05 august / 2019

Letter to the Editor-in-Chief of "The Capital" newspaper




Addis Ababa

Esteemed Mr. Editor-in-Chief,

On June 23, 2019, Capital newspaper published an interview with the Chargé d'Affaires of Ukraine in Ethiopia Mr. M. Kirichenko. I do not want to debate on everything that was said by Mr. M. Kirichenko. However, I cannot ignore direct insults and lies about my country, Russia, contained in his libel. I hope that the readers of Capital will find it interesting to get acquainted with a point of view different fr om the ravings composed by Mr. M. Kirichenko.

First of all, a few words about the notorious accusation of Russia of “aggression” against Ukraine, which official Kiev is scattering in all directions. First, Russia has never been aggressive towards Ukraine and its citizens. The word “annexation” used by Mr. M. Kirichenko in the Crimean context is altogether inappropriate. The proclamation of the independence of the Republic of Crimea in March 2014 and the incorporation of the peninsula into the Russian Federation was a legitimate form of realization of the right of the Crimean population to self-determination, as enshrined in the UN Charter, of a free, peaceful and international standard-compliant vote which was conducted after a coup d'état in Ukraine. This illegitimate event, followed by the rampant growth of radical nationalistic forces, which terrorized and intimidated both political opponents and the population of entire regions of the country, only accelerated the choice of the Crimean people. Therefore, attempts to qualify as unlawful the all-Crimean referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of the population of the region voted for the reunification of the Crimea with Russia as a subject of the Federation, and accuse our country of occupation is untenable in international law context. Authoritative foreign lawyers, opinions of major politicians, etc., also confirm this. By the way, in a number of other similar cases, such as, for example, in Eritrea or South Sudan, the results of the expression of the will of their peoples did not cause such hysteria as we observed in case of the Ukrainian authorities’ and their foreign patrons’ attitude to the results of the Crimean referendum.

As for the conflict in the south-east of Ukraine, it should be recalled that it was the Ukrainian leadership that unleashed a full-scale war in the Donbass against the citizens of its own country. Moreover, Russia, having signed the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, has performed and is performing maximum efforts to implement them, whereas the previous President of Ukraine did everything possible to undermine these very agreements. Unfortunately, the current leadership of Ukraine is not in a hurry to fulfill the obligations of the Ukrainian side. In particular, Kiev has not adopted the law “On the special status of the DPR and LPR”, continues the trade, economic, energy, transport and humanitarian blockade of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, regularly violates the “silence regime”, creates obstacles for access of foreign (including western) observers and NGO representatives to the conflict zone.

Such actions of Ukraine led to numerous victims. According to the UN, since the outbreak of hostilities in April 2014, the death toll reached almost 13.000 people (including 3.300 civilians, 4.000 military and 5.500 militiamen), hundreds of people are missing, and hundreds of thousands have become refugees. By the way, Mr. M. Kirichenko “forgot” to report that most of these refugees have found asylum in Russia.

Meanwhile, Kiev continues the vicious practice of segregating millions of its own citizens who were forced to migrate to Russia to earn money. Describing "free will" at the last election, Mr. M. Kirichenko shamelessly overlooked the fact that on a whim of the Ukrainian authorities 2.5 million Ukrainians in our country were deprived of the constitutional right to vote in the elections of the President of Ukraine in the country’s diplomatic missions in the Russian Federation.

To feel all the falsity of the statements by Mr. M. Kirichenko, it is enough to analyze the so-called "successes" of the Ukrainian nation, which he communicates with such a pride. It is no secret that Ukraine, after the 2014 coup d’état, openly supported by curtain countries concerned about “democracy”, plunged into the abyss of political chaos, corruption, legal mayhem, rampant aggressive nationalism. Over the past five years, a wave of violence and crime committed on political and ideological grounds has swept the country. In most cases, they do not receive an adequate legal assessment. Despite the numerous testimonies of eyewitnesses and participants of the events of February 2014, an objective investigation of the so-called “snipers case” has not yet been carried out. In May of the same year, the entire civilized world was shaken by the bloody massacre, organized in the city of Odessa by the fascist Ukrainian nationalists, as a result of which dozens of innocent people were burned alive. This crime is still not investigated, while instigators of brutal murders, including of ex-deputy from the Party of Regions, O. Kalashnikov, writer O. Buzina, journalist P. Sheremet, still remain at large.

