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Open Letter of the Permanent Representative Yuriy Sergeyev to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the current situation in Ukraine
15 July 2014 02:42

Excellency,

I would like to inform you about the substantial recent increase of the illegal armed groups’ activities in the Eastern Ukraine which has led to numerous casualties among civilians and Ukrainian military involved in the anti-terrorist operation.

Strengthening of separatists’ and armed groups’ resistance has become possible owing to the Russian Federation’s direct and uncovered support despite continued calls by Ukraine and the international community to stop this interference.

Although official Moscow has been constantly and tirelessly insisting that it is not involved in the situation in Donbass region, the irrefutable facts clearly indicate the opposite: it is the Russian citizens who are among the leadership of the terrorist groups. Heavy armaments and ammunition continues to be supplied from the Russian side of the State border. Mercenaries are being recruited on the territory of the Russian Federation. Financing of the terrorists, continuing trafficking of Ukrainian orphans, hostages, activists and captured Ukrainian military servicemen over to the territory Russian Federation is still taking place. Numerous provocations are still being instigated on the Russian-Ukrainian border which is undermining the full-fledged adherence to the Peace Plan of President Poroshenko, as well as arrangements made on 2 July 2014 in Berlin by the foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine.

In this regard I would like to bring to your attention some of the most evident facts proving Russia’s direct involvement into the process of destabilization of the inner political situation in the East of Ukraine. This gets more and more evident day by day to the nationals of my country as well as to our international partners.

Participation of the Russian nationals in the destabilization of the situation in Eastern Ukraine

So-called “Donetsk People's Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic” have been recognized as terrorist organizations by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine. Since 4 July 2014 Russian national Marat Bashurov has been serving as “Prime Minister of Luhansk People’s Republic” while another Russian citizen Oleksandr Boroday is the “Prime Minister of Donetsk People's Republic”. Ihor Strelkov (Girkin), the terrorists commander spreading terror in the Donetsk region, a criminal running the armed groups of the “Donetsk People's Republic” is also a Russian national, a retired colonel of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, a career officer and a professional saboteur.

Numerous groups of the Russian Cossacks are actively supporting terrorists in spreading terror and chaos in the Eastern Ukraine. According to the Russian legislation the Russian Cossacks constitute a part of Russia's armed forces (Paragraph 2, Article 5 of the Federal Law of 8 December 2005). The Russian side has not yet provided any explanation, although this fact clearly indicates Russia’s direct aggression against Ukraine.

Throughout the whole period of this artificially created conflict supported by Russia it has never publicly called on its citizens to refrain from joining illegal armed groups on the territory of Ukraine. This fact speaks for itself.

Paragraph 2 of Article 208 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation states that “participation in armed groups which are not determined by the federal law as well as participation in such armed groups on the territory of foreign State with the purpose contrary to the interests of the Russian Federation, is punishable by five to ten year imprisonment”.

Since no Russian national has been brought to justice for such actions, there is only one conclusion: their participation in illegal armed groups on the territory of Ukraine “doesn’t contradict the interests of the Russian Federation”.

Weapons supply

Numerous supplies of the weapons of the Russian origin used by the terrorists in Donbass which has been documented by the Ukrainian intelligence agencies, media and general public are no longer a secret to anyone. A large exhibition of the confiscated modern weapons withdrawn by the Ukrainian military forces from the terrorist groups, took place in Kyiv few days ago. In most cases actual military units of the Russian armed forces are specified as the origin of those weapons.

Abductions

Repeated OSCE observers’ abductions, attempts of orphans trafficking from Ukraine to Russia, taking Ukrainian nationals hostage have shocked the world and demonstrated that mercenaries and outlaws will do anything in order to attract attention to their activities and gain some “political weight”. The most recent case related to the abduction and subsequent impudent trafficking from Ukraine to Russia of Ukrainian female pilot, Lieutenant Nadiia Savchenko, court’s unlawful judgment in Voronezh based on falsified and concocted charges against her is a direct evidence of the Russian Federation’s leading and coordinating the terrorist leaders in Ukraine.

Provocations at the State border

The situation on the Ukrainian-Russian State border has significantly deteriorated in the recent days as a result of systematic violations coming from the Russian side of the border, as well as provocative actions by armed terrorist groups in the pre-border areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

On 2 July an organized group of gunmen illegally crossed the Russian-Ukrainian State border and attacked air defense unit near the settlement of Milove in Luhansk region, Ukraine using mortar weapons. Several shots were made by the above organized group in the direction of the checkpoint “Novoshakhtinsk” located on the territory of the Russian Federation.

On 3 July an organized group of gunmen arrived at the State border line from the territory of the Russian Federation and, using mortar and grenade weapons, attacked checkpoint "Dovzhansky" in Ukraine. As a result of these criminal actions one Ukrainian soldier was killed and twelve more were wounded.

