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Putin’s propaganda. Russia destroyed the Chersonesus

Putin’s propaganda.  Russia destroyed the Chersonesus

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In the ruins of the ancient Greek city, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dozens of bright buildings, fountains, lawns and even a whole river with bridges appeared.

Russia built the Tauride Chersonese Nature Reserve, located on the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea. Bulldozers are working in an area with a ten-meter cultural layer, where, according to archaeologists, there may be thousands of important historical artifacts. In the ruins of the ancient Greek city, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dozens of bright buildings, fountains, lawns and even a whole river with bridges appeared.

Something personal

The idea of ​​building a park on the territory of the reserve was announced by dictator Vladimir Putin in 2015 during a trip to Sevastopol with former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Large-scale construction, dubbed Putin’s personal project, was carried out at a record pace. The construction of the complex was also actively promoted by the Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church Tikhon Shevkunov, who in 2023 became the head of the Crimean Metropolis of the Russian Orthodox Church. Shevkunov has long had a close relationship with the Russian president with Russian media often calling him “Putin’s confessor.”

Pure propaganda

What the Russians built in Chersonesos can hardly be called a scientific or educational center, said Evelina Kravchenko, candidate of historical sciences and senior researcher at the Institute of Archaeology.

“It is a center of propaganda, because its attention is not focused on the ancient monument, but on the Russian history of the Crimea,” the researcher explained.

The most important thing is that part of the historical monument was destroyed for the construction of the park.

As Kravchenko explained, the archaeological park was built on the territory of the so-called chora in the southern suburbs of Chersonesos. These were agricultural areas around the ancient polis, where the ancient Greeks had gardens and private plots of land.

The remains of the ancient city and its fortifications, as well as the choir, are uniquely preserved both for the Northern Black Sea region and for ancient monuments in general, Kravchenko explained.

The best-preserved areas, especially the ancient settlement, are designated a protected area, and everything around is designated a buffer zone, Kravchenko explained.

It is forbidden to build things here without the approval of UNESCO or to build buildings that would overshadow or obscure the monument.

It was in this buffer zone, that is, in the suburbs of the ancient polis, that the Russians built the “new Chersonesos”.

It was built on the remains of an ancient temple, country complexes with ceramic workshops and on the territory of the city necropolis with unique burial and memorial structures.

This is the part of the ancient city that lasted the longest, and is now completely destroyed, emphasizes Denis Yashny, an expert at the Crimean Institute of Strategic Studies, in an interview with the BBC.

Pure vandalism

During the construction, the layers of soil were almost removed by bulldozers, and the residents of Sevastopol for a long time found coins and various ancient artifacts in the city dump.

The construction of the archaeological park was far from the only damage done by the Russian authorities to the reserve during the annexation of Crimea.

In a 2024 report for World Heritage Watch, researchers wrote about development and restoration strategies that are destroying the ancient site.

Among the major violations were the construction of observation platforms that did not correspond to the style of the ancient Greek polis, as well as the construction of a theater on the remains of a Roman fortress.

“This is the only surviving Roman fortress in the Northern Black Sea region, and a stage with a row of spectators weighing more than 60 tons was placed here,” said Evelina Kravchenko.

Stage structures, decorations, lighting and sound equipment destroy the old stone and obscure the rest of the monument.

At the same time, the requirements of the modern world for restoration provide for the preservation of the monument and the minimization of any changes to it.

According to Evelina Kravchenko, the structure for the protection and management of a cultural heritage monument was actually destroyed.

Source: korrespondent

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