Ukraine hunts Russian looters who ‘stole a gold necklace’

Looting Russian troops have stolen a rare collection of fourth-century Scythian gold after seizing a museum in Ukraine, officials said.

Ukraine has now opened an investigation into the alleged theft of the historic jewels, which contravenes the customs of war.

The gold collection, among several other items, was reportedly snatched from the Museum of Local Lore in the town of Melitopol in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, southeastern Ukraine, when Vladimir Putin’s forces seized the control of the region.

The Scythians were a group of ancient tribes of nomadic warriors who originally lived in what is now southern Siberia and parts of modern Ukraine.

Scythian gold breastplate, from the Dnepropetrovsk region of Ukraine

“Under the procedural direction of the Zaporizhia Regional Prosecutor’s Office, criminal proceedings have been initiated for violation of the laws and customs of war (part 1 of article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine),” a statement from the prosecutor’s office said. general. .

Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov said in late April that the fate of Scythian gold remains unknown, but later Zaporizhzhya Regional Military Administration, a Ukrainian force, said through its head, Alexander Starukh, that she had removed the valuables in preparation for a Russian invasion. .

According to him, all the most valuable things were transferred from museums in the Zaporozhye region in March 2022 to other regions of Ukraine.

Necklace composed of pearls and tiny figured plates, adorned with filigree palmettes and rosettes supporting pendants
Necklace composed of pearls and tiny figured plates, adorned with filigree palmettes and rosettes supporting pendants

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Earlier, a pro-Russian video emerged showing how the occupiers allegedly found gold hidden by museum staff and ‘saved’ it from being taken abroad.

“We completely removed from all museums everything that had historical and cultural value. What they saved there, good luck to them,” a man said in the video.

The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy then promised to solve the riddle of where the gold really is.

Culture and Information Policy Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said on April 30: “We will try to find out what really happened.”

Even still, preliminary investigations of criminal proceedings are carried out by investigators of the Ukrainian Security Service in the Zaporizhia region.

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