Open letter of Ukraine’s Ambassador
Article published today in The Times called “Goodbye Lenin: Kiev nationalists blow up statues” left bitter aftertaste and mixed feelings.
It is unfortunate that terrorists have credence to be quoted by such respectful paper. Alike disturbing is the fact that the process of decomunisation in Ukraine is delivered in a negative light of fictitious “Kyiv nationalists”.
First, Ukrainian people has paid high price, the price of hundred thousands of innocent victims, who became subject to Communist depredations.
Do we have to keep silent when nowadays Russian President is openly praising Soviet communist leaders and is cherishing the poisonous idea of so called “common Soviet past”, questioning territorial integrity, including by capturing, of neighbouring sovereign states and realising the concept of Russian “near abroad”? My answer is definitely no.
And it has nothing in common with Kyiv nationalists, it is about finally getting rid of the Communism past which has been a sword of Damocles hanging over the people of Ukraine. That is what has been done in many European countries who suffered from totalitarian atrocities and chose the way towards prosperous European future. Some of them even went further by introducing criminal prosecution for denying crimes of the Communist and Nazi regimes. That is why the Parliament of Ukraine introduced a law banning display of Soviet symbols.
Second, there is no Donetsk People’s Republic as well as Luhansk one. There are Ukrainian territories captured by Russia-led terrorist organisations as well as Russian troops. I strongly urge to use the politically correct version of “so called” DNR and LNR. Alike it is politically incorrect to cite non-existing “Defence Ministry of the Donetsk People’s Republic”.
Third, the Minsk peace deal was stalled not over disagreements but because Russia and its militants are defiantly neglecting their commitments. Unlike Russia and the militants Ukraine ceased fire, completed withdrawal of all heavy weapons, ensures OSCE Monitoring Mission access to all areas under the government’s control, launched respective political process. However, armed provocations by militants have an upward tendency with clear goal – undermine the process of de-escalation. It shows that Russia continues to provide military and logistical support to the militants. Russia and the militants are also blocking delivery of Ukrainian and international humanitarian aid to the people on the occupied territories.
The militants restrict the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission freedom of movement and intimidate the SMM observers by shooting at them.
It is also Russia and its proxies who refuse to release captives immediately and all for all.
Let me conclude by saying that democracy means pluralism of thoughts. I could not agree more. But let’s not be misled by Russian propaganda justifying aggression against Ukraine by the existence of “ghost Ukrainian nationalists” and the “need to protect Russian speaking minority”. In practice, it brought to Ukraine war, despair and sufferings.