Excerpts from Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova's briefing: situation around Ukraine

Submitted on Fri, 03/11/2022 - 10:48

Ukraine update

The special military operation by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continues in Ukraine. According to the leadership of the Russian Federation, it is progressing in strict accordance with the plan and its details are covered in depth during daily Russian Defence Ministry briefings.

In turn, we would like to reiterate that this operation was undertaken reluctantly and comes in the wake of eight years of aggression perpetrated by the Kiev regime against Donbass, and Kiev’s unwillingness to respect human rights and stop discrimination against Russian-speaking citizens of the country. All of that unfolded amid a catastrophic decline in global security caused by the actions of NATO, primarily, the United States.

The lion’s share of responsibility for the crisis lies with the NATO member countries, which encouraged and supported Kiev’s Russophobic policy and not only recognised, but orchestrated the anti-constitutional coup in 2014. The official statements by Ukrainian politicians about seeking nuclear weapons were the last straw.

Our long-standing fears, which we have expressed multiple times over many years, regarding the development by the United States in Ukraine of the corresponding military-grade biological materials under the guidance of the relevant US special services, were confirmed recently. They were confirmed not only on the basis of the materials and data obtained directly in Ukraine, and not only from the statements by the corresponding Ukrainian agencies. This was also stated today in Washington by US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland when she took questions from US legislators.

The goal of the special military operation is to protect the residents of the DPR and LPR, to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine, to eliminate the military threat to Russia emanating from Ukraine due to it being settled by NATO countries which flood Ukraine with weapons. It is not designed to occupy Ukraine, destroy its statehood, or topple its government. It is not directed against civilians. We have to go over the same things time and again in order to counter the vast amount of disinformation and classic fakes developed by Western intelligence services in the corresponding Western media.

The Ukrainian side’s methods of conducting operations are of major concern. We are well aware that extremists, who until recently were legally registered as nationalist paramilitary battalions, are now an integral part of the Ukrainian armed forces. The Russian side recorded the use of phosphorus munitions, which are banned by the third protocol of the UN Inhumane Weapons Convention, by the armed forces of Ukraine. The nationalist battalions, mercenaries from the Middle East and some countries of Western Europe who are fighting alongside them, are using civilians as human shields and taking up fighting positions in residential buildings and at civilian sites. This tactic was used by ISIS terrorists. We observe obstacles to the evacuation of local residents and foreign citizens from hazardous areas. Information about humanitarian corridors is deliberately withheld. People wishing to leave for Russia are forced to evacuate in the western direction. There were instances where nationalists shot civilians who wanted to leave the areas of hostility.

A great danger is posed by criminals who were released from prisons deliberately by people who were fully aware of the consequences. Not only that, they were given firearms as well. Now, in addition to neo-Nazis and mercenaries, Ukraine, as was the case during the civil war, is now home to gangs of looters, robbers and rapists.

Concurrently with the special military operation, we are holding talks with the Ukrainian side in order to end as soon as possible the unnecessary and senseless bloodshed and resistance by the armed forces of Ukraine. The third round ended in Belarus on March 7. The discussion of political, military and humanitarian issues continued. Some progress has been made, in particular on humanitarian corridors for the civilians to leave war zones. We were approached with requests for evacuation to Russia from about 2 million people with about 140,000 people already in Russia. Unfortunately, agreements are often not followed in real life. I would like to draw your attention to the statistics that the Emergencies Ministry is providing regularly and clearly. It has all the statistics on the number of people who crossed into the territory of the Russian Federation, the districts and regions of our country where they reside, their numbers and social status.

Unfortunately, the agreements are often not complied with in real life. We call on the Ukrainian side to do everything possible to ensure the safe passage of civilians. We hope that the next rounds of talks will help produce a more substantial step forward.

