Russia’s Ambassador to Nigeria speaks to The Trumpet on why Moscow hit Ukraine

By Edward Adamidenyo, Abuja Bureau Chief

Moscow invaded Ukraine because the Kyiv authorities are allowing radical elements and anti-Russia interests to determine their state policies, the Kremlin’s apex diplomat in Abuja has told The Trumpet.

Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin who spoke on the invasion which has drawn global condemnation said Ukraine yielded the country to anti-Russian forces who sought to undermine the interests of the Kremlin.

Ambassador Sherbashin said it was important for people to “understand the motivation of all our current actions.”

He disclosed that eight years ago, the legitimately elected President of Ukraine was removed from office through an armed coup in Kiev.

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According to him, radical forces came to power who 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.

He alleged that hose who carried out the ‘coup’ whom he described as insurgents rejected every attempt to achieve a political solution to the internal crisis in Ukraine.

The envoy explained that agreement to end the crisis was signed by the then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and representatives of the opposition on February 21, 2014 while Germany, France and Poland provided guarantees.

He said this could have helped calm the situation and protect the interests of the people in all regions of that country without exception but that the opposition trampled on the peace plan and a bloody putsch ensued in Kiev on February 22, 2014.

He lamented that Ukraine has since then plunged deeper into anarchy and mayhem as lawlessness reigned in the country amid an atmosphere of total impunity and absence of authority. Reprisals against individuals, frustration and persecution of dissidents became the norm, he claimed.

He alleged that ‘Russophobia’ has been running rampant and now defines the policies of Ukraine in violation of the country’s constitution and legislation.

He further claimed that the Kiev administration launched a massive offensive against the Russian language, grossly violating the linguistic, educational and cultural rights of tens of millions of Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine in the process.

For example, this resulted in what the ambassador described as a deep religious schism 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, he affirmed.

‘De-communisation’ was used as a pretext to attack the country’s history, he said. He stressed that attempts to falsify history have reached an unprecedented scale with Nazi collaborators and henchmen elevated to the rank of heroes of Ukraine.

“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. The perpetrators of these aggressive actions targeted Russian diplomats as well, threatened them with violence. Their vehicles were set on fire and contrary to their obligations under the Vienna conventions on diplomatic and consular relations, the Kiev authorities failed to respond to what was happening,” Sherbashin added.

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