Thank you for convening this meeting on the current situation in Ukraine as well as on the Presidential elections in my country.
According to the international observer missions, of which the OSCE one was the largest ever, Presidential election in Ukraine on May 25, 2014 were free, democratic and held in full conformity with national legislation and international standards.
It became a historical success of the Ukrainian people and its democratic state.
According to the preliminary results, 54,7% of Ukrainians gave their voices to Petro Poroshenko. This is for the second time since the independence of Ukraine that the candidate wins in the first round of elections. Back in 1991, people confirmed their aspirations to live in independent and democratic country. On 25 May people confirmed their readiness to protect the native land from the existing external threats, desire for peace and European future, as well as absolute rejection of Russian aggression.
The vast majority of Ukrainian citizens from all regions of the country, including from occupied Crimea, participated in the vote at more than 90% of the country's polling stations, thereby confirming full representativeness and legitimacy of their will.
It is important that election results crushed all the Russian propaganda clichés about Ukraine. Where are all the Ukrainian “fascists” and “banderovtsy” if so-called “ultranationalist” candidates gained minimal support at the elections? Where are all phantom supporters of secession or federalization of Ukraine if almost 90% of voters from all regions of the country, including the occupied Crimea casted their ballots for the candidates who stand for unitary Ukraine and its European integration?
All participants of the presidential campaign acknowledged that it had been democratic and legitimate.
The main messages of this Presidential campaign are:
1) Petro Poroshenko received major support in all regions of Ukraine, including Eastern and Southern regions, which confirms the strong will of the whole population of Ukraine for unity of the nation.
2) Top four leaders of the presidential elections represent clear pro-European program, confirming that European perspective is the key objective for the Ukrainian people.
Top priority of his program, declared by the leader of Presidential elections Petro Poroshenko is to achieve stabilization and reconciliation in the Eastern Regions of Ukraine, which suffered from Russian propaganda and illegal activities of Russian insurgents and mercenaries.
Mr. Petro Poroshenko has already announced his plans to visit Donbass right after his inaugurations.
This is a clear signal to everyone in the East of Ukraine that their voice will be heard – as long as it is peaceful.
Presidential campaign 2014 was conducted in times of social and political tensions, security challenges which Ukraine faces for the first time in its modern history.
Unfortunately because of the occupation of the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by the Russian Federation there was no possibility to establish the electoral commissions and to conduct presidential elections in Crimea.
At the same time, citizens of Ukraine who live in the occupied peninsula, had opportunities to vote at the polling station in Kherson region which neighbors Crimea, or at any other polling station in the territory of Ukraine.
The complex security situation in Donetsk and Lugansk regions, caused by the actions of Russian Federation, which continues to cynically destabilize the situation, supporting and coordinating the activities of terrorist groups, refusing to condemn murders, tortures and occupation of administrative buildings by these terrorists, significantly undermined the election process in these two cities.
According to the Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions by the International Election Observation Mission (you can find it in its integrity on the OSCE web page), “serious problems in Donetsk and Luhansk regionsincluded intrusion into and forced eviction and closure of District Election Commissions by armed groups, intimidation of election officials, including abductions, death threats, forced entry into private homes, seizure of equipment and election materials, and the shooting of a candidate proxy. These illegal actions constituted an attempt to prevent the election, deny citizens the fundamental right to freely participate and elect their chosen representative”.
Challenges to the elections.
People in the Eastern regions of Ukraine are already tired of permanent terror conducted by Russian mercenaries and are calling for restoring law in order. There have been many cases of people in Slovyansk publicly demanding the terrorists to leave their hometown immediately to prevent further threat to their families and homes.
Another attempt to destabilize the situation and to intimidate the civil population was the parading and illegal activities of heavily armed representatives of so-called Battalion “Vostok” on the main street of Donetsk on Election Day in Ukraine, who attempted to capture Donetsk airport this Monday using heavy Russian-made weapons.
