By Yuriy Butusov
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
“Ukraine is the target of military aggression. Sabotage operations are coordinated and directed by special services of the Russian Federation, while local criminal structures act as the organizational core [of these operations]. The Russian strategy entails organizing subversive attacks on government authorities, aimed at provoking armed conflict. They need victims that would allow anti-Ukrainian propaganda to mobilize peaceful citizens of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts [regions] for protests. Ukrainian authorities succeeded in stabilizing the situation in Kharkiv, Odesa, Mykolayiv, Zaporizhzhya, and Dnipropetrovsk. In Donetsk, instead of the earlier 5,000 to 10,000 strong rallies, only a few hundred people have come out to support separatist statements today.
There is no uncertainty on our part. Rapid response forces have been deployed to their positions. The Crimean scenario cannot be repeated in the eastern oblasts, because the Ukrainian border is controlled by the Ukrainian military, who will open fire in case of a foreign invasion. We will not give up a single inch of Ukrainian land in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Our goal is to avoid casualties among civilians, whom the bandits use as live shields.
I request that all citizens remain calm and exercise restraint. Sociological surveys show that the main motive of Russian separatist propaganda in the East is the fear of the mythical “Banderites.” We are striving to quench these fears, so let us avoid fanning the flames. Ukrainian authorities will deal with the subversive acts [of the enemy] in the eastern regions using the forces currently present there. We do not require support of volunteers from other oblasts.
To politicians: please refrain from speculating on this crisis and do not call on people in other regions of Ukraine to mobilize for the East. To citizens: please remain calm and do not travel to the eastern regions to help the law enforcement. The above actions [speculation and summons] are, at best, displaying political inexperience, and at worst, playing into the hands of the enemy’s provocations.
Order in the East will be restored peacefully. We will not surrender Luhansk and Donetsk, and we will not spill the blood of Ukrainians, despite the wishes of the foreign aggressor and his attempts to stage a civil war.”