As the Russian leadership has stated, the goals of returning Ukraine to the origins of its sovereignty, which are enshrined in the Declaration of Independence that proclaimed its neutral status and cooperation with Russia, will be achieved. It is best to do so by way of peaceful negotiations. We count on the Ukrainian authorities adhering to the same positions.

Biological laboratories in Ukraine

We commented on this yesterday. I will repeat the main points of the Foreign Ministry statements.

We confirm the facts revealed during the special military operation in Ukraine, which prove that the Kiev regime has been destroying the evidence of military biological programmes Kiev was implementing with US funding.

We are not talking here about peaceful uses or scientific research for the benefit of the world, or development. The fact is that they were funded by the US Department of Defence.

We presume that in the near future, the US Department of Defence and the US Presidential Administration will be obliged to explain the programmes in Ukraine to the international community and do it officially, not through talking heads. We believe Washington has no chance to remain silent this time, not with the uncovered materials and the recent confirmations by the Ukrainian side and the United States – let me remind you that the statement was made by US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.

We remember how they have been searching for chemical, biological or bacteriological weapons across the globe for years, with exceptional bloody efficacy, invading countries and killing people. Well, you have been searching in all the wrong places. We have found them for you. Your projects, your biological samples, including those for military purposes in the first place, are in Ukraine. What were you doing there? It's a different continent. No common borders. No US bases. What were your specialists doing then under the guise of scientific developments, giving regular instructions to the Ukrainian side on how to do the research and how to use what they were making? Today, when there is nothing whatsoever to refute this evidence, we demand details. The world has the right to know what they were going to make there, what their purpose was, and their time frame, and the size of this “investment” in the bio lab activity in Ukraine. Data, materials, documents, please, everything on the table. The game is over.

We have obtained documents from employees of Ukrainian bio labs on the urgent destruction of their samples of plague, anthrax, cholera and other deadly pathogens after February 24. This was all documented. Moreover, we have been warning you about this for many years, here in this room during briefings, and in statements made by the Foreign Ministry and other Russian government agencies. The Russian leaders have regularly spoken about this, asking questions, and sending requests to the American side to explain its activities. Now we are not asking; we are demanding. The world is waiting.

This is regarding the Ukrainian Health Ministry’s instructions on the prompt elimination of the stored reserves of dangerous pathogens, which was sent to all biolaboratories. These materials are available on the Defence Ministry website.

Specialists in the radiation, chemical and biological warfare units are currently analysing these documents. However, it is already possible to conclude that components of biological weapons were developed in Ukrainian biolaboratories in the direct vicinity of our territory. The urgent destruction of the most dangerous pathogens on February 24 of this year was necessary to prevent the disclosure of facts that point to the violation by Ukraine and the United States of Article I of the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons (CBTW). How were these pathogens destroyed? Have all of them been destroyed? These were instructions for the relevant ministries. Who was in charge of the Health Ministry of Ukraine for a long time? Do you remember? What country did this wonderful doctor come from to head the Health Ministry of Ukraine? I remember well – from America. Here’s an answer to the question of who dealt with healthcare in Ukraine, how and for what purposes. The main question remains open: have these pathogens been eliminated or not? How is it possible to check them now? Have extremists or nationalists taken them? Who can guarantee this?

This information justifies Russia’s repeated grievances as regards compliance with the CBTW in the context of military biological activity on the part of the US and its allies in the post-Soviet space. To remove them, it is possible to use the mechanisms of the CBTW’s Article V and Article VI, according to which the states parties undertake to consult one another and to cooperate in solving any problems which may arise in relation to the objective of, or in the application of the provisions of, the Convention and to cooperate in carrying out any investigation into potential violations of the Convention.

To prevent military biological activities that contradict CBTW guidelines, it is necessary to take resolute measures to strengthen its regime. We are calling to resume the work on the legally binding Protocol to the Convention with an effective verification mechanism, which the US has blocked since 2001, as we have said many times. In this context, we suggest establishing an open working group in the CBTW, which meets the interests of the overwhelming majority of member states.