Special Battalion “Vostok” (East) is the Special operations forces unit of Russian Armed Forces based in Chechnya, the majority of personnel are ethnic Chechens. This battalion was also engaged in the Russian military operation against Georgia in 2008.
Moreover they are not concealing their identities; they speak freely with the CNN reporters and admit that they came from Russia “to protect interests”.
Also, this Monday Donetsk Mayor Oleksandr Lukyanchenko informed that after armed attempt to capture Donetsk airport some attackers were wounded and hospitalized. Eight of them were Russian citizens, including residents of Grozny, Gudermes, Moscow cities.
This would be a question to my Russian Colleague, what are these Russian-Chechen military doing in Ukrainian city of Donetsk?
What is the illegal heavily armed Russian Cossack formation “Wolf Centurion” doing on the territory of Ukraine?
Members of this Russian Cossack formation are not concealing their identities as well, operating in Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.
By the way this military formation is a successor of the armed Russian Cossack formation which collaborated with Nazis during WWII.
Another question is Why most leaders of the illegal self proclaimed authorities on the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk regions are Russian citizens?
Alexander Boroday, self-proclaimed Prime-Minister of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic is a Russian citizen from Moscow.
Igor Strelkov, military commander of terrorists in Slovyansk, is the Russian citizen and Russian military intelligence special forces officer.
Igor Bezler, military commander of terrorists group based in Gorlovka, is also Russian citizen and colonel of Russian Army, as he publicly admitted earlier.
Who have authorized those Russian citizens to represent the people of Donbass? To speak on their behalf and calling them to sacrifice their lives and to kill their compatriots?
Let me draw your attention to just a few recent confirmed cases of direct Russian provocative acts of aggression against Ukraine.
On May 21 in Krasnodonsky region of Lugansk region Ukrainian border guards prevented an attempt of several groups of armed militants, who were escorting weapons and ammunition from the territory of the Russian Federation, to illegally break through the state border of Ukraine.
The same day the group of 30 people, having arrived from Russian territory, attacked the “Stanychno-Luhanske” Ukrainian border guard unit check-point, using automatic rifles, auto-machine guns, grenade launchers and hand grenades.
The same day the Russian MI-8 helicopter violated the airspace of Ukraine in Sumy Oblast.
On May 24th, another unauthorized armed breakthrough of the Ukrainian state border from the Russian side by 7 (seven) trucks, with armed men, was carried out near the crossing point "Dibrovka".
The same day two Russian military MI-35 helicopters attempted to violate the Ukrainian airspace border between the Kherson region and the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea, but were stopped by warning fire from Ukrainian anti-aircraft unit.
On May 22, Ukrainian Armed Forces unit was unexpectedly attacked by large terrorist group at the checkpoint near Volnovaha town (near Donetsk). As a result 16 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 18 more were wounded. The responsibility for this terrorist act was claimed by Igor Bezler, Russian citizen, lieutenant colonel of the Russian Military Intelligence and currently one of the military leaders of pro-Russian terrorists in Donetsk region, who previously participated in the Russian operation for Crimea takeover.
The same day UN Secretary-General expressed his dismay by the deadly overnight attack against the Ukrainian military checkpoint which happened only three days before presidential election. He rightly appealed to all parties to help create the necessary conditions so that all eligible voters throughout the country may cast they ballots in a free and fair environment and without fear for their safety.
This Secretary-General’s appeal, echoed by the calls of many world leaders and international organizations, was time and again ignored by the same party – the Russian Federation.
On Election Day, May 25th, pro-Russian terrorist group attacked polling station in Novoaidar (Luhansk region). As a result of the fight, where 1 was killed, Ukrainian law enforcers detained group of 13 persons, whose leader appeared to be Russian citizen.
As another loud slap in the face of the international community and our Organization, on the very Election Day Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made a visit to the part of the territory of Ukraine without even notifying Ukraine – to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, temporarily occupied by Russia. This especially daring and deliberate provocation by Russia, aimed at destabilizing the situation in my country, dealt yet another blow to the UN Charter, to the rule of law in international relations and to the basic bilateral treaties between Ukraine and Russia.
