Viktor Kryzhanivsky: it’s «Russian military», not «pro-Russian forces»

, Ambassador of Ukraine
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Tension is ongoing in Ukraine because of the aggression of Russia on the territory of my country, writes Viktor Kryzhanivsky, Ambassador of Ukraine.

Russia says it has no connections to the events in the East of Ukraine. At the same time numerous evidence prove that the special forces of Russia and its secret service are involved in the ongoing separatist events in this region of Ukraine.

After the anschluss of Crimea, the Kremlin went over to second stage of the war on Ukraine. They started a covert operation in the country’s East.

They stick to the same routine as in Crimea. First – deploying professional military and mercenaries on Ukrainian territory. Second – paying local radicals and criminals to pose as «pro-Russian forces». Third – trying to make it look like a turmoil coming from beneath. But it doesn’t look like that at all. Unlike the December-February Euromaidan in Kyiv, it’s not a domestic uprising, but a full-blown foreign aggression on Ukraine.

There are valid proofs of «special-ops groups» being deployed on the ground. These are not Ukrainians. These are professional Russian mercenaries waging a war on Ukrainian territory. Some of the faces have been recognized from Crimea. Some of the faces are familiar from Georgia-2008. Saboteurs with Russian citizenship are being apprehended throughout the country. These and other things, including intercepted radio traffic confirm: these are foreigners, invaders.

Ukraine is fighting back. It cannot allow the Russian-equipped, Russian-paid and Russian-deployed special-ops units spread fear on Ukrainian people. The population in Eastern Ukraine is scared of strangers in green uniforms coming and ruining their daily lives. Stopping them, protecting own people is the direct obligation of Ukraine’s government. And in doing so it’s entitled to count on global support.

Russia thinks it found a foolproof way to conduct a war – not calling things by names and flatly denying the truth. But a lie is a lie and aggression is an aggression – no matter how Russia calls it and how much smoke gets blown by the Russian propaganda machine. The world must see it. The evidence is all over the place.

On April 13th Russia called a UN Security Council meeting to «express concern» about the situation they, in fact, created themselves. Remarkably, they didn’t call any Security Council meetings when thousands were killed in Chechnya. But this time around – they claim to be «concerned». Well, if they are, then there are three simple steps that would solve the problem: (1) stop doing what Russia has been doing in Ukraine for the last two months, (2) start immediately a settlement process and (3) return to the boundaries of international law.

Besides it should be mentioned that negotiations in Geneva on April 17, 2014 with participation of four parties – Ukraine, EU, US and Russia on the situation in Ukraine at the level of the Ministers for foreign affairs agreed on initial concrete steps to deescalate tensions and restore security for all citizens. In particular it was agreed that all illegally occupied public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.

Unfortunately, unlike Ukraine, Russian Federation is not fulfilling its commitments taken in Geneva and provides all possible support to separatists in the East of Ukraine and continues to deploy on the territory of our country its Special Forces units.

Now it is really important that EU and USA introduce more effective measures against the Russian Federation with a view to stop further destabilization of the situation in Ukraine. Our goal is to liberate the territory of my country from Russian occupation and to ensure the sovereignty over all the territory of Ukraine including Crimea. We continue to rely on the assistance of the guarantors of the territorial integrity of Ukraine – USA and the United Kingdom, as well as on the European Union.