Address of Acting President of Ukraine
Oleksandr Turchynov to the nation, May 2, 2014
This morning we began the active phase of the anti-terrorist operation directed against the main base of the militants in Sloviansk, who are terrorizing the entire Donetsk region. Our main goal is to protect people and prevent casualties among the population.
Our security forces are fighting the mercenaries of a foreign state, the terrorists and criminals who are seizing hostages, killing and torturing people, and who, with weapons in their hands, are threatening the territorial integrity and stability of Ukraine.
I want to emphasize that the operation is not proceeding as fast as we would like. It is significantly complicated by the fact that the bases of the terrorists are located in highly populated cities where the terrorists hide behind civilians and hostages and fire from multifamily residential buildings.
During the course of today’s operation, we were able to capture all the fortified fire support bases and checkpoints around the city of Sloviansk, fully blocking it off from the surrounding area. The attack on the terrorists is continuing.
During the operation, the criminals suffered heavy losses, with many killed, wounded and arrested. To our great regret, we were informed that two of our soldiers were killed and seven wounded.
I thank all the heroes who are courageously defending our country. Eternal memory to those who have died defending our homeland.
The constitution puts significant limits on my powers, but the newly elected president will submit for the country’s highest awards all the heroes who have distinguished themselves while defending their country and the peace and tranquility of our citizens.
We demand that the terrorists, the saboteurs, and all those who have raised arms against our country lay down their arms, surrender and free the hostages and office buildings. Those who lay down their arms and who have not been involved in serious crimes will be amnestied. Those who are guilty of murder and torture will be punished.
I also want to report that last night there were attempts by a group of armed Russian militants to break through our state border. They were stopped by our border guards.
Additionally, despite all efforts and attempts to organize provocations and unrest, to destabilize the situation also in other regions of the south and west of the country, especially in Kharkiv and Odesa, we have been able to maintain peace and stability there.
I want to make a separate appeal to the leadership of the Russian Federation. Stop the hysteria around the events taking place in Ukraine. Stop the threats and intimidation.
If you are concerned about violations of the rights of citizens, concentrate on protecting them in your own country, where violations of human rights have become systematic.
We demand that Russia cease the provocations against our country and that it stop using terrorism, sabotage, and military threats as forms of pressure on our country.
Despite all the problems and countermeasures, we will ensure the peace and tranquility in our country and put and end to the terrorist threat in the east of Ukraine.
May God watch over Ukraine and everyone of you.
Translated by Anna Mostovych