The US State Department for the second time in one month has issued a comment on Russia’s position on a number of aspects dealt with the current dramatic Ukrainian crises orchestrated and masterminded by the USA, NATO and the EU. The first comment of that kind has appeared on March 5, 2014. My own comment to it was emplaced at the “Komsomolskaya Pravda” website a week after – March 14 in Russian. It attracted attention to many people. So, I have decided to make the relevant response to a new comment that appeared at the US State Department website April 13, 2014.
For the sake of having the most accurate presentation of the US State Department comment entitled “Russian Fiction the Sequel: 10 More False Claims About Ukraine” it is being published here in full. My comments have been typed below each “fact” that actually is a biased and false account of the developments in Ukraine – country that have been plunged into deep abyss of social and economic crisis owing to miscalculated schemes by the USA, NATO and the EU. Namely they have arranged bloody armed coup that has brought to power unconstitutionally radicals, U-right nationalists and even persons soaked in fascist ideology denounced by the world community at large. My comments are placed after each paragraph that begins with the wording: “Comment to the ‘fact’”.
Russian Fiction the Sequel: 10 More False Claims About Ukraine
Office of the Spokesperson
April 13, 2014
“No amount of propaganda can make right something that the world knows is wrong.” – President Obama, March 26
Russia continues to spin a false and dangerous narrative to justify its illegal actions in Ukraine. The Russian propaganda machine continues to promote hate speech and incite violence by creating a false threat in Ukraine that does not exist. We would not be seeing the violence and sad events that we’ve witnessed this weekend without this relentless stream of disinformation and Russian provocateurs fostering unrest in eastern Ukraine. Here are 10 more false claims Russia is using to justify intervention in Ukraine, with the facts that these assertions ignore or distort.
1. Russia Claims: Russian agents are not active in Ukraine.
Fact: The Ukrainian Government has arrested more than a dozen suspected Russian intelligence agents in recent weeks, many of whom were armed at the time of arrest. In the first week of April 2014, the Government of Ukraine had information that Russian GRU officers were providing individuals in Kharkiv and Donetsk with advice and instructions on conducting protests, capturing and holding government buildings, seizing weapons from the government buildings’ armories, and redeploying for other violent actions. On April 12, armed pro-Russian militants seized government buildings in a coordinated and professional operation conducted in six cities in eastern Ukraine. Many were outfitted in bullet-proof vests, camouflage uniforms with insignia removed, and carrying Russian-designed weapons like AK-74s and Dragunovs. These armed units, some wearing black and orange St. George’s ribbons associated with Russian Victory Day celebrations, raised Russian and separatist flags over seized buildings and have called for referendums on secession and union with Russia. These operations are strikingly similar to those used against Ukrainian facilities during Russia’s illegal military intervention in Crimea in late February and its subsequent occupation.
Comment to the ‘fact’: There are no Russian units in Eastern Ukraine – no special services, no tactical advisors. So far no one has been actually detained and shown to the general public. As to AK-47s and Dragunov rifles there are plenty of them used throughout the world, including those in Ukraine: its Armed Forces have such weaponry. At the same time US and NATO officials and instructors have visited and are still openly visiting Ukraine to give instructions to Kiev’s U-right “Government” entrenched illegally after a bloody unconstitutional armed coup orchestrated by the USA and NATO. After the visit of the CIA Director John Brennan to Kiev in mid-April 2014 who delivered an order from the White House to start major military drive against peaceful protesters the Ukrainian Armed Forces actually began armed genocide in Southern and Eastern regions in Ukraine. The White House is leaning toward providing Ukraine with guerrilla-like arms such as IEDs, mortars, small arms and grenades.
Totally the USA has spent $ 10 billion to topple the Constitutional regime in Ukraine. This amount does not include around $ 3 billion secretly delivered to Kiev, partly in diplomatic pouch.
Local citizens in Southern and Eastern regions in Ukraine do not use cruel tactics like those ‘Right Sector’ and ‘Svoboda’ factions used in Maidan in February: they do not shoot, they do not use Molotov’s cocktails. The proof of that is the fact that those people have literally removed their masks.
As to Crimea, Kiev has given up this land that became a part of Russian Empire since 1783 without any shot though there have been 22.000 Ukrainian troops on Crimean Peninsula before it has reunited with Russia March 18, 2014. By the way 83% of Crimeans took part in the March 16 referendum, and nearly 97% made their choices to rejoin the Russian Federation – its historic, economic, spiritual and cultural land. International observers and foreign newsmen stated that it was free and democratic referendum held in a peaceful atmosphere.
2. Russia Claims: Pro-Russia demonstrations are comprised exclusively of Ukrainian citizens acting of their own volition, like the Maidan movement in Kyiv.
Fact: This is not the grassroots Ukrainian civic activism of the EuroMaidan movement, which grew from a handful of student protestors to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians from all parts of the country and all walks of life. Russian internet sites openly are recruiting volunteers to travel from Russia to Ukraine and incite violence. There is evidence that many of these so-called “protesters” are paid for their participation in the violence and unrest. It is clear that these incidents are not spontaneous events, but rather part of a well-orchestrated Russian campaign of incitement, separatism, and sabotage of the Ukrainian state. Ukrainian authorities continue to arrest highly trained and well-equipped Russian provocateurs operating across the region.
