage to the authorities.

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“It is the neglect and desecration of the values of traditional Islam. The month of Ramadan prescribes to stop any conflicts, and even quarrels with neighbors. Islyamov and his cronies are using Islam as a smokescreen to cover up their vile deeds against their fellow countrymen and ex-Crimean Tatars, says Crimean Deputy Prime Minister.

Vice-Premier of the Crimean government Ruslan Balbec said earlier that the Ukrainian authorities are obliged to extradite  the organizer of the “blockade” of Crimea – Lenur Islyamov – to Russia, who is accused of sabotage and is Russian.

On April 26th, the Supreme court of Crimea recognized the public association “the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people” as an extremist organization, banning its activities in Russia.

The activities of the Mejlis was previously suspended by the Russian Ministry of Justice. The decision was made taking into account the position of the Prosecutor of Crimea.

As was reported by the newspaper “VZ“, the representatives of the Crimean Tatars called the ban of the Mejlis legitimate.

In January, Prosecutor of Crimea Natalia Poklonskaya reported that all three of the organisers of the food and energy “blockade” of the Crimean Peninsula are declared wanted – Mustafa Dzhemilev and Refat Chubarov are wanted internationally, and Lenur Islyamov federally. All three initiated the food “blockade” of Crimea and openly called for the cessation of its supply.

Poklonskaya also noted that the investigating authorities of the FSB in the region opened a criminal case for the creation of an illegal armed formation in the Kherson region of Ukraine, which Islyamov spoke of.

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