March 11, 2014
Dear representatives of the media, dear compatriots.
First, because all sorts of rumors have been circulating about me in Ukraine, I would like to say that I am alive, although I cannot say that I feel good because I cannot watch what is happening in Ukraine without a feeling of deep and terrible alarm.
Behind the curtain of some kind of supposedly legitimate government, there is a gang of ultra-nationalists and neo-fascists who are already tagged for the presidency. They capture local governments by force. They fire police and security service executives not only in the centre in Kiev, but also in the regions. Cities are patrolled by people in masks with bandages on their hands. There is increasing lawlessness against the citizens of Ukraine. They dismiss top army officers. Those who do not want that oppose the use of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the south-east of the country against the civilian population. Think about it! They want to put an army under the banner of Bandera and provoke a civil war. They want to include militants from nationalist organisations in the Armed Forces and give them weapons.
I want to ask the patrons of these dark forces in the West: have you gone blind? Have you lost memory? Have you forgotten what fascism is? But I’m sure the officers and soldiers of Ukraine know, unlike you, respected ministers of European countries who have signed the [February 21, 2014 agreement] not for my own assurances but to guarantee peace in Ukraine and have trampled this document. Unlike the gang of scoundrels, who gave orders to fire on their own on Maidan, the soldiers and officers understand what you stand for and will not carry out your criminal orders.
I want to remind everyone that I remain the sole legitimate President of Ukraine and the Supreme Commander [of the Armed Forces]. I did not give up my powers early. I am alive! I have not been impeached in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine.
The United States and other countries insist that I, as President, allegedly lost legitimacy because I fled the country. I repeat:, I’m not copping out. When armed radicals captured government buildings and the Presidential Administration, through what was, in fact, and unconstitutional seizure of power, I was, as you all know, in Ukraine – in Kharkiv, then in Donetsk, and then in Crimea. Once again, during the revolution, I did not leave the territory of Ukraine. There were repeated attempts to use terrorist methods and actions against me. They all failed. As soon as circumstances permit, and I am sure it won’t take long, I will return to Kyiv.
I declare that the presidential elections, which were announced for May 25, 2014, after power was seized in an unconstitutional coup, are absolutely not legitimate and are not legal. They do not comply with Article 103 of the Constitution of Ukraine. Any government that will be formed as a result of these unlawful elections will also be illegitimate and illegal. In addition to [questions of] their legal legitimacy, it is clear that these so-called elections will take place, if they will, in an atmosphere of total control by extremist forces. I appeal to the international community. Banditry and unconstitutional coups must not be supported or encouraged.
By the way, everyone knows how the U.S. government intends to allocate one billion dollars to this gangster regime. As far as I know, Article 84 22, Chapter 22, USC of US law prohibits the provision of financial assistance to the government of any state with an illegally elected president or where a legitimately elected president was deposed in a military coup or by any other illegal decision. I intend to address Congress, the Senate and the Supreme Court of the United States with an urgent proposal for a legal assessment of the actions of that government. You have no right, under your own laws, to allocate money to bandits. [Ed. This appears to be a reference to 22 U.S. Code Chapter 84]
I want to warn you: there will be a serious deterioration in the socio-economic situation in the country in the near future. This will be a direct blow to the people of Ukraine. The usurpers who have seized power will try to shift responsibility for this onto me. And perhaps even Russia. I will never agree to this. I have nothing to do with it. And I consider their intentions to cut social expenditures, pensions, allowances, and wages inhuman.
I, along with our government, had a clear plan for the preservation of living standards of Ukrainians. Now, unfortunately, after the unconstitutional coup, after the usurpers have seized power, this has become impossible.
And you, who have seized power illegally, with orders to shoot at people, sooner or later, or rather sooner, you will have to answer – answer for the suffering of the people.
Ukraine is going through a difficult time. Your actions have led to Crimea breaking away. Even at gunpoint, the population of the Southeast demands respect for themselves and their rights.
We will overcome this turmoil. The people you fooled will see clearly. The country will rise up and unite. Ukraine’s freedom has not yet perished, nor has her glory.
Thank you for the attention.
Source: RT Russian (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2_fqaxcDdo)
Translated by Borys Vasylyshyn, edited by Lesia Stangret