Contrary to their statements about the commitment to the ideals of democracy, respect for human rights and freedoms, the authorities of Ukraine, in fact, announced a hunt for all those who have their own, different from the official, views. Many Ukrainian independent media outlets and journalists are persecuted and repressed. According to the Union of Journalists of Ukraine, in 2018, 235 cases of violation of freedom of speech were recorded, 86 attacks against media personnel were committed. Over the past five years, 18 journalists have been killed in Ukraine. By the way, 6 of them were citizens of Russia.

Attacks on human rights defenders and public figures have become regular in Ukraine. According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, in 2018 alone more than 50 crimes against civil activists were committed. Many opposition politicians, businessmen, journalists, political scientists and public figures have fled the country under the threat of criminal prosecution and physical violence.

Kiev continues to consciously cultivate the division of society on ethnic and ideological grounds. Nazi accomplices, collaborators and terrorists, such as Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukhevych, Yevgen Konovalets, Andriy Melnyk, etc., are glorified at the State level. Pro-fascist groups C14, National Corps, White Hammer and others encouraged by the Kiev authorities are marching around the country. Along with the USA, Ukraine remains practically the only country that systematically votes against the resolution “Combating the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to the escalation of contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”, adopted annually by the UN General Assembly on the initiative of Russia.

The situation with discrimination of the rights and freedoms of national minorities in Ukraine also has become unprecedented. Under the new Education Law, their representatives are actually denied the opportunity to be educated in their native language. Not only Russia declared indignation on this issue, but also Romania, Poland, Hungary - the member countries of the European Union, to which, as Mr. M. Kirichenko has proudly informed, Ukraine is so eager to get admitted. All spheres of life in the country, wh ere a significant part of the population uses the Russian language in everyday life or considers it its native language, are subject to total ukrainization. The Verkhovna Rada adopted the law “Ensuring the use of the Ukrainian language as the state language”, which is actually banning the use of the Russian language in this country.

Equally blatant are violations by Kiev of the freedom of religion, the choice of confession and the sacrament of faith. Despite the Constitution, the Ukrainian authorities brazenly interfered in the Church life of the country. By creating a so-called “The Orthodox Church of Ukraine”, they aggravated the schism existing in the local Orthodoxy, and the Ukrainians themselves were divided into “friends” and “foes”. Moreover, the autocephaly of the newly-established church is not recognized by 14 out of 15 Local Orthodox churches (except Constantinople). The green light is turned on to the elimination of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and its clergymen are openly threatened with physical violence.

It is no wonder after this that millions of Ukrainians fled to other countries away from such a “sweet life”. According to the Ukrainian Statistics Agency, the population of Ukraine since 1991 has declined by almost 10 million. Its economy has declined by 17.4% only in the first 2 years of the conflict. Only since 2016, there has been a slight increase, which until now has not been able to compensate for such a deep fall. The employment rate in the country in all these years did not exceed 68%. Is Mr. M. Kirichenko so proud of these “achievements”?

Regarding the resolutions of the UN General Assembly "Territorial integrity of Ukraine", "Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol" and "Militarization of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol", adopted under unprecedented blackmailing and pressure from overseas patrons of the Kiev regime and accompanied by streams of false propaganda, I would like to stress the approach of Ethiopia and other African countries that have not voted in support of these issues, and express the hope that common sense will ultimately prevail.

In conclusion, I would like to state that whatever lies and libel are being told by people such as Mr. M. Kirichenko regarding Russia, we will always consider peoples of Russia and Ukraine fraternal nations. So, the Embassy would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all citizens of Ukraine residing in Ethiopia with the upcoming National Day of Ukraine that is to be celebrated on August 24.


Press Attaché of the Embassy of Russia