The occupying authorities of the Russian Federation drill the rock under the monument of national significance the “Swallow's Nest” Palace (Lastivchyne Gnizdo) in a small spa town between Yalta and Alupka, in the Crimean Peninsula. Ukraine’s Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs report that citing the UNESCO report.
“It has been learned that the occupying authorities started to conduct illegal excavations and engineering geological works, namely drilling of the rock where the monument of national significance the “Swallow's Nest” Palace is situated,” reads the report.
The report also spots the illegal engineering works in other unique historic monuments of national significance like the Mosque and Medresse of the Khan Uzbek, the situation with the state of conservation of the Complex of the Sudak Fortress Monuments of the 6th-16th centuries remains deplorable.
It is also noted that Ukrainian authorities have not granted their permission to conduct such works.
Ukrainian authorities are collecting evidence to initiate criminal proceedings against so-called archaeologists, who, in violation of international conventions on the protection of monuments and relevant Ukrainian legislation, are conducting illegal excavations in the occupied territory of Ukraine. So far, the list of persons whose illicit activities in this sphere are recorded contains 33 scientists from different institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which reports their results in Academy’s journals.
Earlier, the Illicit trafficking of Ukrainian cultural property by the occupational authorities from the territory of the annexed Crimea was reported. In March 2016, 38 paintings were moved from the Aivazovsky National Art Gallery in Feodosia for the exhibition to the Tretyakov State Gallery which was held in Moscow in July 2016. Only some paintings have been returned to the Ivan Aivazovsky National Art Gallery after the exhibition at the State Tretyakov Gallery, the rest of paintings have been moved to St. Petersburg for the exhibition “The 200th anniversary of Ivan Aivazovsky” in the National Russian Museum (opened 22 December 2016).
The Russian delegation misled the States Parties to the 1970 UNESCO Convention at the 4th session of the Subsidiary Committee of the mentioned Convention at the end of September 2016 as it stated that these paintings would be returned to Feodosia. Since that time there has been no information whether the paintings were returned to Crimea. Such actions of the Russian Federation constitute a blatant violation of the provisions of the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.
On 29 June 2017 the exhibition “Pantikapee and Phanagoria” was opened in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. It includes 450 artifacts representing the history of the Bosporus Kingdom from the 7th century BC to the 1st century AD. In particular, a separate group of exhibits represents archaeological finds from the funds of Eastern Crimean historical museum-reserve in the city of Kerch. All these objects were moved to the exhibition in violation of a number of international conventions and the legislation of Ukraine.