The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine paid attention to what have been said by Minister for Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov, in an interview on the program “It’s Sunday.” The didactic and ultimatum-like tone of these statements are evidence that, as a true aggressor, Russia is not bound by any regulations. Standing behind the muzzles of its automatic weapons, this aggressor demands only one thing—the complete capitulation of Ukraine, its fragmentation and the destruction of Ukrainian statehood.
In Ukraine this is exactly how the stipulations by Mr. Lavrov regarding federalization, a second state language, referendums, etc., are interpreted, and in no other way. We sincerely regret that Mr. Lavrov was compelled to make these declarations.
We would like to propose to the Russian side that instead of dictating its ultimatum-like terms to a sovereign and independent state, that it first pay attention to the catastrophic condition and complete lack of rights of its own national minorities, including Ukrainians.
Why doesn’t Russia implement federalism, which, by the way, is affixed in the official name of the state, with real and not just declarative substance?
Why aren’t the national subjects of the federation being given more authority, whose development today is stifled just as severely as during tsarist and Soviet times?
Why aren’t other languages, except Russian, being made state languages of state, among them Ukrainian—the language of millions of Russian citizens?
Why not allow the holding of referendums on wider autonomy, and if necessary, on independence, in the national subjects of the federation?
We understand that these questions are rhetorical. Even such ideas are being severely repressed in today’s Russia, and in the event that there are attempts to carry them out, they will be drowned in blood, as in the Northern Caucasus.
Unfortunately, nothing has changed in Russia since those times when the great Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko wrote about it in his poem “The Caucasus”: “From Moldavia to Finland, each, in his own language, holds his tongue…”.
It’s not necessary to lecture others. It would be better for Russian leadership to start bringing law and order inside its own state. Russia has so many problems as such.