At a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, the Ukrainian mission has harshly criticized statements of the Russian delegation about the alleged existence of separate "people of Crimea" and "people of Donbas", - Ukrinform reports.
"At the meetings of the Permanent Council, we regularly hear the arguments of the Russian party why it does not want to stop armed aggression and withdraw its troops from the sovereign territory of Ukraine. Last week, for example, we were informed about the existence of the so-called "people of Donbas" with their own - I quote the Russian delegation - "national and cultural identity", as well as the so-called "people of Crimea", - permanent representative of Ukraine to the international organizations in Vienna Yevhen Tsymbaliuk stated.
He noted that such manipulations were very widespread in Moscow back in Soviet times, when the ideologues of the Kremlin tried to form the so-called Soviet people, trying to justify the crimes of the totalitarian regime and "erase" the identity of the national republics. "Time has passed, but these ideas have remained unchanged in Moscow. Russian leaders simply do not perceive the existence of a sovereign Ukrainian state", - Tsymbaliuk stated.
The Ukrainian diplomat stressed that no one had heard of the "peoples of Donbas and Crimea" until February 2014 - the moment when Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.
"All of them are citizens of Ukraine, including Ukrainians, Russians, Crimean Tatars and many other ethnic communities who lived peacefully until the Kremlin decided to intervene. There was not a single "national and cultural identity" that could justify Russia's armed invasion of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. The Crimean Tatar people actively opposed the Russian occupation in the Crimea, rather than called for it. It continues to pay for this opposition, suffering from illegal searches, detentions and longtime sentences", - the head of the Ukrainian mission to the OSCE stressed.
He called on the Russian delegation to stop spreading false narratives and focus on fulfilling the obligations under the Minsk and Normandy formats and the obligations of the Russian Federation as an occupier country in the Crimea.