Seven years ago, on February 20, 2014, the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine began. Russia invaded the territory of Ukraine. On this day, Russian military units began to arrive in the Ukrainian Crimea as part of an operation to seize the peninsula. The Journalist reported with reference to the press center of the Foreign Ministry.
The illegal attempt to annex the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as the further unleashing of an armed conflict in Donbas, became stages in the implementation of Russia’s plan aimed at destroying the Ukrainian statehood.
For 7 years of Russian armed aggression, more than 13,000 people died, including more than 3,000 civilians, tens of thousands were injured, about one and a half million people were forced to become internally displaced persons. Despite all the efforts of Ukraine and the international community to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, Russia’s armed aggression continues and the number of its victims continues to grow every day.
Russia grossly and systematically violates human rights in the temporarily occupied territories. Pro-Ukrainian activists in Crimea are persecuted, cases of abductions and murders are widespread, about a hundred people are behind bars because of baseless, politically motivated charges. Purposeful repressions against the Crimean Tatar people continue. In the war zone in Donbas, cities and villages, infrastructure and industrial facilities were severely damaged. Temporary occupation leads to the destruction of cultural and historical heritage, as well as to catastrophic environmental consequences both in the Donbas and in Crimea.
The aggression of the Russia against Ukraine has radically changed the geopolitical situation in Europe and around the world. The authority of international law and the entire system of European and world security have been seriously undermined. The international community has condemned Russia’s actions in documents approved by such international organizations as the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe. Dozens of countries have applied sanctions against Russia for violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Ukraine demands from Russia to stop aggression, to act in accordance to the international law and leave the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
We call on the international community to increase political and sanctions pressure on Russia in order to force the Russian authorities to de-occupy the seized Ukrainian territories, release prisoners of war and political prisoners, and comply with international court decisions.
We are convinced that by joint efforts, in particular within the framework of the Crimean platform, not only the territorial integrity of Ukraine will be restored, but also the authority of international law will be strengthened, peace and stability will be returned to the European continent. Russia will bear full responsibility for all crimes committed against Ukraine and its citizens.