On 9 July six helicopters MI-8, MI-17 and MI-24 of the Russian Armed Forces violated Ukraine’s State border in Stanichno-Luhansk and Illivka settlements of Luhansk oblast.

On 10 July Russian Armed Forces helicopter KA -52 of crossed the border of Ukraine in Blahovischenka settlement of the Luhansk region.

On 11 July three drones were identified coming to the territory of Ukraine through the Russian-Ukrainian State border from settlements Nozdrivka and Titovka, Russia.

Several times a day columns of military vehicles and Russian mercenaries undertake attempts to break through the Ukrainian State border from the side of Russia. These attempts are actively facilitated by Russian border protection units. Anti-terrorist forces in Ukraine were repeatedly shelled from the territory of Russia. Ukraine has all documented evidences of those facts for the appropriate international response.

Number of provocations on the Ukrainian-Russian State border has increased substantially. Illegal armed groupings systematically shell the territory of Russia which has caused the death of a Russian citizen.

However, the Russian Foreign Ministry in its official commentary to the media continues to cynically manipulate the facts by providing information covering criminal acts of terrorist groups in the border areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, shifting personal responsibility for the situation in the eastern regions of Ukraine onto the Ukrainian security forces involved in anti-terrorist operations.

The Russian side has sent a diplomatic note wrongly accusing the Armed Forces of Ukraine in shelling on June 28 this year the territory of Russia, namely Vasetskaya hamlet and village Mine Number 24 of Krasnosulynsky District of Rostov region, and border checkpoint "Gukovo." What happened actually is that on that day in that area mercenaries opened fired on a convoy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near the border, and then made a mortar attack on a strong point of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The Foreign Ministry of Russia has not responded so far to numerous deaths of Ukrainian soldiers caused by the actions of the armed mercenary terrorists organized in Russia and supported by Russia financially and technically.

No answers have been given to numerous diplomatic notes of protest Ukraine's Foreign Ministry keeps sending day after day in response to illegal activities supported by Russia. The State Border Guard Service of Ukrain e has repeatedly called upon the Russian side to take decisive actions aimed at preventing systematic violations of the State border by the armed individuals and military equipment. This would significantly contribute to the termination of provocations on the State border. Those appeals remain unanswered by the competent authorities of the Russian Federation.

Absence of Russia’s willingness to adhere to the current bilateral Consular convention constitutes a direct infraction of the universal norms and principles of international law in the field of human rights. Russia’s omnifarious denial of access for the Ukrainian consular officials in Russia requires adequate political and diplomatic evaluation of the Russian Federation’s unlawful actions.

Egregious in this regard was the mortar attack on Ukraine's State border checkpoint "Marinivka" conducted on 12 July this year from the district town Kuybyshev of Rostov region, Russia.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has repeatedly pointed out that those and similar actions constitute a flagrant violation by Russia of its obligations under the UN Charter and other universally recognized principles and norms of international law. Those actions are incompatible with the obligations of the Russian Federation under the Geneva agreements of 17 April and the Berlin Declaration of 2 June.

The Ukrainian side continues to demand that the Russian side immediately cease provocations on the State border of Ukraine, and stop hindering the efforts of the Ukrainian side and the international community to put an end to terrorism and other violence in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine.

The active phase of the antiterrorist operation is continuing owing to the unwillingness of terrorists to lay down their arms and carry out a peace plan of the President of Ukraine. Ukrainian military is restoring order in the eastern part of Ukraine. People are being provided with humanitarian aid, lives are being saved, and hostages are being released. Water and power supply has been restored. People have finally started receiving their salaries and pensions.

Ukraine stands ready to return to the regime of non-use of force in the east of the State, but only in case the ceasefire is mutual. Tripartite Contact Group which met on 6 July stated insurgents’ unwillingness to negotiate the terms of contact, including the place and date of the meeting to discuss the framework for the implementation of the Peace Plan. Most of the Russian fighters show no willingness to cease fire. They are covered by ordinary people as a living shield. They are holding hostages whole areas. They are hardening and mining buildings and roads. Against whom Russian citizens, mercenaries and terrorists are fighting? Against whom the disruption and destruction of railway infrastructure is directed? Russian mercenaries are waging war against Donbass, explicitly and consciously. They want to cross out free, secure and prosperous life of the real working people in this region.

I appeal to you, Excellency, as well as to all members of the United Nations Security Council to apply all your influence and authority in order to force Russia's leadership to stop supporting and financing terrorists not allowing peaceful Ukrainian people to live in peace and harmony, sowing the seed of war, bloodshed and hatred and undermining regional and European security.

 

Sincerely yours,

 /signed/

Yuriy Sergeyev

Ambassador, Permanent Representative

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