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Maria Zakharova: ‘Ukraine Crisis’ and ‘The anti-Russian conference in Copenhagen’

Source: Russian MFA, Maria Zakharova, Moscow, February 10, 2023 (Read Full Briefing)

Ukraine crisis

The Package of measures for the Implementation of the Minsk agreements was signed eight years ago, on February 12, 2015, by all members of the Contact Group – Ukraine, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, the OCSE and Russia in the presence of the Normandy Format leaders (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine). At that point in time, it was an outstanding and effective result of diplomacy that demonstrated the consolidation of the involved countries’ capabilities and resources and of the entire world’s ability to unite to overcome a crisis.

Donetsk and Lugansk agreed to be reintegrated into Ukraine on the condition that they were given a special status and autonomy that was substantially smaller than the autonomy of Belgian regions or Swiss cantons. Six months before that, referendums were held in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions to determine the people’s ambitions. Whatever they are called in the West, the referendums were a free expression of the people’s will. In February 2015, Donetsk and Lugansk announced their agreement to become reintegrated into Ukraine based on the Minsk agreements.

The Package of Measures was a realistic roadmap that could have been implemented. Some might say it could easily have been implemented, while others think it could have been done at a price and involved compromises by both sides. Opinions may differ, but it was a realisable roadmap for overcoming instead of aggravating a crisis. It offered a guarantee that the implementation of the Minsk agreements’ fundamental provisions would prevent the situation from going from bad to worse. On February 17, 2015, the package was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2202, which made the Package of Measures an integral part of international law, binding on all parties.

It later turned out that the Kiev regime and its sponsors and mentors did not intend to move towards peace. They deceived the international community by saying at the UN Security Council that they wanted peace and by signing a document on a peaceful settlement. They knew from the very beginning, as they say now, that they would move in the opposite direction, that the signatures were not worth the paper they were written on, that they would not carry out their promise. It was a lie, doubletalk and false intentions presented as the truth.

All these years, the Western countries, including Germany and France as co-sponsors of the Minsk process, lied through their teeth about their commitments to the Minsk process and the UN Security Council resolution. They turned a blind eye to the Kiev regime’s crimes in Donbass. Moreover, they accused Russia of failure to implement the agreements, although we were not required to do anything. The worst part is that they were acting out a performance, and they knew it. The Kiev regime, feeling the support of the West, pretended to be negotiating while sabotaging its own obligations. We noted more than once that we left these negotiations with a feeling of sabotage, subversion, and an unwillingness to honour the agreements and a desire to push the situation to a dead-end from which no exit was possible. Former President Petr Poroshenko has admitted that Ukraine was procrastinating to gain more time to prepare for a confrontation with Russia. The former leaders of Germany and France, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, have made similar statements. In other words, the Kiev regime and the West buried the Minsk agreements together.

Today, the Ukrainian armed forces continue to shell residential buildings, schools and hospitals in Donbass and the Zaporozhye, Kherson, Bryansk, Kursk and Belgorod regions of the Russian Federation.

The relevant international organisations have not yet reacted to the Kiev regime’s inhumane shelling of the hospital in Novoaidar, the Lugansk People’s Republic, where 14 people were killed, and the children’s hospital in Novaya Kakhovka, Kherson Region, where, thankfully, nobody was injured. Regrettably, the international community continues to take no notice of these events. I am not referring to the international community that has watched this happening for years, at a loss for words and with a sinking heart, but those who throw accusations around while disregarding the facts. They have engaged in doubletalk, lies and propaganda for years, using every resource at their disposal, but never finding an opportunity (let alone a heart, which they don’t have) to take notice of the dehumanisation of the Kiev regime.

The NATO countries bear part of responsibility for these crimes because they are sending weapons and intelligence to the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev. The lack of international organisations’ reaction to these flagrant violations of international humanitarian law discredits these institutions, which have become NATO’s obedient puppets.

Yesterday, the Foreign Ministry posted a statement on the shooting of Russian POWs by Ukrainian Nazis. This is a heinous crime by the Kiev regime. Kiev’s Western curators are largely responsible for yet another shooting of Russian POWs, because they have nurtured this nationalist and neo-Nazi regime. Today, they applaud their “spawn,” whom they show off to other NATO countries like in a circus. There were freak circuses in the past. Now, Britain and other NATO countries have organised something that civilised countries prohibited long ago. They picked a human being, if you can describe him as such, spent years to train him to perform certain actions, supplied him with weapons and money, and pressed the button. This is something their public should see, the performance by a clown dressed in pseudo-military clothes. Zelensky was taken from one auditorium to another to show off a monster who was trained to start a bloodbath. This is nothing but a freak show. There is no doubt that the general public, let alone Ukraine, has been stupefied with the propaganda that is widely used in the West.

That show was taking place against the backdrop of reports about the execution of POWs by Zelensky’s military personnel. Not a single person who attended that freak show asked how much blood from innocent civilians, including children, the president of Ukraine has on his hands. These prepaid meetings, interrupted only by numerous commercials and broadcasts, took place while helpless prisoners were being shot, against the backdrop of what the West doesn’t want to hear about or deal with. We have provided information about the mass graves that are the result of this eight-year-long slaughter.

