Russia will not abandoned the Russians in Ukraine and will react if they are attacked. “If we are attacked, we certainly will respond. If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of the Russians are attacked directly, as they were in South Ossetia, for example, I see no alternative but to respond in accordance with international law,” said Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday in an interview with the government television channel RT. “The attack on Russian citizens is an attack against the Russian Federation” says the chief diplomat of the Kremlin.
In his warning, Lavrov referred to the brief war between Georgia and Russia in August 2008, when Moscow sent troops into South Ossetia to defend the inhabitants of that territory after the then leader of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, undertook a military raid and sent tanks against civilians in Tskhinvali, the capital. South Ossetia, one of the problematic areas left by the USSR, had refused to bow to Georgia even before the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991. After the August 2008 war, Russia recognized South Ossetia (along with Abkhazia) as a state, although the bulk of the international community is formally considering that both territories are part of Georgia.
The situation of Donbas (Don basin, which includes the provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk) is different from that of South Ossetia. Donbas has never been questioned as part of Ukraine and Russian (” ruski ” culture and Russian language) who live here mostly have Ukrainian citizenship, unlike South Ossetia, which Moscow widely distributed passports for several years among the local population.
Although comparing Lavrov is inaccurate, his words seem a warning from the Kremlin to tell the West that they will not abandoned Russians and, if necessary, will act to defend them. It also appears a message from Moscow to the citizens of eastern Ukraine and especially the federalist and separatist activists have called for a referendum on self-determination for May 11. In a way, it is also a mirror with reverse sign message against the support the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden gave to Eve in Kiev Ukraine’s interim authorities and the citizens who support them.
The activists called People’s Republic of Donetsk (RPD) are preparing the query, according to reports, will refer to the “independence” of the province, but not Russia or joining the Customs Union, other possibilities which had been considered and apparently were left for later. Russian flags are numerous in buildings and checkpoints DPR, but this correspondent has the impression that they have been overshadowed in part by local teach (the DPR and the mining flag).
“Although we have not won the support of Moscow. The Kremlin will decide after the referendum if they acknowledge and support us. If they get a majority and Kiev is resigned to losing the region, then there will be conflict, but if Kiev does not resign, Putin can not leave us alone on our own,” said linked Forces Special Intervention (old Berkut) with responsibility for defense sources in DPR.
“But whether it helps us or not we will not back down and we are ready to die rather than submit to an illegitimate regime that has no intention of respecting our interests” they said. The sources considered one of the greatest threats to their cause are the “provocations” intended to “create the instinct of revenge and desire to attack” among Ukrainian military, reluctant to “attacking civilians” as part of an “operation counterterrorism” in which, “according to the law, are only allowed to have auxiliary functions,” the sources said. The state of emergency, the authorities have not yet declared, would require the approval of Parliament, sources recalled.
Provisional Ukrainian authorities are trying to prevent the referendum and will hold and block access to voter lists, as they did in Crimea to prevent secessionist consultation from 16 March.
Agreements signed April 17 by Russia, the U.S., the EU and Ukraine in Geneva no longer seems to be a shadow. Lavrov described as “criminal” use of force against Ukrainian citizens and the order issued Tuesday by the chairman Olexandr Turchinov resuming the “counterterrorist operation”. ” Turchinov almost declared a state of emergency and ordered the army to shoot people” he said.
Lavrov has denied that Russian military presence in the Ukrainian territory, but admitted that the military contingent had increased in border areas of Russia, but in the context of previously announced exercises and international law. “There are Russian title owners, including Cossacks of southern Russia, but no Russian troops citizens”, according to the sources in Donetsk.
Ironically while visiting the Vatican Arseniy Yatseniuk on Wednesday, Lavrov said the Prime Minister of Ukraine will do better visiting the south of the country and meeting there with the protagonists of the protests. The Russian minister also spared no accusations against the U.S. and as “very significant” that the resumption of the “counterterrorist operation ” to coincide with the visit of Vice President Joe Biden Kiev since the launch of it had occurred immediately after the CIA boss, John Brennan visited the capital of Ukraine. According to Lavrov’s “precooked solutions” Washington can not solve a crisis that the U.S. does not understand. In the minister’s opinion, Washington should get open with a public declaration of Liberty and the Right Wing Sector Russia believes are “extremists and terrorists chauvinist parties.” In the view of the U.S., these parties are part of political normalcy and this is not true,”.
Moreover, the Border Guard Service of Ukraine informed the agency Liga 600 kilometers trenches have been dug against tanks along with reinforced engineering constructions.