Cyprus Mail
Guest Columnist Opinion

Letter to the Editor: Deepening crisis in Ukraine? Yes, indeed

The recent article of Ms Olena Galushka “Deepening crisis in Ukraine” raised many questions. The essence of the written piece, presented by the Ukrainian Charge d’affaires was to show Russia as an aggressor state. Was it really?

In our view, the main objective of the article was to distract the reader from the ongoing internal problems that Ukraine faces – deep economic crisis, inadequate measures by the government, distortion of the principles of Minsk agreements, growing nationalistic trends in Ukrainian society. It is common knowledge.

It is also obvious the article’s intent was not an invitation for dialogue, but served as an outcry for the auditorium to jump to conclusions and point fingers at those who are to blame. Let us be honest. The author was trying to say that Russia is the aggressor state.

Diplomats in Nicosia – despite the fact it is an island – do not work in isolation. There is constant feedback from the capitals via cables, faxes, e-mails. Considering this, it is strange that references made to the “latest status reports” of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) do not present a full picture. Is the author intentionally taking the facts out of context for manipulative reasons?

After carefully examining the text, a curious reader should ask where did the author obtain such valuable information? Let us just stick to a couple of topics such as military movement and the use of heavy weaponry.

Ms Galushka writes about 19 trains loaded with military hardware from Russia crossing the uncontrolled section of the Russian-Ukraine border, including 19 T-72 tanks, three MLRS “Grad”, two self-propelled artillery systems, 11 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles? Well, such echelons are difficult to miss. If this were true, American spy satellites would not have missed it for the world.

Here are several quotes from the July 15, 2016 statement by Mr. Alexander Lukashevich, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, at the 1108th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council. “OSCE Special Monitoring Mission Principal Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug has emphasised the unacceptability of the indiscriminate use of weapons, having informed the delegations about the concentrated firing by the Ukrainian armed forces from the 122 mm howitzers, 152mm guns and multiple-launch rocket systems in the immediate vicinity of the OSCE monitors’ base in Svitlodarsk.”

To add: “During the recent briefing to the OSCE, Alexander Hug confirmed the escalatory nature of the Ukrainian government’s decision to move the checkpoints in Maiorsk and Berezove closer to the line of contact. This exposes the civilian population to an even greater threat of mortar and sniper fire”.

And: “According to Mr. Hug’s latest report, the SMM monitored the situation on the border with Russia on 66 occasions during the past month and never saw any military movements.”

It is difficult to argue with stubborn facts, isn’t it? Bearing full responsibility for the ideas, blatantly expressed in the article, the Charge d’affaires managed to reduce the information for the reader to the realms of absurdity.

Unfortunately, propaganda is effective on the crowd. As to the truth, it is hard to believe Ukrainian representatives of this calibre are interested in truth at all. This brings us to the idea of the “true intent” of the article. The call on the international community “to increase diplomatic pressure on the Kremlin to stop further escalation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine” is in reality a distracting manoeuvre for the international community from what is really happening in Ukraine now

Embassy of the Russian Federation, Nicosia


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