«Donetsk People's Republic» in the Mediterranean Sea. How Russia hides its presence in Northern Cyprus

«Donetsk People's Republic» in the Mediterranean Sea. How Russia hides its presence in Northern Cyprus

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Representatives of the Church of Cyprus opened one of the gates of the Russian invasion

Tatiana Derkatch

The occupation of Northern Cyprus for almost half a century destabilizes both the Cypriot authorities and the local Church. The appearance in the north of a Russian Church abroad caused a diplomatic scandal and forced the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Orthodox Church to justify: "we are not there" and to turn their attention to "Rogues in robes". But, according to elementary surveys, Russians in Northern Cyprus build, settle, acquire businesses, banks, families and children and generally feel very comfortable. 

To stop this, the head of the Cypriot Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostom, cordially appealed to the Russian Orthodox Church to influence the Russian authorities, who were supposed to force the Russians to leave the occupied territory of Northern Cyprus. And yet, he promised to protest to the Cyprus Intelligence Service. At the same time, the Archbishop claimed that ecclesiastically the situation is not so terrible, since we can talk about 40-50 believers. However, the number of Russians who moved to northern Cyprus is estimated at several tens of thousands, which means that the number of Orthodox believers is several orders of magnitude larger than the estimated 40-50 Russians. Therefore, there is great doubt that they can be forcibly or voluntarily deported from there. 

There is reason to doubt the sincerity of the Russian embassy, ​​which claims that Russia is not officially present in Northern Cyprus. The Kremlin is used to misleading everyone with assurances that the Russian Federation is not involved in any conflict. This was the case, for example, in Ukraine in 2014, when the Russian authorities swore to the world community that they had nothing to do with military operations in Donbas. International refusal to recognize the separatist formulations of the Lugansk People's Republic and Donetsk People's Republic as separate states does not prevent the Russians from traveling to the Ukrainian occupied territories, negotiating with quasi-democratic republics or to acquire assets left there by those forced to leave these areas as refugees. Finally, the occupied homes are cheap. Such as real estate built in Northern Cyprus. 

There is a lot of information on the internet that refutes Russian authorities' assurances that they have nothing to do with Northern Cyprus. 

Legalization of birth certificates by the consulate of the Russian Federation 

The Russian Foreign Ministry warns its citizens that legalization of documents issued by the authorities of Northern Cyprus is not possible. However, the immigration of several tens of thousands of Russians into the occupied territory is forcing Russia to provide informal support. The legalization of the documents issued in Northern Cyprus is dealt with by various law firms. 

In particular, here is the procedure for applying for a Russian citizenship and a passport for a child in Northern Cyprus: “The place of registration is the buffer zone in Nicosia. Cooperation house on the border of Ledra palace. The car must be parked in front of the 5tl border crossing point if you do not have specific departure insurance for Southern Cyprus. The reception from the consulate to the buffer zone only takes place on Thursdays from 10am, but sometimes not every Thursday (there are public holidays and it is best to make a phone call in advance (357) 22-776832). Without registration the consul will not accept. Sign up in person or over the phone, you can still ask to sign up with friends who go there”

Similar information on the possibility of acquiring Russian citizenship through the Russian Consulate in Cyprus for children born in Northern Cyprus is provided by the site "Наш Северный Кипр" ("Our Northern Cyprus"). The site states that, as documents drawn up in northern Cyprus, the consul of the Russian Federation receives a certificate from a medical institution about the birth of a child and a certificate from the mukhtar (local director) of the place of residence for each family member. That is, if the place of residence is Northern Cyprus, then the certificate will be issued by the local mukhtar. 

At the same time, the website of a company dealing with the legalization of documents issued by the authorities of Northern Cyprus states frankly that "the official procedure for consular legalization cannot be carried out in accordance with the generally accepted procedure". There is also a list of documents subject to consular legalization: all personal status acts (birth, marriage, death, divorce), power of attorney, education certificate, etc. 

Recognition of school certificates in Northern Cyprus 

By the way, about education, in particular, about the recognition of school certificates in Northern Cyprus. Everything is much simpler here: they do not need consular legalization. The most famous Russian school in Northern Cyprus is Children's Harmony. The announcement of the recruitment of students expressly indicates that training takes place according to a program approved by the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, and final certification (state exams) for grades 9 and 11 takes place in Moscow. Here are photos of certificates issued to students of a school in Kyrenia: 

Upon admission to the school, North Cypriot documents are accepted, which do not require any legalization. As noted on the website, "The Russian school in Northern Cyprus functions as a private educational institution on the basis of partnership agreements with the International School of Tomorrow in Moscow (Russia). Particular attention is paid to such fundamental subjects as mathematics, Russian and foreign languages. This gives children the opportunity after passing the 9th grade to pass the SFC (State Final Certification), receive a Russian state-approved document on incomplete secondary education and continue their education in grades 10 and 11 in preparation for the Russian unified state exam. Training is conducted in all subjects corresponding to each age and included in the curriculum of public schools in Russia." The search for information about the International School of Tomorrow has given interesting results: it is a private school that has received a state license. 