At this point, people are discussing everything: oil, gas, companies, their future, business, aircraft, transport, logistics, visas and borders. It is possible to regulate all these things in one way or another. Having been through the fight against the coronavirus in 2020, we all understand that if biological weapons get out, there will be no way to contain them. Maybe, the entire world, all countries on all continents should come to their senses and ask themselves, instead of watching CNN nonsense or reading fake news in the Washington Post: are they ready for yet another “adventure” with an unidentified virus or the global spread of biomaterials, if they have ended up or will end up in the hands of extremists or militants? Are they ready for this? Or are they only ready to express solidarity under strong pressure from those who have built biolabs in many countries and who are guiding their activities directly from the US Department of Defence? These activities are classified. They are not transparent and not subject to any monitoring.

To strengthen the institutional foundations of the CBTW, we suggest a number of initiatives that enjoy broad international support and provide for the establishment, within the framework of this document, of mobile medico-biological units (to render aid to the victims of biological weapons and to counter epidemics of varying origins), as well as establishing a research consultative committee for analysing scientific and technical achievements and for providing countries with the relevant recommendations.

In addition, we propose that the members of the Convention include information on military biological activity abroad in their annual reports as a confidence-building measure.

Only comprehensive measures will make it possible to put under meticulous international control the unlimited military biological activities of the US and its allies in the post-Soviet space and in the rest of the world. This will ensure verifiable implementation of the commitments of the CBTW members.

We will send you the links to all our statements.

A little less than a year ago, during a briefing on May 13, 2021, we replied to a question about the drafting of a legally binding protocol with an effective verification mechanism in the CBTW that we just discussed. We told the world, once again, that the United States had unilaterally derailed the adoption of this draft document. What were they doing during all these years? We also noted (in the spring of 2021) that Washington was persistently blocking any resumption of talks on a protocol even though the special group’s mandate remained valid.

We hoped that common sense would prevail in Washington and urged the United States, as the CBTW depository, to make a constructive contribution to strengthening the convention’s system rather than blocking the work on this document.

Now it is becoming clear that the United States was deliberately blocking any effort in this area in order to make it impossible to verify research, developments and other activities linked with biological weapons in these laboratories. 

April 9, 2021. Briefing on US military biological activities

On August 28, 2020, sanctions were adopted as regards three Russian research institutes.

We emphasised that the United States remained the only party to the Chemical Weapons Convention that had retained chemical weapons. Moreover, the US patented innovations linked with the use of full-scale combat chemical agents, including nerve gases.

We noted the US’s comprehensive approach: it was blocking the efforts of other states to control its activities while at the same time it was building up unlimited research on the production and proliferation of chemical and biological agents.

We noted high-profile international scandals around US laboratories. Thus, it transpired during the investigation of terrorist attacks linked with the shipments of anthrax spores in 2001 that the researcher who had sent these poisonous envelopes worked in a biolaboratory in Fort Detrick, the Pentagon’s flagship for bio protection.

In 2020, we repeatedly expressed concern about the US military’s biological activities in the post-Soviet space.

A number of questions revolved around the activities of the Pentagon-built Richard Lugar Public Health Research Centre in Georgia where the US Army Medical Research Unit-Georgia (USAMRU-G) operated. Isn’t this enough? Should we cite more examples? We published some; here they are.

May 27, 2020: a detailed commentary on the Lugar Centre.

April 17, 2020: a briefing where we once again noted the strengthening of the US biological presence abroad. Laboratories were officially included in the US military system for global control over the spread of infectious diseases, in addition to similar institutions in a number of other countries.

No one listened, no one wanted to know. We were closely surrounded by NATO’s military-technical component. They built laboratories to carry out biological weapons research in the post-Soviet space contrary to all commitments and standards assumed by the US.

January 17, 2020: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a news conference on Russian diplomatic activities in 2019. This issue was raised again.

