I have no doubts that the UK Government will properly react to the innuendo of the Russian side that is trying to justify its aggressive foreign policy by shifting blame on Western countries.
At the same time, given the reference to Ukraine, it is my duty to comment on certain thesis put in the air by the Russian Embassy. I cannot but agree that Russia “has a lot of its internal problems”. Though when it comes to “not climbing into other people’s business”, the facts actually show the contrary.
In this regard I would like to remind the Russian demagogues that it is Russia that in course of the recent decades has provoked or involved itself in a number of conflicts and crises. And it is not only in the post-Soviet area.
And now it has suddenly been revealed that the Western world is making Russia a scapegoat for the so called “Ukrainian crisis” which Russian diplomats unashamedly call a “Western problem”.
Was it not Russia that had provoked military conflict in the Southern Ossetia?
Is it not Russia that impedes the settlement of the Transnistria conflict?
Was it not Russia that had started massive airstrikes against civilians in Syria, while supporting the Assad’s regime and having to a great extent caused the current catastrophe in Syria?
And here is the most important. Were there not Russian so called “green men” who captured Crimea two years ago? Is it not Russia that is nowadays conducting a massive militarisation of the peninsula, including deployment of nuclear weapons?
Are there not Russian troops fighting today is eastern Ukraine?
And finally. Is it not Russia that is so much actively interfering into Ukraine’s internal affairs, promulgating federalisation of the country, and claiming about “common historical past”?
I would like to allow myself to remind that having started the aggression against Ukraine, Russia has committed an international crime and challenged the international security and postwar order in Europe.
If Russia is not interfering into other countries’ domestic affairs, then how can it explain that in eastern Ukraine there are nowadays 34,000 Russian-backed terrorists, including at least 7,000 Russian occupational regular troops, almost 1,000 tanks and armoured combat vehicles, 10 Russian battalion tactical groups (6 more are concentrated near Ukraine’s state border), as well as 2 army corps which are led by Russian generals?
Russia is fueling violence, sends its militaries, supplies weapons, conducts combat operations, resorts to dirty propaganda, even if agreed on ceasefire. Do you need facts? Please, here they are. Since the Minsk agreements Russian forces and Russia-backed terrorists have shelled Ukrainian Forces 18,000 times. Russian aggression against Ukraine has led to 9,000 deaths (including 3,000 Ukrainian military men), 15,000 Ukraine were wounded, more than 1.7 mln were forced to leave their homes in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
As a result of Russia’s actions as a country that “is not interfering into Ukrainian internal affairs”, we have lost 20% of our industrial potential. The Russian Federation bears all the responsibility for the nationalisation and all the damage it caused in relation to Ukraine’s state property in Crimea worth more than $40bn.
That is why one doesn’t have to be surprised if any civilised country is appealing to the issue of the “Russian threat” to the national security. It has real grounds supported by facts and data.
I would like to remind that back in April 2014 at press conference Russian president Putin said that the presence of Russian military men in Donbas was “nonsense”. To be correct he said: “it is all nonsense. There are no Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. There are neither special services, nor instructors”. But already in December 2015 he changed his mind and said that “we have never said that there (in Donbas) are no people who are not engaged in settling specific issues, including in the military field”. Besides, the Russian president at first insisted on the absence of Russian militaries in Crimea, and later refreshed his mind saying that “our military men certainly stood behind the forces of Crimea self-defense forces”.
At the time when the people of Ukraine is contesting its sovereignty, we are extremely grateful to the Government of the United Kingdom for its support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine as well as maintaining further sanctions against Russia until it fulfils Minsk Agreements.
Absolutely, it is only up to the British people to decide the future of their country at the referendum – whether to stay or leave the EU. At the real referendum in a real democracy. Not at the fake referendum such as Russia organised at the gunpoint two years ago on the inalienable part of the territory of Ukraine – the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.