Russia declares Ukrainian World Congress a threat to its national security
The decision by Russia’s Prosecutor General declaring the Ukrainian World Congress a threat to Russia’s national security is a further attempt to eliminate Ukrainian community life in Russia. It highlights Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fear that the democratic principles championed by the Ukrainian people will bring an end to his kleptocratic regime.
“Neither the Ukrainian World Congress nor its member organizations pose any threat to the national security of Russia,” stated Paul Grod, UWC President. “We stand with the peace-loving people of Russia who wish to live in a state that respects the dignity of its people. UWC calls upon the Russian regime of Vladimir Putin to withdraw his troops and security forces from eastern Ukraine and Crimea and end the illegal occupation, human rights abuses and ongoing military aggression against the Ukrainian people.”
Recently, UWC has been advocating for the non-recognition of Russian passports granted to Ukrainian citizens in Crimea or parts of Ukraine occupied by Kremlin-backed militants. “The issuance of Russian passports on Ukrainian territory is a further act of aggression against Ukraine and we applaud the Government of Canada for its recent decision not to recognize these documents and calls upon the international community to follow, as these actions by Russia represent yet another attack on Ukrainian sovereignty.”
“UWC will never recognize the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and will work tirelessly to ensure it is returned to Ukraine. Furthermore, we denounce Russia’s occupation, human rights abuses and ongoing military aggression in eastern Ukraine. The real question is why doesn’t Vladimir Putin focus on making life better for the Russian people rather than on making it worse for the people of Ukraine and creating imaginary external threats?”
UWC is a recognized non-government organization by both the United Nations and the Council of Europe and brings together as one powerful voice the 20 million strong Ukrainian diaspora in over 60 countries, the largest of which lives in the Russian Federation. Prohibiting the people of Russia from cooperating or working with UWC is just another attempt to intimidate, oppress and further assimilate the Ukrainian people living in Russia. “Although this ban is another badge of honour for UWC, we are very concerned for the safety of the leaders and members of the Ukrainian community organizations living in the Russian Federation. We know all too well that the Russian government does not hesitate to intimidate or execute its political opposition both at home and abroad.”
Millions of Ukrainians are living in Russia today. “These are people who belong to the Ukrainian nation and the UWC will protect their interests and the interests of all Ukrainians, wherever they may live,” stated Paul Grod.