Friday 24 June 2022

"DPR" Financed by Antiquities?

As has been reported by the Office of the Prosecutor General, Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova and the State Bureau of Investigation, some six thousand unique artifacts have been found in the Kyiv office of former Ukrainian MP Valery Horbatov, who headed the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in the early 2000s. At least some of the artefacts seem to have been stolen from Crimean museums, while others could have been bought from "black archaeologists" (metal detectorists) ['Ex-MP turned collaborator found to store over 6,000 unique artifacts from Crimea worth millions of dollars', Hromadske International 24 June, 2022]
The artifacts were found as part of a criminal case on financing the self-proclaimed "DPR", withdrawing money to Russia, as well as doing business in the occupied Crimea.
Law enforcers investigated illegal activities of Horbatov (the People's Deputy of Ukraine of III-IV convocations and the former chairman of Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) and other connected participants. In the process, investigators learned that Horbatov has relics and "black" archaeological finds.
According to investigative information, the former deputy fled from Kyiv to the occupied territories on the eve of all-out Russian aggression. Law enforcement officers conducted six simultaneous searches, and found more than 6,000 items of historical and cultural values in one of Horbatov's Kyiv offices. Part of the collection was stored in pre-prepared "secret rooms" of office space.
According to Venediktova, law enforcement officers found the largest collection of antiquities, part of which is now presented in the Museum of History of Ukraine.
The seized artefacts were of varied character, some dated to the Bronze Age and the Trypillia culture. There were allegedly Scythian swords-akinaki, helmets of the Hellenistic era, amphorae, hryvnia torcs, coins, but also medieval and post medieval items (swords, sabres, helmets, chain mail, arrowheads and spears, rifles and carbines). The coins were from the "Southern Black Sea coast' [eh? Presumably northern PMB] of the times of the Chersonese State, the Scythian and Bosporus Kingdoms and the city-state of Olbia, that is Vth-Ist centuries BC.
According to police, part of the collection was probably stolen from the museums of the temporarily occupied Crimea. During the search, they found, in particular, an ancient book "Sarcophagi of Gaul" — it was an exhibit of the Russian Archaeological Museum of Constantinople, and later part of the library of the Chersonese Museum in the Crimea. [...] SBI Director Oleksiy Sukhachov said that the agency's investigators had gathered irrefutable evidence of Horbatov's involvement in financing actions aimed at overthrowing the constitutional order in Ukraine, changing its borders or state border, and justifying aggression against Ukraine.
What is worth noting in the context of various people claiming that Russians are looting Ukrainian museums to shift the stuff to Russia, here material was reportedly being moved from Russian-occupied Crimea to Ukraine at some time between 2014-2022 (when did Horbatov get this office space?) and then presumably to western markets from there. Where would you take a Hellenistic helmet to sell? Who would handle it? In who's who in Crimea, he lists his hobby as "archaeology" and was a deputy director in a "Khołhoz" (collective farm) in Soviet Crimea 1985-1994 (?) and got a Soviet Red Banner medal of Labour in 1988. Looking at the photos of the artefacts simply heaped unlabelled all over the place, I doubt that one could really call this in any way or form "archaeology". Is it true that he fled on the "eve" of the Russian invasion? That he knew the date? More details and pictures here:

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