The French Embassy in Kiev has disseminated misreports on what it called deplorable state of the French military cemetery and memorial near Sevastopol as well as the plans to launch construction activities on the place of the cemetery. Head of the State Duma CIS Affairs Committee, Coordinator of the Deputy Group of Ties with the French Parliament Leonid Slutsky said today, on July 24.
“The French have been misinformed at the instigation of the so-called Ukrainian authorities. It is a pure lie and provocation and our French guests will made that fact public upon their return to France,” Slutsky said. “The cemetery is in a perfect state. Everyone saw that. Orthodox people do not build houses on bones. ”
EADaily reported earlier that a delegation of French parliamentarians arrived in Crimea yesterday. They visited the memorial for the French perished in the Crimea War near Sevastopol and laid flowers to it. Talking to reporters, Thierry Mariani, the head of the French delegation, also condemned disinformation concerning the state of the memorial calling it a provocation "unworthy of French diplomacy." He said that misreports concerning the cemetery have once again proved the need to get a first-hand view of the situation.
EADaily note: About 95,000 French soldiers died (more than 10,000 were killed, 11.7 thousand died of wounds, and more than 75,000 died of diseases) in the Crimea War (1853-1856). The French government insisted that their generals, officers and soldiers were buried not far from the former headquarters of the French army (now – the 5th km Balaklava highway ). Buying land from the Russian General Augustus Broker, in 1863 the French built there a necropolis and to maintain it funds had been provided up to 1936. In the period of WWII, the cemetery was damaged, but not destroyed finally. Near it and inside the necropolis the soldiers killed in the battle for Sevastopol in 1941-1942 and in May 1944 were buried. In the first half of 1950s, the former house of the cemetery warden, part of the fence and several tomb chests were used as building materials. In 1982, the chapel and the burial vault were barbarously destroyed by the order of a local official. The new memorial was built in 2004 on the funds of the French Republic.