Yulia Tymoshenko: Crimea will always be Ukrainian

I feel sorry for the people of Crimea who fell for Russia's lie. The regime will soon show them that even the subtropics can have polar nights. Still, the most powerful Ukrainian army – that of freedom and democracy – marches on, fulfilling its mission, including the liberation of Russia.

Charite Universitaetsmedizin Berlin/AP
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko poses with her doctors at the Charite Hospital in Berlin, Germany, March 8.

First and foremost, on March 16 there was no “referendum” in Crimea. This “referendum” was a cover for overt military aggression against Ukraine and an attempt to annex part of Ukrainian territory.

Not a single civilized state has recognized the results of this so-called “referendum.” It was 100 percent illegal, and its legal consequences are worthless. This big lie won’t last long.

Second, Crimea will always be Ukrainian, despite all the attempts of Russian occupants. This is our land and we won’t give it away to anyone!

Third, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone who is defending Ukraine’s national interests in Crimea in these dramatic days. I am grateful to Ukraine’s military for their unbreakable spirit, forbearance, incredible heroism, and patriotism. I am grateful to the Crimeans who didn’t support the separatists. I am grateful to the Crimean Tatars, the volunteers, and the journalists.

Thanks to you, a new proud and beautiful Ukraine is being born – a country of heroes! And there’s nothing the Russian aggressors can do about this. Justice will be restored soon.

I implore the Ukrainian parliament to urgently ratify the Rome Statute to allow Ukraine to appeal to the International Criminal Court in The Hague and to petition the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to rule on the compatibility of the Rome Statute with the constitution of Ukraine. Ukraine must urgently appeal to the International Criminal Court to stop the military capture of Ukraine. Everyone involved in the military aggression against our state must face personal international responsibility.

I feel sorry for the people of Crimea who fell for this big lie and became victims of their own carelessness and naiveté, which may cast their sunny island into darkness. The Russian regime will soon show them that even the subtropics can have polar nights. This could lead to a humanitarian disaster and unpredictable consequences for the Crimeans. There will be no economic paradise. Russia doesn’t have the resources – their economy is on the verge of collapse. Now that leading countries of the world are imposing the strictest sanctions against Russia, tomorrow they will have no interest in Crimea and its people.

Fourth, I feel sorry for the people of Russia. They are being led into a totalitarian abyss of economic and spiritual collapse, which goes hand-in-hand with poverty and devastation.

Using degrading and immoral means, the Russian government has destroyed the notion of truth with their mad propaganda for the occupation of Ukraine. They have killed the myth of Russia’s orthodoxy, spirituality, and sacredness and what they believe is their positive personal role in the history of mankind. Instead, the whole world has witnessed Russia’s immoral and unjustified aggression that has put under question the peaceful coexistence of all nations on this planet.

The Russian regime has even offset Russia’s historical role in World War II and transformed it from a liberator to an invader. This moral loss for Russia is far more tragic than any perspective material losses resulting from international sanctions.

But we can only hope that a new Russia is also being born today. Not Putin’s Russia, but a country that last weekend came out for the march of freedom. A Russia of Andrey Makarevich wearing a yellow and blue ribbon. A Russia of Liya Akhedzhakova, Eldar Ryazanov, and Boris Grebenshchikov. Ukraine has a real future with a Russia like this.

Fifth, on the Maidan, Ukraine made its pro-European choice and gained its first victory in the battle for European values by removing the dictatorship. Today, despite all the difficulties, our unity is stronger than ever before. On March 21 we will see the signing of the association agreement with the European Union. This is a success for Ukraine and it cannot be erased. Let nobody doubt our resilience and assuredness.

We made our choice and we choose freedom!

And one more thing...

The Ukrainian Maidan overthrew criminal despotism. The people triumphed. This is good, but we cannot stop because today our tyrannical neighbor wants to conquer Ukraine.

We are a peaceful people who do not choose war. But if necessary, we can do more than just defend ourselves. Perhaps even against our will, Ukraine now has a new and greater mission: to help break the tyranny of our neighboring state with our spiritual and moral power.

Ukraine has learned to win and today has the strongest weapon in the world — the power of will, honor, truth, and spirit!

Today Ukraine is not only the geographical center of Europe; it is also the spiritual center for the victory of democracy. The world has recognized this and is standing by Ukraine’s side.

Last Saturday, Valeriya Novodvorskaya said democratic Russia is waiting for the Ukrainian army to liberate it. This is obviously a metaphor, but it does contain a grain of reality.

We won’t be visiting anyone with tanks and machine guns, but we have a different army. It is an army that cannot be stopped by borders, trenches, anti-tank fortifications or minefields. It is our Ukrainian army of freedom, democracy, human dignity, and spirit. And it is already on the march. Ukraine is fulfilling its mission, which includes the liberation of Russia.

I believe that everything will be fine. 

(P.S. According to legend, Master Kano was walking through the forest in winter and saw two tree branches covered in snow. One thick branch broke under the weight of the snow whilst another, a younger branch, bent under the weight, straightened back up throwing the snow. This is how judo came to be – a martial art whose basic principle is to feign submission in order to win. But only feign. Ukraine is that second, younger branch. I think there’s at least one well-known judoka in Russia that should know this parable.)

Yulia Tymoshenko is the former prime minister of Ukraine and the current leader of All-Ukrainian Union “Fatherland” (“Batkivshchyna”) party.

© 2014 The WorldPost/Global Viewpoint Network, distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Hosted online by The Christian Science Monitor.

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