Kyiv, 11 May 2014 – The events taking place today in eastern Ukraine, in Donbass – unconstitutional, unlawful acts of terrorists connected with the attempt to separate a part of Ukraine – are crimes against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukrainian state and have no legal or factual consequences. This statement has been made by Pavlo Petrenko, Minister of Justice of Ukraine, during a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
The Minister emphasized that the pseudo-referendum is unconstitutional and is held, firstly, for the terrorists to avoid responsibility for the crimes they have committed and, secondly, for creation of the Donbas gray area, where banditry, looting and mass crimes can thrive which is not in the interest of the residents of Eastern Ukraine.
According to the Minister, armed terrorists exerted pressure on principals of schools and utilities threating them with physical violence in order to promote the image of legitimate voting. However, the Prosecutor General and the Security Service of Ukraine informed all heads of local councils under a written receipt on the criminal liability for complicity in crimes of separatists.
Mr. Petrenko reminded that yesterday Ukrainian law enforcement officers seized from armed terrorists near Slovyansk over one hundred thousand pre-filled ballots with appropriate markings to support the independence of the so-called People’s Republic of Donetsk. “Thus, the terrorists have already been trying to falsify the data even prior to the so-called poll’, – commented the Minister also emphasizing the undeniable evidence of the interference of the Russian Federation in the planning and implementation of current events in Eastern Ukraine. – Special Forces permanently fix the negotiations with Russian side, with clear guidance on conducting, falsifying and announcing results of the so-called referendum.”
Pavlo Petrenko expressed outrage for the interference of the Russian Federation in the internal affairs of Ukraine given the weak decentralization of the Russian Federation itself due to the lack of authority to the subjects of the Federation; and by addressing the residents of Donbass, Mr. Petrenko emphasized the decentralization process, which has already been started by the Government of Ukraine. He also urged residents of the East of Ukraine to support law enforcement officers and the military that protect peace and tranquility in the region by the cost of their own lives.