Covering their crimes with silence, the NATO countries make these crimes possible. This Russian blood is on the hands of the countries that are supplying Ukraine with weapons and Nazi ideology. The silence of the relevant international organisations, which have exchanged a professional and unbiased approach for a striving to curry favour with the United States and other Western countries, is disgraceful. They are afraid, each for a reason of its own. The Investigative Committee of Russia has already announced that it is studying new videos of Kiev’s war crimes. We are sure these crimes will not go unpunished.

In the meantime, life is getting back to normal on the territories liberated from the Kiev regime. Special attention is paid to healthcare facilities – 64 of them have already been restored and almost another hundred are being repaired. A new perinatal centre for 140 beds and an area of 26,500 square metres is under construction in Donetsk. As part of patronage assistance, specialists from other Russian regions are restoring a city hospital in Volnovakha and conducting repairs and restoration work in the Central City Multi-Profile Hospital and a maternity hospital in Krasnodon.

In Mariupol, Russian military are removing explosives from the tramway terminal and tram tracks. Municipal services have started restoring tramway infrastructure.

The Kiev regime does not stop demanding from the West more and more arms supplies for preparing a “counteroffensive.” The main purpose of the performance staged by President Zelensky was to beg “the bosses” to give him long-range missiles and aircraft. On February 8 of this year, he visited London and Paris and on February 9, he was a guest at the EU summit. Indicatively, during this visit Vladimir Zelensky, supposed to be the President of independent Ukraine, flew on the aircraft of the Royal Air Force.

Do you remember what Zelensky promised to his people and what he demonstrated in the first months of his presidency to the stormy applause of the West? He said that he was together with his people, flying regular planes and sitting in regular plane seats, that there was no difference between him and average citizens. How things have changed in four years! These are not just VIP aircraft. Western, NATO aircraft move him wherever he needs to stage yet another freak show. By the way, during his visit to the United States on December 21, 2022, he flew on aircraft of the US Air Force.

Advisor to the head of Zelensky’s office Mikhail Podolyak also resorted to begging recently. He announced that “Ukraine must receive everything it needs here and now – not in 2024 or 2025.”

The project of building a democratic, strong and independent Ukraine collapsed. Now its fragments are presented, much to everyone’s surprise, as an established state that is upholding freedom and democracy. Meanwhile, its neo-Nazi regime is involved in laundering money sent via Ukraine by Anglo-Saxons. It is creating in central Europe a bridgehead for countering our country.

All this surprisingly coincided with the February 2 decision by the Council of Europe to allocate 500 million euros worth of military aid to Kiev via the European Peace Facility (EPF). Just think of it – half a billion euros from this Peace Facility will be spent on carnage. On February 3 of this year, Washington also announced yet another package of arms worth almost $2.2 billion. This time, the package includes HAWK air defence systems, Javelin anti-tank missile systems, Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB) with a range of 150 kilometres and Claymore anti-personnel mines. Given the recent high-profile report by Human Rights Watch NGO, which accused the Armed Forces of Ukraine of using Lepestok (Petal) anti-personnel blast mines against civilians, this step by Washington looks like a purposeful attempt to push the Kiev regime to commit more war crimes. I think that unfortunately this is what is going to happen. But it is important to understand who is to blame.

There appeared reports that the authorities of Norway are going to spend part of their windfall gas profits on Ukraine. Oslo plans to allocate to Kiev almost $1.5 billion a year. Half of this sum will be used for military aid and the other half for civilian support. What kind of civilian support is this? Having received military aid from Oslo, the Kiev regime will be killing those civilians that Oslo is going to support. Does nobody understand this?  

The Westerners have of late stepped up the efforts to provide training to the Ukrainian military. On February 2, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said the EU planned to bring the number of Ukrainian cadets at the EU Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine to 30,000. The Ukrainian Defence Minister Alexey Reznikov said the Ukrainian troops began learning to drive Leopard tanks at European training grounds on February 6.

As you may be aware, the EU has allocated half a billion euros from the Peace Facility. So, is it about peace or training even more Ukrainian citizens to never make it back home? The West must make its choice.

By arming the Ukrainian forces with increasingly powerful, as they think, weapons and training the Ukrainian military, the United States and its NATO vassals are doing everything to escalate hostilities, which will inevitably draw the conflict out and increase the number of victims.

In their reckless support of the Kiev-based Nazis, Western leaders have crossed every conceivable and inconceivable line. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s confession to the effect that the West was at war with Russia were still a fresh memory when the German Defence Minister, Boris Pistorius, hinted unequivocally that physical elimination of the Russian leadership was a desirable outcome. Statements like this one are absolutely unacceptable for an official from any country that is a member of the international community. This is not some made-up country or a sect of ghouls, but an official state and a UN member. These people do not represent some private outfit, but they represent the people who elected them. Against the backdrop of these statements, official Berlin declares itself a champion of international law and human rights.