December 17, 2018: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station. This issue was raised in the context of Ukraine.

Interview with State Secretary: Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin’s interview with the RIA Novosti news agency, published on December 19, 2018. The same issue was discussed again.

We continuously raised this issue because we understood what was going on. If this threat finds its way to the outside world it cannot be promptly controlled. Now, perhaps, everyone understands this.

Russia’s efforts to ensure the safety and security of nuclear facilities in Ukraine

As part of the special operation of the Russian Armed Forces, control was taken of the Chernobylskaya and Zaporozhskaya nuclear power plants and the adjacent areas.

This measure was only taken to prevent Ukrainian nationalist or other terrorist groups, or foreign mercenaries – we will get back to this particular issue later – from taking advantage of the current situation in the country to carry out nuclear provocations; such risks are real.

The situation at the Chernobylskaya and Zaporozhskaya nuclear power plants is being monitored jointly by Ukrainian specialists and the Russian military. Background radiation at both nuclear power plants is normal. The Zaporozhskaya nuclear power plant is operating in normal mode, so civilians living in the adjacent areas are not exposed to risk. 

As a country that has a developed nuclear power industry, Russia is fully conscious of the potential risks to nuclear infrastructure and we are doing our best to ensure the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. We are outraged by the behaviour of the Kiev authorities, who are spreading disinformation about the Russian military’s actions with respect to Ukrainian nuclear power plants. This is information warfare. We will disavow all of it.

International Court of Justice hearings in The Hague on Ukraine’s new case against the Russian Federation 

On March 7-8, the UN International Court of Justice held hearings in The Hague at Ukraine’s request to assign provisional measures in another fictitious case against Russia – this time under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948. In this exotic manner, Kiev is trying to make a case for having its claims regarding Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine heard by the Court.

The decision was made not to attend these hearings given how plainly absurd the Ukrainian case is, the obviously insufficient time Russia was given to formulate its position in response, and others considerations, among them security.

The Russian Embassy in the Netherlands has sent the Court a letter, which sets forth Russia’s position regarding the complete legal inconsistency of the Kiev authorities’ insinuations and also requests that this case be taken off the Court’s docket. Its focus was on the fact that the basis for the Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine is not the Convention on Genocide but rather the right of self-defence guaranteed under Article 51 of the UN Charter, of which the Russian Federation promptly informed the UN Security Council, in keeping with the established procedure.  

The hearings have shown that Kiev has no intention of ending its cynical lies. Yet again, Ukraine resorted to its now customary blatantly fake stories and manipulation to accuse Russia of all manner of things, claiming that black is white.

Kiev’s Western lawyers have leveled false accusations at Russia which allegedly attacks nuclear power plants in Ukraine with malicious intent, at the risk of causing a nuclear disaster. This was illustrated, in particular, by a photograph of the administrative building of the Zaporozhskaya nuclear power plant, which in reality was set on fire by Ukrainian military while they retreated in panic in order to get, in the end, an effective photograph for discrediting Russia. In this dangerous situation, the Russian military is guided by the need to prevent nuclear provocations by Ukrainian nationalists, who, apparently, have nothing to lose. Actually, they were trained to do this. This is why the Russian military has taken control of Ukrainian nuclear facilities. As the representatives of the Zaporozhskaya nuclear power plant and the mayor of the city of Energodar have repeatedly said, the nuclear power plant is operating normally and the situation in the city is calm. The Ukrainian advisers’ allegations of a 20-fold increase in radiation levels at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant that were voiced during the hearings fly in the face of the facts. On March 2, similarly irresponsible rumours were refuted by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi. Currently, the situation at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is being jointly overseen by Russian military, specialists and other personnel at the plant, and the Ukrainian National Guard.  

