In his article titled “Russia and Ukraine: Life by New Rules” published by Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily on Monday, Medvedev wrote that Russia, would on the contrary continue supporting people in the neighboring country considering the fact that the most difficult times for the Ukrainian economy are yet to come.
“We in Russia are concerned with these events in Ukraine as with our own pain, help even those, who accept our support with a smirk and continue living under the moto ‘Ukraine is not Russia,’” Medvedev said. “I sincerely regret that representatives of the Ukrainian elite failed to neither propose nor implement any other strategic program for the country’s development.”
“No matter what insinuations are addressed at us, we have no right to yield to provocations and have no right to forget that on the other side of the border live people close to us in spirit, culture, mentality, people whose fate will be always important to us,” he said.The prime minister said that only within one year Ukraine plunged into the split of society, slump in economy, outburst of radicalism “including sincere flaunting of Nazi symbols,” as well as into combat actions “on their own land against their own compatriots.”
“Only one year passed but only memories were now left from the close to us country, with which we were friends, conducted trade and where we traveled to spend vacations and visit relatives,” Medvedev said.
Ukraine has been in deep crisis since the end of last year, when then-President Viktor Yanukovich suspended the signing of an association agreement with the European Union to study the deal more thoroughly. The move triggered mass riots that eventually led to a coup in February 2014.
The coup that brought chaos to Ukraine prompted the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol with a special status to refuse to recognize the legitimacy of coup-imposed authorities, hold a referendum and secede from Ukraine to reunify with Russia in mid-March after some 60 years as part of Ukraine.
After that, mass protests erupted in Ukraine’s southeast, where local residents, apparently inspired by Crimea's example, did not recognize the coup-imposed authorities either, formed militias and started fighting for their rights.
Kiev’s military operation designed to regain control over the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Ukraine’s southeast on the border with Russia, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People's republics, has left thousands of people dead, brought destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.