Should we remind Berlin of its own history and the number of times in their most recent history the German officials spoke about the desirability of eliminating a particular leader or a nation, which would make it easier for them to live their lives? They react strongly to reminders about their own history. They are so sensitive about someone comparing their current regime to the Third Reich. It’s not us who are making the comparison. It’s you who are becoming increasingly more reminiscent of your roots. I’m quoting you directly.

The Ukrainian authorities continue to wage a raging war on the Russian language, literature and culture. Having banned the Russian language in violation of its own constitution, Kiev is now fighting for the “purity” of person-to-person communication. Commissioner for the Protection of the State Language Taras Kremen said he supported the ban on interpersonal communication in Russian imposed by the leadership of the Kiev-Mogila Academy and hoped that other universities would follow suit. No other comparison comes to mind but one. But I think that even in the 1930s, European fascists and Nazis did not go that far. They put yellow stars on the sleeves of the Jews and shipped them to ghettoes, but they never barred them from speaking with each other in their native language. Ukraine went farther. They exterminate people and try to root out culture. They engage in outright lies and make it illegal for people to speak their native language.

As a reminder, Ukrainian officials, in particular Arseny Yatsenyuk and Vladimir Zelensky observed cynically that, despite the fact that the Russian language does not enjoy the status of an official or working language in Ukraine, they all think in Russian and speak Russian at home. They said this to prove their normalcy. It turns out that now they have publicly admitted that they are not so normal after all if they decided to prohibit some of their citizens from speaking their native language even in person-to-person communication.

By virtue of office, I watch videos from the battlefield and some of these are videos showing communication between troops, gunmen and extremists from the Ukrainian forces or units acting in the interests of the Ukrainian forces. Interestingly, Kiev is sending them to carnage and forcing them to die and does not mind their speaking Russian, whereas these same people cannot live in peace, work or study in the Russian language. It needs to be put under control, crossed out and removed. This is unheard of in real history or in fiction. This is a phased-in and quick dehumanisation of the Kiev regime for the money of and to the cheers of their NATO curators.

This did not start today. Today, it is just getting increasingly ugly. Just like during the Middle Ages or in Nazi Germany, Ukraine is waging a war on books written in the Russian language. The other day, Deputy Head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee for Humanitarian and Information Policy Yevgeniya Kravchuk said 11 million books in Russian had been written off from the Ukrainian public libraries as of November 2022. They take pride in this and present it as a result of the people’s deputies’ effective work. Prior to that, they imposed bans on book imports and limited and imposed quotas on the use of the Russian language in the media.

Now, they are seizing and destroying books and making it illegal to communicate in Russian. Go ahead and call it by its name. Say who you have taken your cue from by acting like this. Come clean.

Kiev has taken its anti-Russian mayhem even further. Yesterday, February 9, the Ukrainian Nazis, acting in a cowardly manner and trying not be seen by their own citizens, demolished the monument to the Hero of the Soviet Union, the legendary pilot Valery Chkalov, and dismantled the monument to the Hero of the Soviet Union, General Nikolai Vatutin. General Vatutin led the 1st Ukrainian Front to liberate Kiev from the Nazis on November 6, 1943 and was later treacherously killed by Bandera henchmen. A monument to the general was erected on his grave. However, the Ukrainian authorities were nonchalant about it. This is the man who liberated Kiev from the Nazis. This is his grave. There is a monument to him on that grave.

The Ukrainian powers that be and the “democracies” that are flooding Ukraine with weapons continue their savage policies which cannot be covered by any staged acts. They will not succeed in creating a fake image of “peace-loving” people who “strive for fair and mutually agreed upon solutions” with the international community. Nothing can cover up these acts of dehumanisation. The “paint” peeled off a long time ago. Ordinary Ukrainian citizens are of no interest to anyone on Bankovaya Street, in Brussels, Washington or London. All of the above makes the special military operation’s goals and objectives even more important and leaves no doubt about the underlying reasons for starting it.

The anti-Russian conference in Copenhagen

The War Crimes and Accountability in Ukraine international conference hosted by the Danish Foreign Ministry in conjunction with the embassies of Great Britain and Ukraine was held in Copenhagen on February 1. Is there any doubt left about who is in charge of the harrowing bloody developments in Ukraine? Of course, not. No one has any doubt about it now.

Going off on the same old rant about Russia’s alleged aggression against Ukraine and making statements about the importance of international efforts aimed at spreading information “about Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine and bringing to justice the people involved in them,” the participants of this gathering simply conceded their support of the neo-Nazi Kiev regime and the latter’s foul methods. They publicly confirmed their commitment to crimes that are taking place on the Kiev regime’s watch. No one even mentioned the colossal casualties and numerous targeted crimes to exterminate dissenters in Ukraine. All of that was led directly by NATO, Brussels, and Washington. No one noticed how, over the span of many years, the Kiev regime destroyed the civilian infrastructure in Donbass, including medical and educational buildings. No one ever mentioned these facts, which means we have a sheer case of doublespeak on our hands. Not just hypocrisy or double standards, but a global effort to repackage things, to replace the truth with a lie, and to pass off a lie as the truth.

All of that is backed up by the arms supplies to Ukraine, the funding of the conflict, and the setting up of training camps and training programmes for the Ukrainian forces.