Crimea has been turned into a separatist support center, said Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Yevhen Perebyynis at a press briefing Wednesay, April 9, as reported by UNIAN
“By annexing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the Russian Federation has transformed the peninsula into the headquarters of separatist support that coordinates criminal acts and supplies arms and saboteurs,” Perebyynis said.
All this is happening while significant numbers of offensive units of the Armed Forces of Russia are concentrated on the border with Ukraine. Furthermore, despite the demands of the government of Ukraine and calls by the international community, this subversive activity continues and threatens the security of Ukraine and its citizens, he said.
According to Perebyynis, conclusive proof is provided by the almost daily detention by Ukrainian interior services of Russian spies and members of subversive groups that are being coordinated by the Russian secret services and military intelligence.
“There is evidence of direct involvement by citizens of the Russian Federation in the coordination and implementation of plans for the forceful seizure of facilities in the Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv oblasts,” he said.
He also pointed out that official representatives of the Russian Federation in Ukraine have been issuing outlandish justifications for separatism in Ukraine.
“We are being accused of a ‘double standard’ in an attempt to compare current separatist events in the south and east of Ukraine with events during the Euromaidan protests,” he said.
Perebyynis explained that during the Euromaidan protests people demonstrated and died under the national flag of Ukraine. The Russian-instigated events in the south and east, and especially in Crimea, are taking place under the banner of another state and are accompanied by the abuse of the state symbols of Ukraine.
“Additionally, the protestors on Euromaidan advocated the unity and integrity of the Ukrainian state, while the separatists in Crimea and southern and eastern Ukraine want to split our country on behalf of the Kremlin,” he said.
He concluded that Russia’s behavior in southern and eastern Ukraine is in reality an attempt to keep Ukraine in Russia’s sphere of influence at all costs.