Ukrainian representatives made outrageously cynical statements alleging that Russia opened “humanitarian corridors” for evacuating civilians from Mariupol only to “fire at the civilians leaving the city.” The US lawyer representing Ukraine had no scruples when he demonstrated photo images showing people in Irpen, Kiev Region, crowded under a collapsed bridge, which was damaged in an explosion by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. These people were unable to leave the city unhindered. These facts were misrepresented as a result of Russia’s actions. At the same time, Kiev’s American lawyers know better than anyone that firing at unarmed people trying to flee for their lives has been a signature move of the United States, honed to perfection in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yugoslavia. Is there anyone who can argue that this is not the case? Will they now present photos of their atrocities as something else? The United States mastered all these tricks, and then taught the Kiev regime to use them.

The tactics employed by nationalist fighters from the Azov battalion demonstrate that America’s Ukrainian underlings have been good pupils and learned the lesson from their masters. On March 6, 2022, they opened fire on civilians who were moving along the humanitarian corridor out of Mariupol. The next day, during a confrontation on Pobedy Prospekt, also in Mariupol, the Azov fighters pushed 150 civilians in front of them as human shields. Four people died, and 15 were wounded. Did no one see this either? Sumy Mayor Alexander Lysenko and Head of the Sumy Region Administration Dmitry Zhivitsky issued public threats to shoot at civilians trying to use the humanitarian corridors in order to reach Russia. What an outrageous and inhuman thing to do.

But what can you expect, if they keep hearing statements at the highest level in France that opening humanitarian corridors to Russia is cynical? Very well, just look at the actual reports from the regions: how many people have Russia accepted in all these years, while you didn’t believe that the issue even existed? Do you think there were no people coming to Russia in 2014, or in 2015, or all these long seven years? And now it turns out that this is a “cynical” thing to do. Is the fact that people come to us to get help cynical? What a thing to say.

The motivation driving actions of this kind is clear. Imbued with cavernous nationalism, the radicals are seeking to use civilians as human shields in order to save their own lives and make a dash for the territory controlled by Kiev. This may be something “new” for people who do not understand what has been going on in Ukraine all these years. They did not understand this, or did not want to, or pretended not to know. So it is now that they “discover” all this. However, this is only true of those who bother looking at the facts rather than just images they have been exposed to. This is at the core of what went on there. Failing to treat this as a humanitarian issue, all they wanted was to exterminate, punish, and castigate civilians for their defiance, and after that finish them off without even trying to understand what they were “muttering.” They have tried everything: heavy artillery, torture, psychological pressure, humiliation, and violence.

It was not in 2022 that it all started, and not in 2021, or in 2020. It all started long before that. The active stage began in 2014, but these fighters started their training even earlier. They got the first taste of blood during the Maidan uprisings in 2013 and 2014. This is when they toughened up and tested their skills in pressuring and exterminating civilians for the first time. It is there that they realised that they could do anything they liked, that not just their local politicians were behind them, who could be there today, but not tomorrow, but also superpowers like the United States, together with NATO in its entirety cheering them on. It was then that they realised that the road was open to them. And they used it by committing their outrages over these eight years. Do you think that they will change the way they behave? Why would they? Civilians never counted for them. They never saw them as people. When extremist fighters, terrorists fail to recognise people, they don’t care whether these people are on their side of the barricades or on the opposite side. Maybe their Western patrons failed to factor this into their calculations. Or maybe they did understand this but still went to great lengths to cover them up.

While blaming the Russian military for shelling Kiev and Kharkov, Kiev’s representatives forget that the DPR and LPR are shelled daily. They never thought about this or noticed this. After all, they are populated by “species”, not people. The Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to destroy civilian infrastructure there, including childcare facilities and hospitals. They kept quiet about the fact that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have been constantly firing heavy artillery from densely populated residential neighbourhoods in Kiev and Kharkov. Once again, they are using civilians as human shields. In the evening of March 7, 2022, Ukrainian Grad launchers fired rounds from Vinogradar, a residential district in Kiev, targeting housing developments in Vyshgorod. There are hundreds of examples of this kind, so here is another one: in Mariupol, the Ukrainian nationalist battalions forced the staff and patients to leave a maternity hospital and installed their firing positions there. Multiple videos debunk the Ukrainian fakes, while serving as evidence of the crimes Kiev committed against its citizens. They are all publicly available on the resources which fight these fakes.

