MOSCOW, April 10. /TASS/. The law adopted by Ukraine’s parliament recognizing ultranationalists as freedom fighters gives the moral right to the citizens of Ukraine’s south-east to fight for independence from the Kiev regime, a top Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev said on Friday.
The document endorsed by the Verkhovna Rada on Thursday acknowledges the legal status for the members of OUN-UPA (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists — Ukrainian Insurgent Army) as the participants for the fight for Ukraine’s independence in the 20th century. A total of 271 lawmakers voted in favor of the decision, above the minimum required 226 votes.
Kosachev, who heads the Federation Council’s foreign affairs committee, said under the law, the denial that the fight for Ukraine’s independence between November 1917 and August 27, 1991 was legitimate will now be punished as desecration of memory of fighters for Ukraine’s independence and insulting the dignity of the Ukrainian people.
"However, if consistency is needed in this case, the modern-day citizens of Ukraine living in the country’s south-east cannot be denied the same right: fight is fight and independence is independence," Kosachev said.
The Russian senator stressed that the citizens of Ukraine’s south-east "do have such a right against the regime that seized power in a coup" on February 22, 2014 that ousted President Viktor Yanukovyh.
Speaking about the independence from other nation, Kosachev said "then the Russians in such a neo-Ukrainian interpretation have the same rights to fight against ethnic harassment and choose their fate themselves [and Crimea has already done this in a legitimate way].".