Letter from the Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of Ukraine, Olena Shaloput, to The Irish Times on Russia's disinformation and propaganda
Sir, – “Russia stands for a peaceful world order” (Editorial 22 October 2019) compelled me to react since the Russian Ambassador to Ireland, Y.Filatov, has substituted mere propaganda for facts which your astute readers will immediately notice conforms with the Kremlin’s ongoing campaign to mask their mounting crimes through revisionary narratives wherever they can appear or be printed.
I pointedly use the term “propaganda” out of diplomatic etiquette in relation to the Ambassador’s many denials, including his assertion that “Russia did not bomb hospitals and other civilian sites in Syria”, “did not invade Georgia, neither it occupied Crimea, nor started the war in the eastern Ukraine”. However, facts say different.
In light of the investigative work of Limerick’s Malachy Brown and his colleagues of the NYTimes Visual Investigations team in exposing the Russian bombing of civilians and hospitals, including those on a “no-strike list” sent by the UN to the Kremlin, by undeniable evidence of these crimes (See “How Times Reporters Proved Russia Bombed Syrian Hospitals”, NYTimes, 13 October 2019) Ambassador Filatov’s denials are contemptible to the civilised world.
The Ambassador’s further claim that Russia did not occupy Crimea rings equally hollow. His Excellency may have forgotten that on the annually televised “Direct Line with V.Putin” on 17 April 2014 the Russian President himself clearly stated exactly the opposite, “Behind self-defence forces of Crimea, our military men undoubtedly stood… Otherwise it was impossible to hold referendum…”. This was no mere slip-of-the-tongue. In the Russian propaganda film “Crimea. Way to Homeland” Putin confessed that the plan to annex the Crimean peninsula had grown ripe long before the so called referendum in Crimea and on 23rd February 2014 he told his government officials “...the situation in Ukraine had developed in a way that we had to start working on bringing Crimea back to Russia…”.
The world is well aware of saboteur groups sent from Russia early 2014 to provoke unrest in Donbas, set up terrorist cells, create violent unrest and, as the Irish Times itself reported included, “…arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment and torture, and at least one extra-judicial execution were documented…” (“Russia Committing Grave Human Rights Violations In Crimea, Says UN”, 23 October 2017).
It is now up to Russia to instruct their proxy regimes to stop breaching cease fire creating thus conducive conditions for the long-awaited withdrawal of forces along the front line as envisaged by the Minsk agreements and for the conduct of the Normandy Four (N4) summit without delay. It is evident however that neither ceasefire nor the N4 summit do not fall into the Kremlin`s plans
Only when Russia is willing to accept the numerous resolutions of the UN Security Council, UN General Assembly, OSCE and CoE Parliamentary Assemblies etc. which condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, call on Russia to withdraw its militants and military equipment from Donbas, stop persecuting Ukrainians and Tatars in Crimea, stop brigandism in the Black and Azov Seas and join, in the end, efforts of international community aimed at strengthening peace and stability worldwide their claims of wanting a “peaceful world order” may gain some credence. – Yours, etc,
Chargé d'Affaires a.i.
Embassy of Ukraine to Ireland
16 Elgin Road,