Categorized | Russia, Ukraine

Yanukovich sent letter to Putin asking for Russian military presence in Ukraine

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Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin says ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has sent a letter to Putin asking him to use military force in Ukraine to restore law and order.

“Under the influence of Western countries, there are open  acts of terror and violence,” Churkin quoted the letter from  Yanukovich to Putin in the third emergency meeting of the UN  Security Council.
People are being persecuted for language and political  reasons,” Churkin read. ”So in this regard I would call  on the President of Russia, Mr. Putin, asking him to use the  armed forces of the Russian Federation to establish legitimacy,  peace, law and order, stability and defending the people of  Ukraine.”

After reading the letter, Churkin held up a copy of the original  letter from Yanukovich to Putin for council members to look at.

Churkin also told the UN Security Council that it is about  protecting the rights of the Russian-speaking population there.

Russia considers it necessary to ensure that the agreement  between Viktor Yanukovich and the opposition on the crisis in  Ukraine is fulfilled, Churkin told the UNSC.

Watch Vitaly Churkin speaking at the UNSC  meeting:

Video:  /files/news/23/14/30/00/1384405_unsc_480p.mp4

Churkin said it is essential that the obligations set forth in  the agreement on February 21 be fulfilled, such as beginning the  process of constitutional reform with full participation and  contributions from all regions of Ukraine for subsequent approval  in a national referendum, and the formation of a legitimate  government of national unity in the interests of all political  forces and regions.

Churkin clarified at the UNSC meeting that Russia’s goal is not  to return ousted leader Viktor Yanukovich to power, but  acknowledged that he is still the legitimate president of Ukraine  and that his fate should be decided by the people of Ukraine.

Military at the boundary of the Sevastopol naval detachment and the Ukrainian state border guard service in Balaklava district near Sevastopol.(RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin)Military at the boundary of the Sevastopol naval detachment and the Ukrainian state border guard service in Balaklava district near Sevastopol.(RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin)

 

He stressed the need to “rein in the radicals” operating  in Ukraine and asked Ukrainian opposition leaders to dissociate  themselves from them.

Churkin added that new information is emerging about more  provocations in the works against the Russian Black Sea Fleet in  Ukraine.

People’s self-defense units were formed in a situation where  threats and forceful actions of ultra-nationalists puts at risk  the lives of Russian citizens and the Russian-speaking  population. The units already managed to prevent the capture of  administrative buildings and the smuggling of large amounts of  firearms and explosives by radicals, Churkin explained.

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power followed Churkin’s  comments in front of the UN Security Council, saying that  Russia’s actions regarding Ukraine are a “violation of  international law.”

It is a fact that today Russian jets entered Ukrainian  airspace,” Power said. “Russia military action is a  violation of international law. Russian military bases in Ukraine  are secure. Russian mobilization is a response to an imaginary  threat. Military action can not be justified on the basis of  threats that haven’t been made or aren’t being carried out.  Russia needs to engage directly with the government of  Ukraine.”

Powers appealed for human rights monitors to be sent to Ukraine,  while calling on Russia to “immediately pull back” deployed  forces.

“Russia has every right to wish events had turned out  differently. It doesn’t have the right to express that using  military force,” Power said.

Ukraine Ambassador to the United Nations Yuriy Sergeyev said his  country has “not received a compelling answer” on  Russia’s stated reasons for moves into Crimea.

A soldier outside the Sevastopol coastguard unit of the Ukrainian Border-guard Service.(RIA Novosti / Vasiliy Batanov)A soldier outside the Sevastopol coastguard unit of the Ukrainian Border-guard Service.(RIA Novosti / Vasiliy Batanov)

 

You call it a coup d’etat. We call it a revolution of  dignity,” Sergeyev said, speaking in the direction of  Russia’s Churkin.

We [Ukraine] have a different understanding of human rights  than you [Russia],” Sergeyev added.

Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the United  Nations, said China condemns the recent extremist violence in  Ukraine.

“We urge all sides to resolve differences through legal  framework” and to protect rights of all people, Jieyi said.

The Ukrainian parliament in Kiev in its first days disturbed  eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, where many Russian  speakers live, by voting to repeal a law which gave regional  status to the Russian language. Seeing this as part of an  anti-Russian discriminatory stance of the government, some of the  regions denounced Kiev and said they would not be taking orders  from the new regime.

Authorities in Crimea requested Moscow’s assistance after  parliament voted to repeal the law.

More than half of the Crimean population are Russian and use only  the Russian language for their communication. The residents have  announced they will hold a referendum on March 30 to determine  the fate of the Ukrainian autonomous region.

Facts  you need to know about Crimea and why it is in turmoil

Crimean authorities denounced the self-proclaimed government in  Kiev and declared that all Ukrainian law enforcement and military  deployed in the peninsula must take orders from them. The  majority of troops in Crimea switched sides in favor of local  authorities.

In the wake of the escalation, the self-imposed president of  Ukraine, Aleksandr Turchinov, spoke out against the language  vote, stating on Monday evening that he will not sign the  decision to repeal the language law. Instead, he will wait until  a working group drafts a new law that will allow the use of all  languages in Ukraine.

In the 1990s, the status of Sevastopol became the subject of  endless debates between Russia and Ukraine. Following  negotiations, the city and surrounding territories were granted a  special “state significance” status within the Ukrainian state,  and some of the naval facilities were leased to Russia for its  Black Sea Fleet until at least 2047. According to the agreement,  Russia can have up to 25,000 personnel in Crimea, according to  Churkin.

Feeling a threat from the self-appointed government, a number of  regions have stood up against it. Thousands of people across  eastern and southern Ukraine are flooding the streets of major  cities, urging local authorities to disobey Kiev’s orders. The  local population has deemed the government in Kiev illegitimate,  demanding that their local governments refuse to take orders from  it.

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