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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Foreign Ministry Statement

22 February 2022 20:27

Eight years ago, the legitimately elected President of Ukraine was removed from office by an armed coup in Kiev. Radical forces came to power which immediately announced their intentions to wage an uncompromising war on the Russian language, to inculcate their ideology of aggressive nationalism and to repress all who disagree. The Maidan insurgents rejected every attempt to achieve a political solution to the internal crisis in Ukraine. The agreement to end the crisis was signed by President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and representatives of the opposition on February 21, 2014. Germany, France and Poland provided guarantees. It could have helped calm the situation and protect the interests of the people in all regions of that country without exception. However, this peace plan was immediately trampled on by the opposition and a bloody putsch ensued in Kiev on February 22, 2014.

Ukraine was plunged deeper and deeper into chaos. Lawlessness reigned in the country amid an atmosphere of total impunity and absence of authority. Reprisals against undesirable individuals, lustration and persecution of dissidents became the norm.

Russophobia has been running rampant and now defines Ukraine today. In violation of its own Constitution and law, Kiev launched a massive offensive against the Russian language, grossly violating the linguistic, educational and cultural rights of tens of millions of Russian-speaking citizens in the process.

A deep church schism was provoked by the persecution of the canonical Orthodox Church, the seizure of its churches by radical nationalist raiders and the theft of its property. All of that unfolded with the acquiescence of law enforcement agencies and the tacit approval of the government.

Decommunisation was used as a pretext to attack the country's history. The attempts to falsify history have reached an unprecedented scale with Nazi collaborators and henchmen elevated to the rank of heroes of Ukraine.

Extrajudicial reprisals against political opponents, including steep fines, have become an everyday occurrence. The persecution of independent journalists continues, censorship grows unchecked, and objectionable media outlets are shut down. Authoritarian forms of government have taken root in the country.

The controversial Myrotvorets website, which contains personal information about disloyal politicians, public figures and media representatives, as well as foreign citizens who are charged with "anti-Ukrainian subversive activities," is an example of Ukrainian-style democracy. Children are also among the "enemies of Ukraine." Individuals who find themselves on the list immediately become potential targets for reprisals by local offices of security services and aggressive actions by radical nationalists.

Since 2014, the Russian Embassy in Kiev and the Consulates General of our country in Odessa, Lvov and Kharkov have come under repeated attack. The Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Kiev was repeatedly targeted for provocation, its leader was injured, and damage was caused to the centre's property. Russian diplomats were targeted by the perpetrators of these aggressive actions as well, receiving threats of violence. Their vehicles were set on fire. Contrary to their obligations under the Vienna conventions on diplomatic and consular relations, the Kiev authorities failed to respond to what was happening.

Given the circumstances, our first priority is to take care of Russian diplomats and staff of the Embassy and Consulates General. For their own safety, the Russian leadership has decided to evacuate the staff of Russia's foreign missions in Ukraine soon.

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