Russia’s United Nations Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Ukraine’s deposed president Viktor Yanukovych did ask Russia to send troops into his country.
Quoting from Yanukovych’s letter of which he offered to make photocopies available, Churkin said: ‘Ukraine is on the brink of a civil war. In the country there is chaos and anarchy.
‘Under the influence of Western countries there are open acts of terror and violence. People are being persecuted for language and political reasons.
‘So in this regard I would call on the president of Russia, Mr Putin, asking him to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation to establish legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability and defending the people of Ukraine,’ he read.
Protests started in Independence Square in Kiev after Yanukovych rejected a trade deal with the European Union and accepted a $15 billion bailout from Russia. Parliament overthrew him on February 22nd.
After he was deposed, Crimea, an autonomous republic of Ukraine, took steps to break away from Ukraine. Its citizens dissolved the government and appointed a Russian chairman, Sergey Aksyonov, who asked Russia President Vladimir Putin for support. On Sunday, a US official said Russia is in complete control of the peninsula.
US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said despite everything Russia says, nothing justifies the actions it took in Crimea.
The bottom line is that, for all of the self-serving rhetoric we have heard from Russian officials in recent days, there is nothing that justifies Russian conduct. As I said in our last session, Russia’s actions speak much louder than its words. What is happening today is not a human rights protection mission and it is not a consensual intervention. What is happening today is a dangerous military intervention in Ukraine. It is an act of aggression. It must stop. This is a choice for Russia. Diplomacy can serve Russia’s interests. The world is speaking out against the use of military threats and the use of force. Ukrainians must be allowed to determine their own destiny. Thank you Madam President.