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Innocents Die in Punitive Operations, Kiev Regime Criminal – Russian Duma Deputy
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 14:44
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Innocents Die in Punitive Operations, Kiev Regime Criminal – Russian Duma Deputy

MOSCOW, May 13 (RIA Novosti) – The massive punitive operations in Ukraine that have led to a large number of civilian casualties show that the Kiev regime is not only illegitimate, but also criminal, Russian State Duma deputy Alexei Pushkov said Tuesday.

"The number of tragic events Ukraine has faced in the last two months is greater than the former Soviet Union saw in its last decade," said Pushkov, the Chairman of the Duma Committee on International Affair.

“The human rights violations which have been committed during this period either by the illegitimate regime in Ukraine, or those political movements that the regime protected and backed, allow us to consider this regime not only illegitimate, but criminal as well,” Pushkov added while speaking at the plenary session of the State Duma on Tuesday.

He noted that the right to life is violated in Ukraine and civilians are being massacred, in addition to acts of torture being committed. The most terrible crime, according to Pushkov, was the mass murder of civilians in the Trade Union House in Odessa.

The chairman claimed that Kiev understated the number of deceased since Odessa officials said 116 people had died. Pushkov considered unlawful the claims that people had died due to an accidental coincidence. "We see snipers shooting at people," he said.

Among the violations of human rights in Ukraine, he listed the shutdown of broadcasts of Russian TV channels, threats to the heads of Ukrainian channels, kidnapping, repression against opposition leaders in Ukraine and desecration of monuments to the victims of the Holocaust.

Western politicians, Pushkov said, prefer to ignore these facts. He noted that Russia has sent the pictures of all the victims in Ukraine to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) so that they could assess these events. However, "PACE has been shamefully silent," he said. "I believe that it is absolutely unacceptable, and we'll talk about it in all international and domestic arenas,” the deputy said.

"What do they want from us? To turn a blind eye to the dead, burned, suffocated people in Odessa and Mariupol? We cannot do that. To turn a blind eye to the referendums in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where several million people expressed their will? We cannot do that. To recognize the illegitimate regime in Kiev, which is sending tanks and armored vehicles in response to the legitimate demands of its citizens? We cannot do that. They want us to prove black is white, but we cannot do that," Pushkov said.

Following a regime change in late February, the citizens of the predominantly Russian-speaking southeastern regions of Ukraine refused to recognize the legitimacy of the country’s interim government and called for federalization and referendums on greater autonomy, with rallies sweeping through the region.

Kiev’s current authorities have launched a special operation to crack down on the protesters, leading to violent clashes in major towns of southeastern Ukraine and dozens of casualties. Earlier this month, 46 protesters were killed and over 200 were injured in the port city of Odessa.

Russia has repeatedly condemned Kiev’s military operation against the restive regions and urged an immediate withdrawal of Ukrainian troops, as well as the start of comprehensive national dialogue to de-escalate the situation in the crisis-hit country.

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