Kiev, Ukraine…Statement by Yulia Tymoshenko regarding Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine. My dear Ukrainians! I say Ukrainians, because today, regardless of your nationality, we are all Ukrainians. Throughout the world this now sounds dignified. Our courage and strength has become an example for the world of the fight for freedom. You freed the country from dictatorship and in this difficult struggle won the right to a free life.
But once again today there is concern in our hearts for Ukraine, for our loved ones. You are again following every news story, and for good reason, because yesterday, on the first day of Spring, the parliament of the Russian Federation gave authorization for their military to enter the territory of Ukraine and they have now occupied Crimea.
For a long time they called us a brotherly people.
Then the question follows: why wage war on a brotherly people? Why was this done? How do we get out of this situation? This is what I want to talk to you about right now because you deserve the truth. Only by understanding all the circumstances can we resolve the Crimean crisis.
Most importantly. The reason for the military aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine is that as a result of our European revolution we gained the right and cleared the path to Europe, thus pushing aside Yanukovych – a subordinate to the Russia government. Russia couldn’t get over this. They decided to take possession of Ukraine through armed intervention and make us a part of the Russian Federation. They have given us an ultimatum – they will stop the military aggression only if we return Yanukovych and his corrupt bloody gang to power in Ukraine. This ultimatum is unacceptable for many reasons, and I think you understand this quite well. If Yanukovych returns as president, as Russia is demanding, he will in a few months give Ukraine over to the Russian Federation through a falsified referendum. Russia is trying to achieve our total capitulation through military aggression. This explains why negotiations between Ukraine and Russia will never succeed.
What is the aggressor’s plan? What does he want to do with Ukraine? He wants to forcibly escalate tensions in Crimea and cause panic that will result in martial law and total economic and financial destabilization, and potentially even default. The aggressor wants a sharp increase in prices, the economic, social and financial downfall of each of us, of every Ukrainian family. This is their goal. Because what the Russian government wants is a coup to restore dictatorship in Ukraine. This is how the Ukrainian government loves its Ukrainians brothers. I think you know that the official reason for the military incursion on the territory of Ukraine according to Russia was the protection of Russians living in Ukraine from some unclear threat. But it’s clear that Russians living in Ukraine, along with other citizens, aren’t being protected, but rather being destroyed economically. The Russian aggressor is to blame for every kopeck that you are now losing.
Today the Russian government didn’t protect, but betrayed every Russian Ukrainian, making him a victim of their desire to restore the empire.
To destabilize and occupy Ukraine, the aggressor is organizing staged rallies in eastern regions and Crimea, organized by Russian secret forces.
But we all must know that the people of eastern Ukraine and Crimea don’t support these rallies – nobody wants a war! And this is their first major mistake.
I want to let you know that nothing will come of this great scam orchestrated by the Russian government. I want to ask you to remain calm and confident for the following reasons.
Firstly, we are not alone in this confrontation with Russia. In 1994 Ukraine signed the Budapest Memorandum with the U.S., UK and Russia guaranteeing our security in exchange for giving up our nuclear arsenal. Russia today is flagrantly violating its obligations and invading our territory. But I’m confident that the United States and Great Britain will never violate this Memorandum and will do everything they can to ensure peace in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin knows that by declaring war on us, he is declaring war on the guarantors of our security – the U.S. and Great Britain. I don’t think that Russia will cross this line, because if it does it will lose.
This should be the main reason for calm in our country.
It’s also clear today that if Ukraine had joined NATO, such aggression would be impossible right now.
But know that we are not alone in this situation. Today the leaders of the democratic world are holding daily talks with Vladimir Putin to make him stop his aggression against Ukraine. Only such negotiations and coordinated actions by world leaders will restore peace and calm in Ukraine.
Secondly, we must now sow panic and instability. This is what the aggressor wants. Our main weapon right now is calm. Russia will not wage a military war against the entire world, which is why today it’s not a war of weapons, but a war of intellect. We must win this war and we will.
Thirdly, I am asking all Ukrainians: do not under any circumstances support the staged rallies in eastern regions and Crimea and do not participate in them because they are the aggressor’s weapon.
Fourthly. We must urgently become full-fledged members of the western democratic community, as this will be reliable protection from the Russian aggressor. This is why we must now become a part of a United Europe by signing the association agreement with the European Union. We will start the integration process through security structures of the democratic world, to once and for all protect ourselves from Russia’s military threats. Our joint team is currently working on this with world leaders.
And finally. All our government institutions are operating according to the plans that were adopted at yesterday’s meeting of the Security and Defense Council. Ukraine’s armed forces are in combat mode and ready to repel Russian military aggression. Their combat readiness and moral spirit are very high.
Our men are ready to defend Ukraine and have voluntarily gone to the reserve offices. Russian aggression has united Ukraine, it has united our people. We are united today like never before and we will overcome.
We have spent centuries fighting for our independence and we won’t give it up now.
I know that the Ukrainian people will triumph.
I want to appeal separately to our military and all those defending us right now. To all the guys in the military units in Perevalny, the marines in Feodosiya, to all the Ukrainian naval forces, to all the guys whose courage and endurance are being tested – we are with you and we are proud of your courage!
I believe in our victory!
God and Ukraine are on our side.
Glory to Ukraine!