Ukraine’s 40-year-old Kiev native, MFA spokesperson Mariana Betsa is known for doing pretty much what all Ukrainian officials do – come out with a stream of tweets, in English, blaming Russia for everything wrong in Ukraine.
Mariana, who completed part of her studies at Westminster University in the UK, is known for frequently tweeting out stuff like this –
And of course, the eternal Kiev favourite, the ‘plight’ of the Crimean Tatar population – based on testimonies of those few pro-Ukraine Tatar activists in Kiev, rather than the hundreds of thousands of Crimean Tatars in Crimea…
So far, so standard for a Ukrainian diplomatic, and Betsa is usually a polished operator. However, something clearly happened recently – and it’s hard for me not to think it’s connected with the release of our own film Brit in Crimea.
On February 10th, Mariana tweeted out:
REMINDER to foreigners: all visits to occupied Crimea in violation of international&Ukrainian law -illegal&illegitimate. Entail responsibity
Let’s skip over whatever ‘Entail responsibity’ means, even if it were correctly spelled. Mariana has just made a key part of that up. Visiting Crimea violates no international law at all. Only ‘Ukrainian law’, such as it is.
And more, Mariana claims that ‘all’ visits to Crimea are thus ‘illegal&illegitimate’ – a clearly different line from the official Ukrainian position that visiting Crimea is legal, if you get permission from Kiev.
Mariana’s position would make all those Kiev-sanctioned journalists, who’ve gone to Crimea to film propaganda pieces, such as the BBC ‘illegal&illegitimate’…
Have a look at the tweet thread yourself, and see how many people have let Mariana know her error, errors even. However, rather than do the normal thing in the circumstances, when one has made such an egregious error, delete the tweet, or write a correction, Marian has actually pinned the tweet.
And such is the upside-down, inside-out world of Ukrainian diplomacy where black can be whiter than white, vice versa, and open errors get pinned not binned….