What is equally, if not more, painful is that by parading in Ukrainian Crimea barely two months after the adoption by the General Assembly of the resolution “Territorial Integrity of Ukraine”, both President Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev made fun of the General Assembly as such – just as they did of every UN member state who voted in favour, or even against but have to heed GA decisions by the virtue of the UN Charter.
Despite some hints on conciliatory rhetoric, our Russian neighbor which happens to be one of the Security Council permanent members continues aggression against a sovereign UN member state.
In the wake of election we witnessed another brutal violations of Ukrainian territory by armed terrorist groups from the Russian side. Despite warnings passed on by Ukraine through diplomatic channels regarding concentration of up to 40 trucks with armed people on the border with Ukraine, Russian side did not assume any measures to prevent their breakthrough into the territory of Ukraine.
On May 27 at about 4 am the convoy consisting of several trucks and passenger cars made an attempt to cross the state border of Ukraine in the area of Astakhove locality (Luhansk region). After the exchange of fire with the Ukrainian border guard servicemen part of the Russian motorcade managed to break through and went in the direction of the town of Antracit.
It happened while Russian border guards did absolutely nothing. Moreover, there is every reason to believe that the penetration of Russian terrorists into the territory of Ukraine is organized and financed under the direct control of the Kremlin and Russian security services.
Furthermore, the Russian Federation has failed to condemn participation of Russian citizens in mercenaries activities in Ukraine, and is doing nothing to prevent illegal penetration of armed groups from its territory, thus conniving such actions.
We also have another outrageous case of the second abduction of the OSCE SMM observers. We reiterated our demand to the Russian Federation to call on its puppets to release immediately all hostages.
Aggressive actions of Russia and Russia-subordinated collaborationists from the terrorist organizations “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic” are another evidence of Kremlin not planning to implement Geneva agreements even after the world recognized democratic presidential elections have been held in Ukraine.
In fact, we are dealing with uncovered aggression against Ukraine from the Russian side, with exporting Russian terrorism into the territory of our country. At present our law enforcement officers in Eastern regions of Ukraine stand against skilled armed Russian mercenaries, who are ready to plunder, intimidate, torture and murder Ukrainian citizens.
Today terrorist started to attack peaceful citizens. They fired at the school and the residential area of Slavyansk. We have no sign of Russian condemnation of such acts. Instead, Russia has hypocritically offered its humanitarian assistance to the population of the eastern Ukraine referring to the alleged calls of local citizens and organizations.
Now I would like to address to the Russia side: all Russia can do for the people of Eastern Ukraine is to cease its support to the terrorists.
The world is convinced that the Kremlin’s attempt to shift the responsibility for what is happening in the eastern regions of Ukraine onto the Ukrainian authorities and anti-terrorist law enforcement agencies is nothing else but only false and cynical propaganda. But I can assure you that Ukraine continue with anti-terrorist operation till the full neutralization of the treats to its people and its territory.
We call on the international community to take immediate and decisive actions to stop the aggression of Russia against Ukraine and the world order as a whole. We see that the price of further attempts to dialogue with the Kremlin with the hope for constructiveness will be even more human casualties, the responsibility for which rests solely with the Russian invaders
We appreciate Secretary General’s mediation role, namely his recent statement on the peaceful settlement of the situation in the Eastern region of Ukraine.
Ukrainian Government stands for the peaceful solution of the current situation.
The peace can be achieved if the Russian side would stop sending armed terrorists and professional mercenaries to Ukraine with the aim to destabilize situation in the Eastern Region.
We call on Security Council and the international community to categorically demand from the Russian Federation to cease the practice of provoking instability, to withdraw all formations of the Russian Armed Forces from Ukraine’s border and to fulfill the obligations it undertook in accordance with the Geneva Ukraine Agreement.
I thank you Mr. President