For a Safer Earth, Healthier Climate

COP27: Ukrainian Climate Activist Flees Egypt over Security Threat

By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja

Climate campaigners including Svitlana Romanko from the Ukraine group Razom We Stand have left Egypt after having their UN COP27 badges suspended.

The activists were disturbed to see an official Russian event at the COP27 summit, so they attended it, stating “Russia is guilty of war crimes”.

In a statement by Razom We Stand, Senior Communications Manager, Jason Kirkpatrick on Thursday it stated, the activists were removed by security from the event on Tuesday and learned soon afterward that their badges were suspended.

“A BBC journalist was also removed from the official Russian event after asking if Russia would pay for environmental damage in Ukraine. Two activists have now left Egypt over fears for their safety following the incident, given Russia’s history of brutal treatment of critics” it added.

Director of Ukrainian organisation Razom We Stand, Ukrainian Svitlana Romanko, addressed the Russian panelists, “You are a terrorist state, you are genociding, torturing and killing us daily for nine months. Your oil and gas are killing us. You are war criminals and you should not be here, but in front of an international war crimes tribunal.”

Ms. Romanko criticized the fact that Russian officials were still allowed to attend COP27 while Ukrainian activists were forced to leave: “Why is the Russian delegation still able to be officially represented at COP27, even though they are in open war and their horrific war crimes in Ukraine are proven? Russian delegates and their fossil fuel industry, who are to blame for the war and for the climate crisis, are doing fine, walking COP27 corridors and enjoying their lethal lobbying against the climate, and promoting fossil fuels that fund their disastrous war on Ukraine and on the planet. But we will not be silenced by Russia, and Ukraine will never be defeated.”

“While our treatment in exposing an event at COP27 that tried to give some legitimacy to the murderous Russian regime is appalling, we also think of other activists today who cannot leave Egypt but are locked up in prison for speaking out. People must have the right to stand up and speak out for freedom, democracy, and climate justice. Our thoughts also go to those activists, their families, and friends,” she added.

Kirkpatrick was also removed from the Russian event, as he was seen in an online video proclaiming, “Russia is guilty of war crimes.” said, “Suspension of an official COP27 badge is considered a standard procedure for whenever a country reports an incident. Activists consider this particular badge suspension as evidence that Russia is trying to kick us out of the conference.”

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