Council of Europe Responsible for Situation in Ukraine, Leningrad Region Governor Says
14:16 GMT 01.03.2022 (Updated: 13:08 GMT 02.03.2022)
© AP Photo / Virginia MayoUkraine and European Union flags are reflected onto a marble wall as a visitor walks by prior to an extraordinary plenary session on Ukraine at the European Parliament in Brussels, Tuesday, March 1, 2022
© AP Photo / Virginia Mayo
The Council of Europe is responsible for the situation in Ukraine since Europe has never met Russia's proposals to assess and discuss the situation in Donbas and the dangerous militarisation of Ukraine, Leningrad Region Governor Alexander Drozdenko said.
A representative of the governor and regional administration's press service said that Alexander Drozdenko, who heads the Russian delegation at the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (CoE), spoke at an extraordinary Congress meeting.
“I find it more difficult than all of you to speak today because you have a consolidated position, and my position, of course, will not coincide with yours... But you need to understand that the Council of Europe is also fully responsible for the fact that this conflict is resolved by force, the reason being that not even once has Europe responded to all the Russian proposals to assess and discuss the situation in Donbas and the dangerous militarisation of Ukraine, especially in the last six months," Drozdenko said.
“For some reason, you have shut up our proposals to consider the genocide of the people of Donetsk and Lugansk Regions, you refused to consider the death of people in Odessa, and this is a genuine Nazi manifestation, you did not react to Poroshenko's words that ‘children of Donbas will sit in the cellars’, threats of massacres against citizens of Donbas by Dnipropetrovsk Mayor Borys Filatov, as well as many other facts,” the governor said.
However, he hoped that the chance for people-to-people diplomacy in the current circumstances would continue.
“It is not easy for us to communicate today... But the main policy for us, regional and municipal leaders, is people-to-people diplomacy. And I would like us to keep this chance for people-to-people diplomacy,” Drozdenko said.
Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday, 24 February. President Vladimir Putin called its aim "to protect people who have been facing genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime for eight years."
The Russian President said that the plan is to “demilitarise and denationalise Ukraine” and to put on trial all war criminals responsible for “bloody crimes against civilians” in Donbas.
According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the Armed Forces are striking only military infrastructure and Ukrainian troops, while civilians face no threat. Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republic forces supported by the Russian military develop the offensive. However, there is no plan to occupy Ukraine, the Russian president stressed.
By Monday morning, more than 1,100 objects had been struck including airfields, control points, and radar stations. The area around a nuclear power station in Chernobyl and an operating nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia is now under Russian control. After eight years, the North Crimean Canal has been unblocked and the water supply to Crimea has been restored.
The offensive is advancing in several directions and Kiev is blockaded from the west. However, a detailed map of Ukrainian regions where the Russian military is operating has not yet been officially published.
The Russian Defence Ministry reports that there are dead and wounded among Russian troops, but casualties among Ukrainian troops and Nazi nationalists are many times higher. The exact figures have not been announced at the moment.
The Russian military has reported many cases of Ukrainian troops voluntarily laying down their weapons – they have been guaranteed safety and will be able to return to their families. Meanwhile, Ukrainian security forces are deploying rocket-propelled salvo systems directly into residential areas of Kiev and other Ukrainian cities. President Putin has called this a terrorist act.