As for the fact that the Ukrainian fighters and nationalists took up positions at a maternity hospital, doesn’t this remind you of anything? Maybe it doesn’t ring a bell for younger people, but people who remember the 1990s recall Budyonovsk. We remember the terrorists, the bastards who found so much love in the West and who were applauded by the entire Western world as freedom fighters. Who did they take hostage? Have you forgotten? This is something that cannot be forgotten. Forgetting this means becoming less human. They took a maternity hospital hostage. It is from there that they went live on television, it is from there that they gave interviews, holding weapons, and hiding behind pregnant women, mothers, and babies. This is how they fought for freedom, generously sponsored as they were by NATO countries. At the time the entire world saw Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin as he talked on the phone from his office directly to those bastards, the scum that occupied a maternity hospital and used people there as hostages. This was what they did. They took hostage an entire maternity hospital. At the time, there were talks with them. Viktor Chernomyrdin later served as Ambassador to Ukraine. He saw a lot in this position too. Do you believe that you can treat people who can take position in a maternity hospital in any other way? What are the high goals they can invoke to justify their deeds? How can they justify this? There is no need to come up with a justification. It simply does not exist.

Western officials’ statements about “volunteers” fighting in Ukraine

We have taken note of the reports that the Ukrainian embassies in several European capitals, including Copenhagen, London and many others, are recruiting mercenaries. We remember what London and Copenhagen did during the events in the North Caucasus in the 1990s. We also remember where the surviving North Caucasus terrorists, who had claimed to be fighting against the “regime” for the freedom of speech, fled after the hostilities ended. We remember where they were accepted not just as refugees but as victims of political persecution. It was in the same capitals where they had been recruited. It is where the Ukrainian embassies are recruiting new mercenaries now. This story did not begin yesterday. It is a long-time trend. I can understand the UK Foreign Office, which likes to echo the sentiments of its chief, who said that one needn’t look back to history, and called for looking to the future instead. Of course, you should look to the future, but you should also know and remember history. They have launched a campaign to recruit “volunteers” to join the fight against Russia – in so many words.

Moreover, it is these countries’ officials who are pushing their citizens to join in the Ukrainian nationalists’ punitive operations against civilians, as well as for Kiev to use them in the fight against the Russian military personnel who are conducting the special military operation.

How are they doing this? Are they just keeping silent or reminding the Ukrainian diplomatic mission about the Vienna convention, which says how diplomats must act? Of course, not. During a news conference on March 1, 2022, Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen said that the Danish citizens who wish to volunteer for such activities would not be subject to criminal persecution. You see, the Ukrainian embassies are not only and not so much appealing to Ukrainian citizens who are living in foreign countries, but directly to the citizens of these countries. The Danish Prime Minister’s Russophobic statements are wide open to criticism and are reminiscent of the recruiting of Danish “volunteers” to SS units Danish Legion (Free Corps Denmark), Wiking and Nordland, which committed atrocities in the Soviet Union during WWII. Everyone knows what happened to them.

Such irresponsible statements have also been made by UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who said on February 27, 2022, that it was up to people to make their own decisions on joining the hostilities in Ukraine. The goal of such statements is obvious. On the one hand, they want to justify the participation of private military companies in the developments in Ukraine. I know that UK officials don’t like to answer questions, but now is a good opportunity to ask them: Can you tell us about the participation of your private miliary companies and agencies in developments in Ukraine in 2022, a year ago and during the past 15 years? Or you will say that these are private companies, and the UK government has no connection to them? But you have no connection to the “volunteers” either, so why speak about them now? On the other hand, they will use the inevitable destruction of these “volunteers” to whip up anti-Russia hysteria and Russophobia in the UK.

