Head of Security Services of Ukraine, Oleksandr Yakymenko:
Yesterday’s events in Ukraine have shown an increasing escalation of armed confrontations and massive use of arms by the extremist groups. Local administrations, offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Security Services, prosecutor offices, military units and ammunition storages are under siege in many regions of Ukraine.
Courtrooms are burning; vandals are destroying private houses and killing civilians. Thus, in one day, the criminals have obtained access to more than 1500 units of firearms and 100,000 rounds of ammunition. Today, we observe a conscious and deliberate use of violence in the form of arson, murder, hostage-taking and intimidation of the population in order to achieve criminal goals. All of this is happening using firearms. These are not simply manifestations of terrorism, these are specific terrorist acts! Radicals, extremists and their actions are a direct threat to the lives of millions of Ukrainians.
In view of the above-mentioned, the Security Service and Anti-terrorism Center have decided to commence to counterterrorism operations on the territory of Ukraine. It is important to note that the level of currently existing public threat requires the immediate activation of all units involved in the fight against terrorism.
According to the Law of Ukraine On Combating Terrorism, Security Service of Ukraine, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Border Guard, central and local governments must all be involved. In view of the above-mentioned decision, it is important to enhance the security of public order and to tighten the national border security.
I appeal to all citizens of Ukraine with a request to remain calm and to undertake actions within their legal rights. I have already informed the President about the decision to commence counterterrorism operations.