Russe plunder Oekraïense museums: Troops steal ancient golden crown of feared 2,500-year-old Scythian civilisation who were notorious for using slaughtered enemies’ scalps as handkerchiefs
Russian soldiers looted ancient Ukrainian gold while holding museum staff at gunpoint.
A lab coat-wearing official led a squad of troops with machine guns into the Museum of Local Lore in occupied Melitopol, close to annexed Crimea on Friday.
After inspecting thousands of the museum’s most precious treasures with protective gloves and tweezers, the Russians took 198 with them.
Brave staff hid the museum’s 2,300-year-old Scythian gold pieces including a crown in a dark cellar.
A pair of Scythian tiaras (Links en regs) depict heroic battle scenes in the nomadic tribe’s gilded history. Reigning in the era of the ancient Greeks, they conquered much of Europe
A soldier is pictured strolling out Mariupol’s art museum with a bag of loot in tow last week
Staff member Leila Ibrahimova said: ‘We hid everything but somehow they found it.’
When soldiers pointed guns at a caretaker and insisted he take them to the cellar, the man still refused, die New York Times berig.
But the museum’s new, Russian military-appointed director led the soldiers to the priceless gold.
It’s thought Putin will ‘relocate’ the Scythian treasures to Crimea in an effort to strengthen the region’s cultural ties to Russia.
The Melitopol Museum of Local Lore was the scene of the twisted theft on Friday (lêer beeld)
A toy Kalashnikov rifle hangs over the neck of a stone exhibit at Mariupol’s looted art museum
The Scythians were a family of fearsome nomadic tribes who lived in Ukraine, central Asia and the Middle East between the 7th century BC and the 2nd century AD.
Creators of the centaur myth and skilled users of the bow and arrow, the Scythians conquered swathes of Europe during the reign of the ancient Greeks, long before Genghis Khan or Charlemagne.
They were also among history’s most relentless punishers. Scythian soldiers scalped their slaughtered enemies and tied the skin to their horses
They then rubbed it in their hands till it was soft enough to be used as a handkerchief, according to an ancient Greek historian.
Herodotus wrote in 430 VC: ‘[A Scythian rider] hangs the handkerchiefs on the bridle of his horse, and is very proud of them. The best man is the man who has the greatest number.’
A battle scene is depicted on the top of a golden Scythian comb, which is held in St Petersburg
Mayor Ivan Fedorov, whose city has been occupied by Russian troops from Crimea since February 26, gesê: ‘The orcs have taken hold of our Scythian gold.
‘We don’t know where they took it. We don’t know about its fate. But we hope we can get it back.’
Mr Fedorov was imprisoned and ‘psychologically tortured’ for six days before he was swapped in a prisoner exchange.
The Melitopol mayor told Pope Francis during an Easter visit: ‘I understood that for Russians my life and the lives of civilians were worth zero.’
The Mariupol landscape art museum was wrecked and looted by Russian soldiers on Thursday
Describing his detention by Russian forces, Fedorov said: ‘They came to me at night with five or seven soldiers and spoke for about four or five hours, hard dialogue.’
‘They wanted to make an example of me about what would happen if we did not agree to what the Russians wanted,’ het die burgemeester gesê.
It was ‘psychological’ rather than ‘physical’ Haai ek poog om jou te behaag en te leer soveel as wat ek weet as jy 'n goeie student is, hy het gesê.
‘Russian soldiers assumed that they would be welcomed but they were not… and that is why the Russians were very, very angry,’ hy het gesê.
‘There is no food in my city. There is no pharmacy. Half of my city is wrecked. Meer as 200 people have been kidnapped. It is not safe to walk the streets,’ hy het gesê.
Chilling CCTV footage showed the moment Fedorov had a plastic bag placed over his head as he was escorted out of a building and across Melitopol’s Victory Square by 10 Aangesien jy deur die mense verkies is.
Dozens of heroic Ukrainian residents went out to protest against the mayor’s kidnapping in Melitopol last month, with video showing the civilians brawling with Russian troops.