I have a big request to the countries and their governments, foreign ministers and other officials who are promoting and support the idea of recruiting “volunteers” for the war against Russia on Ukrainian territory: Please, don’t call Moscow later to help you find out what happened to your citizens. We will answer in your own words: They made their own decision, and you helped them make it.

Judging by the reaction in the UK, Liz Truss’s cynical attempt to score political points on blood has shocked even her colleagues in the Conservative Party, who walked back from her. On February 28, 2022, the UK government issued a statement saying that British citizens are not recommended to go to Ukraine and that their participation in fighting or assistance to combatants in that country could amount to committing a criminal offence under British anti-terrorist laws. Disavowing Liz Truss’s statements has become a new tradition in the UK.

We would like to tell our foreign partners once again that we do not bear any responsibility for the lives of your citizens who decided to take part in illegal military activities in Ukraine. I will not list the documents you have violated by declaring your support for such actions, the documents you have signed. I will certainly find them, but not today, because this would take too long. Any armed activity against Russian military personnel will be cut short immediately, and the armed groups of foreign mercenaries and “volunteers” will be eliminated.

Western response to developments in Ukraine

We resolutely condemn the anti-Russia campaign, unleashed in the West. The openly Russo-phobic propaganda from mainstream media outlets and statements by Western politicians that are a far cry from the principles of tolerance and love for humanity are causing the most destructive consequences for them.

A lorry rammed the gate of the Russian Embassy in Ireland the other day. Someone tossed a Molotov cocktail into the Russian Science and Cultural Centre in Paris several days ago. The premises of the Russian Embassy’s consular division in The Hague was also attacked, with someone throwing an explosive device there. There have been no casualties so far.

At the same time, there are no guarantees that the atmosphere of psychosis and hatred, being created in Europe, will not induce local nationalists to do something irreparable. Can you imagine how your specially created hysteria, being spread via media outlets, will influence radicals and extremists? Russia is located far away from them, but you are quite near. Your civilians will suffer from them because it is easy to wake up this germ of Nazism, nationalism and extremism. However, it is impossible to contain this scourge. Europe has already staged experiments, including “holy” marches where the participants held hands, while walking and chanting “no to extremism and terrorism”. You are provoking and inciting all this. If your dreadful destructive work in other counties can be explained by the fact that these places are located far away, and that this is not happening in the West, then right now, this will backfire against you. Unfortunately, we have predicted many things, and we have recalled these forecasts, citing our warnings and statements. It will be the same this time.

The difficult years of the Covid-19 pandemic have largely wrecked economic ties, and many sections of the population barely survived the pandemic-related economic crisis. Today, you have aggravated this with sanctions that have already dealt you a crushing blow, although Russia has not even started drafting its far-reaching counter-measures. You have done this all by yourselves. In these conditions, the situation in your countries will deteriorate dramatically. Against this backdrop, you are apparently encouraging people to become militants. Are you allowing the United States to destroy Europe? When will you stop?

Ukrainian embassies in Western European countries are openly recruiting volunteers and mercenaries so that they can take part in hostilities in Ukraine on the side of the country’s armed forces. This is being done via social media networks, etc. Although these people will not necessarily go to Ukraine, they are now wide awake. Do you understand this? This brings out the most primitive feelings in people. What will you do with them? Who will you ask for help? It will be impossible to expel them anywhere else. These citizens of your states are signing up on the so-called Ukrainian lists. We know that the United States backs Ukraine. All this is happening with the connivance of local authorities and even their support, although such actions are a criminal offence in many countries. No one is eager to use the criminal code and the relevant legislation. On the contrary, they are encouraging such activities; at best, they turn a blind eye. However, this best-case scenario is, in fact, a worst-case scenario because this merely encourages nationalism and extremism.