Comment to the ’fact’: Protesters in Southern and Eastern regions of Ukraine are citizens of these areas. The nation-wide moral support by Russians of protesters in Ukraine does not mean that all of them flooded the country. There is no evidence that somebody has paid the protesters for their activity: people are scared by military genocide started by Kiev U-right factions, by constant threats and intimidation, by sharply reduced their living standards, and the first victims amongst civilians in these regions: killed and wounded. Up to 17 April 2014 several people have been intentionally killed and several dozens wounded by regular Ukrainian Armed Forces that are using heavy military equipment like tanks, armored combat vehicles, jet fighter airplanes, attack helicopters and even multiple rocket launching systems.
3. Russia Claims: Separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine enjoy broad popular support.
Fact: The recent demonstrations in eastern Ukraine are not organic and lack wide support in the region. A large majority of Donetsk residents (65.7 percent) want to live in a united Ukraine and reject unification with Russia, according to public opinion polls conducted at the end of March by the Donetsk-based Institute of Social Research and Policy Analysis. Pro-Russian demonstrations in eastern Ukraine have been modest in size, especially compared with Maidan protests in these same cities in December, and they have gotten smaller as time has progressed.
Comment to the ‘fact’: The federalization movement in Southern and Eastern regions in Ukraine is a broad-based movement, embracing people of different walks of life. This movement is gaining momentum. Three regions have declared their independence by proclaiming their “Peoples’ Republics”: in Donetsk, Kharkov and recently in Odessa. A lot of cities in these areas have ousted the corrupt leaders sent from Kiev and elected their own heads of the local governments. People wishes to hold regional referendums not later than 11 May 2014. As to the figures cited above (65.7 percent), they are faked and do not reflect the current realities. The recent developments in Southern and Eastern regions in Ukraine proves that it a wide-range movement, and it will expand.
4. Russia Claims: The situation in eastern Ukraine risks spiraling into civil war.
Fact: What is going on in eastern Ukraine would not be happening without Russian disinformation and provocateurs fostering unrest. It would not be happening if a large Russian military force were not massed on the border, destabilizing the situation through their overtly threatening presence. There simply have not been large-scale protests in the region. A small number of separatists have seized several government buildings in eastern cities like Donetsk, Luhansk, and Slovyansk, but they have failed to attract any significant popular support. Ukrainian authorities have shown remarkable restraint in their efforts to resolve the situation and only acted when provoked by armed militants and public safety was put at risk. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observers have reported that these incidents are very localized.
Comment to the ‘fact’: Yes, the risk of civil war in Eastern and Southern region in Ukraine is great, though large groups of civilians from each side have not began fighting with each other. But actually, it is armed and direct genocide against Ukrainian people, rather than a civil war, the USA and NATO wish it to be erupted. Such policy that is strongly condemned by the international law is being widely backed by the USA and NATO who decided to give to it another military boost in a form of a major build up of the North Atlantic Alliance in the area of the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas and in countries adjacent to Ukraine. In recent years the USA has opened five military bases in the area of Eastern and Southern Europe – long time before the Maidan riots, and from March 2004 started in the Baltic “Baltic Air Policing” operation involving 15 NATO member-states.
5. Russia Claims: Ukrainians in Donetsk rejected the illegitimate authorities in Kyiv and established the independent “People’s Republic of Donetsk.”
Fact: A broad and representative collection of civil society and non-governmental organizations in Donetsk categorically rejected the declaration of a “People’s Republic of Donetsk” by the small number of separatists occupying the regional administration building. These same organizations confirmed their support for the interim government and for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. As it has been sais above, two more independent republics have been proclaimed.
Comment to the ‘fact’: The overwhelming majority of the Donetsk region are in favor of independence. They do not recognize the “Government” in Kiev that made the entire Ukraine into a mess and do not want to obey its inhuman and undemocratic orders.
6. Russia Claims: Russia ordered a “partial drawdown” of troops from the Ukrainian border.
Fact: No evidence shows significant movement of Russian forces away from the Ukrainian border. One battalion is not enough. An estimated 35,000-40,000 Russian troops remain massed along the border, in addition to approximately 25,000 troops currently in Crimea.
Comment to the ‘fact’: Russia has full and undisputable right to deploy and to move its Armed Forces anywhere it so desire on its own territory. At the same time it notes that a long time NATO has began amassing its different kind of troops near Russian doorstep including missile defense systems, tactical and strategic nuclear weapons and conventional forces. Moscow considers these build up as a direct threat to its national security and will act accordingly. By the way, BBC and some other foreign mass media showed satellite pictures of “Russian troops along Ukrainian border” in 2014, though they have been made in August 2013 during regular drills. The EU Intelligence Chief Admiral Georgij Alafuzoff admitted that there were no Russian troops stationed close to Ukraine. Two aerial and several land inspections conducted by NATO countries in March and April 2014 also proved their absence.
