April 21, 2023

Statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry: Russia’s goals in Ukraine remain ‘de-nazification’ and ‘de-miilitarization’

April 21, 2023

April 19 marks the 240th anniversary of incorporating Crimea into the Russian Empire. The Manifesto of Empress Catherine the Great noted the “fortunate conversion of insurrection and discord into peace, tranquillity, law and order.” Her words remain topical to this day. In March 2014, the people of Crimea made a conscious choice in favour of reunification with their historical Motherland. This is nothing but a return to the origins, specifically, the peninsula’s Russian status, proclaimed in 1783. Any attempts by Kiev and its Western masters to dispute this status are doomed to failure. Crimea has been and will always be an inalienable part of Russia.

The United States and its NATO allies continue to pump the Kiev regime with weapons. They insist that the hostilities must go on and that the effectiveness of Western military assistance will be displayed on the battlefield. The Anglo-Saxons are openly talking about an impending Ukrainian counteroffensive and even saying when it will begin. All this confirms their direct involvement in the conflict and in planning military operations.

Zelensky’s military appetite also continues to grow. He continues to demand that the West provide new modern weapon systems, including those for delivering strikes deep inside the Russian territory. During today’s meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in the Ramstein format, Kiev intends to request urgent deliveries of air defence systems and long-range missiles.

However, the United States and Europe are finding it increasingly difficult to meet Kiev’s demands. Western media have published numerous reports on the depletion of NATO weapons stockpiles in key European states. For example, members of the Bundestag complained about shortages of military equipment, uniforms and ammunition. According to the British media, His Majesty’s Government has started promising to provide Kiev with weapons from their emergency stores. However, the West has no intention to stop these deliveries. They realise that a refusal to help Ukraine will cause its immediate demise, as German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said recently.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba actually presented NATO with an ultimatum recently, demanding that its leadership take a step towards Ukraine’s membership of the Alliance at the July summit in Vilnius. According to Kuleba, it would be unacceptable for Kiev if NATO simply reaffirmed the open doors policy and more profound cooperation for the 130rd time, without clear accession guarantees. Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK Vadim Pristaiko believes that NATO should beg Ukraine to join the Alliance. It appears that unconditional Western support has corrupted the already brazen and unscrupulous Zelensky regime to such a degree that it is openly losing touch with reality. Soon it will start believing in its own exceptionalism.  

At the same time, the Ukrainian economy continues to degrade, plunging into debt ever deeper. In 2022, its foreign debt reached a record-breaking $132 billion, or 89 percent of the country’s GDP. Forecasts show that it will exceed 100 percent by the end of 2023, totalling an estimated $173 billion.

At the same time, the Zelensky regime continues to borrow money: its military spending, the social sector, healthcare, education and other vitally important spheres are sponsored by the West. Naturally, it is not doing this free of charge. The bulk of financial aid arrives in the form of repayable loans, and the share of grants remains low. Although Ukraine can delay repaying its foreign debt until 2027, no one is going to write it off. Ukraine’s budget for 2023 provides for a doubling of the payments to service the foreign debt. The main burden will undoubtedly have to be shouldered by ordinary Ukrainians since Ukraine has no other sources of funding. In this situation, Kiev authorities cynically believe that continued hostilities are their only salvation.

The situation in the financial and economic sector of the country is aggravated by corruption scandals in the Defence Ministry and theft of humanitarian cargo delivered to Ukraine. As a result, according to US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power, the West is beginning to doubt the Kiev regime’s ability to control the spending of the funds it receives as assistance. Washington sees the solution to the problem in increasing the transparency of the Ukrainian budget. In order to do so, they intend to check all spending.

The Zelensky regime received yet another blow from its closest Eastern European friends: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria, which, due to the protests of their own farmers and falling domestic prices, have suspended the export of Ukrainian grain and are going to blacklist other agricultural products. Romania intends to follow their example. According to Polskie Radio, the European Commission is ready to impose a ban on Ukrainian imports of wheat, corn, and oilseed crops.

It seems that the pattern of agricultural products exports from Ukraine through the “corridors of solidarity” established in the EU is falling apart at the seams. The Western media note that the Eastern European states’ unconditional support of Kiev is a thing of the past, and this entails significant financial losses for the Zelensky regime.

On April 15, Vladimir Zelensky signed an executive order imposing sanctions on several Russian IT companies, their top managers and foreign partners in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, and Ukraine. In addition to this, restrictions will be in force for the next 50 years against President of Russia’s Triathlon Federation Ksenia Shoigu and Minister of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus, Sergey Kovalchuk, as well as 80 Russian athletes and representatives of sports organisations. The blacklist includes Ilya Averbukh, Igor Akinfeyev, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Nikita Katsalapov, Sergey Ovchinnikov, Yelizaveta Tuktamysheva, and Svetlana Khorkina. In total, the list includes 692 individuals and legal entities.

On April 18, the Ukrainian Ministry of Youth and Sports adopted a decision to deprive Ukrainian sport federations of their national status as a punishment for their athletes competing alongside Russian and Belarusian athletes in sporting competitions. This is fully consistent with Nazi logic. It is clear that such a ban will only harm Ukrainian sports and deprive its athletes of the opportunity to show high results.

We noted another batch of extremist statements by some Ukrainian officials.

Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the Office of the President, has distinguished himself once again. When speaking about the situation around the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, he openly stated that at this point the Kiev regime has a unique chance to quickly and painlessly physically purge a large number of pro-Russian people. Mikhail Podolyak also promised to punish the residents of Crimea and Donbass for their desire to link their future with Russia.

He is echoed by the mayor of Dnepropetrovsk, renamed Dnepr, Boris Filatov, who says that Ukraine does not forgive offences.

Such rhetoric and criminal actions of the Kiev regime confirm the need to continue the special military operation until the goals of de-Nazification and de-militarisation of Ukraine are achieved and the threats to Russia’s security emanating from its territory are completely eliminated.

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