Seven years ago, on 20 February 2014, the Russian Federation began its armed aggression against Ukraine. Russia invaded the territory of Ukraine. On this day, Russian military units began arriving in the Ukrainian Crimea as a part of an operation to seize the peninsula.
The illegal attempt of the annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as further incitement of the armed conflict in Donbas, were all subsequent stages in the realization of Russia’s plans to destroy the statehood ofUkraine.
In the seven years of Russia’s armed aggression, more than 13,000 people have died, including more than 3,000 civilians, tens of thousands have been injured, and about 1.5 million have become internally displaced persons. Despite all efforts by Ukraine and the international community to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, Russia’s armed aggression continues unabated with the number of its victims still growing every day.
In the temporarily occupied territories, Russia is grossly and systematically violating human rights. In Crimea, pro-Ukrainian activists are being persecuted, abductions and murders are widespread, and about a hundred people are kept behind bars under baseless, politically motivated accusations. Persistent repressions against the Crimean Tatar people continue. In the conflict zone in the Donbas, cities and villages, infrastructure, industrial facilities have suffered severe damages. The occupation causes destruction of cultural and historical heritage, as well as catastrophic environmental consequences both in the Donbas and Crimea.
The aggression of Russia against Ukraine has radically changed the geopolitical situation in Europe and in the whole world. The standing of international law and the entire system of European and world security has been severely undermined. The international community has condemned Russia’s actions in various documents adopted by such international organizations as the United Nations, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe. Dozens of countries imposed sanctions on Russia because of its violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
Ukraine demands that Russia stop its aggression, return to the framework of international law, and withdraw from the occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol, and in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
We call on the international community to increase political and sanctions pressure on Russia to make the Russian authorities de-occupy the currently held Ukrainian territories, release the prisoners of war and political prisoners, and abide by international court rulings.
We are convinced that through joint efforts, including within the framework of the Crimean Platform, we will not only restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity, but also strengthen the authority of international law, and return peace and stability to the European continent. And the Russian Federation will be held fully responsible for all crimes committed against Ukraine and its citizens.