7. Russia Claims:Ethnic Russians in Ukraine are under threat.
Fact: There are no credible reports of ethnic Russians facing threats in Ukraine. An International Republican Institute poll released April 5 found that 74 percent of the Russian-speaking population in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine said they “were not under pressure or threat because of their language.” Meanwhile, in Crimea, the OSCE has raised urgent concerns for the safety of minority populations, especially ethnic Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars, and others. Sadly, the ethnic Russians most at risk are those who live in Russia and who oppose the authoritarian Putin regime. These Russians are harassed constantly and face years of imprisonment for speaking out against Putin’s regular abuses of power.
Comment to the ‘fact’: Yes, such imminent threat really exists. There have been repeated threats to Russians, Tatars and Jews “to stab and to hang them”, “to bury Russians under asphalt”, “to fence them by barbed wire and to wipe out their lands in fireballs”, “to use atomic weapons against Russians”, etc.
Still, the Ukrainian law quickly stamped by current Ukrainian Parliament on linguistic cleansing, bans Russian and other non-Ukrainian languages in Ukraine has not been cancelled. It is still valid. Nearly half of Ukraine cannot speak Russian language.
8. Russia Claims: Ukraine’s new government is led by radical nationalists and fascists.
Fact: The Ukrainian parliament (Rada) did not change in February. It is the same Rada that was elected by all Ukrainians, comprising all of the parties that existed prior to February’s events, including former president Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. The new government, approved by an overwhelming majority in the parliament — including many members of Yanukovych’s former party — is committed to protecting the rights of all Ukrainians, including those in Crimea.
Comment to the ‘fact’: Yes, seven “ministers” in the present-day “Government” in Kiev are proponents of fascist and ultra-right radiclals’ views, and admire the WW II war criminals, like Ukranians Bandera and Shukevich, and Hitler openly wear Nazi swastika. The German Left Party (Die Linke) leader Grogor Gysi blantly called a number of persons acting inside the current “Government” in Kiev as “fascists’ during his remarks in the German Parliament earlier this year. As to Rada, its MPs have been forced to vote without any debate any draft law that is being tabled by the speaker who consider himself as an ‘acting president’, though no one has ever stripped de jure President Viktor Yanukovich of all his posts.
9. Russia Claims: Ethnic minorities face persecution in Ukraine from the “fascist” government in Kyiv.
Fact: Leaders of Ukraine’s Jewish as well as German, Czech, and Hungarian communities have all publicly expressed their sense of safety under the new authorities in Kyiv. Moreover, many minority groups expressed fear of persecution in Russian-occupied Crimea, a concern OSCE observers in Ukraine have substantiated.
Comment to the ‘fact’: That is true.Two presidential candidates, namely Mr. Oleg Tsarev and Mr. Mikhail Dobkin have been intentionally and brutally attacked by a group of violent youngsters. Mr. Tzarev was heavily beaten.
There is also a law passed by Ukrainian Parliament on ‘professions’ ban’ that prevents ethnic minorities to work at state enterprises under pretext that they have worked as state employees during earlier regimes.
So far no local minorities in Crimea have ever complained of any wrong-doings.
10. Russia Claims: Russia is not using energy and trade as weapons against Ukraine.
Fact: Following Russia’s illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea, Russia raised the price Ukraine pays for natural gas by 80 percent in the past two weeks. In addition, it is seeking more than $ 11 billion in back payments following its abrogation of the 2010 Kharkiv accords. Russia’s moves threaten to increase severely the economic pain faced by Ukrainian citizens and businesses. Additionally, Russia continues to restrict Ukrainian exports to Russia, which constitute a significant portion of Ukraine’s export economy.
Comment to the ‘fact’: Wrong assessment. Russia never used the gas issue as a political tool against Ukraine. Moscow made several price discounts for natural gas supplied to Ukraine despite the fact that Ukraine a number of times stolen the gas transported to Europe via Ukrainian territory. So far, up to April 17, 2014 Ukraine has paid only 50% for gas deliveries from Russia in February and not paid to Moscow just one penny for the gas deliveries from Russia that have been made in March 2014. The total amount of gas discounts offered by Russia to Ukraine has reached $ 35 billion. Ukrainian gas debt is $ 2.2 billion as it stood for April 17, 2014 and continues to grow. Kiev is unfair trade partner, a liar and thief. Unfortunately, the EU is extending to it moral help because it does not wish to pay for Ukraine. But why Russia should? It is not a problem of Russia. It is a problem of Ukraine. If Kiev is unhappy with the current price for gas, it can buy it anywhere at a lower cost. It is normal commercial rule and practice.
During his press conference April 17, 2014 President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would wait for one more month while waiting for Kiev’s gas payments, but after that it would resort to pre-paid method of selling gas to Ukraine. No country in the world can deliver gas, oil or any other essential commodities to other countries free of charge. If Western leaders are so concerned about Ukrainian economy, they have to pay all Ukrainian debts to other countries or to find a state that will be able to supply Kiev with gas and other commodities on a grant-in-aid basis.