Foreign media outlets and politicians incite hatred towards certain classes, ethnic groups and people with a certain civic affiliation. Consequently, many Russian citizens and simply Russian-speaking residents of Western Europe are now being targeted by radical elements and hooligans. These hooligans and radicals see no difference between the Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian languages, or the difference between the Eastern European nations, which are all the same to them. But you are launching a deadly steamroller that will rip through your countries and provoke many troubles.

As of now, Russians are being turned away from public transit, restaurants put up posters reading “Russians will not be served. Eat stones.” Have you taken these out of your old cupboards, where they have been gathering dust since the 1930s and the 1940s? You haven’t discarded or burned them and they are still lying there? In the so-called cultural capitals of Europe, paint is sprayed on diplomatic vehicles and customers’ cars are set on fire outside Russian shops. They have started harassing children at school. This is what is evident now. But they have been harassing children at school for years. We know the facts which, without making them public, we communicated to foreign journalists in a bid to draw their attention to them. Diplomats, Russian journalists and local residents, who worked with Russian companies or openly expressed sympathy towards Russia, received messages with threats of violence. When people, who have nothing to do with political decision-making, receive messages with detailed descriptions of what is in store for them and with concrete examples, this means that something nasty is happening in these countries, that there is something wrong with them and their societies. European banks are freezing accounts to punish people financially for their independent civic stand.

Aggressive xenophobia is rearing its ugly head. It has no ethnicity! Isn’t that clear? It may erupt on some or other pretext and then the next moment you will be powerless to control it. If someone is convinced that a person belonging to a different ethnic group is inferior to him or her, you will never be able to stop them from acting on this conviction. They will continue to blame different ethnic groups for their misfortunes and mishaps. We know well what this can lead to.

This is a case of rabid, aggressive xenophobia of the sort that was always previously denounced and hounded by the West when it manifested in other countries. On individual occasions, this was always a matter of public debate and the cancel culture. How could it be that if a person of different race was caught at the wrong angle on a video ad, or asked to say a wrong line, right away a flywheel of persecution would be set going? A wrong name, a wrong address, a seemingly wrong note in a song, a wrong approach, if free from aggression – anything could be used as a pretext for noble indignation… But what do we have now? Or is there a summary table showing whose lives matter and whose don’t? 

Russia has already faced a pan-European aggression of this sort in its history. Like it or not, there is no getting away from history. In 1941, many European states that had pleaded fealty to the Third Reich attacked the USSR along with Germany. The crusade against the Soviet Union involved, apart from the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS, 1.5 million volunteers from the countries of what is today the European Union. The times repeat themselves: we are seeing the same thing. Soviet people were killed by weapons manufactured by willing horses at military factories in countries that had surrendered to Germany, practically without a fight. I am referring to France, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Belgium… There are many other examples, where European countries did not hesitate to profit from the Wehrmacht’s orders. In fact, the USSR was fighting against all of fascist Europe rather than just Nazi Germany. We remember this! The West is being dehumanised again.

The European capitals are vying with each other in a show of loyalty to the suzerain, trying to curry favour and display their Russophobia in a particularly vivid and offensive way. We are witnessing an “infernal flash mob” of sorts.

We hope that the healthy forces in European countries will not allow irresponsible politicians and the media to sow blind hatred for people from other ethnic groups or people with different outlooks. We know what happened in the end. As I understand, too many memorials have been destroyed in European states. “Memorial” is a derivative of the word “memory.” So obviously they don’t remember. They have long since stopped reading books and the airwaves are permeated with totally irrelevant things. Please do remind them about the outcome that awaited Europe in a similar situation decades ago. We hope they will manage to pull themselves together in time and collect what remains of their dignity. Hopefully, too, we will not have to evacuate our fellow citizens from an allegedly tolerant and democratic Europe.