The technology for the legalization of certificates obtained in Northern Cyprus is as follows: “By the time they graduate (completion of the entire state program and the School of Tomorrow program), students should receive a state certificate of graduation and a certificate / diploma from the School of Tomorrow.” 

That is, two methods of legalization can be assumed: either students simply do not receive certificates from the North Cyprus school, but from a completely private Moscow school based on North Cyprus documents, or valid certificate forms are imported directly from Russia to Northern Cyprus. In other words, documents on education issued in Northern Cyprus are quite legally accepted for issuing certificates of education based on the general model of the Russian Federation: these are strict reporting forms with a number agreed with the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation. And the legalization itself goes through licensed Russian private schools.

By the way, one of the partners of the School of Tomorrow is the University of Nicosia - the largest private university in southern Cyprus. 

"Rossotrudnichestvo" 

A close study of the site of the school "Children's Harmony" leads to a number of interesting discoveries. In the "Our Partners" section, the site of the North Cypriot Russian school points to the World Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots Living Abroad (Rossotrudnichestvo). 

What is Rossotrudnichestvo? It is a federal agency for the affairs of the Commonwealth of Independent States, compatriots living abroad, and for international humanitarian cooperation, created in September 2008 in accordance with a decree of the President of the Russian Federation. Rossotrudnichestvo is subordinate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Its official goal is to promote Russian interests abroad in the form of support for Russian diaspora, humanitarian programs, educational and cultural events, charity, etc. 

So, on the Rossotrudnichestvo website there is information about an event dedicated to the Victory Day, which took place in the same Russian school in Northern Cyprus, “Children's Harmony”. 

Cyprus Church trapped in Russian influence 

Rossotrudnichestvo operates in Cyprus through its representative office, the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Nicosia. At the same time, the Russian Center, in turn, established an expert club, one of whose members is Metropolitan Isaiah of Tamassos (Cyprus Orthodox Church). Isaiah is known for his blatant Russophilia and equally blatant rejection of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which received a Tomos about Autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarch. Perhaps the main benefactor of the Metropolis of Tamassos is the Russian businessman Vyacheslav Zarenkov, who financed the construction of the Church of the Apostle Andrew and All Saints of Russia in the Episkopio. Typical temple architecture in the Russian style (with onion domes and even birches on the frescoes inside) directly points to the design of the Russian presence in Cyprus. The award of this patron of the Tamassos Metropolitanate took place at a meeting of the expert council of this "Russian Center for Science and Culture in Nicosia." 

Zarenkov, by the way, is not alien to vanity. In the constructed church there is a fresco with his image, where he gives the temple to Metropolitan Isaiah, and an icon where he with the temple in his hands falls at the feet of St. Andrew the First-Called. 

In the same "Russian Center of Science and Culture in Nicosia" celebrated the Day of Family, Love and Fidelity. The event was opened by another Russophile and an outspoken opponent of Ukrainian Autocephaly - Metropolitan Nikephoros of Kykkos and Tillyria. This is how the hierarchs of the Church of Cyprus cover up the Russian organizations associated with Northern Cyprus. 

A Russian school in Northern Cyprus is promoted and by the site of the World Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots Living Abroad. By the way, a member of this non-governmental organization pursuing the same goals as Rossotrudnichestvo was a certain Andrei Zarenkov. The surname is rare enough to be a coincidence: two Zarenkov promote Russian interests abroad. A search in open sources yielded the following result: both had a mother named Nelly Mikhailovna. Andrei Zarenkov was often quoted on the website of the Foundation for the Support and Protection of the Rights of Compatriots Living Abroad, which was created by decree of the President of the Russian Federation and began work on January 1, 2012. And the founders of the Fund are the Russian Foreign Ministry and Rossotrudnichestvo. 

So, the North Cypriot Russian school has two important partners in Russia. The first partner is a licensed Moscow private school, through which North Cyprus education certificates are likely to be legalized in Russia. The second partner is “Rossotrudnichestvo” Federal Agency for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, which openly promotes school events in Northern Cyprus. The representative office of “Rossotrudnichestvo” in Cyprus is the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Nicosia, which actively cooperates with two Cypriot metropolitans - Isaiah of Tamassos and Nikephoros of Kykkos. In turn, the main patron of the Tamassos Metropolitanate is Vyacheslav Zarenkov, who is also associated with the Cypriot representative office of “Rossotrudnichestvo”, which is a partner of the North Cypriot Russian school. 

From the foregoing, very sad conclusions follow. The Russian Consulate in Cyprus and the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation fall under suspicion of legalizing documents issued in Northern Cyprus. At least two Cypriot metropolitans who publicly promote Russian interests on the island are drawn into this scheme through the Russian state structure, which allegedly deals with Russian humanitarian programs in Cyprus (Rossotrudnichestvo). And this is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Cypriots should have understood long ago that the Russians, having freely penetrated into Greek Cyprus thanks to the cordiality and trust of their leaders, would sooner or later begin to master occupied Northern Cyprus. Just as happened with the Ukrainian Donbass. And one of the gates of the Russian invasion was opened by representatives of the Church of Cyprus. And it’s too late to expect the deportation of all Russians from the occupied territories.

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